patience vs greed

November 5, 2011

I’m having one of those moments when I’m having butterflies in my stomach for no reason. It’s not that anything exciting happened, or any good news were received.

It’s just one of those few minutes when you just feel a jolt of happiness.

It’s weird. I am smiling to the computer screen as I write this and risking having someone come in to the room and dubbing me crazy.

Seriously, I’m just thinking about how blessed my life is. How easy God has set life up till now for me. Who knows what the future holds and what tough challenges await me, but that I can worry about later. For now, I just need to do some reflection (muhasabah diri, as my mom calls it) and just really need to feel the ground. God has given me so much, especially in this past year with so many opportunities and I need to reflect and see what have I given to Him in return.

I went to Soup Kitchen (a voluntary organisation to give food to the homeless) for the first time last week and it really opened my eyes to the other world. One of poverty and without shelter. Imagine having to sit hungry in front of Nandos/KFC/McDonalds, and having people rub their tummy and lick their lips in front of you. All the while knowing you can never step in there because you can’t afford food. It must be such a horrible feeling.

The volunteers were lined up and everyone had a task. I was in charge of handing out dessert (one cekodok to each person) and as I handed it to the people, I was so so humbled by it all. If there weren’t people around, I would have probably cried. Some were carrying children, some had dark and wornout nails, some had tired looks in their eyes, some wanted an extra cekodok, some didn’t want any. There were all sorts of people but one thing they had in common; they were hungry and didn’t have enough money.

Then I started thinking about people who have too much money. 20 million, 100 million, 2 billion, what do they do with so much money?? How much can they eat? How many Birkins do they want in life? Someone told me that the challenge for the poor is patience (kesabaran) and the challenge for the rich is to avoid greed (tamak). It’s so true! When you get money, you’re happy, and you want more. And more. And more. There’s never going to be enough.

I’m all for being entrepreneurial and productive and God knows how much I want to be successful and make something out of myself. I want to live comfortably and I want to be able to reward myself and my family with whatever they please. Why else do I work 7 days a week? But people always say money changes people. So I really hope when I get there one day, I will keep myself in check, not let greed have the better of me and never forget the people who need, Insyaallah.

Seriously, whenever we think our problems are so big and we complain about it all the time, just remember that there are people dying everyday. The world doesn’t revolve around just me or you.