When you think about infinity.Your time in this world is too short, just too short.
It is easier to forgive everyone everyday.
There I was in the morning, witnessing the dilemma of a lady, perhaps only a few years older than myself, facing a daunting task of taking care of her mother who had a stroke. The daunting task that she may need to face alone, because father is old too, and the rest of the siblings just watching. Her eyes teared up when she spoke about taking unpaid leave for the time being, to care for her mother.
She’s not the only one feeling that way.
I know many who have been in her position before.
On my way back I thought of her. That feeling of being alone, facing the responsibilities alone, while the rest stood watching without understanding the need to help. Such a familiar feeling, I felt like just going back to the ward to tell her, “congratulations”.
Yes, there are times when we feel hurt and say it out. But by saying it out, we take the blame for hurting others while actually we were the ones hurt at the first place.
But it is ok.
Take care of your parents anyway, even if no one in this world offered to help.
Forgive others anyway. Because this precious life is too short for grudges, for anger, for complexities.
Do you know that once you step foot in jannah, you will forget that you have ever sufferred anything at all in this world?
Should that not be a source of motivation for all of us to go on just a little bit more?
When you spend your days telling people that their parent have passed away, listening to their cries and wails, it is only natural for you to expect others to learn the same lessons.
But often they don’t, because they don’t know how those wails and cries sound like.
Talk about praying for ease.
It was still early in the evening, a patient just passed away, and another patient became short of breath suddenly.
I saw that she’s a young girl, was very restless and breathless. She needs intubation.
I was worried, and while the nurses pushed her to the acute cubicle, I wondered how I was going to tube a young, strong and agitated girl.
Right away, the anaesthetic doctor came into the ward, looking for her.
So the other doctor immediately helped me intubate the young girl, and soon after, patient was sent to the ICU.
That night I slept a solid 4 hours, despite having a rough start.
When I asked from Allah that morning, for ease of performing my job, I pictured that help would come when I really needed it.
So I really had my affairs settled easily. Even better for the patients.
Yes. Prayers are answered. Some immediately, but for some, you need to wait patiently. Like I said, what is a day in this life if we compare to infinity.
Have you ever trained yourself to become a person with positive attitude, good character, kinder person, and failed miserably everytime you face a bigger test? Would you give up?
Or would you keep on telling yourself the truth, and hope that one day you would embody the messages and you will become the kinder, nicer person who is very patient?
Every single whisper of “do your best”, every single reminder for yourself to not destroy your efforts, everytime you tell yourself to keep on trying, is worth doing. If you feel like you have failed, that your efforts are not going anywhere, remind yourself that you need to keep on trying. Because one day, the reminders will come before you make a mistake, they will come when you feel so down, they will come when you need them the most, and will make the most sense.
Ten years ago today, I started working as a doctor.
Ten years of service, the biggest lesson I learnt is, the greatest regret a person could feel in his life is because he was not good enough to his parents. Did not spend enough time, did not act kindly enough.
I learnt that, no matter how stressed I become while at work, it is often reduced when I listen and talk to the patients.
I learnt that we understand more about life when we understand death. We live life better when we embrace that death is surely a part of life.
I learnt that positive thinking attracts positive surrounding.
Ten years in service, I realize that no matter how advanced technology is, sometimes we need to rely on our instincts, an our patients’ instincts too.
I learnt that, if we really wanted to help, we could always find the way to help, even if it is not what we planned to do at the first place.
I understand that everyone has 24 hours, but you need to be wise to use it fully.
It is from the early years of service that I learnt, if we wanted to do something, there is no such excuse as ‘being post call’ or ‘too busy with work’. If doctors use that excuse all the time, the only things we see are patients in their beds, and our own beds. I learnt that we should go wherever we needed to go, whenever we needed to.
I learned that every specialty has its importance, and we should never look down on others. If we think we know more, then we should educate. If we think people look down on us, perhaps there really are things that we should learn about more.
I learnt that doctors are fighters because we see too much suffering with our own eyes. Even when others don’t appreciate it, even when people call us names, we still fight for them.
I learnt that anger consumes energy. Too much energy.
I learnt that humility and gentleness goes a long way, even when many fellow Asians don’t agree with being gentle, thinking “people won’t listen to gentle people”. Trust me, being humble, kind and gentle is the right thing to do. No matter what the outcome is, people will never be able to blame us for being just that.
And I’m still struggling.
I learnt that honesty is the best policy. An honest doctor, an honest nurse, and yes, an honest patient. If a patient lies to a doctor/nurse, he would bring detriment to his own health and people around him.
I learnt that there is no point doing something if you expect something in return from that person. Help someone because it is the right thing to do. But he will never be able to pay you back, because of his imperfections.
Ten years in service, in a field where science is supposed to top others, I believe in God even more than when I started off.
Yes, science could cure some infections, detect cancer early, open up blood vessels, make a blind person see again.
But like all else in this universe, science is limited. Science helps but is not the answer to all.
Science can’t help a daughter to feel at peace while she’s caring for her mother who has dementia.
Science can’t tell you why this four-year-old has to die because of cancer.
Science can’t tell an octogenarian to get up and walk after antibiotics have cured her pneumonia, because she refused to walk as none of her children visited her.
Science can’t tell why a mother of five did not survive the breast cancer but that single lady lives on intact.
Science could not tell which ‘20%’ is not going to be cured from cancer, and why.
Science won’t tell you why this life is imperfect.
Only Allah does. Allah tells us how to care for our parents, why some people don’t survive until age 20, that life is imperfect that everyone will go through some kind of suffering in this life. Allah tells us that different people could overcome different kinds of challenges, we need His help to do that. Allah told us about death so we could live this life as better, gentler, kinder, more generous, and contented people.
Terima Kasih, Malaysia
Saya nak ucapkan terima kasih kepada pemandu yang berhenti di laluan pejalan kaki apabila ada orang nak melintas.
Terima kasih kepada mereka yang memandu perlahan dan berhati-hati dalam kawasan hospital.
Terima kasih kepada mereka yang tunggu orang lain keluar daripada lif sebelum memasukinya.
Terima kasih kepada mereka yang tidak merokok di tempat awam.
Terima kasih kepada pelanggan yang sentiasa bersopan santun ketika berurus iaga.
Terima kasih juga kepada juruwang dan penjaga kedai yang sentiasa tersenyum.
Terima kasih kepada peniaga yang jujur.
Terima kasih kepada jururawat di hospital yang menukarkan lampin orang sakit walaupun itu bukan tugas hakiki mereka.
Terima kasih kepada penolong pegawai perubatan yang menjalankan tugas dengan ceria.
Terima kasih kepada pesakit-pesakit yang memberitahu tentang ketidakpuasan hati mereka kepada orang yang bertanggungjawab, bukan menyebarkan gambar-gambar dan kata-kata kesat di media sosial.
Terima kasih kepada penunggang motosikal yang bersabar, tidak ‘honk’ kereta yang hanya pasang signal.
Terima kasih kepada pemandu kereta yang tahu pasang signal apabila nak tukar lorong.
Terima kasih kepada pemandu-pemandu kereta yang mengekalkan jarak yang selamat antara kereta masing-masing.
Terima kasih kepada tukang jahit yang menjahit pakaian ikut permintaan pelanggan, bukan ikut citarasa diri sendiri yang jauh berbeza.
Terima kasih kepada mereka yang tidak membuang sampah merata-rata.
Terima kasih sebab membenarkan anak supaya diberi suntikan vaccine.
Terima kasih kepada mereka yang tidak menyebarkan perkara-perkara bohong dan kata-kata kesat di media sosial.
Terima kasih kepada mereka yang bertanya kepada yang pakar apabila terdapat kemusykilan.
Tahniah kepada mereka yang pakar dan mengekalkan rasa hormat orang lain, dan tidak menyebabkan orang lari daripada mereka.
Terima kasih kepada mana-mana pemimpin yang jujur dan amanah – sesuatu yang sangatlah jarang kita jumpa pada zaman ini, walau apa parti politik mereka sekalipun.
Terima kasih kepada mereka yang hidup sederhana walaupun mampu berlebih-lebihan, kerana mereka telah menjaga alam sekitar daripada diratah ketamakan.
Terima kasih kepada mereka yang tidak buruk sangka kepada orang lain.
Terima kasih kerana menjadi ibu/bapa mertua yang bersabar dengan kerenah menantu yang baru belajar nak jadi isteri/suami, dan tidak mengata2 di belakang, sebaliknya menegur di depan dengan baik.
Terima kasih kepada keluarga mertua yang menerima menantu seperti anak/adik beradik sendiri.
Terima kasih kepada menantu yang ceria dan rajin.
Tahniah kepada manusia yang bersopan-santun dan lemah lembut.
Terima kasih kerana hanya bercakap yang baik tentang orang yang telah meninggal dunia.
Terima kasih kerana berdiam diri apabila tidak mempunyai apa-apa yang baik untuk dikatakan.
Terima kasih atas kebaikan kalian.
Mari jadikan negara kita tempat yang lebih ceria dan memudahkan hidup orang lain.
Nothing is as powerful as the thoughts of death in changing our perceptions of life. Especially with a blink of the eyes.
Like when you’re feeling numb and you go to bed not knowing whether it will paralyse your breathing muscles the next morning, and you wake up breathing as normal you have always been. You know you need to do it now.
Do what, now?
To sit up and study and pass this exam now.
See those patients now because you might not see the same case again tomorrow, the next thing you know, you’re seeing patients like that as a specialist.
Call your mother now.
Go to the kitchen and clean up for her now.
Bring all those stuff to the gazebo and start preparing for the soup now.
Drive to the masjid now, because you feel like being with God and only with God.
Hug and kiss your sister now, while you could still see her smile.
Smile at that patient now, because you never know which one will be your last. Try to settle the issues now because you don’t want to leave your friends scratching their head tomorrow.
Now is not the time to be sarcastic towards those you’re unhappy with.
Now is not the time to hold grudges.
Now is perhaps the time you explain to them why you’re angry and tired all the time. Now is the time to understand that they might be angry and tired for a reason too.
We have struggles in life. We all do. Maybe if we start explaining in a loving and gentle manner, they might understand our struggles. Maybe they will even help us.
Now is the time to go wherever you wanted to go. Ask that thing you are curious about.
Now is the time to move, move and move.
There is so much to do.
Too little time.
No time for worrying, just put that aside. What’s meant to happen, is going to happen no matter what. Now is the time to make that effort.
Work hard. Play hard.
Mahukah kamu, aku tunjukkan suatu tempat?
Di sana ada
Beratus juta pohon rendang
Tidak jemu mata memandang
Dari satu rimbunan ke satu rimbunan
Singgah menikmati buah-buahan
Yang enaknya cuma akan bertambah
Rumput hijau meliputi segenap permukaan
Tak pernah lelah kita dalam perjalanan
Marilah kamu aku tunjukkan
Taman-taman tempat bersuka ria
Teduhan yang redup lagi selesa
Tempat berehat, melayari masa
Juadah, minuman, semua tersedia
Senyuman di bibir
Kerana sayang, aku kenalkan kamu
Suatu singgahsana mewah
Sungai-sungai mengalir di bawah
Tiada luka di hati
Tiada dendam berapi
Yang ada itu hajat yang dipenuhi
Harapan yang pasti terjadi
Seperti yang dijanji
Ayuh kita simpankan
Syurga ketenangan di hati
Yang bermula seawal pagi
Saat mata yang lain tertutup lagi
Menarik nafas syukur, segar, aman
Memuji Pencipta alam semesta
Tunduk kepada kekuasaan-Nya
Memohon kepada keampunan-Nya
Meminta daripada kekayaan-Nya
Hati akan tenang bagai di syurga
Hari mendatang terjanji bahagia
Segala pintu mudah terbuka
Jalan sukar dapat diduga
Kita bawa syurga itu
Di atas dunia
Memancar senyuman kepada yang duka
Menghulur tangan kepada yang terluka
Memberi kata harapan penguat tenaga
Mahukah kamu aku tunjukkan, suatu kehidupan?
When you decided to look around more closely, you will realise that this life is full of blessing. And if you look closely into yourselves, there are even more blessings that you may have not noticed before. Once you start noticing them, they will continue pouring until you find yourself living in peace and contentment.
Like when you could look past imperfections. Because nothing in this life is perfect anyway. Neither do they last.
Or the understanding that some things are written for you, that it will not go away no matter how you avoid it. Some, on the other hand, are just not meant for you, no matter how hard you tried. It does not mean we do not work for something. It means we work in a calm manner, work smarter to achieve our ambitions, at the same time not being too anxious about the outcome. We rejoice when we succeed, but will not be too frustrated when things don’t go our way.
It is such a blessing to be able to keep oneself humble when one achieves greatness after greatness. Knowing that the stakes are high, the efforts are exhausting, so many things could have gone wrong, and at the end of the day, success is gained. What could have protected us from the risks? How did we go through the hardship? Why did things go the right way for us, when countless others used the same strategies but failed?
* * *
I was certainly blessed that I could finally see the world in a new light. A light I did not notice to have dimmed inside me. A cloud has fogged my sight, I could not see beyond those near around me. The gloom made me tired, physically and emotionally.
In my quest to stay positive, to stay energetic, I did not notice myself being brought down by the anger around me, the imperfections, unrealistic expectations (from and on myself), negativity. I was blessed to have kept on fighting, to live in this world as though everything is beautiful, even when I was crumbling inside. All that is damaged, I picked up the pieces and put them back together again, one by one. Slowly, but surely.
I was gifted with persistence.
Have I achieved my dreams? No.
Have I gotten all that I wanted? No.
But what changed?
Because one night, something reassured me that there is Power beyond the galaxies. The Power to move the stars, the planets, the moon and the sun at their perfect distance, perfectly placed orbits, perfect timing.
The Power to move hearts.
The Power that will take into account ALL that we have worked for, everything we have gone through, the difficulties we have faced.
The Power that tells us, love anyone. Love EVERYONE. He will love us back more than we can imagine.
The reassurance that everything will, and do fall into place. That we will just need to work for it, and He will fix the best for us. No matter what we wanted, what we worked for, what we prayed for, whatever He decided to give us is something within our capabilities to handle. Something that will make us most content.
The reassurance that love, indeed, is easy. It is pure, it is simple, it enlightens, it lights us up.
The knowledge that the world is vast. The people, the cultures, the way of life..you just need to choose, and you can choose just about anything.
As long as we have that pure love in our hearts.
As long as we try hard to reflect the light towards others.