Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Finding a Purpose

Lately I've been feeling a bit lost. Feeling like there is much more to life.


I am not talking about religion, or about god or heaven and hell.


I am talking about all the good that we can potentially do.


I won't lie, like most people, most of my life growing up I have thought about my personal growth, my personal wealth and success. And I always thought sending 200 hundred riyals a months to a local charity was enough to make me feel good about myself. Until at some point last year my aunt, who is pretty pro-active in the community, told me that the money is the least of the problems, charities and organizations needs hands, they need people to do the work for them.


It was a very sleepless night for me. I felt guilty for every time I was proud of myself for doing the very least. I felt guilty for every time I felt sorry for a person with special needs. I felt guilty because I am sure if I put my head to it, there is much more I could have been doing.


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A Saudi friend of mine was talking to a Spanish friend of his. And the Spanish guy told him: "All you Saudis do is complain about how much more your government should do for you, but I see none of you actually doing anything to help yourselves."

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A few months ago there was a huge campaign supporting Autism in shargiya, I'm not sure about the rest of Saudi. The billboards were everywhere.


That was over 4 months ago. Now you don't see any. Its like "YAY we solved the problem, 2% of the population is more AWARE, now we can sleep at night for another 2 years"


In most cases the most active people towards a cause, are the immediate family or friends or the people suffering from it. But what about the rest of us? The rest of us able bodied, over privileged, financially comfortable people. Why aren't we marching with them? Why aren't we supporting them?


I'm sick of the silence that befalls parents of kids with special needs, I'm sick of the shame some people carry with them because of a brother or a sister with needs. And I'm sick of complaining.


It is time to act, it is time to contact the local schools and ask them what they need. It is time to start looking at the international benchmarks and seeing if we meet them. It is time to start meeting and thinking together how we can make our communities better, how we can help more families be happier or at least more comfortable.


Its time to be… selfless… for once...