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02 November 2014

Hadith Info: Developing Gratitude

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “He who does not thank people is unthankful to Allah. [Abu Dawud]

A young man went to apply for a managerial position in a big company and got to the final interview with the Director. The young man's academic achievements were excellent so the Director asked if he had won any scholarships.  The young man replied that he hadn’t. "Was it your father then who paid your tuition?" asked the Director. "My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid my school fees” he replied. "Where did your mother work?" asked the Director. "My mother worked as a laundress” said the young man. So the Director requested the young man to show his hands. The young man showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.

"Have you ever helped your mother wash clothes?" asked the Director. “Never, my mother always wanted me to study. Besides, my mother can wash clothes faster than I can.” So the Director requested him to go home, wash his mother’s hands and return to him the following day.

The young man felt that his chances of landing the job were high. So when he got back home, he asked his mother to let him wash her hands. His tears fell as he noticed for the first time that his mother's hands were so wrinkled and bruised. Some bruises were so painful that his mother winced when he touched them.

This was the first time that he realized that it was this pair of hands that washed clothes everyday that enabled him to study. The bruises on her hands were the price that she paid for his future. After cleaning his mother hands the youth quietly washed the remaining clothes for her. That night, mother and son talked for a very long time.

The next morning when the Director asked what he had learned yesterday the young man replied, "I know now what appreciation is. Without my mother, I would not be who I am today. By helping my mother, only now do I realize how tough it is to get something done on your own. And I have come to appreciate the importance of helping one’s family.

The Director said, "This is what I am looking for in a manger. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings others have to go through to get things done, and a person who won’t have money as his only goal in life. You are hired.

A child who is excessively protected and habitually given what he wants tends to develop an "entitlement mentality," always putting himself first and ignorant of others’ efforts. Love your children but in a way that doesn't destroy them. Let them wash the dishes, cut the grass, take care of younger siblings, and in general help themselves and others, so they are raised right.
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