You are doing well if you are healthy and have enough food

In the year 1400 Hijri, I participated in a campaign to propagate Islam, close to the border of Yemen. I temporarily left the camp we were staying in, intending to go with one of my professors to Abha. On the way back I was upset because he was driving his car at a very high speed. I pleaded with him to slow down, but it seemed that this only had the effect of goading him on to go faster. It was raining that night, yet he continued to drive recklessly. We ended up in a valley that was filling with water. At first the water reached a level only slightly above our tires. As we reached the middle of the valley, though, the situation got worse as water started to flow into our vehicle. We left the car and with much difficulty we managed to reach the edge of the valley. We were stuck there all night without food, drink, and more importantly, because we were wet, without blankets. We were contented and thankful for our situation though, because when the flood had overwhelmed us we had expected to die. And so we were thankful just to be alive. In the early morning somebody came and took us to safety. I am reminded by this incident of a story that took place in World War II. An American ship was hit by a missile and as a result began to sink. The captain was stranded for thirteen days with only water and bread to nourish him. He was later asked whether there was a moral that he took away with him from his experience. He said, “Something important that I took away with me from this experience is that if a person is healthy and has bread and water, he has the whole world with him.”

What is this world other than a healthy body, peace of mind, bread, water, and a garment to wear? Why don’t you and I use math to calculate what we have and what we don’t have? I think that most of us will find that we have more than 8O% of the things that make life comfortable. Needless to say there are exceptional cases when one is deprived of important necessities, but for the most part, we weep over comforts that are missing without laughing and being thankful for those that we do have. We are sorrowful when afflicted and ungrateful when all is well.