August 25, 2014

Re-Thinking Our Start of the Day

Re-Thinking Our Start of the Day

A perspective on greater cause and productivity

Dawn, sunrise, morning — those are the words that mark our start of the day. We are drilled since childhood to get up early in the morning, take breakfast and then go to school to learn when we are most fresh. Only in the late afternoon we come home, wind down and set to do our hobbies. We play, read, make stuffs — things that enrich us and make us happy.

Entering working life, we are still drilled to wake up early in the morning. The incessant radio breakfast shows, punch cards, and the alarm clock pushes us to hurry up in the morning. After a hard day work, we come home and take a rest. If we are lucky, we still have time and energy to pursue our passion. Some choose to read, take a night class, attend community meetings or just connecting with our family and friends. If not, we just entertain ourselves and sleep before continuing the cycle tomorrow.

In short, we work on our passion with leftover time and energy. The greater cause is put on our lower priority compared to survival.

But what if we take a different perspective? The one that turns this worldview upside down?

The Muslim calendar crosses from one day to another at sundown. Thus, the dusk is the dawn. When the sun goes down, a new day begins.

A new day begins and we go to sleep? That doesn’t sounds quite right isn’t it?

Dusk setting on the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel by Ivan Phan

For Muslims, night is the time of prayer and devotion to God. There’s only two obligatory prayers at night but God is said to be proud of those who wake up in the middle of the night and offering extra prayers.

As such, the ideal Muslim day begins with devotion to God. Then take a rest in the middle. Only in the last part people wake up and work to sustain themselves.

Greater cause first, then we seek to survive — confident that the greater cause will lead to contentment and survival. It also means that the greater cause will receive the best of our attention and energy.

If you are not a Muslim, then feel free to change the prayer with passion or art. Just start the day (at dusk) with any purpose greater than merely suriving.

Change.

Make a dent in the universe.