I came across the following quote that I felt gave good advice to those of us seeking God’s pleasure,
I read about an article in a science journal recently co-written by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. The scientists surveyed a bunch of women to look at how many of their daily activities brought them satisfaction. Oddly, the stuff they chose to do for hours at a time every, single day, as leisure – namely, watching TV – didn’t bring them satisfaction. Instead, connecting with the present did – via prayer and meditation.
It reminds me of the narration from Mu’awiyah bin Abu Sufyan,
الخيرُ عادةٌ والشَّرُ لَجَاجةٌ، مَن يُرِدِ اللهُ به خيرًا يُفقِّهْه في الدِّينِ
“Doing good is a habit just as doing evil is obstinacy. Whomever God intends good for, He grants that one understanding in Islam (al-Din).” Reported in Ibn Hibban’sSahih as well as Ibn Majah’sSahih.
يأيها الناس اتقوا ربكم واخشوا يوما لا يجزي والد عن ولده ولا مولود هوجاز عن والده شيئا ان وعد الله حق فلا تغرنكم الحيوة الدنيا ولا يغرنكم بالله الفرور
“Mankind! have taqwa of your Lord and fear a day when no father will be able to atone for his son, or son for his father, in any way. Allah’s promise is true. So do not let the life of this world delude you and do not let the Deluder delude you concerning God.” [Qur’ān: Luqmān (31): 33]
I was remined of this āyah and so many more in this short but insightful piece by Chris Hedges:
The United States, locked in the kind of twilight disconnect that grips dying empires, is a country entranced by illusions. It spends its emotional and intellectual energy on the trivial and the absurd. It is captivated by the hollow stagecraft of celebrity culture as the walls crumble. This celebrity culture giddily licenses a dark voyeurism into other people’shumiliation, pain, weakness and betrayal. Day after day, one lurid saga after another, whether it is Michael Jackson, Britney Spears or John Edwards, enthralls the country … despite bank collapses, wars, mounting poverty or the criminality of its financial class.
The virtues that sustain a nation-state and build community, from honesty to self-sacrifice to transparency to sharing, areridiculed each night on television as rubes stupid enough to cling to this antiquated behavior are voted off reality shows. Fellow competitors for prize money and a chance for fleeting fame, cheered on by millions of viewers, elect to “disappear” the unwanted. In the final credits of the reality show America’s Next Top Model, a picture of the woman expelled during the episode vanishes from the group portrait on the screen. Those cast aside become, at least to the television audience, nonpersons. Celebrities that can no longer generate publicity, good or bad, vanish. Life, these shows persistently teach, is a brutal world of unadulterated competition and a constant quest for notoriety and attention.