I was asked to think about Happiness and write about it? I wondered how will I write this article especially when we are living in a vicious world; that 130 kids were massacred by some outrageous group, when in every country that I know there are groups that kill people and cut their heads and mutate their bodies, when people are still in hunger or uneducated or live in extreme poverty. How can someone be happy and be oblivious to the fact that tomorrow may never come, that we can be under alien attacks at any time, that crimes can take our lives in a second, that traffic is bad everywhere, that banks rob us of our hard earned money, that governments keep us without any freedom, that people all around us are unsure of what is going to happen a minute later.
Then I realized that happiness is not a measure of what is happening to the outside, it’s a measure of what is happening inside us. Happiness is to know that we are created on this earth to help humanity prosper, to be against killing, against poverty, against hunger, to be asking for freedom, to be able to say what is on our mind and criticize constructively the wrong doings of others.
Happiness to me is to wake up every morning and be able to move out of bed, see the sun shining, hear the birds chirping, smell the flowers and the grass being mowed, to know that my kids are fine, my grandkids are growing, there is water in the house, there is breakfast on my table, there is a car to take me to work and there is work to keep me going. Happiness to me is to be able to continue to give the needy, and be part of a community that cares. Happiness to me is when I watch a sad movie and weep, when I startle by a falling child and hurting himself, when I feel the unhappiness of others.
I cannot judge how others feel, but most of the time I thank my god that I am better off than many others that I know. I do not depend on materialistic stuff to make me happy, I rely on nature, enriching others and hoping for all suffering to end for my happiness. Life is too short to run after things that we cannot take with us when we die.
My happiness could be less than others around the world, or could be better, but if I think of this fact I will only be tiring myself as it doesn’t matter who is better than or who is worse than me in terms of happiness; I consider myself very happy as I have what I want, I can do with more money to pay off my mortgage, even more money to make my company bigger, and some money to buy a new flashy car, but that is not stopping me from getting this immense feeling of gratitude every morning when its my son’s or daughters’ birthday, or my mum’s recovery after her operation, or the birth of my grandchildren, or the little gift my husband brings me. However, I feel if we all just stop for a minute and think of what we can do to help humanity, There is going to be a tremendous impact and the world will be a better place. If we all stop our prejudices, haterdism and material thinking the world will change, we will have more science, more art, more food and more education. The time and money that is spent on making things worse will be better utilized to build a better future for our generations.
My health sometimes make me depressed, and now I have a knee injury, so I go for a half hour walks, and when I return home I get this surreal feeling that I am fine, and maybe my knee had healed. Immense pleasure covers me, I never felt that way before.
Education is my job, and the way I had intertwined it with my purpose, my work, my life, my friendship, my social media and my dreams shows that I am having utmost pleasure in performing my work. I can remember when I used to work in my earlier accounting profession I was depressed all the time even though it paid me more money. So changing my job to education had made a tremendous impact on my outlook. I have also been an eternal student, why? Because I love learning new things, and knowing about what happened in history. Reading about certain characters in historic books makes me wonder why life repeats itself in good and in bad, and why despite all of the technological advances we are still doing what was done in the middle ages.
When I started to write my blog, it gave me a feeling that I am recording my thoughts and displaying them naked to the public, and why should I do that? And then I thought that one day when I am long gone someone may read about my thoughts and think the same way that I thought about wanting to make the world a better place for everybody, hence I continued.
Wealth is very subjective, I considered myself wealthy when I decided to build my house, but my dad used to tell me off, he said that you only do something when its going to be costing you 10% of your total wealth. This was a good philosophy, but if I followed it I would never had what I have now. My dad refused to take loans from anyone, and he thought that life without loans is the best life to have, one has to make do with what one has. Even though my dad left us some wealth, but I guess his idea may not work now, as we do need loans to do things in the present.
Can I call myself economically challenged? I guess I can, as I would love to be able to help more people, send more students to study from my money or at least all of those that ask me for help, I also want my children to have a house each and my grandkids to have the best schooling. At the moment I cannot do that, hence I do really call myself economically challenged. My belief in god makes me feel that I will have what I want. I believe that if I give a dollar I will receive ten in return.
I have an advise to those that grumble on a daily basis, have faith in something or someone, life is full of surprises, laugh more, smile at others, give and don’t expect anything in return, have a hot chocolate drink, enjoy a movie with someone you care about, share half of your sandwich to the beggar on the street, if you don’t have anything to give then share your knowledge. Remember those little moments and smile, think of what goals you have put for yourself and how many you have achieved. Study more, continue to learn and most important of all, try to enjoy every moment of your life. Remember one thing, life is too short to hold grudges, and tomorrow there will always be sunshine.
In our growing years, we were raised in a financially secured family along with 12 siblings, in Bahrain, my dad was an electrician and he was the person that fixed street lights in the fifties in Bahrain. He owned a shop and he brought the various electrical items from Japan, England, Germany and India. In our neighborhood and in the sixties we were the only house that had a black and white TV, we also had a phone and a car with a driver. He traveled for work a lot and we would be with our mum. Dad taught us that life is worth it, but we must persevere; despite his eye condition he built his wealth and we moved to many good neighborhood. We were all educated overseas and one thing my dad insisted upon is that we must all learn another language. I was the guinea pig in the family, being the eldest, so I had to read the financial times at the age of 5. He used to bring back many novels from his overseas trips, he will hide them in the cupboard, as he knew that we were an inquisitive bunch, so we used to open that cupboard and read those novels, then he took us to the library to borrow more books. We started reading Arabic books and comic books, then we moved on to read English books. The happiness that we received from reading those books is a treasure that we had held in our heart till date. We had few shortcomings during our childhood, we were not allowed to visit our friends, instead, our friends visited us all the time; the other shortcoming is that we were never given money to buy toys, so if we wanted to buy something we got to save up for it, that by itself gave my life a different perspective, that nothing comes easy. I recall my mother who didn’t know how to read and write but we only discovered this fact when we grew up, as she managed to make us read our assignments to her and she would sense out that we did not read it correctly and tell us it did not sound correct.
My dad had an eye problem, so he used to be in hospitals for eye operations for months on, and even though he would leave some money but it wasn’t enough, so my mum will make things for others for money, and we would be nicely dressed (I still remember the dress that she made me out of the old curtain material, it was great), mum would cook and we would distribute some food to the families in the neighborhood. She makes the yummiest dishes. I never saw my mum cry, despite the size of the family, she would always be smiling and singing. I guess she was thankful that she had us when other families that we knew never had kids. I guess too that having my aunts around her was precious. I can never put my fingers on why my mum was always cheerful and singing, never the complaining type? Then I thought that it maybe because she had too many of us to think of herself.
I met a fiend of mine that I knew since my kids were little, she took me aside and asked me how I did what I did? I said what do you mean? she said that you got your kids to be educated, to work with you, to get married and to have grandkids! was that a plan? or did it just happen. I reflected on that and thought, omm, maybe that was a plan, but not my own plan. I had the desire that my kids become good individuals, and it happened. I view myself as a content person with the birth of two playful grand children a girl Anfal – 2 years, a boy Rashed – 7 months. Anfal, my grand daughter loves playing with makeup, so I let her apply makeup on my face and of course I look like a clown at the end but to me it doesn’t matter I would rather be her clown. She is scared of dolls for some reason, but loves eating, so I take her to cafes with me, and she enjoys hot chocolate and some sort of pastry. I also swim with her, and we sing songs and nursery rymes in the swimming pool, her favourite song is “that’s amore” by Dean Martin especially when we reach the jigli jiglinling part http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69O4PXzAQ5Y . Otherwise we look for old kids movies on the ipad as she love it, I think she was born with one in her hands. My grandson is little, for him the best is when I take him for a walk in the park in his stroller and I love it when I see his hair move in the breeze. He loves to watch the cat and also the birds. He is too tiny to know me, but he smiles when I make some sounds in his face. He hates any toys, and so adorable when he eats the remote control or the box of tissue paper or anything that is not meant to be put in the mouth.
Helping others is something that is so engrossed in me, I cannot see anyone in need, sometimes my family tell me that I will leave them with no money, as we must help our selves first then help others, like the oxygen mask on the airplane. I tend to agree with that of course. However when it comes to education and poverty, my life turns round and round. My goal is to eradicate poverty by education (https://www.facebook.com/groups/110837738939153/?fref=ts), so we try to help the poor to get the education they deserve (teach a man how to fish concept). The art however is a passion of mine, I love art and I visit galleries and museums everywhere I go, once I was in Bahrain and I noticed that there are lots of artists there but no one is helping them to come to the fore, there are some that are well known, and others that drew really well but unknown. Also I know artists well, they are thrifty, they will spend every penny they receive on themselves or their art or will give it away to the poor, so I thought if I spend time with them and try to advertise their art, people will buy their art and their life will shift to the better. We established a group http://thecurators.org/ and gathered a lot of artists, and we are now helping them to sell their art.