My colleague Sami KamalEddin penned a funny and logical article years ago under the title ‘I am the model’, and here is an extract from that article. We all consider ourselves to be the role model or an ideal example whether either in terms of worldly issues or religious because it is forced upon us or we are convinced of what we are doing.
We also believe that the general psychological and moral rules that we follow are the best. If we drive a vehicle, for example, and see a motorist driving slowly, we do not hesitate to describe him or her as idle or afraid. If a speeding motorist overtakes us, we describe the driver as reckless because we consider ourselves, or the speed of our driving is the role model which others must follow. In brief those whose speed is more than ours are reckless and the slower ones ‘lazy’ just idling away. We also describe those who spend money the way we do, in our view, are moderately generous people.
Those who spend more we call them spendthrift and those who spend less in our eyes are miser. Those who have something common with us are sane, and those who have in excess are rash and those who fit either of the two descriptions are cowards. We do not limit ourselves to this approach concerning worldly matters, but rather expand it to include religion.
Those who follow our faith are pious, those who do not are negligent, and those in excess are fundamentalists. Those who follow our religion will not burn in hell but others will. Our faith is the thermometer, by which we measure the faith of others or their disbelief. Since we all change from time to time and from age to age, this measure is constantly changing. We may have had a time when we prayed during this time, and we felt sorry or sad for those who missed the prayer and see them as negligent, then it happens that we are not committed to prayer for example and here we see committed people as backward or ignorant, and we are the tole model always.
Therefore, we must not think or believe that the measure of righteousness in the world and the measure of goodness in religion is the situation that we are in and satisfied with, as we have long been satisfied with ourselves and did not favor others, and therefore we have to reform ourselves. In the same context, an educational announcement broadcast on one of the Egyptian channels, described as the best of its kind, shows a woman driving a vehicle and talking on her cell phone, she appears very emotional while another driver who has stopped at the red traffic light has his child on his lap.
The woman barely missed to collide with his car, so the man lowered his car window and shouted at the woman and accused her of violating the traffic law, while he forgot that he was equally wrong because he had the child on his lap, unaware that he was not even wearing a seat belt. Every driver blames the other for committing a traffic violation unaware that every one who sits behind the steering wheel commits some traffic offense. Therefore, the tragedy that we live in is that all of us believe we are perfect. Note: Former MP Raja Hujailan Al-Mutairi sent a funny comment on the validity of the name of the Shadadiyya area, which became famous after the establishment of the Kuwait University and other facilities in it. He said the correct name is ‘Al- Kadadiyya’ after Al-Kadiyad, a useful desert plant, but too difficult for camels to eat, so they are lightly burned and then given for the animal to eat. He demanded an amendment to the naming of the area and we support him.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf