How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.”- Bram Stroker
While fretting over my ailment, I logged in to check my Facebook account. Alas! I was taken aback by what I saw. A friend had just posted: Please pray for a 10 month old baby who has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He will get his first dose of chemotherapy today.
I could hardly believe what I was reading. With the blink of an eye, I forgot my fluctuating body temperature and back cramps. My illness appeared to be nothing in front of what the baby was going through. It was a moment of realization; how often do we thank Allah for what He has given us?
Take a moment and reflect at the way we thank Him in return for everything He has bestowed upon us. I look at myself and all I see is a never ending list of complaints. I often fight with my husband for not coming home on time and for not spending time with me. When I re-assess my words, I find each statement loaded with ‘nots’ and ‘don’ts’.
In the midst of personal satisfaction, we often fail to look at the other side of the coin. If my man is not with me, he is certainly busy earning for the family. Shouldn’t I rephrase my daily statements to ‘dear, it is Okay! You must be tired working the whole day. Thank you for doing so much for us’.
Ramadan has just ended. It was a time where we spent hours praying and helping others. But has Allah only given us one specific month of the year to denote all our energy? The various television shows aired at that time showed the pleas of individuals begging for money so that they can get their children treated and illnesses fixed.
Well, you are probably reading this article at the other end of the screen. With a packet of chips in your hand lying on a cozy couch, imagine that your laptop screen gives you so much strain that it causes you severe eye pain; you will certainly blame God for giving you an illness at the wrong time of the year because you had several plans to achieve.
Did you previously thank God for the perfect eyesight you possess? Certainly No. This is true for each one of us because we are always ready to blame when we lose out things and we never appreciate and acknowledge what we already have!
A page from the past
During my counseling course at university, we were often taught to tell patients to count their blessings when they felt low. Even today, whenever I am depressed, my friend asks me to make a list of the things I am thankful for and instructs me to add into the list with every passing day. Trust me, it is a good exercise, but do we understand the meaning attached to it?
I always start on a fresh page writing I have a caring mother, I have the best dresses to wear, I have all the luxuries in life and so on. Two days, things become normal, and the diary is back in the drawer. God certainly does not give us a difficult phase so that we remember Him for few hours and then get back to the routine. This reminds me of an acquaintance who once told me that he did not pray when he was in trouble. Instead, he used to pray when he was happy.
I now understand what he actually meant. Life is too short and we often keep away from a serene living by focusing on the things we don’t have. What if you cannot buy that expensive diamond earring for yourself, at least you have a perfect hearing which many are void of. These are little things that we often fail to accept. Even if we do, it is on rare occasions. So what must we do?
– Learn to notice small things in life– Stop demanding and fighting with your parents because they are unable to give you a big car same as your friends. At least you have a car! Learn to acknowledge that and try to be content with these things.
It is fine to strive to achieve the best, but that does not mean that you forget to see what you already have. Every time I go out at night, I only see the world in a rush. Every single person is in a hurry to reach somewhere and most of them are not even sure of their destinations. They just want to be better than their neighbor.
Chill, life is not a race! Pakistani footpaths are full of beggars but trust me, these poor look happier than the ones travelling in Mercedes and Lexus, because they are at least able to have a sound sleep. Don’t we all need that?
– Appreciate– Ask a daughter-in-law, and she will tell you how it feels when the food she cooks is not appreciated by the new family. She is broken. Furthermore, when people make fun of what she made, she loses that confidence and courage that otherwise could have been instilled with few positive comments.
Basic phrases of ‘thank you’, ‘wonderful’ and ‘this is awesome’ can make a big difference in the life of others. So when a husband gets flowers for his wife or when a father gets a new pen for his daughter, don’t throw it away by saying ‘Oh, this is nothing. I was expecting something big, more precious’. Appreciate and thank the person who is putting an effort to make you happy. These are little gestures that are more valuable than the expensive jitters of life.
– Thank Allah– Stop making excuses for important things. It is very funny to hear from people that ‘hey, my sister was over so I was unable to text you back’. Seriously? How long does it take to type a message? Similarly, how long does it take to thank Allah? It is just our way to have an easy way out of the situation by acting busy.
Wake up! It is time to face the truth. Try seeing life from different perspectives. You don’t like something; think about what you already have. You want something better; think about its absence in the life of the majority. Look at the brighter side in life and then see how everything becomes better
Stop complaining and assess situations from various angles. At times, it feels that the manner in which we behave is so wrong that we will pass on similar practices to our future generations.
Do we really want to see our kids snap back at us or leave us because of financial constraint? Or do we want such children who are flexible enough to accept with whatever they have? Sit back and take a look at your life. Make a change and start looking at the positive side of life. As soon as you incorporate this change, trust me, Allah will not only load you with many blessings, but you will also live a life full of satisfaction and happiness.
First published: April 2016