Tick, tock, tick, tock.
As Amal Ahmed Albaz made her way across the stage, she uttered these simple yet frightening words. Words that warned me of my fleeting youth.
The room was pitch black, black as coal, – except for the ray of light, exuded from the passion within Amal. As she began her spoken word poetry, 5 before 5, guilt grasped my conscience, suffocating me with her diction that bled conviction yet only added to my affliction.
“We all know that there’s no age for death. And that our first might actually be our last breath. Then I remembered a saying that our prophet once said. We’re supposed take advantage of five before five. Our body and health before we fall sick. Our youth before we start walking on a stick. Our wealth and money before we become broke. And our free time before we have no time to even joke. And most importantly our life before our death.”
These words began to ring inside my head, words that made me contemplate on what I have accomplished in life – and to my dismay, the answer was nothing. Nothing at all. Here she was, inspiring others, using her passion for poetry, to fulfill her purpose to make the world a better place through her perspective.
And the most I have contributed to my community was throwing candy at little kids for a mandatory community service from school. I felt inept, insignificant, in her eyes. Just plain shitty.
And yet, I was not alone. Jessica. Michelle. Tabussum. We were all in the same boat. Walking out of the auditorium together, we felt a sense of unity – a unity formed through a newfound feeling of shame mixed with hope and anticipation. Shame from our lack of contribution to this world. Hope for the journey as we explore our passions. Anticipation for a purpose. The trip to TedX was not just a trip to Toronto; it was the lighter to help us ignite the fire – the passion – within ourselves; it was a shed of light to see the world from the skewed perspectives of the different presenters; it was the day I began to search for a purpose for myself, and truly, begin to understand the importance of traveling to gain different perspectives of how people view themselves, their community, and this world.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.