I have lived with highly selfish people most of my life. Those who don’t change the toilet paper roll when they see it empty or fill the Keurig coffee maker’s water just enough for themselves. I have witnessed drivers who think the road belongs to them and only them. I have bitten my lips watching folks fill the blue recycle trash bin with leaves and other trash or pour tea leaves into the recycle trash. I have experienced the sad truth of injustice of people who rip off those less fortunate in order to save more, while they bow down to those sitting on millions. I have seen and lived with people who think that kindness is not a favor and an obligation to them. I have seen wolves wearing sheep clothe, thinking I don’t recognize them. I have shopped for neighbors who instead of paying me back, shortchanged me. I have hosted people with such generosity, joy, and pleasure, while when I became their guests, they have become monsters. Yes...I have seen enough injustice, perhaps with more granularity than average person.
“C’est la vie...”, some may say...” after all the world is full of them asses”. Some may even ask why I am writing about such pity topic today.
I don’t know why.
May be, I too have reached a threshold and perhaps I am close to it. May be witnessing and experiencing so much injustice in personal and collective levels, is the reason for this outburst today.
When I feel this way, something always reminds me of my mom’s legacy that was to remain grateful all the time. She said gratefulness is the antidote to every situation. I recall one day my youngest was sick with a cold and a very high fever. She was at our place and kept repeating the word “shokr” which means: “I am grateful”. Frazzled and frustrated, I asked: “mama, why are you so happy that Sam is sick”. She responded: “well it could be a lot worst”. “He could have had an incurable disease or not have his mother and grandma by him to nurse him”. At that moment, I was ignorant and got angry, just shook my head and left the room. Today, however, I realize the depth of her wisdom.
I mean the fact that I have a Keurig, or toilet paper is a blessing. I could be one of those moms in Yemen or Syrian refugee camps, constantly worried about feeding my kids or their safety. I could be blind and not able to see the arrogance of some of the drivers. And many other less desirable situations.
Mama’s words of wisdom, brought me back to my center. Every soul’s evolution and the trajectory of their journey is their own business. I am going to serve with cheer and joy, and be grateful always.
Now, this gratefulness does not mean one has to put up and shut up always. This also does not mean one should tolerate abuse of any sort. This simply means that one should either don’t do something for others, or if one does; do it with her whole heart.
Thank you Mama! I am grateful!