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By Alveena Salim

My mother told me that during her nursing days, she used to be overworked and stressed out changing bed pans  for old people. She’d change bed sheets of patients whilst they’d still be lying in bed. She’d regularly change diapers for adults who were unable to control their bodily waste. She would bathe those whose muscles had became so stiff that they were unable to raise their arms to even comb their hair. She’d clean up vomit on a daily basis of those who were unable to digest the simplest of foods. 

Mum tells me that these patients all had a range of physical and mental health issues. However, they all had one thing in common. They’d all tell her same thing, which was, ‘I’d give anything to be in your shoes, rather than be the one lying in bed’. 

Amongst the many things I pray for, independence comes far high up in my list.

I learnt from observing my elders that it is far better to be the one who gives/spends on others than to be the one who raises his/her hand in expectation. 

It is far better to be on your feet tending to the needs of the young/old than be the one lying in bed unable to take care of yourself. 

Let’s all regularly make dua to Allah, that He blesses us with independence. This may be spiritual, financial, physical, spiritual etc so that we may become the upper hand, rather than the lower hand. Ameen. 

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