A 983-word column. Written by Ma’at Seba, founder and facilitator of RELATIONSHIP FIRST AID, a program which uses spiritual principles as the tools to identify and resolve the causes of unhealthy, toxic or stressful relationships, whether it is with your mate, children, friends, co-workers as well as yourself.
After standing on my feet all day at work, my legs and feet hurt so bad, it felt like they were all swollen up. Right as I was getting off from work, my grandmother asked me to stop at the store and pick her up something for her arthritis pain. I was not incredibly happy about it, I wanted to go home and rest my feet, but I went anyway.
As I looked at shelf upon shelf of products trying to find the one, she wanted, my feet were now throbbing in pain. In my mind I began to fuss and complain about the pain, having to stop and not being able to go straight home when I finally found the right pills.
As I walked over to the check-out counter, this man enters the store, limping. He was very overweight, his legs were swollen from the ankles to his thighs, he also had a bone disorder which caused his legs to be so bowed that they were wide enough for a person to have crawled through them without even touching him, and his face was writhing in pain. As I looked at him my pain seemed to decrease, and I realized that I really did not have anything to complain about. I felt like God had sent me a message and a lesson through this man about gratitude and humility. I acknowledged my ungratefulness and said a silent prayer for the man and his health.
This incident and many more always bring to mind a very special and beloved friend in my life who is half Lakota Sioux Indian and half black. He spent his youth in foster homes and was finally reconnected with his mother’s family on the reservation. One day I was voicing my displeasure over “Having” to do something that I did not want to do when he said to me: “You know, my people have a saying, we don’t say we have to, we say we Get to.” That statement was so profound to me because it places situations in life into a unique perspective.
People (especially in America) are not grateful enough, nor are they very humble. Too much in our life is taken for granted, especially the simple everyday things like: being able to have running water and toilets, having ample choices of food in the grocery store, the freedom to travel, freedom to worship as we choose unencumbered, enjoying various forms of entertainment, to buy all the clothes, cell phones, computers and electronic games that we want, the freedom to live wherever we want etc. The current challenges caused by the Covid virus, and the quarantine are perfect examples.
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