Through the eyes of a 22 year old

Jameel Hassan
5 min readJan 7, 2018


A little down the lane of talking about “how’s life?” you could get really into interesting aspects and views of the person in front of you. Few times I found myself being asked “When do you think we would be free and relaxed?”. The same question, phrased in different ways by my friends doing their higher studies, some working and by some youngsters still schooling.

During the 18th century, the time in which philosophy and science was given prominence, the Puerperal fever made its way across Europe and to America. Also know as the ‘Black death of child birth” was causing death of women who gave birth to children. This was a serious problem which caused a high mortality rate. The doctors used to examine deceased women in the mornings, looking for the cause and later were involved in the delivery of babies of expecting women. Not until in the 1800s when Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis found that the cause of the death of mothers was doctors not washing their hands and cleaning them, prior to delivering babies. However, the idea conflicted existing medical concepts and the image of doctors, hence ridiculed. Dr. Semmelweis found himself taken to a mental hospital where he spent his life till death. It was not until 30 years later that his idea was accepted and the use of disinfectant came to being. The point is, sometimes the problem -lies within-.

So going back to the question of “when would we be free?”. After O/Ls? After A/Ls? After Graduating perhaps (I am not completely of the notion everyone should become a graduate, but just the normalcy in society 😉) Or maybe when we find the ‘dream job’? Well, perhaps the answer, isn’t the problem, perhaps it is the question. It is our perception of ‘free’ and ‘work’ that make it so disjoint that we can’t see them happening together. Well I cant completely negate the stressful times all of us go through, but doesn’t that experience add essence to life? Everybody knows how life isn’t all sunshines and rainbows, but have we accepted it as we should? We should learn to face the hurdles and get over them. In the meantime, don’t forget to enjoy the run, for this race, you are running for yourself, it is not a race against anybody. When you do finish the race, you have succeeded, but you will realise, it was not about crossing the finish line but it was about every single moment of the race, every single hurdle. It was all of them put together that makes the finish line so grandeur. If you wait for the free relaxation in life you will not meet that day. Make everyday the best for you, and enjoy the essence of it. Life happens everyday. Don’t search for the route to success, there isn’t one. Define success for yourself. There are a few guidelines to success, but there are no rules.

Know yourself

I am not talking about soul searching and finding yourself. But in the essence of life, accept what you like and what you don’t. Stand by your opinions, state something when you don’t understand. But remember, at times you will have to compromise on things and blend in with people. Blend in, don’t give in 😃.

Know your priorities

Understand that all things can’t happen at the same time. You have to know which is more important and which you need to spend more time on. Things in real life take time… … … …, require effort and meandering to make them actually sustain and work. In other words there is no app for that 😉. Also remember, your priority list is not exactly the same as somebody else’s, and there’s isn’t the same as yours. Subtle but crucial fact.

Help others, and more importantly learn to seek help when necessary

We all get told about how we need to look after those around us. But we also need to remember that as much as them, we might need help, and we need to seek help when you need it from those who can. Don’t expect anything, but help others and make sure to seek help when you need it.

Everything will pass

That exam, it will pass (you might not 😜); that dilemma you are fighting, it will pass; the loss that you can’t get over, it will pass. So will the elation you feel now; the joy that surrounds you, it will all pass. A myriad of emotions fill the human soul, how could we expect just to be happy. Quite mundane that would be. Embrace the joyous moments, fight through the struggles and learn from them.

The former under secretary of defense was invited to deliver a speech for an occasion. He rose to the podium, sipped his cup of coffee, looked at the cup and smiled. He said, last year I was the under secretary of defense, and I was delivering a speech on this exact same occasion. But last year, I was flown here by business class with a car waiting for me at the airport, I was driven to a hotel where the bookings were already done. The next day when I came down, I found an escort waiting for me at the lobby who drove me here to the conference room. I was taken through the back entrance and I was offered coffee, in a beautiful ceramic cup. But none of it was meant for me, the ceramic cup was meant for the position I held. I deserve a styrofoam cup. Most things you are/will be offered by outsiders are not for you, but the position or stature you hold or represent. You are merely a styrofoam cup :).

Live everyday freely. Learn to enjoy what you do, do what you enjoy. Life is beautiful when you live it :).