Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Lesson in Gratitude

What a day yesterday was! I had great lessons planned for my students and then I received a message from my friend saying that she is at the hospital and that her doctor is expecting her to have the baby any minute. She needed help with her 3 year old and asked if it was ok with me to take care of him at the hospital. Everything that day went well, my friend had her beautiful baby girl and I had a blast with her 3 year old.
After meeting the baby, I hopped into a taxi to drive home. I usually like to talk to taxi drivers to find out about their lives, their opinions or views on certain issues… small talk to establish a rapport… a connection… but in Thailand this depends on whether or not the driver spoke English. Luckily for me, this one spoke good English.
He told me that he was a Civil Engineer who worked in the Netherlands and Libya for sometime. I soon found out what he was doing as a taxi driver. He had taken up this job one month and four days ago because his small company fell through and his wife left him because he had no money. His fighting spirit inspired me. He used to earn $2500 a month abroad and bought many small plots of land around Bangkok but had written all of them in his wife’s name. When his company fell through, he asked her for a plot of land to sell or place it as collateral at the bank when taking out a loan. But she refused his request and left him. She works as a government teacher and earns around 40,000 Thai Baht whereas he barely makes 200 Baht a day, driving a taxi and after paying the 900 Baht a day renting the taxi and gas money.
This man is a fighter… I was amazed at how he did not just give up, go to the pub and drink beer until he got drunk to wash away all his pain of abandonment and failure. He is still trying to seek help from friends to find him a job… he is still striving to work. He also assists young engineers who call him on the phone asking questions about what they should do with certain problems they face at work.  
He is such a gentle soul… he did not say a single negative thing about his wife… he just said she left him because his company fell through… He told me how he trusted people very quickly and he gave money to his friends without a question… he then told me how people called him stupid because he had a driver when he had a job and now he IS a driver driving people around. I had to tell him that he should never be ashamed of what he is doing… that he is a lot better than many who just give up and stop living or trying.
I am thankful that I met this wonderful man. He helped fill my heart with gratitude… I am grateful for how my life turned out… for my children, husband and job and even though we have not saved any money for two years because of our low salary, we still had a good life, roof over our heads and food on the table because of that steady income. I am thankful that we are all healthy and happy. I am thankful that I have clothes on my body and shoes on my feet. I am thankful that we have an extended family that loves and supports us!
 We are fine and I am thankful for that… Ilhamdullillah!
 What are you thankful for?


Isa said...

Hi! I am Isa from themchart and I found you through Birdie's blog! I am starting this challenge on Thursdays where we just post all the things we are grateful about in that day. If you want to do it with us (there are already another blogger doing it it would be so nice:) I can totally relate to you because me and my hubby are also struggling but we can still be grateful for shelter, food...
Come and join us! Lets thank the Universe and it'll thank us back!


Tabouleh said...

HI Isa... so lovely of you to visit my blog... I would be happy to join your Thursday Gratitude session... thank you for inviting me and thank you for your comment!