I take one step at a time as I approach my 80th birthday and I am happy with everything I have done or performed in my life, which I consider not much at all.
However, one thing bothers me when I look back at my life. I have a kind of a feeling that my approach to life was not enough humanitarian because in my opinion I was not logical enough, I was not wise enough, I was not generous, merciful and patient to some extent compared to what I am now.
How I wish if I knew the advice given by the American writer Kent M. Keith when I was twenty, or even forty, I would have been certainly happier and more convinced of what I have accomplished and achieved in my life. I say that although he wrote his book ‘Anyway’ after I was born for a relatively long time.
I wish I had known earlier that a human often lacks logic in their behavior and way of life. They do not often care for what is in their interest, that we should love and respect others as they are. We are all humans, none of us is logical about everything, and the people who are closer to us are far from being logical.
I also wish I was bold enough to do good to others and be more affectionate much earlier than today, without paying attention to what others have been doing to me for selfish reasons, ‘anyway’.
I really wanted to be less indifferent to the fact that others do not appreciate the good, and therefore we should not give it much importance, and I must be aware of the fact that good makes the recipient and the donor happy, and that we must do good ‘anyway’ even if we do not get appreciation for what we do.
I also wish I was more honest and frank with my friends, even at the expense of them criticizing me, and perhaps losing them because they are not frank and do not deserve friendship.
I also wished to know the fact that people are compassionate towards the weak but at the end of the day, they follow those who are strong and mighty so I would have continued to support those who are vulnerable ‘anyway’.
I wished I was more aware of the fact that what we spend years in building may collapse overnight, and that it does not prevent me from doing what I do.
I also wanted to know early the fact that some people seek help from others and some of them get angry but this should not have prevented me from helping others ‘anyway’, even if this angered them.
I should have also learned something about the fact that whatever the best we give others, our work might have been misunderstood, and we might be punished, nevertheless I would have continued to give, ‘anyway’.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf