Happiness: A Cliché

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Growing up as an Indian and coming from a predominantly conservative family, my siblings and I were always taught to share and spread the good in this world. If you asked any of my siblings what they wanted to be when they grow up or what they wished to accomplish, each of them would have confidently said “I want to adopt a child from India or Africa and I want to build schools and hospitals in third world countries.” I don’t know if it was family or religion which played a huge part, but it sure as heck worked. Friday being the most sacred day of the week for Muslims, my father would ask us to donate a quarter or two to the local mosque for those in need. As I was so young, I never knew how important this deed was.

Even though I was raised with such good ethics, I’ve made one of the worst and most selfish decisions in my life when I was at McDonald’s a while back. As I had just ordered my extra large fish o filet meal with a refreshing, large mocha and as I made my way to a booth, I couldn’t help but feel my saliva build up and my taste buds telling me “hurry up. Give me this meal.” Well, as I sat down in front of a father who was feeding his daughter, an unusual stench and strong odor filled my nostrils and at once I lost my appetite. I quickly turned to see where this stench originated from when an old man, about the age of fifty, stood over my head and stared at my meal with such hungry eyes. I looked at him and I don’t know what took over me but he intimidated me and I panicked. I pushed myself over a bit to the next stool and he saw that I wasn’t going to share. He simply walked away and it was seconds later it hit me what an awful and embarrassing thing I had done. How selfish of me to sit there and enjoy my meal when there are millions who don’t even know when their next meal is. To this day, the pain in the poor man’s eyes haunts me. Out of the fifty people in that restaurant, this man came and stood next to me. God gave me the opportunity, out of the 50 seated customers, to share a good deed and I blew that deed.

It’s so embarrassing to be sharing this but I want all of you to know that don’t be scared of those who are less fortunate. The problem with us, humans, is that we tend to dream so big and aspire so much that we forget even the smallest actions take us to that dream. I’ve realized one thing–it’s that if I want to build those hospitals or adopt those kids, I must start with my local community. I’ve made a promise to myself. Spread a little good and watch how much goodness you will see in the world. Don’t hold anyone but yourself responsible for your own happiness. “Pshtt, what a cliché,” you must be thinking. Be it a cliché, it sure as hell helps! For me, sharing even a piece of bread is happiness. What makes you happy?

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