Something I Learnt from a Wise Man

By the end of this post, you’ll learn something new.

Since the very first post on this blog, we’ve been sharing our stories and talking about our success, achievements, and things we learnt. If anyone is interested in knowing how we all as a group grew and improved both individually and collectively, this blog is all they need. I want to take the chance and dedicate this blog post to the person who was the force that created this blog and kept it going, Jerry Doyle.

Along the way, each one of us had his own journey. We shared parts of it: dinners at Rania’s, meetings with Megan, more dinners with Hussam Shobokshi, Syrian Club events, etc. But for most of the time each one of us had their private and unique journey. Some more than others. During that journey, we’ve met a variety of people who had their impact on how we think and how we plan for the future. Impact on how we make our decisions.

From my own experience, I’ve noticed that some people walked the extra mile and paused their life routine for a minute to offer advice or guidance, without being asked to do so. They did it voluntarily. There were people who were also willing to help sincerely too, but you had to ask them first. Those were rare, and the former type was extremely rare that you would be lucky if you had one only. There were also people who were never willing to help.

Jerry’s type is the first type. Our scholarship is the biggest proof. Aside from the scholarship program, Jerry had a different touch on each of us. As for me, I learnt a great lesson from Jerry. I consider it to be one among the many great eye-opening lessons I learned so far. In one of our conversations in the past about Syrian Club and the future of the Syrian students after IIT, Jerry passed to me a very wise advice simplified in a great example. He told me to look at life as a very tall skyscraper. Inside of it there are a lot of elevators. However, these elevators do not take you to equal heights, meaning that some of them take you higher than others. He told me that in life, you’ll meet people that will guide you to one of these elevators, telling you that taking it is the right choice. They will not tell you though, that it will reach lower heights than the others. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll meet those who will tell you which elevator can take you higher, but otherwise you’ll have to figure that out by yourself. Hopefully before it’s too late.

I took Jerry’s advice very seriously. It helped me reshape and fine-tune my strategy building mechanism, and I always keep it in mind when making long-term decisions. Sometimes, people will offer you solutions, and you’ll perceive this as a great favor from them. A favor that will probably overwhelm you by the outcome you’re expecting to harvest at the end. Don’t let this blind you, and always be aware of the other options around the corner. One of them could just be the best option you can possibly have.

As simple as these words seem to be, as powerful and valuable they really are. They helped me at several crucial points in my life. As they were passed to me by a wise man, I pass them to you, hoping that they will help you as much as they helped and keep helping me.

And Jerry, thank you for showing me the entire hallway, and for making me aware of the other elevators. By that itself, you guided me to the highest elevator yourself 🙂

Raed Tawil



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