The rule of 21.
Robin Sharma ranked it as one of the key steps in his 7 stage formula to achieve life success. More wisdom on this has been chronicled by him in his book ‘Mega living’. The rule, simply in its entirety entails fostering of an action for 21 days in a row in the most disciplined manner for it to magically transform into a habit. In short, persevere till it sticks.
You and I, by default ( I would assume) would agree to this rule’s relevance as a simple wisdom that continues to transcend as a rule of thumb in several aspects of our life, i.e. everyday routines, mind conditioning, diets, gym memberships, quitting smoking ( back me up smokers), so on and so forth. You take your pick, stick with it and make it habitual to reap its benefits in the long run.
Now think of another rule. The rule of 30. This one is not by Mr. Sharma but by the teachings and stipulations of a greater and divine power. A rule that encourages the practicing followers to simply adopt patience, humility and gratefulness in life’s simple pleasures year after year for a stretch of 30 days .
If you haven’t cracked it yet, I speak of Ramadan. For those of us that observe it, If you think in essence, it allows us Muslims to simply follow a pattern in this holy month. I’m aware that the basic premise of setting aside a month through the year to practice humility has its justified basis, however aren’t we suppose to take it a little further and practice it beyond the 30days ? where does the rule of 21 fit into our 30 days equation and add up?
If you are required to practice being grateful about the 3 meals during this month, why not appreciate its essence beyond these 30 days. Being generous with futoor meals to an underprivileged individual, why not do it regardless on any random given day during the year, or better yet appreciate having what you do and not waste your half eaten meal at Shake Shack the next time. Have we all fallen prey to a select pattern of doing good and convenient charity. Do it only when the spotlight is on? Or perhaps when the stakes are high with an element of conditional thinking? Have we lost track of how the small things of our everday lives simply contribute to the bigger picture of being a better human being / muslim/ ambassador / spec / whatever living organism you want to represent. Have my thoughts gone off track at the risk of being a tad bit sappy. I don’t know.
But think about this, in the spirit of the last few days of this month and reflection during the wee hours of the night at its peak, do we really need a designated time every year to be ear marked for being civil and better humans. Do we really need the likes of Robin Sharma / Robert Fulham to accentuate on how the little things matter?
Think about it.
While you do so, I leave you with this picture taken at an Iftar outing couple of days ago with the familia at the Ikea restaurant. As always Ikea outdid themselves in their iftar combo meals. This day chicken Machboos was being served. Needless to say, it was delicious and we licked our plates clean. Also given that we are poor eaters, we decided to split 2 plates between the 5 of us ( mind you, they have a super generous portion size). Anywho, back to the picture, this was the table of the family next to us. 3 adults that ordered 4 plates of the same order that we did. 20 mins into the iftar they left their plates untouched and just walked away without eating. Just had a few sweets and poof. Gone! Without disclosing much about where these folks were from, let me say that yes, they were fasting and no, they did not have the slightest regard to even request for a take away.
Is this a rare sight in Kuwait. No.
Does this happen even without Ramadan. Definitely!
Does it contradict the very idea about the teachings this month. HELLS YeS!
Do I rest my case. Oui!