The Wisdom of A Struggling Man

30 Mar

I recently hired back one of my favourite drivers from childhood. From driving me to middle school, he now drives me to work. I think one of my most favourite things about him was how chatty he was. He never stopped talking, and was always amusing. Apart from being one of the rare few who could be trusted.

Before you judge me, I live in Saudi Arabia. We women still do not have authorization to drive, hence, we hire drivers. Also, because I’m too scared to drive.

This morning, he talked about the Middle Eastern life, which he learned from the 25 years he lived here, moving from Bangladesh for work so he could support his wife and children back home. He had sponsor issues and suddenly had to leave, and took him quite a few years before he could come back with a new sponsor.

Anyway, through it all, he emphasized how working in the Middle East is a bad decision overall. The only good thing is the money he sends back home converts to a fairly large amount to afford a few luxuries as well. As for his experience, the treatment he received he described with the simple analogy of a tissue paper: Thrown away after the purpose is served, used and abused.

True, he came here to be a driver. While some paid him good, others abused his need and either paid less, or mistreated him. He did not go into detail, but I can imagine what he meant. Some employers cannot respect somebody in manual labour. They act like they aren’t human. It’s not just the Middle East. In the West, almost every profession is treated non-human by the employers to a certain degree. But here he was, aging and feeling disrespected. Such few people in the Middle East can actually be nicer to the unfortunate, and only those who know what struggle is themselves.

He went on to summarize people’s lives today, quoting what their motto seems to be: “Money is the second God of the world”. While our belief puts nothing in comparison to God Himself, he wasn’t wrong when he said people now treat it like it is. It’s sad. We chase so much, not exactly money, but thing only money can bring to us. We get so caught up in this life we never realize it’ll be gone at any moment, we do not dedicate any time to the riches of the eternal afterlife.

He acknowledged, too, that some people treat life like it is a picnic, determined to be crazy and wild because they want to feel fulfilled. And by that, we have ignored our very basic instinct. To be better human beings.

In his very struggling innocent observation,there is no denying he is right. His real happiness is with his family where comfort as needed can exist. The simple life. And getting to work for people who are kind-hearted and generous. And human.

And as easy as it is to say that, for us used to such luxuries, it is hard to be done. We are grown up in a different environment, we are raised with different happiness scheme where high education is the start of the whole process, followed by career to build till we settle down, and then marriage. Oh, my driver had something more to say about settling – that building a life can take forever. There is no such thing as satisfied because of the evolutionary human instinct of greed.

I admire his opinions. I was lucky enough to be raised in a family who put great amount of emphasis on charity and treating the less fortunate with kindness and equality. And that extends to all animals, too. If I have a heart and the capacity to understand people from all walks of life, it is thanks to my parents who never overworked any servants and maintained a friendly, respectful relationship with all, sharing jokes and personal stories. It is thanks to them that I understand the value in the words of someone who would normally be considered insignificant in this ruthless world because of his social class.


4 Responses to “The Wisdom of A Struggling Man”

  1. Queen Habibi March 30, 2013 at 09:11 #

    Aaah Muneer… my favorite driver. Such a wise soul he is.

  2. Arman April 7, 2013 at 10:16 #

    wow.. I have just finished my camping trip on your blog for today and I have to say… you are an amazing woman! I love what you wrote and I love how you wrote it. Good luck! and all the best with your life 🙂

    btw, I am writing from Bangladesh.. lol.

    • numnumzie April 7, 2013 at 17:58 #

      Aww, thank you so much! I’m so glad you loved it 🙂 I actually learned a little bit of Bengali in grade 2, but I barely just remember “Bhalo Bashi” lol

      • Arman April 10, 2013 at 19:22 #

        1 of the 3 most important words in the world, right after, yes and no 🙂

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