Learning from cleaners

One of the best conversation i had with are with cleaners. You can a learn a lot from other peoples disadvantage when you take the time to listen.

So i did. On my way having breakfast, a middle aged women who was resting near the wall called me to have a chat. It was the first time i saw her, and turn out she just work there. And yet we talked almost an hour before i ask permission to leave for my breakfast. I was starving but still her life story was much more interesting than the food.

Plus i just have an ulser so it doesnt matter much if i eat later, i can only have the half boiled egg for breakfast anyway. Thats all
Coming back, i was internally crying from her life stories. She showed me all her kids picture, who have their own job now. They treated her well, its just that she will have to live alone when they go to work so she decided to work as a cleaner to fill her spare time. Plus the university were close to the mosque which helds weekly class for those seeking islamic lesson.

She told me about how her son, who passed away last ramadhan, just near to his first day to enrol his degree. He even banked in some money for his mom to go for hajj with him from the job he work while waiting for the intake registration. Fortunately he had the time to apolgize to all his family member just two days before he ran into an accident, on his way to visit a sick friend. Glory be to Allah swt for he is such an amazing man, even though i never knew him, but hearing his character makes you admire him more.
When he told his friends that he is working for hajj, his friends were surprised , why he needed to do so. His answer was simple, and yet meaningful, we dont know when we will die, it can happen to anyone be it young or old. And i guess he is the best example, not just in terms of his passing away, but his character as a muslim and human being.

We talked a lot, and she shared about how she doesnt like crowds, therefore it was more peaceful to work as cleaners, rather than work with people with different character and yet many of us carelessly talk unnecessarily and sometimes talk behind their back, intentionally or unintentionally. We do that all the time without realizing the consequences of our words.

I can tell that she is more of an introverts, but that doesnt mean she is always in her shell. She says that sometimes if she wants some company, she will find people to talk to. Perhaps i am one of those days when she feels like talking it out. She was sobbing to tears as she spoke about her son. I was with much courage, held my tears back inside heeee… Well one of us had to be the strong ones right?

She reminds me a lot of my late grandmother who doesnt talk much and avoided all the unnecessary talk and crowd, and yet she’s like a combination of both of my grandma whom, the other one talks a lot ..but beneficial talk. Just like what she says, i will only talk to people and be friends with them if i can benefit from them…not in terms of material, but if i can learn something from them. Especially after coming back from hajj, all she wants to do is just dedicate her life to doing good things and avoid bad things , amal maaruf nahi mungkar, even if she wasnt all perfect yet. Such as , worrying about not wearing socks because her work make her sweat a lot even if she just have to sweep and mop the floor. Or her hair sometimes comes out from the cleaning work. But she prays that those little things were forgiven by Allah swt and just do her best in improving her character and prayers etc instead.

Well makcik ( aunty), its me who was learning from you today. You are not a cleaner, you just helped me cleanse my soul a little bit lighter. It was rather strange because she came up to me in times when i needed someone to lift a little bit of my spirit that was running a little low. I should at least strive to graduate , for those people who could not make it even for their first degree.
still, it wasnt as bad as knowing that one of my former classmate passed away AFTER he have submitted his thesis and viva, a few days before getting married and should be graduating later. I may not know him well but certainly that was a very strong reminder of how little time we have in this world.

We only have today, tomorrow, is up to Allah swt.
So make the most of your day, and settle everything you can before you sleep. Ask forgiveness before you sleep, and keep a good relation with everyone. We never know, when will it be the last day for us on earth so carpe diem everyone!
May we return to Allah swt in the best state as possible, whatever in the past, just let it past, its already gone. Focus on what you have today, and worry about tomorrow when the day comes. Thats all.

Until then, may what i share with you gives you benefit as much as i have benefited from the cleaner today.

The gift of giving.

The world is a mix of multiple talented intelligent people

Some people have skills that comes naturally in them, they still have to brush up their skills, but when they do, they get better

Some people are creative. give them anything, they can turn a lemon into forty different usage, a cake, a lemonade, an electric conductor, perfume, even a washing powder!

Some people are good at building things or even knocking things down. Do you think its easy to knock down a building without other buildings getting knocked down too?

Some people are good in writing, they either write their hearts out, or gave a careful thought about what they want to write and once they start writing, millions of people are waiting impatiently for them to reach the last page. And they can write till their last breath

Some people can play, one instruments or more, they can play the flute, piano, violin, you name it, they can even make an orchestra of it and youtube it. <– yes, thats a word now.

Same goes into history, reading through old manuscripts, translating it, preserving it, displaying it and talk for hours without making people bored of them on the things they discovered (provided the audience wants to know the same thing)

Some becomes archaeologist, sitting under the sun, or withstanding stormy weather, or rain, and hours and hours of tedious work that to some seems dirty, filthy work but to them , treasures beyond their imagination, Just wait till they dug up the next shipwreck under the sea, or imagine if Titanic were managed to be brought back from the dead. And they earn fortunes over their patience and hard work

Some simply sits home but oh they were not merely just sitting at home, they were still making themselves busy with parcels after parcels, handling orders after orders, who would have thought that sitting at home can give them enough to live comfortably with their online business. But some do fail, true. If you sell the wrong thing, or chose the wrong products, or not careful enough to run your business , some steals away people’s money, thinking that they can get away with the short money they got. But some who genuinely honest to their customer, will make a fortune and stay longer than anyone who entered the business.Ignoring all the talks about throwing away their life over a 9-5 job when in reality they earn more than a year income the person who says such could make in a year , in a month time. But most people don’t believe that. They refuse to.

Some studied their whole life,  going from one level to another, ignoring the fact that the society wants him/her to be married before 30, and that they are missing out a lot , that marriage is the final happiness while he/she was finishing their studies, he/she watches other marriage crumbling down and even if they were married, they weren’t happy. And he/she remained single, not fearing of marriage, but in spite of that, it seems appropriate not to until he/she can secure at least a better future for their family. Nobody knew what they went through, they kept it all inside most of the time. Because the more they talk, the less use they feel to answer to people’s expectation.

So they learn to keep their thoughts to themselves, for if they opened their mouth, too many hearts will be hurt by one sheer impulse to fight back. Arguments meant less meaningful when the ones they love were the one who hurts them the most. Instead, they focus on what is in front of them, and wait till that day , they finally achieved their dream. I finally did it…but they know they weren’t alone. God never leave them alone. They owe most of their success to God. But that doesn’t mean, some of them forgot that they did not do it alone, and forget who helped them. Despite these people, only a handful of them remain humble, which is the hardest thing to do.

You see , each and everyone of us, have something to offer for this world. At least for themselves. So don’t feel bad that you are not good enough in one thing, because you may be good in another.You just need to find out what it is and acknowledge that sometimes you are not meant to succeed in the thing you want, but you will soon realize you were better in other things, and acknowledge it. Stop fighting it, stop doubting yourself, you can do it, only you can.

You see, if everyone are  doctors, who would be their patients? If everyone are engineers, than who will build the building they draw on the blue print? If everyone is a star, who would be their fans? If everyone is a businessperson, who will be their customers? If everyone is rich, then to whom can the rich gives their charity to the poors?

You see, one thing about being poor is that they gave the rich the opportunity to do good deeds, to cleanse their soul, to be humble and to remind themselves that their wealth is not theirs alone but shared with others. Sure they can have a good clothes, nice holidays, and spend anything they want. In fact, a lot of rich muslims back in the Caliphate were rich and wear good dress. They weren’t just shabby, they were well dressed, smells good, and talk politely.

But there’s one thing that differentiates between these rich men or even women like Khadijah RA, they did not put the world in their hearts, but in their hand. They are not attached to their wealth instead can walk away from it any time they want and simply give it to the needy.

Its not what you have, but what you do with what you already have. Talent is a gift , use it, keep it, its all up to us. But do not throw it away, at least give it to someone who needs or teach them so they may learn something from what you are good at. That’s the highest possible gift, give , and give, ‘No one has ever become poor by giving.'”.

Leave the world in the best way you can possibly give to others you left behind.

“Pergi kedai buku, ada satu bahagian “Novel Islamik”, buku terlaris, “Suami Aku Ustaz”

Seriously I weep for humanity. For all the poor soul gullible enough to buy up such books..novels. I don’t know for others but I am strongly against reading books that degrades or makes fun of your intelligence.

There will always be people who is gullible enough to fall for anything with the added word ‘islamic’ , such as holy read water, when at one point people went berserk over ‘holy water’ being given to make all these muslims in Malaysia becoming murtad.

There’s sickness in this society, a certain kind of sickness that goes back to the time where priests were paid to ‘forgive’ people’s sins. I am not making up this, but it happened long ago before the renaissance where the church had too much power over lands and property’s. Holy priests, taking money to forgive people’s sins. I will not elaborate more on that.

But it worrys me, the state of the people now. People no longer sits with their teacher/ustaz’s in pondok (the pondok system were more respectable back then, now, all they are is just some exploited charity group, whom you will doubt if they are actually in need of money or just pretends to come from such and such pondoks. When a little kid comes to ask for alms for his tahfiz, my parents said thank you, signalling that he wont get any.

The person next to us, were surprised of our ‘refusal’ when we were merely refusing to support the chain of scams nowadays. We no longer know which one were true, and opt to give only to people whom we know directly are in need than strangers. I sometimes turn them away, sometimes would give some.

And now with the recent trend of abusive arranged marriage husband whom they eventually fall in love despite their harsh, rude and violence against the women they married, people actually buys that, and so come all this copycat drama of the same theme. The irony is, people will actually be angry on the act of these men if they were to come out on news but loved them when they are made into dramas?

Come on Malaysians, you are better than this. Life is not a fairytale, and admit it, out of the millions of you watching these dramas, the one’s who actually marry movie stars won’t be you. Sure the cast may have pulled off such a great acting that you cry for your heroes and heroins, but why are we still falling for such dramas. Its been a torture enough to watch sinetrons and now this?

The first episode was enough for me to guess what the ending will be., in fact it have been so predicable that I could tell what would happen with a single trailer.

And i suppose, thats why ‘thinking’ movies don’t get a lot of hits. They simply can’t because most people don’t really want to think. I get it, you come home not to think any more than your own work, and relax your mind. But i guess, in the end, we can’t really change people’s mind unless they want to. So please, for the sake of your future generations, if you want your children to be bright and become successful and rich like all the superficial  Dato’s and Tan Sri’s in such dramas, at least stop watching those kind of dramas and just read a good book that doesn’t have such superficial drama. Fin

Homegrown Revolution

“If you grow food, its empowering. In fact i think growing food is the most dangerous occupation on this earth, because you are in danger of becoming ‘FREE

We must say to ourselves, we can do something, Don’t look for others to change, you start by changing yourself. The government can’t do it, and the cooperation wont do it. So we have to do is point finger back straight at us and ask yourself, what can I do? Because change begins with me.”

In another video it says:

This family of four lives $30,000 a year, they never buy fuel, instead his son makes it out of vegetable oil he collects from local restaurants and it cost them a dollar to make it.

“Do you feel your in poverty?”

“I don’t feel poor, I feel blessed, I feel rich.”

“Growing your own food is recession proof, you don’t have to worry about the prices. if you depend on it, you become powerless”

***

This may seem extreme, but it was normal back then to grow your own food, instead of buying it. Instead, we have become so into this consumerism that we buy things we want, and not need.

The reason why things were so cheap back then, because they don’t rely on supermarkets or shopping malls to get what they need. Most part of the world, we used to grow our own veggies, rear our own chickens, cow and perhaps go fishing.

Of cause in this modern age, it seems hard to live in such way anymore, when we are stuck inside four walls.  House price sky rocketing, and we don’t have much land to grow these veggies. But, there are options, like hydroponic per say. The rest we need to find out how to do it, plus its just a google away.

The main problem is not about the cost of living getting high, but how we live in such a high maintenance way of living. There are certain things that we can go back to and live within our means.

I particularly agree, a government can’t do it, cooperation will never do it, but we can by changing the way we live and go back to being a community based rather than individual based.

I remember talking to my grandma, about how grandpa used to share his earnings to buy plot of lands with his siblings, and grow their own food, fish their own fish, and importantly meat was only eaten during festive season like Eid, or weddings.

On contrary, we eat meat almost everyday, and chicken were dirt cheap, because its factory made, and not free range. Food were not wasted because what they couldn’t finish, they gave it to the chicken, or cat (its debatable about all those cat food in the market, even those cat food, some of them were not properly manufactured, it stinks! even my cats don’t eat it! who knows how it was processed)

Too often we eat processed things, that takes away all the nutrients out leaving us only preservatives. So what’s left? We eat junks of fast food instead of properly cooked good food.

Then, we start to get diabetes easily and the whole lot of package that comes with it. We think only for the easy and fastest way without taking a good thought of how we eat will effect our health. We are what we eat.

Even scientifically, you can know what the person have been eating through their teeth and bones. I think i read a research on how they found out what people in certain part of the world eat, for instance corn. And corn, in US is pretty big business, especially the fact some were GMO’s (genetically modified). So you are not actually eating real corn, but a modified version. I even came across things like, some meat in China were injected with some antibiotics and what not just to get the meat there fatter. And if you follow food revolution, you will know why Jamie Oliver is so concerned about the health of the kids in US what more in Britain.

If that’s not enough , go and find out more of how chicken was made , thats we are eating, and thats why we get sick easily and all that. Remember, what is injected into the chicken also ‘injected’ to us indirectly through what we eat. So what chance do we have now?

I’m not a vegetarian, but i know for sure that we ought to eat right, and by eating right, we need to eat the right kind of food that you don’t have to pay so much on it, by growing one.

I don’t buy those organic food, somehow i still think its capitalized under the name of ‘green’. Because i believe that, if a food do not have all the preservatives and added chemicals or injections, they should cost less and somewhat affordable..

All it takes is just some time to grow some of it , if not all, and it does taste different when you eat what you grow. Cause, you will most likely wont throw away your hard grown food. Also, its a good work out, rather than going to the gym in an air conditioning room. Like, seriously?

“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”

– Morrie Schwartz