As I stopped the car reaching his spot…..he started to stare at me with his old and graceful face. His stare was rather a questioning glance which continued for a few seconds and ended at:” Is everything OK with you?”
“Yes’m fine.”, I replied.
He, a descendant of Aleppo, Syria, a victim of the civil war living in Saudia with his wife, daughter in law, 3 grandchildren and a son, the only breadwinner for the whole family of 7.
He continued: “You look worried for something….you can share if it’s not personal”
I: “Well…nothing much is troublesome……actually my expenses are beyond my limits now, and my salary is missing a due increment for last 3 years….with current compensation I can’t manage a nominal survival these days”.
He: ” …Hmm…I understand……well…My son is getting XXXX. SR(Saudi Riyal), how much is yours????”
That put me to a rigid silence…….his son’s salary was almost half of mine…..having the number of dependents more than double. Got speechless, his words came from a firm and stable face with unshakable trust, elucidating the highest level of satisfaction he carries inside.
I am well aware of his scenario. He, an octogenarian, with his wife of almost same age group, traveled to KSA some 5 to 7 years back followed by the catastrophe of Aleppo….lucky he was, having his son employed in KSA who offered him a visa paving an exit from the city which was to become hell.
Having sent his three daughters far away from his sight (each of them moved to Iraq, Turkey and Egypt during this civil strife); the war had got his shop damaged, house bombed, car destroyed leaving no tangible asset for him. Having faced this all, never ever did I hear a complaining word from him.
On replying his question about my pay, I received warm and sincere wishes from him for the mitigation of my problems…..which now I felt to be negligible (الحمدللہ) as compared to his side.
If things go a bit more difficult, I do have a way back to my country…
الحمدللہ ….but where would he go??? What options does he have to sustain his peace and sustainability?
How easily he transformed my state from grief to gratitude.
As we look around the world around us, we come across many faces, each having his own story many of which are worse than ours. There are people living far below the standard we are enjoying just on the same face of the earth where we exist.
It’s a true story, and I know both of them. There are indeed several lessons we can draw on. Nothing in life can damage you as long as you remain thankful to Allah for all you have. Patience is the key, a unique instinct having no alternative.
Be thankful for whatever you have and you will see how life shapes out the beauty within your context.