Stay positive


Life is not a bed of roses. Most of us can attest to the fact that our life story so far is made up of a complex series of ups and downs and in varying degrees, ratios and proportions.

Probably this is why life is truly an unpredictable journey of sorts. Instead of just harping on and whining over the uncertainties of life, what is more important is the attitude we adopt when difficult situations arise. This is especially true for the less-than-positive ones.

Alfred, who came from humble beginnings, was thrifty and lived a frugal live. He was always interested in what people have to say and quick to lend a helping hand. He was such an easy person to get along with. This unassuming gentleman is a picture of contentment, a character trait which should be admired.

This God-fearing man chooses to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. His outlook on life is inspiringly positive.

When he left the advertising agency after working there for 38 years, all he received was a few hundred dollars as a "parting gift". He was then fortunate enough to secure a position as a security officer in a large down-town office-cum-residential facility.

After seven years, he went on to work as a general worker in a flour mill, where he contracted hernia as a result of heavy physical activity offloading large cartons of spaghetti from container trucks. As if this is not enough, medical checks revealed that he had contracted prostate cancer.

After going through a hernia operation, he looked for a cure for his other ailment. Through sheer faith, he 'miraculously healed' himself by consuming the leaves of a special plant recommended by a stranger.

Today, Alfred is retired. He keeps himself busy interacting with his family, friends and the community. He is a proud grandfather to a five year old boy.

In spite of his simple way of life, he is constantly thankful for every single blessings God has given him. He really puts some of us to shame, yours truly including - we have taken too many things for granted and have not thanked God nearly enough for what He has blessed us with.

Another story: A farmer's donkey fell into a well. The animal cried while the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided that the animal was too old and the well needed to be covered up anyway.

He asked his neighbours to help him shovel dirt into the well. Upon realising what was happening, the donkey wailed horribly. Then, to everyone's surprise, it quietened down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer looked into the well and was disconcerted at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit its back, the donkey would shake it off and take a step up. This continued as more and more dirt was shovelled into the well.

Finally, to everyone's amazement, the donkey stepped over the edge of the well and trotted off happily.

Life is going to shovel all kinds of dirt on you and me. Each of our troubles represents a stepping stone. The trick to getting out of a deep hole is to look on the positive side of things; never give up, shake off the dirt, and take a step up.

Happy climbing!!

Excerpt taken from My Paper, Thursday 14 Aug 2008

The moral of the above story from yours truly's point of view: Treat your troubles as stepping stones. Adversities should make us a better and stronger person and more thankful of God's (Allah) blessings, alhamdulillah.

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