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Friday, February 03, 2012

"The one with being grateful..."

Living in a world passionately afflicted with material things, the intuition of gifts becomes the norm when celebrating one's birthday. Mine was no exception, a reality I concurred when my dearest Fifah asked of what I wanted as a birthday present.

"What do you want for your birthday this year, sayang? Anything you'd like."

"Entahlah, I pun tak sure apa I nak tahun ni."
[ I don't know, what I want (as a gift) this year.]

The truth is, my mind really did cast a blank thinking of what to have. It wasn't because I was shying away from the pleasure of redeeming something for no recompense (contrary to me being known to be very wanting of things!) either. A debate sparked in me about the notions of wanting over requiring, pleasures over needs. It's my birthday, I thought - surely this commends an exception of the rule for procuring treats and benefaction?


But later that night, after prayers I had a quiet conversation with myself;

"What more would I ask for? More money? More gadgets, perhaps? Probably a nice shirt, or a fancy meal at a fancy restaurant?

What more could I receive, that I haven't?"

Throughout my life, I have been endowed many wonderful things, blessed with feats and achievements I could never have asked for. I am lucky to have, when I have not asked. I look at my life with tears brimming in my eyes, with warmth emanating from my heart. SubhanaAllah, to ask for anything more stands a bonus I may not have been worthy of.

In my own thoughts, I was ashamed of myself.

It was not until on my birthday that I was made to realize God's grand plan, of imparting me a grand lesson. He was teaching me the lesson of being grateful, and more thankful for everything I once had, and still have. 

And grateful, is what I should be.

It is fairly hard to find (if any) pictures of both my parents smiling - it's either one's smiling and the other's putting on a strong face, or both candidly caught being serious. Doesn't mean that they're not on good terms most of the time - they love each other ever since the day they were married. I look at this picture, and I am reminded of all the happiness I have, which others would give the world for.

That is what I want this year, on my birthday. No gadgets, no extra money, no fancy dinner at a fancy restaurant. If there is one thing I can ask for - it is for me to be more grateful for such a wonderful life. Sure, I have had (and still have) my fair shares of ups and downs; triumphs and failures; happiness and sadness; valiance and regrets, but I have not come away from any of them empty handed nor unscathed. Every experience in my life has brought me wisdom, and every wisdom has had an impact in sculpting the individual that I am to this day.

I am thankful for a wonderful family that is ever so kind to me, loyal friends with nothing but warm wishes for me, and being married to a wife whom I love, and loves me back.

I am grateful for wealth which may not be bountiful, but within the means that I require.

I am contented with the little possessions that I have, for they serve a purpose and have meaning in my life.

And I am obliged of a life not lived on a bed of roses but on pebbles and sands - for with each step I learn to appreciate even more, the paths that passed.

I believe, that you are the poorest, if you look at the things you don't have in life. But you are the richest instead, when you look at the things that you do have in life.

Alhamdulillah. God knows best.

Being away and independent from home, both Fifah and I learned to appreciate the subtleties and the more simplistic blessings in life. We enjoyed each other's company more. We cherished small talks over menial disputes during meals. Because we are living in a smaller circle of friends here, we have discerned the concept of acceptance regardless of belief, disposition and constitution. In lieu of that, we became more accommodating of new people, and arrest any early judgments and discernment at face value. Our mentalities shifts perspective; life is too valuable to be constantly clinging on the edge - sometimes it is worth the while to stop, sit down and indulge ourselves within the presence of the present. My father said that you can find inspiration all around you, if you take the time to appreciate your surroundings. The whole world is an opportunity for gratification.

Like riding a bike uphill - don't forget to look back once in a while, and smile. We've all come a long way through life, and though it's a long way up still, we would never be at the same spot if we keep on moving.

My sincerest, most humble gratitude to all dearly missed friends and most loved families for their wonderful wishes during my birthday last week. Thanks for reminding me that I have been blessed with love all my life. You have inspired me to become who I am today, and I can never be a better person. My prayers are for each and every one of you to be bestowed with the same exuberance and gaiety, if not more insyaAllah.

Birthdays often conveys meaning of celebration for the previous year we lived, but I'd like to see it as a commemoration of how we have lived that previous year. Life is an ever constant journey, but to appreciate its nooks and crannies makes it worthwhile.

-JeP

P.S : Thank you mom for a wonderful post in my dedication. You and papa have always been an inspiration for everything I do, and will be for the rest of my life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum,

Birthdays are a symbol of Allah's mercy....He gives us the opportunity to redeem ourselves by allowing us to celebrate yet another year of our borrowed life. It also provides a chance for us to dwell in worldly practices and enjoy the concern from our loved ones, in the form of wishes and pesents. These norms are important because it provides stability of emotion, which is vital in our lives.

Having said that, to us mothers, birthdays are sweet reminders of memories only we share with our most precious treasures - our children. Another birthday means another year that our children is well......amin

I pray we will celebrate more birthdays and flourish under Allah's guidance and blessing...HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEP......mama