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Today: consumption kills eco-systems; fraud, greed, grand larceny and theft bring down world's finances; deceit, infidelity and instant gratification destroy families; murders and wars have left us without peace or stability. On top we have droughts, earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis … has the world gone mad! Submit now to Allah before it is too late - to the One and Only God, the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of the universe, Unique in His Person and Actions, without any blemish, weakness or relatives. Follow the Sunnah of Muhammad (the last Messenger and Prophet - upon whom be the peace and blessings of Allah), and join those who will be the really successful ones.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Why me-ism and why not me-ism

Most people I have met have voiced this question (why me?) or a variation:

Why not me?

It seems the typical human is a saint, and is being perpetually wronged. Disaster after disaster befalls him. Merit is not rewarded. The "others" are hounding him. All he wants is something simple and achievable like … which every Tom, Dick and Harry is getting, but he is being denied his right.

○ The teacher doesn't know the subject. He gave me less marks because I am brilliant, and he is jealous.

○ I did not get the job because they received a phone call from a general/ federal secretary/chairman

○ I belong to a different ethnic background/sect, and they are very prejudiced

And so on …

So one says "Why me?" when he perceives a wrong to him, and "why not me?" when he sees someone else with something his heart desires, like a palatial house, a BMZ, glittering jewelry, well-behaved and brilliant children, etc.

Today I applied the reverse:

A young man who is one of those who has hounded me often to take money from me, came again with his tales of woes. I have decided to be a little more strict, as I too have to live within a budget, so I told him off, and came back inside.

Then I asked: "Why not me?" I mean, why aren't I the one going begging. It made me feel so grateful to Allah that I had been spared this fate. Then I recollected many more such people. Orphans who live in orphanages, and at one time were sent out to beg for themselves and the orphanage.

Why not me? I mean wasn't it a tremendous blessing that I lived with my family who catered for all my problems, and when I left, I still get looked after, and also receive duas, totally undeserved duas at that.

Some years ago, when my sister was buying a house in Karachi, I was there, so I was asked to check it make suggestions for alteration. As I was going into the house, a man, about my age, was pushing a vegetable cart. He was a vegetable seller. He said:

"Seth, Allah has given you so much. I am your age, but I cannot even arrange a place to sell my vegetables. If I could afford a small shop, I would not have to push this cart".

Now, I could have answered with the truth: that I am not a seth; I am a worker. Neither me, nor my sister can afford to set up a shop for you. But I stopped short; gave him some money, and went about my business.

Why wasn't it me who was pushing that cart?

Something to ponder about.

So next time you feel like "Why me?", ask yourself: "Why not me?".

And if you feel like: "Why not me?", Then ask: "Why me?"


nuh ibn zbigniew gondek said...

As salaam alaikum.

Great points here brother!


a sane voice ... said...

Thanks, brother nuh.

Of course this is an Islamic injunction: Look at those who are suffering more, or who have less of the dunya than yourself.

And you will feel grateful.