As guest speaker at Kairaba Senior Secondary School’s graduation Ceremony held on July 1, 2017, former Presidential Affairs Minister, Momodou Sabally, shared his personal experience and words of wisdom with the graduating students.
“First try to know that person you see daily in the mirror; do not take it for granted that you understand YOU; it has taken some people up to forty years to truly know their calling.
The Bible teaches that you should know yourself; and the Quran constantly asks us to reflect and to ponder.
So try to find out your true calling; fetch out from the inner you what makes you tick. Once you find out your passion, your life’s work, your journey to success is half done.
Let no one discourage you by quoting what the market pays for what you want to do for a living. There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living out of your calling, as American philosopher Dr. Wayne Dyer teaches.
“The only thing I remember from the guest speaker’s address during my high school graduation is “you are going into a world of harsh realities!”.
The guest speaker may not be wrong because the author of the classic, the Road Less Travelled, started his book with the statement, “Life is difficult” but even that is milder than what our honoured guest speaker said to us.
Was she wrong? Well if you know about the trials (literarily) and tribulations I have gone through, then you will agree with me that she is indeed right.
“Yet, it’s a world of harsh realities but even within those harsh realities lie illimitable opportunities. This, because Our Creator Allah, is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful! And as He describes Himself in the Bible: This is the message we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). Elsewhere in the Bible we are told that God is Love!
As the Desiderata would put it: in spite of its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world; be cheerful, strive to be happy.
“You see I have come to the conclusion, recently, that my biggest Jihad is to keep my own mind positive. Now let this be your biggest Jihad; your greatest crusade should be to keep your own mind positive!”
Sabally further advised the young graduates to stay focused in furthering their education and acquiring useful skills for self-fulfilment and contribution to nation building.
He advised them against the perilous back-way journey to Europe and encouraged them to positively seek their life’s desires through pragmatic steps, among which he stressed three points: Set a GOAL, Take a STEP, PERSIST!
Sabally then thanked the school administration for their efforts in nation building and congratulated the graduates before concluding with more advice.
“Have faith; be a self-starter, be persistent in your creative actions towards enduring success. And above all be patriotic; believe in your country and support its development no matter what!”