In every corner of the world, we find many people work night and day, earning money to survive. Perhaps, they also do it because they want to get recognition from their surroundings. Their principle is so simple: I’m being because I’m having. We see many people do everything with money. They can travel around the world and get what they want, or even, well, this is very classical, they can get power when money talks, but happiness, who can guarantee? Who can be happy when someone has everything, but his soul is nothing? No one can substitute happiness, and off course, nothing can change happiness into money. The world then says the other way around, it’s an irony that people spend much money because they want to be happy.

Yes this world is full with irony, and even tragedy. Sometimes I’m really confused when I found contradictions in my life. Having observed my surroundings, I concluded that God created these paradox conditions to make myself to be more grateful. On one side, for example, there’s a family who suffers from poverty, or a family coming from a middle class. Sometimes they need to do extra work to get what they want, and it’s also very hard to look for a mouthful of rice, but when they gain and spend it, they are satisfied with God’s gifts. Their gratitude makes them happy and never demand more, I mean, as long as the income is sufficient to fill their primary needs. It’s enough, very enough!

On the other side, in a magnificent house, there’s a man lying on his bed, with his relatives surround his bed, raising their hands and starting to say a prayer. He’s sick, very sick. The disease eats away at his bones. His good looking face now also turns into an old face, yet the man is actually not really old, around forties. He is the CEO of one of the famous companies in his country. He was ‘young on top’. Everybody knows him because of his track record. But it seems a catastrophe when day by day passed. His dignity can’t help him to get happiness. He thought that richness can drive him to the heaven of the world. But unfortunately, the more he has, the more he wants. When his desire can’t be distributed, he gets depressed, and now, mountains of money spent for the medicine.

I reflect on myself and my family then. We seldom suffer from lack of wealth. But sure, God’s tests for His servants are different. Everyone has his or her own test, depending on their background. The poor is tested with jealousy toward the reach, the feeling of unsatisfactory and ungratefulness, meanwhile, the reach are tested with arrogance, greed, and anxiety, how to save their treasures from the thief, or how they can get more and more without losing anything, those are the problems.

So what kind of family I have? Well, I come from a middle class family, not really reach, but not poor as well. God bless my family with luck, we have our own car, motorcycle, and a comfortable house. My father, as a senior lecturer, off course has enough salary, each month is more than enough (to pay the car credit, to help other relatives, and to pay the education fee for his children), but then sometimes we have to open our eyes, when God bless us with wealth, there are always some relatives come to our house asking for help. There’re no coincidences I think. Some of our possessions are the rights for others. And, sometimes the test comes in a form of ‘disease’.

Thus, recognition is not always got by having everything. Everyone has his own way to find the happiness. Cat Steven (a.k.a Yusuf Islam) was willing to sacrify his wealth in order to get closer to God. What we must do is just how we can be grateful for what God has given to us. The ironic condition off course can’t be denied, but to be grateful is a good deed that not all of us can do (*)