The last time I saw or heard of Muhammad Zhariff was when he tried out for a reality singing show...I think it was Malaysian Idol? Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a picture of him in a copy of today's Berita Harian (it was totally by chance - I don't even read this paper usually).
Muhammad Zhariff was born without arms. And yet he has found a way to lead an fulfilling life - by anyone's standards! He has a degree, he has studied overseas, he has worked with various NGOs for years and he now runs his own company. I know many able-bodied 30-year-olds who haven't achieved even half of what he has! Heck, I don't think I'd be able to say I'd achieve that much when I'm 30!
What's most inspirational about him, though, is not his achievements. While that is admirable, the quality that jumped out at me from the TV screen the first time I saw him, and today again in the newspaper, is his perpetual optimism. This guy is tirelessly positive! He hasn't let any of his perceived "shortcomings" become an excuse for failure.
We're all prone to bouts of self-pity every once in a while (I've just had a week of that, thanks to a particularly nasty bout of respiratory infection), but when we are exposed to the successes, dedication and unending positivity of people like Muhammad Zhariff...well, what excuse do we have not to do everything we dream of doing?
What I am trying to say, in a nutshell, is that we always need to stay vigilant...never take our blessings for granted, and never let our shortcomings get in the way of fulfilling our full potential. Let's try to live every day with these thoughts in our head, and hopefully our kids can be a generation of people with this kind of attitude ingrained in them.
(P.S: You can read Muhammad Zhariff's story here.)