Growing up, I was a quiet, reserved, fairly shy girl, happier studying than socializing. I wasn’t one of the cool kids, or athletically inclined, so doing well academically became my ‘thing’. I got used to getting straight As.
Until my sophomore year in college. I took Astronomy to fulfill a science requirement, thinking it wouldn’t be as challenging as the other science classes and would help me maintain my GPA. Then, I got my first semester final exam back: C+!! I was mortified!
I used to commute from Columbia home to NJ each day; that day, tears streamed on the #1 train and the A train and the 84 bus the whole hour and a half ride home. I ran upstairs to my mom’s room, collapsed on her bed, and told her what had happened — that my GPA was ruined, my dreams crushed, my future dimmed (yes, overly dramatic 19 year old!).
My mom listened calmly, not at all phased by my histrionics. And then she said, “Beta, Allah has to sprinkle his favors on everyone. He can’t make you good in English and History and Math … and Astronomy. He has to be fair and make someone else good at some things.”
It sounded logical, I thought to myself; perhaps I was being selfish to think that I should get all of God’s good favors.
It’s a wisdom I’ve turned to over and over again when things haven’t gone my way, on exams or interviews or life. I’ve shared the sentiment with my kids too. Don’t expect to be good at everything; focus on what comes naturally to you and what you’re willing to work hard for, and leave some of the favors for others to enjoy.
Day 1 Wisdom 1: God has to sprinkle his favors on everyone.