We all have our struggles in life and we could all use a break sometime. Life is just not easy. If yours is, you’re in the wrong blog my friend.
I will give you the best “Get Out Of Jail Free Card” you will ever find, here in this post.
But first I want to share a story with you.
This story happened in Saudi Arabia during the early 90’s and it was Eid Al Fitr. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t worry, that’s the Muslim Christmas.
My mother had bought some candy home that I had never seen before. It looked delicious so I took five pieces and put them in my pocket. I was going to go play soccer that evening with my older brother and his friends. I wanted to give a piece of candy to one of them. Like any child, I was impressed by older kids and I wanted their attention. I thought that kid was the coolest.
The soccer match was happening in some dark alley away from traffic. I didn’t really like playing soccer and some of these kids played rough. So, I stood aside and I got a piece of candy out of my pocket, unwrapped it and started to chew on it.
All of the sudden, I saw three kids coming from a distance. They were naked with nothing but cardboard boxes to cover their bodies. They all looked at me with glazing eyes. The eldest who was about my age put his hand on the little one and made a hand gesture that says, “Give me one”. So I put my hand in my pocket and grabbed a piece of candy and gave it to him. He gave it to the little one. It disappeared in his mouth right away.
Then the elder asked for another one. I gave it to him. He held it in his hand, looked at his younger brother and asked me if I could give him one as well. I lied and told them I had no more candy. I reached into my pockets, shuffled and shrugged. The elder took his piece of candy, broke it in half and gave half to his brother. I felt a little bad, but I only had two left. I wanted to eat one more and I wanted to save one for my brother’s cool friend.
Later that evening, I saw my brother’s friend. I rushed towards him and gave him the candy. He said, “Oh thank you but I don’t want it.” I felt really bad. I realized I should’ve given the candy to those who would’ve appreciated it. I looked around but the naked Bangladeshi kids were nowhere to be found.
I looked at my candy and I thought, “This day sucks.”
I will never forget that day. It is not easy to erase a memory like that out of your mind.
Here’s what this story tells you:
1- My brother’s friend was uncool. Screw him; no one should refuse a gift.
2- I was selfish. I put myself before others who needed candy more.
3- It did not feel good in the end. The word for that feeling is “empty”.
Here’s why I’m telling you this story:
I saw a video online today, telling the story of African refugees in Rome. Those people were sleeping on the streets with only cardboard boxes to lie against. Surely, there are worse human tragedies to be looked at, but this video resonated with me because that person in the video could’ve been me. I’m African too. My parents just happened to move to Saudi Arabia and offer me a lot of opportunities, including the opportunity to type this on an iPhone. This is privilege.
This journey of mine to travel the world is no longer a choice; it’s my duty now.
I know what it feels like to be scared. I know what it’s like to have no place to call home. But guess what, I was given a passport and a citizenship, even if it’s on paper. It’s my duty now to stand up for those who don’t have citizenship or passports. I’m not doing something ‘noble’ here; I’m simply doing my part in creating balance in this world.
When you are given, you must give back.
I was given this platform, to be a voice for all the stateless people around the world who have no way to protect themselves or fight for their basic human rights.
I have always had passion, but now I have a purpose.
Thanks to the struggles that I go through, I now pay attention. I know what it feels like to be stuck and feel like there’s no way out.
I’m sure you’ve felt that way at some point in your life or maybe you feel that right now.
So here’s my “Get Out Of Jail Free Card” for you:
Make life easier for others, and you will be free.
Find a purpose outside yourself. Think of everything that you complain about in your life. Now, make it your duty to do something so someone else does not have to struggle with that. This is your freedom card out of misery and self-pity.
What’s really holding you back? I want to know. Write it in the comments below and maybe we can all think of ways to make life easier for one another.
Also, Share this with a friend if you feel like they need it.