"Principles, Not Examples"

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Source here. Of course, my dorm room would not look like this.

I'm finally back to the twin tower city. Back to mahallah. Back to shawarmas, all nasi goreng, roti canai and teh tarik. After spending 3 months in Indonesia, I'm finally back to the university routine. All subjects are set and I'm ready to give my best, Insha Allah!

The first day of new semester was amazing. I got amazing lecturers, and as usual, to break the ice, they gave us some sort of introduction session and some nasihat session. The first lecturer reminded us how important it is to be alert of the surrounding and to know what is going to happen in the future - being Future Smart and I will give a separate post about this Insha Allah.

Moving on to the third lecture first, because the subject was Investment Analysis, he said that the biggest and the riskiest investment ever made is an investment of a parent to their children. Being a parent himself, he felt that a success of his children is his biggest happiness, that he would do anything for his children, including being apart from them (imagine being apart from your loved ones?). He stayed in KL for Monday to Thursday, and on Thursday afternoon, he would drove back to Ipoh to spend the weekend with the family. Hence he said, "don't disappoint mother and father that have brought you here to study". I almost shed a tear when he said that because disappointing my parents is really something that I don't want to do, and anything related to family always gets me so emotional because I love them so much.

My most highlighted lecture of that day was the second lecture.
The lecturer was from Africa, he was so friendly and a big-brother kind of like when he talked, he liked to give jokes and people were laughing and enjoying his class. He told us that his style of teaching is conservative, and he was going to keep that because he said it suited the subject best. He also said he wouldn't give out so many examples.

"...And if you ask me why wouldn't I give examples?" He asked, then continued, "Because we are focusing so much on the examples that we set the principles aside." I was a bit confuse. He then asked the class "How many of you ever thought that, for example, mathematics. In class, the lecturer taught you 1+2 equal to 3 but in the exam, it goes beyond that and you had no idea how to solve the question?"

"If you said that the lecturer never taught it, while in fact, the lecturer did. But you rely so much on the examples that the lecturer gave to you, you like your lecturers to show you how to solve the problems. And that is what we are lacking so much nowadays." He explained.

Then he gave us an analogy. He said he was holding a pen and asked 3 persons, but he got different answers. A told him that what he's holding was something that has a cap, has ink inside, with a clear case. B told him that it was a pen. While C told him that it was something that you use to write. "Which one is right? Why do they give different answers?" He asked the class again. We were listening to him carefully.

"If you see some scholars, they will say A, B, C and D. You might think that why there are so many opinions and why don't they give us one exact answer. But if you listen to their explanation thoroughly, you might find that what they intended to say are the same, only the wordings are different." I was fascinated.

"People nowadays argue so much on the wordings that they put aside what actually is the meaning. That's why, when you face people with different point of view, ask them first, what do you mean? Maybe it's just the same, but different wordings. That's why I want you to focus on the principles, not examples. Examples are there to clarify the principles. When you hold on to the principles, you won't get wobbly about what people say because you know the truth."

I mean, can't we see the fuss around us? People are fighting on labels and wordings while they missed what is actually behind them all, then we got confused because we forgot the fundamentals. I was impressed by his way of thinking and I thought his perspective is so relatable to us nowadays. What do you think?

P.S. Reaching towards the end of undergraduate life, I realized many of things that I still don't know and I'm still lacking in knowledge. Should I continue Master?


  1. Shaaau, i love this post! It's inspiring and people really need to understand this concept more! Thanks~

  2. Very inspiring <3

    1. omg how did you get here? hahaha thanks anyway!

  3. Shaula! I love your writing and couldnt agree more with your lecturer's view... hmm got me thinking about life for awhile here haha

    1. hahahahaha thanks pishanggkuuu <3 still got the nerves when people actually took time to read my blog hahaha

  4. Shaula! I love your writing and couldnt agree more with your lecturer's view... hmm got me thinking about life for awhile here haha


Would be really happy to hear your thoughts. Do comment! ;)