How Different People Seem to Live Their Lives
People seem to have different levels of existence. They choose to live different lives.
There are those among us – both Muslim and non-Muslim – who, all they seem to do is, worry about themselves. They are all that seems to matter to them.
Evidently, they are good individual human beings, successful in their lives on numerous fronts. No question about that. But all they really seem to care about is themselves – their own personal wellbeing, happiness and success.
And then there are those, among us, who move one step further and worry, also, about their families – albeit in a very narrowly defined nuclear-family sense. They worry about their spouses and about their children.
They are good family people, no doubt. That is how the world looks upon them: Family People!
Many of them may even be considered model human beings.
For, they worry not just about themselves but also about their children and spouses.
What more can the world expect from good human beings than that, right?
It is most illuminating to watch these people in action: How they and their families is all that seems to matter to them. Their entire life seems to revolve around that axis.
And, with that focus in their life, they seem to live happily ever after.
As if they came into this world alone!
As if they were brought up and turned into full grown men and women by random forces of nature operating directly on them!
As if they had no parents to take care of them!
As if they had no teachers to train and educate them!
As if they had no neighbors in whose midst they spent their lives!
As if they had no friends and relatives whose lives in some productive or joyful manner intersected their own!
As if the places they were born and grew up in were not part of certain societies and nations!
As if those societies and nations had no institutions and communities that regulated, facilitated and enriched life!
As if they did not have a police force that worked to keep their communities and neighborhoods safe!
As if they did not have a military that stood guard over their borders!
As if they did not have governments and officers of the law, and judges and lawyers, that ensured justice, human equality and human rights in their midst!
As if they did not have banks and other financial institutions that provided the financial resources with which to run their lives and realize their dreams!
As if they did not have commercial establishments that rushed to provide them the goods and services that they needed in every aspect of their lives!
As if they did not belong at some basic level to the broader human family everywhere!
And as if issues of war and peace; matters of justice and injustice; topics of kindness and cruelty; and questions of international relations had no role, relevance or importance for their lives!
So, they have no reason, and no responsibility, they may think, to worry about any of these other people, at any of these other levels, and worry about all these indispensable organizations, institutions and agencies that play such a vital role in their lives every day.
That is, how they all worked and what results they all produced for them; for their fellow-citizens; and for the rest of the world.
For all of humanity. And for all of God Almighty’s other creation.
I have always wondered about people like that: Just what kind of people they were.
Not about their moral fiber, or about their patriotism, but more about their intelligence level.
If they were smart enough – and everyone is I suppose – to be aware of the role and influence of any of these other human beings in their life, and also of the role of all these social agencies and organizations and institutions, and of all these issues and questions, in their life, they should be smart enough to worry about them too.
All and each and every one of them.
At least a little bit.
At least in passing.
At least from time to time.
Don’t you think?
And then set about doing whatever may lie in their power to make things better on every front in every place?
For, that is what Islam is all about.
“Islam is working to make things continually better for all,” which is almost a direct paraphrase of a most beautiful Hadith – and which Hadith is not a most beautiful one:
And one question that all these people – and that means every single one of us – should be asking all the time is:
If we do not worry about the world in which we live then who will worry about it?