Month: November 2009
They claim that the grass is always greener on the other side. It’s only natural for us humans to wish for what we don’t have. It’s like the child who stares out from his third floor window with his chin propped up on a fist,a solitary tear on his cheek as he watches other children playing with the snow below, signs of joy adorning their faces as they hit each other with snow balls. Then this child sighs and rolls away his wheelchair, wishing to feel the cold snow splattering against his face, hear the laugh come out of his own chest, but he can only sit and imagine it.
Yet when we keep our view outward like that, always comparing ourselves to others, we will never be satisfied, because we will always meet people who have something we want but don’t have, especially in terms of materialistic wealth, possessions and status.
And the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us what to do in such situations as given in this Hadeeth …
On the authority of Abu Hurairah ( may Allah be pleased with him ), who said: The messenger of Allah ( peace and blessings of Allah be upon him ) said: Look upon one who is below you in status and do not look upon one who is above you in status. In this way you will not look down upon the grace that Allah has bestowed upon you. ( Bukhari and Muslim ) 
The thing is, if this child were to stop looking out the window, and survey what he already has, like the contents of his room, or his loving family, or the free time in his hand, he might realize that what he has already compensates for what he doesn’t have. So the question this child should ask himself is, “How can I use what I already have to advance myself as a Muslim, and benefit other Muslims in general? How can I develop what I already have to move myself forward? What’s the first step I need to take today to jump forward?”
And that’s similar to the idea of “capitalizing on your assets” that is used by business people. It’s just making the most out of what you have right now. Don’t think about tomorrow…
Don’t think about next month…
Think about what right now…
Given what you already have…
Not hope to get…
But what you already have… in terms of assets.
Of course, when business people talk about capitalizing their assets, they’re talking about getting the most money out of those assets. Since – all praise is due to Allah – we’re Muslims, we’ve got it better, as we think in terms of more ajr and more opportunity to do good deeds on Earth.
*Or at least, that’s what we’re supposed to think in terms of.*
One of my engineering friends called the idea, “increasing efficiency,” which was quite interesting because in any generic engineering system, we’ve got: Input -> Process-> Output
Efficiency is defined by the ratio of output/input, so when we think of taking a step forward, or making a life-altering change in – what we hope – is the right direction, what we’re trying to do is actually trying to increase the efficiency of our own system, and that is, getting the most output out of the input we’ve been given.
And if we attempt to extend the analogy, all physical systems incur some losses on the way, so the efficiency is never a 100% unless Allah wills it otherwise. Similarly, we might intend to take a step, or make a change, but it might not work out, or it might not work out the way we’ve planned, and that’s one of the beauties of being Muslim, because we believe that everything that Allah (SWT) has written for the believer is kheir.
So if we tried so hard, and things didn’t work out, then there must be good in there. But that doesn’t mean that we quit trying especially if we really believe in what we are doing. It also doesn’t meant that we obsess over the failures along the way, and get disappointed, because the implicit message might be to just be patient because we never know, something better might show up down the road.
And there’s a quote defining patience, “Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.”
So in a nutshell, today’s reminder to myself is this, the grass is not greener on the other side. Don’t even look there. Keep your focus on this side, be grateful for what you have, make sure your intentions are pure for Allah’s sake, try to capitalize on your assets, increase your efficiency, make changes but don’t obsess over failures, because change needs time and patience, and have faith that what is maktoob is kheir.
 arabic text;
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” انظروا إلى من هو أسفل منكم ولا
تنظروا إلى من هو فوقكم فهو أجدر أن لا تزدروا نعمة الله عليكم ” . ( رواه البخاري ومسلم ، واللفظ لمسلم
Imagine if Kabshoo was a marketer who was asked to make a billboard with directions to the slaughterhouse…
Have you noticed how creative Abu Dhabi car drivers are in finding parking space nowadays? They see potential for a parking space, where others see nothing. The question nowadays is not whether the parking is legal as much as it is, whether there is space for another car to pass.
And sometimes there isn’t space for another car to pass and yet people park anyway, and one might find themselves reversing for a long way because of a bottleneck created by such a parked car.
However, people need to start thinking consciously about where they park their cars, because they can make it really unsafe for other drivers and pedestrians alike. Do you know how many cars come to a screeching halt because a child jumps out of nowhere in front of them? And one realizes that the problem is not just with the hurried child, but also with the parked cars that reduce a driver’s view of the road.
Presented below are a classification of the types of parking spaces there are in the region. Pictures are used for illustration purposes only.
The Attracted-To-Pavement Parkings
These are the parked cars that can be found along pavements and around corners.
The above car was parked at a main road’s exit (going right). This particular location was already a blind corner, due to a construction site’s fence (can’t be seen in the photo) that limited pedestrians’ view of the main road, so a pedestrian could not tell early if a car was coming or not. Now add this parked car, and it exacerbates the problem for drivers who want to take the exit, and you can only imagine what happens if you have the following equation:
Pedestrian taking a risk+Parked car+Two cars taking the exit side by side =
The Nu9 Kom Parkings
Now there’s someone who seems a bit frugal with parking space. It’s as if they’re sending a message; why take the whole parking and waste, when you could half-park and save space behind you?
The Take-The-Stop-Sign-Literally Parkings
Seriously, if you’re a driver, that stop sign over there is telling you to stop and watch for oncoming cars as you’re entering another road. You’re not supposed to take it literally, stop completely, kill the engine and park?!
These are the cars that usually park in the middle when you have two-directional flow of cars, and if you think that one column of parked cars is bad enough, sometimes you’ve got two as shown below.
The On-Pavement Parking
The drivers who park this way make it not surprising for someone to find such a sign in another area of the city…
*Why? What does the sign say?*
The Jungle Parkings
Jungle parkings have cars that are so tightly packed that if one thinks of parking there, someone else’s advice may be, “Don’t park there, it’s a jungle out there.” The cars are packed so tightly together that one wonders how these cars got in in the first place, because cars seem to be blocking each other. But Jungle parkings show how tragedies and crises tend to bring people together, because after some experience of calling the same people to come and remove their cars, one learns to recognize a friend/neighbour’s car and may say, “Oh, that’s just a friend’s car. I’ll block them, and later on they can call me.”
Which, by the way, just adds to the Jungle Parking crisis.
If you find an empty space in a highly-populated area at an unlikely time, don’t get overexcited, because maybe;
1.It’s not yours unless the sticker on your car says otherwise.
2. It’s bogus. We call those the “too-good-to-be-true” parkings. For example, you are driving around, and you see a huge black GMC car, and it seems that the space right next to it is empty, and you get all excited, just to discover a tiny Mini cooper or Beetle car in that space, and you hadn’t seen it because it’s petite and it was hiding behind the larger car.
3.You don’t need it. And those are the parking spaces you see when you’re on your way out. And it’s quite interesting how some of us seem to have developed Pavlovian conditioning to parking spaces. For instance, you’d see the reverse lights of a car, and suddenly you get excited that you want to park, just to remember that you don’t need it, or maybe you’re on foot!
WASTE OF SPACE
But parking problems are not everywhere. Some places have ample parking space that even cats take advantage of the extra space.
The cat in the picture below is showing us what to do in case the housing crisis gets too bad, because if you think the parking crisis is bad in Abu Dhabi then you haven’t seen the housing crisis!
So I’ve finally landed in the blogosphere…
However, the real me is really hoping to slowly disappear into oblivion, so to my friends who’re reading this, I’d really appreciate it if you NOT use my real name in the comments or hint at anything that’s going on in my personal life.
To the others who are wondering what to expect here, expect just one thing; the unexpected insha’Allah. According to what I’ve been told, my notes take people through roller coaster rides. Some might make you laugh, others might make you tear up. Some might open your eyes to something new, while others are just there to activate your brain cells, and make you think differently about common things.
So buckle up, and enjoy the ride!
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