I forced myself to wake up and gazed out the window. There was not a single cloud in the sky and the birds were chirping away, singing tunes of freedom. The morning air was crisp and fresh.
Subconsciously I began humming the tunes of "What a Wonderful Life" in my heart. My heart was brimming with joy. My mind was peaceful and contented. There was a sense of calmness and serenity flowing through my body. Deep inside, I was happy. I was blessed with a lot of good things in life.
As I turned away from the window, my eyes caught a small poster across the room, which read, "In order to help others, I must help myself first". I couldn't remember where and how I got it but the poster has always been there for as long as I could remember. I didn't take notice of it before but this time, I could feel something different.
Somehow I felt a tingling sensation down my spine. Somehow my nerves were sending signals to my brain formulating pictures and images of a documentary, which I saw a few nights ago about the lives of helpless children in Palestine living in refugee camps.
Their living conditions were not even close to what I have here. They lived in overly crowded and cramped tents with no electricity and no fresh water supply. Most of the time they just had barely enough food to eat and they just have enough clothes to cover their bodies for the day. Schools were makeshift huts and even that was considered as a luxury for many children. Entertainment was just mere words in the dictionary.
Nobody could tell when it will end. I guess, the right question to ask is, will it ever end? They surely need a helping hand.
I sincerely believe that if only all the helping hands around the world could converge and sincerely pledge their commitments to make the life of these helpless children, not only in Palestine but in all parts of the world, which are mostly ravaged by the cruel hands of war mongers, the dirty hands of corrupt politicians and the greedy hands of unscrupulous capitalists, could give light to new ray of hope so that they, these helpless children, could start to believe in themselves and start to appreciate the start of a glorious, civilized and caring world so that history could be recreated for the benefit of mankind.
At that instant I realized that the convergence of many helping hands must start with one helping hand and that is mine.
I have been a receiver all my life but the time has come for me to change that. I must change from being a receiver to become a giver. The hands on top are better than the hands at the bottom. The hands on top are the helping hands of a giver. But how do I go about doing this?
All of a sudden, I have questions but no answers. I was silently submerged in my own thoughts.
"What are you thinking?" My silence was broken by a familiar husky voice of my dad's.
Spontaneously I asked him, "How can I be a helping hand?"
He took a deep breath, cleared his throat a couple of times and sat on my bed as if a bolt of lightning struck him. After a few seconds of silence he smiled, "Wow, you sure know how to wake me up. Don't you have any simpler questions?"
I know he was joking, but in his mind he was gathering his thoughts. Through the years that I have known my daddy, he always seemed to have the answers to all the questions.
He said, "To be a helping hand and in the process play some part in changing the world, you have to first of all be successful in whatever you chose to be".
He walked out of the room and I thought, "That was it?"
While I was still gasping for more, he walked into the room with a book in his hands. He handed me the book and said, "I wouldn't be able to explain more than I have but spend some time today to read this and hopefully you will understand what I meant". The title of the book was "Success, Happiness and Performance: They are Within our Control".
After spending the whole day reading it, I understood that in order to have a pair of helping hands I need to be successful so that I will have the capability and the capacity to help others.
To be successful is a choice and as a matter of fact, to be successful is the obligation of every living mortal. For a man who is just learning to understand about the facts of life, these revelations managed to unveil the curtains of my ignorance.
However, to be successful I have to change. I have to change the way I think and the way I do things. I have to change mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
In order to have a pair of helping hands, so that others could benefit from me, I have to continually strive to do my best and be the best because in a world that is rapidly changing and tenacious competition, only the best will survive.
I realize now that "in order to help others I must help myself first" has a deeper-rooted meaning than meets the eyes. Helping myself means to be successful in whatever I chose to do and then only I can help others with my helping hands.
The convergence of all the helping hands in the world can make this world a peaceful place so that one day we can perhaps "fly to the moon and play with the stars".
Copyright © 2008 Azman Taher