Recently, i was attending the annual meeting of my family's relative, the event was held every year on the nuance of ied fitr. then i had an opportunity of sharing some (islamic) value. it called mauidhoh hasanah, which means the good advice. that that was my very first time, and i don't know what to talk, since the most of my family was good at it. may be it just some test for me. or i don't know, i was screw it up. so i wrote this blog post. just to remember what to talk then if the "test" come to me again. :D
every islamic sharing (that i knew) will begin with saying grateful to Allah, then after that saying sholawat to our prophet Muhammad SAW. then it come to my mind that i would talk about "grateful" because before that one of my relative mention about the meaning of "grateful". that is the thankful to God about every joyful that come to us. i remembered in holy quran, Allah said :
if you are grateful, i will surely increase you (in favor), but if you are thankless indeed my punishment is severe.
so what is grateful ? some people will say that it's saying hamdalah (thank God), or we just need to be satisfied with everything that has given by us. yes indeed. but i thought there was a lot of meaning about that.
may be some people will interpreted that ayat, that we just need to say thank to God, then God will increase to us. it's not wrong neither, but i think it's not enough, the "increase" itself has a formula. in other ayat Allah said :
Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.
word "increase" in that ayat, was the improvement of our favor. so in my opinion, if we grateful on something we has to make improvement on that. so we need to be active, not passively waiting something magic happen. not (like many people said) flowing like water. because water flows from top to down. if we want the improvement we the do the improvement, at the end God will "change". Granting the improvement we made.
to not flowing like water, we has to set targets. a target is a goal at a specific interval of time. it comes to every jobs or activities. if we've set the target of when it'll done. then we need to create a road map. the simple sample for this is, if we want to create 7 chairs in a week, the roadmap is in a day the minimum finished chair is 1.
after we set the target, and we do the road map, achieved the milestone, we need to evaluate that. evaluation means we need to learn to something from what we've done. improvement lies here, after measuring everything, we can add the value of something we want to improve. if we achieved that 7 chairs within a week, then we can increase the number of chair for the next week. if our target fail, at this evaluation we must know how it fail, so we can improve the process inside it, or anything we know it not optimal enough.
so the formula of continuous improvement lies in this two actions, setting the target, then do the evaluation.
in javanese culture, we knew event called "syukuran", it was something that javanese peoples did to celebrate something good happened to prevent something bad happen in future. the "syukuran" held by (usually) giving neighbour some food. or inviting them to eat together. then we pray together.
"syukuran" in its language is also means being grateful. this also correlated with the ayat, that they believe if they share their happiness to others, something bad will not happen.
It's like what Rasulullah said :
the best people are those that brings benefit to the rest of mankind
many people that run big company agrees, that the sustainability of the business depends on how it beneficial to peoples. if it's still giving benefit to people, then people always need it. and they'll be the company's customer. otherwise your customer will leave.
so we can also intrepet the ayat above with if we give benefit to others, there will be something good happened. otherwise something bad will happen.
We need to stay positive if we want the improvement, by being positive. we can get something valuable on everything we did. because there was no something useless, if good thing happen to us, it's improve our happiness, if something bad happen, it'll improve our patience and strength.
being positive also mean wishes the good thing happen, otherwise, how if Allah grant our negative thinking ?
so, after doing the best that we can do to achieve our target, that is beneficial to others, we do the evaluation on it positively. then God will grant it with "increase".
that was my though on being grateful, hope Allah give us strength to focus on something that we've set to be our target. because we just trying to do the best, and yet every joyful in this life was a gift from Allah.