Article in brief: Omar Al Owais shares valuable lessons he learnt from holidays spent in India.
I’ve been a regular visitor to India for the past few years to the extent that it’s safe now to call it my second home. I’d like to consider my visits there as educational opportunities; from India’s heritage and history, its palaces and museums, and most importantly, its streets and its people.
You see, India isn’t all glitz and glamor. It has a huge gap between the high class and low class; the middle class is slowly ceasing to exist.
As I make my way through my daily errands on the streets, I encounter the humble low class; I see beggars, I see those in need of medical attention, and I see communal dwelling in the form of slums. I also see smiles, games and friendships that appear to be as thick as the trunks of the trees that fill this beautiful country. From them I learn that happiness lies not in material possessions, but rather in the simplest things in life.
I have learnt that strength lies not in physical capability and material possessions, but rather in the ability to live happily amongst the ruins; forgetting your misfortunes, forgetting those who let you down, and focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t have. I learnt what “much ado about nothing” really meant. I learnt the most essential step in order to live happily, gratitude.
We occasionally associate happiness with certain people, products and places. We often fall sad if we’re not with that friend or not having dinner at that restaurant or not owning the latest phone.
Well, life’s short.
Don’t waste your life dwelling on your misfortunes. Count your blessings, remind yourself countless times a day how fortunate you are to be in your current state, because many would kill to walk in your shoes. The more you remind yourself of what you don’t have, the more your heart gets attached to it; hence, you will forget what you do have and may not realize its true value until it is lost.
Another lesson this country taught me was that life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. I’ve seen children as young as myself, if not younger, engaged in child labor, in occupations such as cobblers, shoe-shiners and shopkeepers. This by no means indicates that I agree with child labor. Their situation forced them to resort to something nobody would normally think of doing. The moral of the story is, we won’t always get what we want and we’ll be put in situations in which we will need to make compromises. As we swallow our pride and adhere to these compromises, we need to keep in mind that all these sacrifices will eventually pay off in the future.
My mother always reminds me of a saying by an Islamic scholar which states that in matters of material, look at those whom are below you, in matters of achievement, look at those whom are higher than you.
Latest posts by Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais) (see all)
- A Glimpse Into The First Official Youth Cirlce (@EmiratesYouth) - May 19, 2016
- Mental Health Stigma in the UAE - April 14, 2016
- Outsourced Parenting - February 28, 2016