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The best of both worlds

September 6, 2017 ·

My journey takes me to a beautiful and powerful prayer wherein the devotee asks for the best of this world and the next. I am particularly intrigued by meaning of ‘the best of this world’, especially since the best of the next would at best be speculative. That prayer has always just rolled off my tongue with the assumption that the best of this world is something that awaits me in the future. I have recently begun to question that assumption. I held a false belief that the best of the world meant having the best worldly possessions, opportunities and physical experiences. In as much as I spoke about having, but detaching oneself from these things, I assumed that having them was part of the blessing. Isn’t that why we go on holidays, buy nice things and want more of the “good life”. Is success defined as living first class – or at the very least business class? Why then are there so many disgruntled wealthy people. Sure, you can say it’s better to be crying in a limousine than weeping on a pavement. The common denominator is that you are crying. The goodness or best of this world cannot be about luxury. It is an immutable fact that luxury cannot shield misery. I could be in the best place in the world (scuba diving in the Maldives) and still have anguish or dissatisfaction about something. What better condition circumstance or experience am I waiting for? Oddly enough I was struck with this notion after I posted the picture of my beautiful family on Facebook when we were celebrating Eid. The cliché about a picture being worth a thousand words came alive for me as I saw happiness and love captured in an instant. I felt warm, satisfied and eternally blessed when I spotted the beauty in that moment. It hit me light a thunderbolt. This is what the best of this world is. It is right here available to everyone. The best of this world is in the love you feel when you connect with loved ones. It is when a sunrise takes your breath away, or when your husband brings you a box of sweetie pies, and you savour the soft sweetness of the delectable marshmallow mixed with the gentle biscuity base. The momentary sensations and emotions that make such the experiences wonderful, lie not in their fleeting gratification, but in a deep sense of gratitude and acknowledgement for the blessing and favour bestowed upon me. The joy and gratitude in that moment becomes devoid of the fear of not having more or not having the same tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own sorrows and joys. Another realization for me was that I only truly felt the goodness of my existence when I felt both gratitude and trust in the beneficence and compassion of God. The realization that I always had the goodness of the world and the cloud of worry and doubt had blocked my vision of it, made my cry with a relief and I felt that cloud mercifully give way to reveal the light. I already have the very best that this world has to offer. That has been but one experience of the meaning of that prayer. I hope to uncover more. Eternally grateful. Till next time God willing. With much love, Radia