A friend once told me,
“Minci, You are going to die one day because of the Idealist Syndrome”
I asked her what she meant. She said,
“you’re asking for a perfect world in an imperfect world. Nobody is perfect. You want to save everybody. You want to be nice to everybody. You aspire to be a combination of Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Theresa – but you forget, you’re not anybody. We are just normal people. We are not ministers. We’re not even close to being in the Student Committee to make a change. Because of that, you will be sad.. your heart will break and your soul will literally die”
I don’t really remember what happened afterwards although I’m pretty sure I would just remain quiet – not because I agree with her but more of because she doesn’t understand my reasons for thinking and doing the things I do. And so you know, the above sentiment did not come out as eloquent as how it is written, in fact it was quite harsh.
If you believe the world is small, you can make a difference
If I think of Syria as a distant problem, which is only accessible to people working in the UN or celebrities like Angelina Jolie, then I will forever think that Syria is a predicament I read in papers. Not real and could only be solved and saved by people called ministers who attends international meetings and such.
So how can I find Syria? How do I put Syria as the tip of my finger. This is where organizations like Islamic Relief comes in. We should applaud the effort made by these volunteers to bridge the gap, to strengthen ties and to champion human compassion across Malaysia. Just by clicking on the donation button, already.. ANYBODY is making a difference, is initiating a change.
You cannot help everybody, but you can always help somebody
We can’t eradicate world hunger and famine. We can’t stop human trafficking or prostitution on a global scale. We can’t save every drug addict. We can’t cheer-lead on every girl who thinks she’s not worthy of anything. Sadly, we are just not capable of doing it in one donation no matter how big, one petition no matter how long or one demonstration no matter how vocal.
My line of work involves humans. I like to believe that even though I could not fix the poverty line for instance, I can make a difference to that one life I come across that comes to see me for a medical opinion/treatment. It can be in a form of plain human touch/hug or salam, a short motivational speech to my young ladies, a word of encouragement to the single mothers, a way of redemption to my mat rempits or chronic smokers, a slice of roti to my hungry elderly who fell from her bed last night only to be found by her neighbour the coming morning. I may not be able to change the world, but I can make a difference to her life.
Charity begins at home
Everyday when I look at Hazeeq, I wish upon him that if he can’t do good, at least I don’t accidentally raise him to become evil. Evil which manifests in so many ways lately. Disrespectful keyboard warriors, opportunistic sleazy men etc. It’s like if he is not Gandhi, let him not be Botak Chin or something.
Teaching him by good example. Introduce him to Rasulullah. Expose him to acts of being happy and charitable. Show him that every small acts of kindness means something to someone.
Syed Azmi is a good example -as he illustrates to us followers on his FB page regarding the struggles in everyday life – and trust me, he himself is also struggling in his own way but he makes ‘helping other people’ so easy and feel so good. He started off small – helping customers who goes to his small pharmacy daily to the strangers he bumped into. Later, when he had the capacity – the network – he launches bigger acts of good deeds. Some of the wonderful programmes we know off are #tamakpahala and #freemarket.
Finally, everything starts with a niyat. It should not be for show or riya’. I only pray that the good I do will be rewarded with pahala. And that these pahala will go to Mr Husband as he leads us all into Jannah. I may not be an awesome cook but I do hope that this will be my way in contributing to the serenity of this marriage.