First and foremost, I have learned to become thankful for everything around me; especially for things that I may have taken for granted. After not being able to drink and/or eat for 16 hours a day, I have come to value things a lot more.
I believe that the one thing we take the most for granted is water. For some, taking a shower (with no option of adjusting the water temperature) is a trade-off with providing drinking water for their kids. Water for them is scarce. For others, it is not possible to shower in water that is anything less but of the perfect temperature… not too hot and not too cold. Oh and did I forget to mention that some people only want to drink out of Aquafina water bottles and not Nestle because Nestle water tastes “weird?” As I stepped out of the shower today, I was thankful for the water that rushed down my body. When I drank a bottle of water after Eid prayer this morning, I was thankful for being able to have such easy access to drinking water, regardless of what the label on the water bottle reads.
We need to be more thankful for what we have in our lives. We need to stop complaining about “working long hours” and getting paid “like ____.” Some people will do anything to work where you work and to get paid less than what you get paid. We need to stop worrying over petty things that are insignificant (ie- losing a friend, strictness of parents, and/or getting your car scratched). Some people have never had friends, have lost their parents in this life and do not even have enough money to keep the skin on their heels from tearing off. This is a reminder to all of us, including myself, to be thankful for every blessing we have.
Lesson # 2 - Give and forgive.
Ramadan is a month to give and forgive. We all have something to give, regardless if we are employed or not. Time.
We can all spare time out of our lives to help make a difference in somebody else’s life. Taking five minutes out of your life to go help someone in need may in fact be life changing for this person. Donating five dollars to charity may be immaterial to you, but may be the deciding factor as to whether or not food is provided for someone’s family. We do not think twice in the month of Ramadan when it is time to give, but what about the other 11 months in the year? They are just as important. Let’s continue to be generous with our time and money each and every month of the year to those in need, whether it is someone hungry for food or someone looking for career advice.
The muscles in our arms have strained from joining our hands together and asking for forgiveness this month each and every night. Regardless of your religion and faith, it is just not possible to ask for forgiveness if you are not ready and able to forgive others without even thinking twice. Once again, I remind myself before I remind you that together, let’s become more forgiving to each other. If we all have a mentality to forgive and forget, this world would be a much better place to live in. You wouldn’t have to worry about doing wrong to others and others won’t have to worry about doing wrong to you.
Lesson # 3 - Waste no time.
Sitting through a Ramadan lecture this past month, one quote struck home for me. A man said, “the only thing you have constant in your life is time. Your wealth, your beauty, your power, your friends, your fame, your reputation, is all subject to fluctuation but the one thing that is not is the time you have left in this world. Do not waste it. Spend it wisely”
Although this is the last lesson listed on this blog post, it definitely is the most important one. The reason why I kept it for the end is because it is a combination of lessons one and two above. Every day that passes, be thankful for what you have. Count your blessings, not your desires. Every day that passes, give and forgive a little more than the day before; waste no time in doing so.
The past 30 days for most of us may have been very structured. We probably had a daily routine that was followed to the minute. Now that Ramadan is over, it may seem like we have more time on our hands for other things and the routine that we were so accustomed to following may no longer be applicable. Although this may be the case to some degree, let’s make sure that the time we spend on a daily basis adds value to either your life or someone else’s. This will ensure that every minute that passes is directed towards something positive, because positivity is in fact contagious.