An article for gratitude to the class of 17'
Recently I graduated from Electrical Engineering at UWaterloo. While the past 5 years had its ups and downs, I thought I would like to share a few words of gratitude and next steps with the people I spent the last 5 years with. It was initially drafted as a graduation speech. A shout out to Trav and Los, for their podcast on writing, this article is inspired by them.
Good afternoon fellow professors, distinguished guests and the real MVP’s, the class of 2017.
I realize, it is said so often, but often wouldn’t be enough to thank the incredible amount of people I/and hopefully we feel indebted to for us being here today.
To everyone who has taught me, who has helped in the process of getting rid of even a single ounce of ignorance through knowledge, I thank you.
I thank my friends who have helped me through tough times with support and love. I am grateful for them and for all the incredible people that I had the sheer honour of working with, I can’t think of a more resilient, hard working, disciplined and tenacious class. Thank you class of 17' and congratulations to you.
God bless the two women in my life, my mom and my wonderful sister who have supported me in every one of my ridiculous endeavours from living in a small village, to being here today, I thank you.
To my father, I am sorry. I am sorry I called you poor when you couldn’t afford to get me that toy helicopter as a kid. You have the richest soul I know, filled with strength, passion, love and an unwavering pursuit for knowledge, I love you dearly.
I would like to thank my High School Headmaster, Dr. Haroon Rashid, who’s last talk to me still to this day fill my thoughts with optimism, inspiration and discipline, and which constantly reminds me that even a small word of encouragement can cause great changes.
I thank the lord, who has come up with an incredible fate for me and has granted me with experiences that to this day I cannot fathom, what I’ve done to deserve such kindness and mercy. From filling my soul with the simple joy of playing with nature in dirt and mud, to the ecstatic feeling of running through sunflower fields. From feeling the excitement and fear of roaring waves and thunder to feeling the calmness of the sea.
For granting me the good fortune of good health.
From granting me the experience of love, to reminding me that love is really what we make of the present through loneliness. I thank you. Last but not the least, I would like to thank every person who I have encountered when I first laid my foot on Canadian land, for your kindness and welcoming attitude.
What I would like to talk about now though is the other side of the spectrum, the every day lives of the people who we do not see, the every day suffering which we do not experience. Each day we hear about great works in engineering from the launch of Space-X, to replacing vision to the blind, to eradicating disease, to creating optimized farm lands so we don’t go hungry.
As the days pass we accept this new level of comfort, these new habits. We tend to forget that while we have grown greatly in our technologies, the world is still plagued with greed, we still have injustice, hunger and pain in the world. I do not need to pick out individual problems for you to resonate with, I will leave that as homework. But what I would like to tell you is how your work can make small changes for a larger collective good.
You see, realize that engineering is a craft and like a piece of good art, you leave behind a piece of thought to the observer. A thought that will make them question the work that went behind it, the triumphs, failures and with resiliency the beautiful success of an engineered work. You let the observer ponder upon the values of the artist, you let him question the message he/she is trying to put across through good work.
So let us set ourselves to the highest standard possible and start changing the world today by being kind, by making the right choices and by doing good work. While the world is being greedy, let us make the right decision in distributing goodness and love for this earth and our neighbours.
Finally, the motto of this institution is Concordia Cum Veritate, which translates to “In harmony with the truth”, and truth is what I vow to seek and I hope you will too.