Alagi Saidy-Barrow: Are You Thankful?

Alagie Saidy-Barrow

The African elders warned that “If you heal a leg of a person, do not be surprised if they use it to run away.”

For those of us who call ourselves Muslims or Christians, thanking our Creator for our blessings is a daily practice. But how thankful or grateful are we as a people? I ask because seeing how some of us behave, I cannot help but wonder how many of us had our legs healed by others only to use the healed leg to run away!

Two of our most formidable enemies are: Greed and Entitlement! Oftentimes, the two enemies march in tandem within us, and when they do, we become ungrateful and can’t think of thanking anyone or anything that helped us along the way. Because we feel entitled, we want more and more. Because we want more and more, we become greedy. Because we are greedy, we attack those we feel did not give us enough of what we are entitled to! Because we are entitled and greedy, we take what’s not ours and we embrace corruption. Some corruption derives from a feeling of entitlement. But this is not about corruption.

How many times have you helped someone only to see them become your enemy? Badmouthing you because they feel you didn’t do enough or you didn’t give them what they wanted even though they know very well that you did all you could? Personally, I have seen this even with the TRRC where I bent over backwards to help people with my own resources only for such people to claim “no one did anything for me.” One doesn’t have to be thankful but must one also be a liar?

I have come to understand that thankfulness is a positive emotion that can lead to peace of mind. But it’s very difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to be thankful when they have infected themselves with greed! And that’s because the greedy can’t see what’s behind (the past) them and so they remember nothing they should be thankful for! They only remember those who are feeding them today, not the ones who fed them yesterday.

For others who are ungrateful, they can’t see how they can be successful if they don’t put others down. They think they cannot rise unless others fall. They cannot be kind unless they make someone wicked. They cannot care unless they make others seem uncaring. They cannot make money unless they take from others. They cannot build themselves unless they break someone else. They can’t shine unless they dim others. They can’t succeed unless they ride on the coattails of others making those people look bad and playing saviors. With a mindset like that, it is nigh impossible to be grateful or thankful for anything. Rather, what you end up with is a bunch of greedy, entitled and thankless people pointing fingers at each other!

May Daarmanso protect us from the machinations of the greedy and ungrateful ones.

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