Are Monsters Misunderstood?
There’s this misconception that I’m happy and positive all the time—the reality couldn’t be far from it. Perhaps, people think this because my writings are uplifting in nature or they hardly see me without a smile plastered on my face. I may smile, not to mention, laugh a lot, but the reality is: sometimes life knocks me down real hard. When it does, I find myself turning into someone I can hardly recognise. I become cynical, moody and downright bitter. Think Eeyore but worse.
Here’s the thing about turning ‘ugly’: there will be people who choose to leave you because they just can’t handle that side of you and rather stick around only when you’re in a more likeable state. Don’t get me wrong: I believe that it’s anyone’s right to distance themselves from what they can’t handle (especially if it’a abuse. Don’t EVER tolerate abuse) but the ones who know the real you will always do their best to get you back on track or at least, stay by your side until you’re back to your usual self.
Anyone here a fan of Fantastic Beasts? The leading character in the film, Newton Scamander (aka Newt), is an awkward yet caring man. He is described by his classmate Leta Lestrange as being “too good” for there wasn’t a beast he couldn’t love. Newt tamed all sorts of beasts through his empathy and compassion. He proved to the wizarding world that the beasts which they feared weren’t monstrous, they were simply misunderstood or mistreated thus their misbehaviour.
In psychology, there is a term called the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy.’ If you believe something about yourself even if it’s not true, for example: a teacher saying you’re stupid, you will be demotivated to improve your grades and as a result, perform badly in school. In other words, what YOU believe you BECOME even if it’s not true. In Fantastic Beasts, the beasts were only acting aggressive because people treated them like they were dangerous instead of treating them with kindness and understanding.
Newt Scamander reminded me of the people in my life who have ‘tamed’ me by not making me feel like I am a monster during the times I was not my best. I thought of my best friend of 10 years, I thought of my sister and my cousins and also my dear friend Aida who I’ve had many heart-to-hearts with. I strongly believe we should feel comfortable enough to show the sides of us that aren’t that pretty to those that we love because if if they come from a place of sincerity and kindness, they will be compassionate and patient with us.
One of the most beautiful things I’ve bore witness to is the depth of compassion my loved ones have shown me; it’s surreal just how big some people’s hearts are. Given how cruel this world can be, it’s a miracle how some people have stayed gentle through it all. Can you imagine if everyone showed more kindness instead of imposing judgment onto others? We would have angels walking among us instead of conflicted souls who feel like they can never be good enough.
I’ve written about this before: being a good friend is the most rewarding thing in the world. You’ve no idea how much you’re healing someone by listening tentatively to their struggles and by uplifting them instead of making judgment. A lot of times when people come to you in a vulnerable state, what they really need is to be shown a way to be better instead of having their mistakes or flaws highlighted.
People learn from their mistakes when they’re ready not when YOU want them to.
People change when it is time for them to change not when YOU decide they should change.
Change is ignited by hidayah (guidance) and true guidance comes through the Mercy of Allāh, not your words or actions. We are just a tool which He uses for His Divine works.
As Aida reminded me today: “It is better to be kind than to be right.” If you want people to be better, start by being a better friend and always choose kindness over harshness. Not everyone can handle being smacked with the truth.