Why do we work so much? We get tired to the bone, forget to socialize and even stop caring for our own well-being. When is the last time you really enjoyed life without feeling rushed? It is as if we finish one chore only to catch up with another one.
Was life really supposed to be so demanding? I ask. What do we have to achieve by overworking? What do we have to prove to ourselves? Why does our work become so important that we do not hesitate to neglect our family?
I remember a neighbour kid from years ago. His father was a doctor and his mother was a teacher. While his parents were out there making the world a better place, he often loitered around outside his home – a minor child – because there was no one to look after him at home. His home would be locked while his parents were out and he would be playing outside, sometimes on his own.
I don’t know if it is my imagination… he seemed like a sad kid. I don’t know how much money his parents made, I know that they could not make their house a home. Years later I heard that they got divorced.
I don’t know why they could not bear to be with each other anymore even for the sake of their two children. I do know that money could not buy them happiness.
Perhaps we work so much to get approval from our own selves. And this is why disapproval even from our nearest ones, even when they suffer, cannot deter us.
Yet it takes so little to be happy. A heartfelt smile can truly make us happy and it costs no money and smiling is not hard work. Yet we forget to do so because we are too stressed at work.
Even the smallest deeds can bring us great joy. Simple acts of kindness. Like, bringing flowers to the woman you love or cooking what your man loves to eat.
We have forgotten the art of little things.
Yet, it need not be so. No good deed will go wasted. If the purpose of my life is to satisfy my own desire, then no matter how much I work, it will never be enough. Simply because my desire knows no bounds. On the other hand, if my intention is to please my Lord, then whatever little I do with the intention of pleasing Him will fulfill me. The Lord never forgets and He will reward us even for the good deeds the size of an atom.
The problem is, we do not long to be rewarded by The Lord any more. We feel rewarded when WE get that coveted job or buy our dream house or accomplish anything that captivates us. We forget that whatever WE get is a manifestation of HIS endless Mercy.
Unless we begin to see what we truly are, we will never stop chasing work. Or success. Or money. Or fame. Or love.
We are just servants of the Most Merciful. That is all that we are. The moment we realize that, we will stop fulfilling our own desire and start working with the intention of pleasing Him, in shaa Allah. And it does not take too much to please Him! Small deeds done consistently are His favourite!
With that thought in mind I must learn to take a break when my to-do list begins to pose a health threat. Or when a loved one craves my company. Or when I know deep in my heart that I should call mom.
Life is easy. We should work to make life easy. We should not let work make life hard.