10 Ramadan 2012: Taking it as it is

Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.

There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means – either may do – the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.

– Benjamin Franklin

Custard Apple

When we examine our life, we see that there are three sources for the need for “goods/services/desires”: innate, societal, and strategic.

Thinkers have often categorized this by needs and wants. From our purpose focused view, we categorize them by sources where needs often cross all three. Examples we can think of are money, status, children, respect, food, and education, which cover at least 80% of our needs. We naturally need money to survive, but we also need money to entertain and give charity, and money to help us achieve our goals and dreams. We naturally seek status as part of our human nature, but we also need status to fulfill a social role, and status to help us exploit life opportunities … and the same goes for others.


Like fruit however, what is critical is to identify if these needs are good for us in the life and life hereafter and hence, how much priority and dedication should be given to each. In other words, some fruit look good on the outside and don’t taste as such (Unripened Persimmons) and some do not look so good, yet are absolutely delicious (Custard Apple). How we analyse needs as such is challenging and needs a clear life purpose. We don’t believe that there is a magic trick or way to do that as we go through life ourselves, however, what we can do is follow god’s advice to be patient, take the best means out there and to take that which befalls us as it is, not necessarily good and not necessarily bad.

We ask god, as we enter into the second third of Ramadan, the third of Forgiveness, to forgive us for all the times that we have not accepted his wisdom when faced with choosing what is good and what is bad for us.

Both free images are courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net