It has been a while since I have had some time to catch a breather. The Eid-Ul Fitr break has come at just the right time. While I get ready to rejoice and celebrate, I cannot help but be reminded of the death by suicide of two very well known figures; one in fashion and design and the other in culinary. Yes, I am talking about the passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both of whom took their own lives out of depression. They are not the first.
I’m sure you’re thinking what I am thinking; all that success and achievement, and yet depression? It got me thinking. What makes us happy? What can give us happiness? I took a look at my own life. Pondered on the moments when I felt unhappy and sad. Revisited the days I yearned for something more. And tracked the path I have taken to reach the happiness I feel now.
Gratitude. Feeling grateful, accepting everything I have and don’t have, knowingly acknowledging that everything is given and taken by the Almighty. As I was tracing my pursuit of happiness, I was able to identify the moment when I accepted wholeheartedly, with gratitude, as the moment I was able to be happy with everything and anything. And with my new found happiness, I was at peace with myself, and everything that was happening around me. Of course I have moments when I lose it, get upset, get angry. I am only human. But I take a deep breathe, remember that there is a higher power that will take care of everything, and Alhamdulillah, I become okay again.
While I am sure Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain lived a life of gratitude, there was something still missing that drove them to put an end to their life.
Let’s learn a lesson from this. Feeling grateful also means accepting. Accepting the ups and the downs. Accepting the calm and the storm. Accepting the rain and shine. Accepting the good and bad. And most importantly, accepting that everything has been planned. Accepting that HE has planned for the best, and the worst. Accepting that HE will reward us, as promised and planned. InsyaAllah, while we learn to be grateful, we will find happiness.
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish Muslims around the world Eid Mubarak. May you have a joyous and fulfilling celebration with your loved ones. Al-Fatihah to your family members who have left to meet our Maker. To everyone else, have a good break. Enjoy the Eid food. May this year’s Syawal bring all of us together in gratitude and happiness.
With love, inspiration & passion,
-Developing World Leaders-