Friday, January 13, 2012

My mother defines my meaning of success

My mother, circa 1973-75

10. Heart Surgery II
We associate to mend hearts,
Not argue theology.

So let us not quibble on dogma
And leave such pastimes
To those bewitched with religion.

Unbearable Me. So we are here because we need a little help. A little emergency heart procedure. Something to heal our broken heart and dreams, our addiction to ......{please fill in your poison here - drugs, alcohol, money, cigarettes, Louis Vuitton, etc}..., and to cure ourselves from our own intolerance, hatred, bigotry, sloth, wastefulness, envy and the rest of our very human failings which makes life difficult and makes us unbearable to be with. You know, sometimes we find our own company unbearable. I do.  

Religion. I find the religion of Islam fascinating. Of course, I am undoubtedly bias, but this is who I am, and this is how I have been brought up, and it is merely Providence that have sprinkled interesting and inspiring personalities in my life to push me this way. I never sought spirituality, and never really cared much about the Afterlife. My main concern was finding happiness here and now. I was never too interested in suffering in this world for a post-death gratification once I am dead and buried.  

I do not think that Islam is like that anyway. For in our regular prayers, we are always asking God for success (and safety) in this life and in the Hereafter. For me that is a dream worth chasing, don't you think?

But what is Succcess? Of course, there is a little grey area because words are open to interpretation - What tantamount to success in this life? A house? A studio apartment? 2 children? 10 children? A car? 100 cars even? A summer house in the French Riviera? A butler? A personal trainer? USD 5 billion in an offshore bank account?

My late mother. I think we can be poor but contented or rich but desperately unhappy. Well, that is what my mother's life has taught me. My mum chose to seek happiness in her heart. By being nice. To everyone, whether you are the Prime Minister's wife, or the garbage man that daily took our household rubbish away. She took time to live life and enjoy God's blessings. She took time to be part of charitable organisations, and on her own, in secret, doing her personal bit for the unfortunate. Not just those in the big city, but deep into the hinterlands of my country. At the same time she maintained a rich tapestry of friendship with friends and family all over the world. And through it all, she still had time for my father, my two brothers and me. So I guess, to me, my mother is a good definition of Success.

Of course, my mum is not perfect. But I have no doubt that in everything that she did, she did it all with patience and sincerity. And I think that was the key to her success. I do not think that God is asking us for more than that. After all, He made us and above anyone else, He understand our strengths and weaknesses. But I think God especially loves my mother for her unassuming and unpretentious nature. This is just a guess, mind you.  

Have a beautiful day, sunshine. Let us love, love, love our mothers.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam.
Love will show the Way.

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