“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” — Thomas Monson

When was the last time you felt absolutely trapped within your mind, hands sweat, feet stagger and your heartbeat starts missing beats. You are in a aura of complete confusion and find no where to go. There is no one to talk to as the ones whose support you seek are also in the same situation. In the Middle East, with the economic uncertainties on the rise, the expatriate community feels threatened and confused. What shall they do in this situation, let this be a dialogue.

Ingratitude, this is the most common problem in this region. Somehow or the other we have fallen in the trap of constantly complaining about anything and everything that comes our way. No matter where we are and how we are doing, this plague of thanklessness does not leave us. Maybe its the weather (here we go again), even writing about gratitude takes you towards whining. The aspect of personal grooming called Tarbiya in this region has taken a back seat and replaced by gruelling rote system to pass examinations. From the early years we are taught to learn and succeed and be good at all subjects. Anyone falling behind is a failure and everyone who has not completed his University Degree is a waste. Little do we realize that the beauty of this world, the amazing garland of humanity consists of flowers of various colors, hues and aromas.

I for one have this habit of spiralling into the deep abyss of boredom, sadness and depression when things aren’t going my way; nowadays for a lot of people in the Middle East this is a grim reality somehow. But then when I look around the horizon, I see so much to be thankful for. Creating thankfulness and gratitude as a habit for someone who is averse to this is an uphill task as the system has been wired for negativity for ages, maybe since his childhood. So this is what we need to do to get into the habit:

  1. Make a gratitude list: Be thankful for even being able to use the restroom on your own. Just go to a hospital and observe the patients on dialysis and then ponder upon the ease with which our bodily functions are in sync. What a beautiful world this is and what greatness awaits us is beyond our comprehension.
  2. Write if you can, this simple exercise relieves so much stress and lets your emotions escape from your chest to the paper.
  3. Read uplifting books, do not read gloom or sad literature but something that tells you to pick yourself and takes you out in the open.
  4. Do something that scares you all the time, much of it is talking to people we do not like. Talk to them, they have their own sets of fears but have a strange way of venting it out.
  5. Stay away from negative people, avoid them like a virus. If you cannot then exude positivism so powerful that they even get into the hue.
  6. Force yourself to stay in the present, not past or the future but the immediate present. Most of our worries and heartaches reside in something that had happened to us or might happen some time.
  7. Share, information, food, money etc whatever is in your control. You get more by giving.

Last, thank God for the beautiful time and day He has bestowed upon you and be humble for what you have.

Have a wonderful life.