Sunday, January 18, 2015

To Be A Shade Lighter

As someone with a religious upbringing, living far away from home in a secular, free country is not that easy. Being surrounded by people with different worldviews is not, either. It is fine, because I then learned how to compromise and be tolerant, but somehow I'm tired of adjusting the discrepancy between what I believe and what the social norm tells me to do.

How far are you willing to conform just to fit in? Because lately it came to my realization that I have done things I am not proud of, just because everyone else does it anyway. Most people do that often, but my parents raised me to be better than ordinary.

For years, I have been trying to be grey in a black-and-white world. I know that white is ideal, but somehow I am also fascinated with black. So I adjust myself and become grey instead. But somehow, I'm trapped in between, just like in "the simultaneous contrast effect". I'm not black enough to be in the left group, nor white enough to be on the left. And somehow, I judged myself to be whiter whenever I'm with the black group because I'm still not fond of things they do, and I classify myself to be darker whenever I'm with the white group, just because know I don't deserve to be on a par with them - when in fact, I am the exact same shade of grey.

The Simultaneous Contrast Effect

Being grey has its own perks, though. It makes me free to jump and make friends from different worlds. I have a friend who once cried because she prayed late, and a friend who does not even believe in God. Diversity always enthralls me, so I used to think that being grey is the smartest move that I can possibly make. Until I realize that I feel so tired, so very tired, to be in the middle. I want to be content, not just joyful.

Maybe I need to drift away a little. Maybe I need to have more courage to resist the worldly temptations. Maybe I need to make my life more balanced. Maybe I need to surround myself more with those who can push myself to go through the straight path. Those who are more pious than me, or at least those who can support me to be a better version of myself. Because otherwise, I'm going to turn into a condescending person who does not want to learn and improve herself. Because otherwise, I'm going to turn into someone whom I don't aspire to be, whom I despise.

Being a devoted Muslim is never easy. And I'll be lying to myself if I say I'm a good one, when in fact, I'm not even close. I desperately want to be a better person, and I think I'm not determined enough to do that by myself.

You know where I'm going with this, Allah, so would You help me as usual?


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