Friday, December 16, 2011

And the party begins

SO yesterday was the absolute worse day to be on the roads of Johannesburg, if I had known this then I would’ve stayed in my home. Later on I came to hear that it was by far “The Busiest Day of the Year”. This is because since today is a public holiday and next week is Christmas, followed by New Year the week after, most people worked for the last day yesterday and so almost everyone got off from work early and people made their way, trying to sort out last minute things before the holidays. It was madness, and I am really not exaggerating. I felt as if I was in a movie scene where everyone is trying to leave the city at the same time, you know one of those movies where the aliens come to earth or there’s some disaster looming and everyone just wants to leave, that’s what the streets of Johannesburg was like yesterday. I came home with a headache, completely hot because the summer heat was intensified tenfold while stuck in unmoving traffic, but I was grateful that I was not one of the people rushing to go off on holiday. The peace of my home was welcoming and today the quiet streets of Johannesburg seem like a blessing.

All this preparation and planning reminded me that most people have begun their partying. Yes, it’s that time of the year when everyone goes away on holiday, the schools are closed, people are off from work and everyone is enjoying the end of year partying, because after all we’ve all worked hard the whole year and we deserve the break!

 Now I have no problem with this, I understand that people work hard and that a good break is welcoming, but somehow it just seems that all the partying and the spending of money just makes people heedless. We spend so much money at the end of the year that we have to spend half of the new year trying to make up for all our spending, and after all the partying and holidays, what do we really have to show for it? If we’re lucky then we benefit from this for a short while, but as soon as the New Year kicks in, we’re back to struggling to make ends meet.

There’s something else about all this mindless spending though, once again it’s selfish. It makes us forget that there are millions of people in the world who have never had a holiday. Millions, who have No break from poverty, starvation, disease and oppression. Millions, who spend year after year without any celebrations, with no peace and definitely without any partying. So it just doesn’t make sense to me that year after year when it comes to December, masses of people in certain places plan for their holidays and their parties, spending huge sums of money in doing this, while this is unfathomable for so many others.

I know I might sound like a boring old prude, but all I’m trying to say is that while we’re thinking about our holidays and our breaks, perhaps we should also consider other people across the world who are suffering and then maybe, just maybe we would be inclined to scale down a bit and share. If we give even a small percentage of our end-year bonuses to those in need, it will make a huge difference to them and we can still enjoy our holidays. Imagine if all those people on the streets of Johannesburg yesterday had to share just a little with someone in need, how many people would have a meal to eat because of this, or some water or clothes. If so many of us can afford to party and go for holiday then surely we are not of those who are in need. If we share even a little then more people may have the chance of having some happiness and relaxation at the end of the year, even if it is only temporary.

So while I hope that people have a good holiday, I hope more that those people in need throughout the world could also have a holiday. And while we are enjoying our holidays, let us not forget what our purpose on this earth is, and that purpose does not include living for ourselves only.

May everyone have a wonderful holiday season, and let us try to remember to share!

Image from here


  1. It's madness I think. The atmosphere of Christmas is missed in all these buying and parties. Christmas is a time for sharing and thinking about others.
    And when I think about the million of people who don't have a quarter of what we have, I remember sometime it only takes a little effort to do something for the ones who don't have the same privilege as us. Christmas is the perfect time to donate or give an hour or two to volunteer.

    What is nice however is that the city will be calm and you will be able to enjoy some peace. Here the madness started, people are wandering days and nights to finish their gifts. I too enjoy the serenity of my home.
    Have a lovely week-end Zarina. Stay well.

  2. Marie

    I agree it is madness and through all the shopping and planning people miss the point. Sharing doesn't have to be elaborate, in fact you don't even need money to share. You can share in other ways as well. This is the perfect time to remember others because the suffering of those who are poor, alone, oppressed etc, is increased during holiday seasons. May we always be guided to share with others, even a kind word or a smile is sharing.

    I hope that you have a peaceful and relaxing holiday season.

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    Abu Jassim, the father of the girl born that morning, had spent the entire night scurrying about offering gifts to as many of the 360 gods as he could. He would have liked to simplify this, but he believed that many of these gods, one for each day of the year, were vengeful so he couldn’t make an offering only to the chief god of the gods, Hubal, without reprisals from the others. Abu Jassim stared up in desperation at Hubal who had the largest idol positioned high atop the Ka’ba, the holy cube shaped structure in the center of town. Distressed, he gazed up at the statue of the almighty Hubal which now seemed to be frowning at him. Made of red agate and shaped like a human except that its right hand was broken off and replaced with a hand of gold, it offered no consolation to Abu Jassim. Those who practiced polytheism had to worship not only Hubal, but also a myriad of other gods, goddesses, demons, jinn, and monsters or fear that any one of them would feel insulted for not receiving equal worship.
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  4. Anonymous

    Sounds like an interesting read.

  5. I totally agree with you, sis. Of course we can sit back and relax or have a celebration after a year of hard work, but let's not waste money, time and energy unnecessarily.

    Perhaps buying some small gifts for the orphans or spending some time with the elderly would be as satisfying as throwing a party at home. That would remind us how lucky we are to be able to enjoy life comfortably.

    It's wonderful now that you have all the peace and calm moment to yourself, sis. Enjoy it to the fullest. All praises to Allah Almighty!

    Stay cute and happy! ;)

  6. Ati

    Its so nice to hear from you sister and I hope that you too can take a break and have some calmness for a while. And you are right, while we are enjoying our holidays, we should try and at least remember those less fortunate and how much we have to be thankful for.

    Stay well sister and all the best for the year to come.

  7. Even before I became muslim I never understood the ridiculous behaviour of others at Christmas. People get in so much debt and many don't even beleive in God! I actually have a giggle to myself when I see my family getting themselves stressed over Christmas and I sit back and relax!

  8. Karima

    Yeah, I think that people have lost the true essence of many things in the world and most of the time what started out as a good thing has ended up being commercialised.