These encounters

You will never know the impact, good or bad, you had on others. You may encounter another only for a moment, or for a matter of days, or a few months, and have absolutely no idea how your interactions with them might shape them for years to come.

I definitely had quite a few encounters like that; for sure, if they knew what subsequently became of me, they would be extremely surprised. Ultimately, guidance comes from the One, but I still credit many I met along the way for signposting me along the road. Some were friends, some wayfarers, some strangers passing by; some even considered themselves my arch-enemies, forever deriding me.

Perhaps events occurred long ago that set off a chain reaction that none of us could even comprehend then. For my part, I am grateful for those moments, despite the pain and discomfort I felt at the time. Looking back, I understand the picture better than I did looking forward.

Long ago, I held a bitter rancour to some I encountered along the way, but now I see they were my guides. Though perhaps they will never know it, they were calling me to something better. Perhaps I deserved their rebuke back then. Perhaps threats were good for me. Perhaps I had to make an utter fool of myself to be better prepared for a role to come.

You may have forgotten the many you brushed past throughout your lives, but rest assured, some will have remembered you. So strive… strive each day to live the best version of yourself, in the hope of impacting others positively. Perhaps your striving will help them turn their life around. Perhaps they will remember you in their nightly prayers. Perhaps they will utter shukr because of you.

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