How Animals Can Make you a Better Person
I am a strong believer that character plays a huge part in defining who you are as a person. Without character, a person is nothing. First impressions last forever and in most cases, first impressions are born from qualities that you possess. We learn from the Quran and Hadith that character is extremely important. In fact, a Hadith states that those who will have the most complete faith on the day of judgement will be those whose character is best. Character is so important that you would even find animals possessing qualities that are worthy of admiration. You probably thinking “Huh? What? Animals?”, yes, animals. I know you confused right now so I decided to write a list of some qualities that you would find in animals….
Zebra (Racism) – Did you ever marvel over the beauty of a zebra, the way its black and white stripes are perfectly formed. Imagine if it was full black or full white. Would it lose its beauty? Would it still be so eye-catching? No. Why? because black and white together paints that perfect picture. I take lesson from the zebra. By looking at the zebra, I realize that our different skin colours work the same way. What makes this world so beautiful is the fact that we have black, white, brown and various other skin colours. It’s no use fighting and being racist. Being a racist is like fighting for a full black or a full white zebra. Does it really make sense?
Tortoise (Patient) – The tortoise is perhaps the most pitied soul from the entire animal kingdom.It always looks like it’s going nowhere slowly. Most folks that have a tortoise as a pet leave it outside to walk. They don’t close the gates for they know that it will take a few hours to reach the front gate. But what amazes me is, a tortoise never gives up. One step at a time it strolls along heading towards its intended destination. We, humans, would think that they always sleeping not realizing that they move very slow taking long pauses between steps. They never seem to be in a rush. With patience, they eventually reach their destination even though it might be after weeks or months. By looking at the tortoise, I learn that it doesn’t matter how long it takes to reach your goal. It doesn’t even matter if you reach your goal or not. What really matters is the fact that you tried to reach your goal.
Rhino (Brave) – It’s really sad when you hear the news that rhinos are being killed on a daily basis for their horns. I don’t know about other countries but in South Africa it has become a really serious issue over the past few years. The rhino horn is quite expensive and rare so rhino poachers try every possible way to kill the poor animals and take the horns. Sometimes, a group of rhinos would be walking along and all of a sudden they would see another rhino lying dead on the floor without a horn. Animals are not stupid. After so many killings, it’s possible that the rhinos are aware that they are sought after. They are aware that they living in dangerous territory. Despite this, you still find them walking around. They still wake up every day and do what they have to do. Many of them see a family member lying in a pool of blood. They also got hearts. They also feel pain when a loved one is lost. By looking at these rhinos I see bravery. They are brave enough to walk the wild knowing that they could be killed at any moment. They are brave and strong enough to get up every morning and look for food even though they perhaps still recall their friends lying in pools of blood. I look at them and realise that one has to be brave and strong minded to pull through a difficult time. Hiding in your home is not going to solve the problem. Come out, carry on with life, and stay strong.
Horse (Tolerant) – Before the motor-vehicle, horses were one of the most commonly used means of transport. Of course, horses didn’t have gears. It was whips that made the horses move faster. Till today, horses are whipped by man so that they move faster. Despite the horse’s strength, I have never seen a horse attack a man after being whipped. It amazingly tolerates the lashing and carries on in fulfilling its duty. It has the ability to kill even the strongest of man but it doesn’t. Not only does it tolerate the lashing of man, it also serves man by transporting them from place to place. It’s easy to tolerate someone who is bigger and stronger than you but to tolerate someone who you can overpower is just brilliant. I look at the horse and I see this brilliance. This is a quality we should take from a horse. In life, we will come across people who will cause us a lot of difficulty. Think of the horse and tolerate. Even better, serve them just like the horse does.
Bee (Hard-working, Service) –Did you hear the phrase ‘As busy as a bee’? Well, obviously, the phrase originates from the long working hours that the bee puts in on a daily basis. The bee goes from flower to flower to collect nectar that is used to make honey. When you see a bee buzzing around you, don’t think the bee is just passing time.It’s actually moving from park to park and garden to garden visiting every flower. All this effort is put in to produce honey. The beauty part is that human are the primary beneficiaries from the honey but not once did the bee ever ask for a salary or stop working because he seen no benefit for him. I look at the bee and see the quality of service…service to humanity. It works tirelessly on a daily basis so that others may benefit. When we taste the sweetness of honey, not once did we ever praise the bee. From this we find that the bee doesn’t worry about attaining fame. It does its job, with or without praise. If we could all adopt this quality, how beautiful our planet would be.
Dog (Grateful) – There are a few qualities of a dog that is absolutely outstanding. It only barks when it senses danger and it also always remains loyal to its master but it’s the gratefulness of the dog that really gets my attention. A dog’s job is quite difficult when you think about it. It works night shift by looking after the owner’s house at night. It also works during the day by taking walks with the owner or playing with the owner’s kids. Despite its tough schedule, it appreciates even the left-over bone after a long day’s work. Sure, sometimes dogs get a juicy piece of meat or specially prepared dog food but in most cases it’s either a left-over bone or, even worst, a few scraps from the garbage. Never did a dog refuse to eat because the bone was not enough. Never did the dog go on strike because its food was too simple for the work it was doing. I look at a dog and I learn to appreciate whatever I get on my plate. Sometimes our salary is too little for the amount of work we do but let’s think of those that have nothing. Yes, make an effort to find a better job but appreciate what you have at the same time.
Elephant (Humble) – Did you ever see an elephant walk? Did you take notice of how its head is always facing the ground as if it’s continuously looking down? Now, if a sheep done this, it wouldn’t be special because a sheep is not the strongest of animals but when a strong animal like the elephant adopts such humility then indeed this is unique. An elephant has the ability and strength to crush any enemy in the animal kingdom. It doesn’t even have to fight it simply steps over an enemy. Even game rangers in their vehicles are not safe from an elephant yet it never walks with its head in the air. It walks looking down as if to say “I am weak and I am not worthy of doing anything”. I look at this amazing creature and I learn humility. No matter how strong and big he is, he roams the jungle in humility. This is a quality that is extremely important and powerful. Let us try to live with humility no matter how strong or powerful we are.
Bird (Confident, Trust) – If you look into the nest of a bird, you will not find any fridge or groceries. The bird leaves its nest every morning not knowing where the day’s meals will come from. In some cases, the birds have to go in search of food for the young ones who are left behind in the nest. It just flies around, finds some bread or seeds and either eats it or collects it for its young. It doesn’t know where to go, it just flies and stops when it sees food. When the season changes, it takes a journey half-way across the planet to a warmer climate not knowing if there is sufficient food or not in that part of the world. The point is, the bird is confident that he will come out alive. The bird has trust in Allah that He will provide. It knows that wherever it goes, Allah will provide. The bird has trust in Allahknowing that it will never starve. Yes, some days it will find more food compare to other days but never a day will come when it finds no food, never a day will come when Allah will abandon it. I look at the bird and wonder how unfortunate am I. Allah has blessed me with more intelligence than the bird yet it trusts Allah more than me.
This is not all qualities that you will find. There’s much more animals that possess certain unique qualities. If you know of any animal with a beautiful quality that I did not mention, feel free to mention it in the comments section. Share this with as many people as possible. Everyone could benefit. Everyone, including myself, is in need of qualities. My favourite is the humility of the elephant. Which one is your favourite?
About the author
Yusuf Omar resides in South Africa and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Islamic sciences. He currently lectures at an Islamic school and hosts an afternoon Islamic radio show. Check him out on twitter @discoverdeen
Posted on April 30, 2014, in ARTICLES and tagged animal, animal characters, article, birds, Brave, character, Characters, elephants, hard working, humble, islam, learn quote, maestrouzy, Patient, racism, service, tortoise, trust. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.