These Weekly Tips are a reflective elaboration from my speech at the 2016 Muslim Women’s Literary Conference: “Just Let Me Bee: Finding Your Creative Niche”
Happy Wednesday everybody! It’s the middle of the work week, so it’s time for another tip!
The forager bee is a master of avoiding diseases of the heart. She only goes to a fresh clean flower that hasn’t been touched. A virgin flower. A pure flower. An uncommitted flower. In pollination, this worker bee is neither adulterer nor temptress. She doesn’t take or steal someone else’s flower because she knows that greed, laziness, over-pollination, and over-drinking will only kill the flower. And in the long run, that would mean less flowers, less nectar, and less pollen. And that would be a waste of energy because she still wouldn’t have achieved her mission, and would have killed someone else’s mission. She doesn’t work in extremes. She knows that protecting all the flowers means more flowers in the long-run. She believes in win-win situations and teamwork. She believes in long-term goals rather than short-term desires.
Does the cheater on an academic exam ever really learn the lesson in the process? For the foraging bee, the end does not justify the means. The means are just as important as the end. She knows her mission and she knows it’s important. She does not stray from her guided path. She’s a high achiever and doesn’t settle for someone else’s piece of the pie. She wants her own. She keeps looking until she reaches a point of ihsan, or excellence. In her book, mediocrity and just getting by are not options. She is all about developing her full potential, but neither hurting the environment, flowers, or other bees in her process.
In our world, people are known for stepping on each other, using and abusing each other, and sabotaging each other to get on “top”. But who says that there is a top or only room for a few up there? And most importantly, how will you know about the conditions of that “top” unless you strive and get there? Isn’t it quite possible that there is room for us all up there…if we’d only help each other achieve our goals and missions? Isn’t it quite possible that there is no ceiling to the “top” because there is always room for growth? Because only Excellence is there. And Excellence is God, and God is Infinite?
There are plenty of pretenders out here in the world. Phonies. Wasps. Hornets. People with negative energy just waiting to steal your sunshine and grass because they think it’s greener, cleaner, and squeakier. People pretending to be bees. You could dwell on that, but you wouldn’t get anywhere. You can’t change others. You can only change yourself. So, instead, choose excellence. Choose to be a foraging bee. Choose to fly and keep flying and traveling until you land upon excellence. Your own flower. Your own piece of the pie. Then own it.
There’s plenty of everyone else out in the world. Great. They can be themselves. What’s missing is you. There’s a reason you were brought into existence and it needs to be realized. Show up. Bring the best form of you–the best person you can be–to the table and the universe will applaud you. It, and you, deserve nothing less…than the best.
And the right to stop and smell the flowers.