BismilLah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
Please read related post:https://acespiretribe.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/know-thyself-socrates/
Having turned 34 years old recently, I’ve noticed subtle changes in how I view myself and the world around me. I’ve led a full life so far and have a treasure trove of experiences to show for it so it was easy for me to decide to start retreating from the world and lead a more quiet life.
With the world in such turmoil around us, it is now time to take a step back and begin ‘auditing’ our lives and determining what is necessary and what is not. Time to prioritise what is important to us in the present and what will be in the next 10, 20 years.
The materials of today’s world is no longer a need for me, as I discovered in the days and weeks approaching my birthday recently. My husband and sons were planning to get me presents and I got to know about their intention so I bluntly told them that it wasn’t necessary. But I knew they would still buy my birthday gifts and I didn’t want them to waste their money on things that I didn’t need so I compromised and told them exactly what I wanted and where to get them.
The items on my birthday wish list was short and consisted of only two things; a Swiss Army knife (I do a lot of fixing around the house) and a walking stick (for the days my arthritis and chronic back pain became too painful). And Alhamdulillah, I was very happy to get what I needed and have been using them regularly ever since.
We’ve become so accustomed to the expect certain things to occur that we actually create (perhaps even unconsciously..?) opportunities to achieve those expectations. When a birthday nears, we get the usual plans of birthday parties, presents, getting up early be the first to wish the birthday person “Happy Birthday” etc. Why does the birth day have to be different from any other day..?
When it was my husband’s birthday in February, I remember thinking, in the flurry of presents and birthday wishes from his family, why hasn’t any one wished his mother as well..? It wasn’t just his birthday, it was her giving birth to him on the same day as well! Doesn’t she deserve to be recognised and appreciated..? A mother only has one birthday but if she has 5 kids then she should be celebrated 5 times a year on their birthdays as well.
This is the reason why I adamantly refuse to celebrate Mother’s Day. A mother should’t just be celebrated and appreciated on only one day day of the year but every day of the year! Adam and Daniel didn’t get me any presents or do anything special for me; it was just like any other ordinary Sunday for us. Most of these celebrations e.g. Mother’s/ Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter Day, are all marketed by corporations and companies to make money. And yes, I do know that they all began as a religious celebrations but has been turned into a capitalist, money-making circus. I don’t even give out ‘duit raya’ or money during Eid as the norm but instead have sweets and chocolates on hand if the children ask for something.
This is how I’m bringing my sons up; to be aware of what’s real and what’s not. Mother’s Day is not real but appreciating and honoring their mother daily is. A trendy, new phone is not real but a working, secondhand one is enough for emergency calls and keeping in touch. Trying to be with the ‘in’ crowd at school is not real, but having true friends who are genuinely interested in them is.
My sons and I are thought to be different (and strange, as my youngest son is always telling me) from others. At first, I would’ve tried hard to ensure we conformed and fitted in with the rest of society, but as my growing experience and wisdom tells me, becoming something we are not i.e. secular materialistic just to integrate with rest of the world, isn’t a priority any more.
Allah knows best.