Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

When Pigs Fly! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The fastest growing and most developed means of communication is SMS text messaging, with more than 4 billion SMS text messages being sent every day. More than 790 billion SMS text messages were sent during the first 9 months of 2009 alone. This is a staggering figure, and clear evidence of the importance of SMS text messaging, and its establishment as a global means of communication. There are a variety of ways that SMS text messaging can be utilized and benefit from. Text messages can be used to promote commercial goods and services, and they can also be used in coordination with other mediums like television and the internet. Text messaging can be used in conjunction with other mediums to convey greetings, express opinion, or for participation in research and surveys.

Text messaging can also be used in conjunction with spreading news and information, whether this is political, sports, economic, or cultural news. Of course we cannot overlook text messages of anecdotes, jokes, praising God, greetings, and congratulations; and these form the most essential part of the huge volume of text messages being sent. However could text messaging also serve in a similar manner to work performed by psychiatrists, social workers, or life coaches during major crises? This is an important question, and one which by answering – or at least trying to answer – we may be able to discover the modern technology’s role in our daily lives.

A group of friends and relatives who were facing a large crisis resorted to using a non-traditional method [of communication] to encourage one another to think positively and defeat negativity that may weaken their resolve. Therefore an SMS text message campaign was launched in which the group would send one another encouraging text messages promising “Bananas dipped in victory” and bidding each other a “Good morning filled with triumph” and so on.

Human beings are always in need of hope; whether this hope is offered by a teacher at school, a family member, a Sheikh, or via an SMS text message [from a friend]. SMS text messaging is important, and more and more people are being convinced of the important role that this could play in their lives, for necessity is the mother of invention.

When the book “The Secret” [by Rhonda Byrne] was first published it became a phenomenal best-seller, and slowly but surely became a way of living. The book shows that if human beings can imagine their future and have courage, their hopes will come true. This book propagates the belief that you are the outcome of what you envisage, and the Prophet [pbuh] said in the Hadith that God said “I am as bounteous as my servants think of Me.” The Prophet also said “Expect what is good and you will receive it” and “One’s intentions determine their livelihood.”

A question that has baffled mankind for eternity is with regards to man’s ability to change or transform himself and his surroundings. The great Indian political and spiritual leader, Mahatma Gandhi was not wrong when he said “Be the change you want to see in the world.” However the greatest challenge is converting this theoretical conviction into a practical reality that will last for eternity; a reality that will not shatter or break.

Goodness prevails and there is always hope, no matter how bleak the circumstances are. We are able to cling to the threads of what is possible and reassure ourselves with nothing more than an SMS text message.