Lately, I have been feeling overly sensitive to the pain that is ever-present in our world. Poverty, hunger, disease, unemployment, racism, sexism, war. Living in Saudi Arabia, I do feel like I am confronted with these issues on a daily basis. I have a very high standard of living, but all around me I see people struggling. Just last night, I was at the supermarket talking to my favorite grocer and he said, "You, are happy today! You have two days off (today is the start of the weekend)." And I said, "Yes, it will be nice to relax a bit, won't it?" And he says, "I am sure it would be, but I work tomorrow, I work 7 days a week." And I said, "Wallah (really)?" And he said, "Wallah."
This is not the first time that I have heard of such unjust working conditions. What really gets to me, though, is that millions of people- Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Indians, and Filipinos- leave their countries to move to the Middle East because life is better here than at home. Some of these people even end up living their entire adult lives abroad with wives and children back at home. Families that they get to see once a year, if they are lucky. The world shouldn't be like this.
I don't mean to be depressing and I don't think that pity helps anyone. It seems that positivity and a focus on one's strengths is more supportive, but I think in order to acknowledge and appreciate the good, you have to fully take in the bad. Look at it, stare at it, take pictures of it, and ask questions about it before you make your judgements. Think of a way to turn it into something beautiful and magnificent.