Whatever happened to good genuine people?
“There once was man who was walking along when suddenly he noticed the beggar asking him for some money. The man knelt down and asked the beggar what he could give him that would truly change his life because at that time he hadn’t a penny to spare. The beggar looked at him and said change the heart of the world. The man smiled looking confused at this request and simply questioned why? The beggar looked at him for a second, sighed and said I see so many people pass me every day… I ask for food and money mainly but you know what? That is not actually what I want. Food saves me today, the amount of money I get can only buy me cheap drugs which make me feel better for a while, but if someone were to change the heart of the world, to have them stop looking at me as if I’m some foreign alien who has burdened him with the task of stopping by just to say hello and spare a few coins that would be great. All I ask is for help in my desperate hour. I know that I need a job but tell me, would you hire me? What with my appearance, my smell and my lack of self-confidence, of self-worth? By looking at me, could you see that I once used to work as a researcher? I bet you couldn’t. I bet you would assume I used all of my money on drugs and all I want now is booze and more drugs, But the truth? The truth is all I want is a second chance. Every night I look at my fellow homeless people… I look at how desperate they’ve become and I pray that if I ever get out of this state that I am able to help these people. You see I have what they lost long ago, hope for humanity. It’s such a rare thing nowadays to see a young person like yourself actually stop to hear an old man’s tale of a life he used to own. Never judge a man just because the world has thrown him on his hands and feet. Never look down on someone just because they smell a little funny that day or because they lost their job in a research facility and couldn’t keep up payments on their bills and so got repossessed and forced out onto the street… For one day, young man, you could be where I am sat and I could be where you stand… Tell me young man… would you want me to stop for you? You asked me what I want. I want you to change how people view people like myself so that I may have a chance to get back to where you are now. The man stared in amazement at how brutally honest this humble beggar was, he took his name and when he went home, he searched his name and discovered the amazing things that that this beggar had achieved. From that day forth, whenever the man saw this beggar or any other beggar, be it female or male, the man stopped to say hello, spare a few notes and buy the beggar some warm food and clothes every day that he saw them…”
By now reader, you are probably one of three opinions:
- That is such an amazing story, from now on I am always going to stop for beggars
- Yeah right, like that actually happened.
- Man I so wish that that story was actually true.
That is because of how our society is set up. We are built on fakers, hopers and downright pessimists.
The reality of it is, that story that you just read, is one I made up because quite simply 3 out of 6 of us would actually have stopped for this old man and 2 out of those 6 would actually have listened long enough to hear that man and maybe only 1 out of those 6 would have actually been impacted by that story enough to act upon it.
This is because of the media and general societal pressures which force us to subconsciously target beggars, homeless people and the poor as these people who only want our money for alcohol, drugs and the odd exception who just want to be fed but reality is, that man who tries to sell you the ‘big issue’ is actually trying to make a living for himself but the greedy man behind that business maybe only pays that man 1p for every £100 he makes. That boy, who busks in the same clothes every day, wants to make his dream a reality one day. That woman, who sells her body to make money, is desperately trying to make money to feed her baby that is dying from malnutrition. I know these cases are not always true but my point is who are you to say that it isn’t?
I once saw a tweet whereby a boy stated that he hated his parents because they had the audacity to buy him a gold IPhone 5 instead of the new IPhone 5s, I saw more gratefulness from watching my mum give a young boy a polo than that boy had ever expressed to his parents his whole life.
And that ladies and gentlemen is what has become of our generation but let’s look back a second at our ancestors or perhaps at the people who were around at the time of the Holy Prophet (saw). Remember how we learned how the Holy Prophet (saw) and his wives would live in what we would all consider extreme poverty? How they lived on a diet of dates and water? How they would seldom buy new clothes and would spend time mending their clothes instead? Remember how easy it was for Hadrat Khadija to give up all of her wealth, her slaves her whole way of life just for the sake of her beloved husband? Tell me, if someone, let’s say your husband, your wife or Our Beloved Huzoor… Told you to give up all your wealth that you had worked so hard for… Could you do it? Could you young lajna of today… Give up your precious MK bags? Could you young khuddam give up your super flash cars, your precious apple products, your games etc? If Huzoor stood right in front of you and asked you to give up that whole life, how many of you could do it as easily as Hadrat Khadija? You tell me yes, of course easily but tell me, how easily did you all quit Facebook when Huzoor asked us to? Oh…wait… that’s right, not all of us did, some still haven’t. We, as young ahmadi muslims…nay…as humans should be as strong as the close followers of the Holy Prophet (saw) were, whereby, when word had travelled that they were to give up alcohol, that their glasses dropped instantly, we shouldn’t be those followers who have to wait to hear it for themselves…
The fact of the matter is, is that we live in a society whereby our hearts are as cold as the machines we hold so dear to us. Chivalry? What’s that? The other day I saw an old lady forced to stand with her husband holding on to her groceries. Just a few decades ago a thing like that wouldn’t have happened, but in today’s age? Those scenarios are a dime a dozen. There used to be a day where children could go outside and your parents wouldn’t be scared stiff wondering if that was gonna be the last time they saw you. These days are any of us really sure? So many of our parents watch the news or have it near them, is it because they really care or because in some places of the country, you need to have access to make sure it’s not your kid you hear about next. Even with technology, gone are the days where family time was so important. I know this only too well as I spend so much time on these gadgets that I probably couldn’t tell you who just walked in and out of the room as I type this. Gone are the days whereby a family would sit together around a table and eat together as a family talking about things that happened that day. We’re lucky these days to get that feeling on days like Eid or Sunday roasts (if you come from a traditional family like mine). Gone are the days where a family night in meant a game of cards or a board game now replaced by watching mindless TV and socialising with complete strangers online as opposed to the comforts of your own families.
The other week, my mum told about a thing that she had read, whereby it said that one day we (the youth) will look up from our phones to find that our parents are not there, it’s so true that it’s unbelievable. We choose the comforts of favourites and retweets over the warm laughter from those we claim to love but have no trouble blanking. What has become of civilisation whereby it’s the norm to spend more time on the internet than outside? Stop reading my post and go get some fresh air and no I do not mean go outside with your laptop, I mean go out with your family and do something, Have a digital detox, Clean your minds out and enjoy the world God created for you, He didn’t create all of these wonderful things for us to blank them or snapchat them.
Speaking of the media, in particular social media, have you noticed the dangers of it? How over familiar we become with people who we’ve never even met let alone seen? How quickly we believe the most ridiculous stories? So many people create fake accounts in which they get enough information off people to be able to spread a years’ worth of lies and to you fakers out there in the world:
- What happened to you that you spend your life wrecking other people’s lives?
- Refer to the part of this post whereby I tell you to get some fresh air, clearly you are in desperate need of it
We spend so much time listening to pure hearsay and judge and condemn that person so brutally as if they have been put on trial and somehow we are qualified enough to judge them… guess what? We aren’t!
Firstly, you do not know what part of the journey that person is on, for all you know, what you have heard about that person is so far in the past that that person has moved on and fixed that flaw that your about to painfully remind them about.
Secondly, who are you to judge full stop? Only God can judge people and that should be more than enough for people… I know the thought of God being angry at me is more than enough for me to want to change my actions… By making such a big fuss out of things you’re making people fear your criticisms and by doing that you are not only putting extra pressure on that person that they do not need but also you are in fact removing the fear of Allah out of their hearts and placing in its place fear of you! (Astagfilluah) remember that the next time you decide to judge someone or spread the nastiest coldest rumours or force someone to do something that they themselves are not ready to do yet.
Thirdly, If you really cannot understand why someone is not doing something you have told them, look in the mirror… Are you doing it yourself? The amount of people that have asked me to encourage their daughter or sister to wear hijab who do not themselves wear the hijab properly or full time is incredible. These girls whom you want me to influence, they see me for what? An hour or two? Maybe a couple of days if jalsa or ijetema? Girls need to be surrounded by positive influence, telling them is simply not enough anymore. If you want your daughters, your sisters to cover up, then lead by example and you will find that they start slowly warming to the idea and start doing it themselves. That formula can be applied with literally anything.
Lastly, do not condemn someone purely because they once had made a mistake. As Umar Bin Al Khattab once said:
“Sometimes the people with the worst past, create the best of futures”
You know why that is? Because they took a risk and learned from it and because they learned from it, they helped prevent someone else from making that same mistake. They realised the flaw in what they did and were able to make it easier on the next person, such is the beauty of life that we are able to help each other. Why turn something that can be so amazing into something so cold by condemning that person for committing mistakes? People move at different speeds and judging someone and making them feel terrible is not going to make them fully reform them, that only they can do themselves…
We are all guilty of these things, no one is perfect and if you have never taken a risk in life, then you are wasting it. The best way to live your life is to experience it. People say that knowledge stems from books and that’s true it does, but it also stems from actually doing it. When you were a baby, you didn’t read how to walk did you? No. You got up and tried it out and you know what? You fell, didn’t you? Did you give up? Did you read a book to search for the answer? No, you got up and tried and tried again until you worked out that the sofa makes a good support system. That is how life should be lived in my opinion; 50% theory, 50% application. I do not say these things to rant nor complain nor even just because I can, I say it so as to make you guys think. You see making a mistake is not the problem, it is what you do with it that defines who you are as a person and for the sake of God, our community and for yourselves, I hope you are the one that makes the change that impacts humanity and restores it back to its once former glory and doesn’t just press repeat.