About a month ago, I had a conversation with my flatmate on how our respective childhood quite unsurprisingly determined the person we were to become. While she was raised mostly at home, I had more freedom in terms of my activities beyond the gates of our previous home. Unlike most kids today, I rode my bicycle to the farthest corner of our residential area, climbed most of the trees surrounding the nearby playground, played on the rusty slide and bled as I scratched my legs and arms, fished tadpoles in the drain, and played happily with my friends until dusk. That had always been the rule: be back by 7. No matter where we went, what we did, I never failed to be home by 7 pm.
When I think of all those fond memories, I blurted how great my parents were to have so much trust in me at such a young age (a trust I believe that carried into my young adult life as they allowed me to get married so young). I believe I started hanging outside with my best friend, and neighbor four houses down, when we were probably five or six; that was how young we were! We had no adult supervision as we fell into drains, or hit a parked car trying to ride our bicycles with our hands off the handle. And we survived. I cannot say how much I admire our parents for allowing us to simply be kids as I cannot imagine young parents today do the same based on the increasing number of helicopter parents I see.
Along that line, I have argued for some time my firm determination to send my kids to a day care center as opposed to having my parents take care of them. I have my reasons. Yet, there is one argument that is thrown at my face over and over again, and that is other people may not care as much for your children as your family will. As much as I agree with that statement, sometimes a little scratch here and there can leave an invaluable scar toward a child’s future independence. But that is not even the point that I want to make today. Instead, I am saddened by such view because it is a pessimistic and sorry way to lead our lives.
Of course, we should always have common sense in our dealings with society, but I see so much distrust encircling us these days. Why don’t we trust our neighborhood nursery when their livelihood depends on our confidence? As an optimist, and someone with tremendous trust for the market and my fellow humans, I believe that these people will do their utmost best to keep your child safe, healthy, and satisfied because as a parent, you could easily use your feet in protest by finding another more competent day care center. But just like any modern society, we are easily spooked by the news, which being what it is, will always report on tragic events including those occurring at day care centers that were unfortunate to have employed careless workers. But what about the thousand other unreported children who grew up healthy and happy surrounded by their little peers?
I have always been a strong believer that the world is what you make of it. If you distrust your neighbor, or even your live-in helper, that you need to constantly check on you children during the day, it will become a cycle that you will eventually regret. Do you know how annoying it is when people do not trust you? One day they will give up altogether and be the person you feared most.
Nevertheless, I have recently learned that I should not be arrogant and judge the people who have a different worldview since they do not have the opportunity to experience as I do the amazing feeling when one lets go and learns to put one’s entire trust in God and the people around. But I was also taught to never stop building that bridge of knowledge between myself and others so that we can all live in a better world, thus the decision to write this entry.
When people ask me, or indirectly say to me, that it is not save to be in America, or to live in a city like London, I am always baffled by their dim view. I am trying not to sound arrogant here, because as I said, common sense is very important, and we should always take precautions against risks. However, regardless of where I am or what I do, I always remind myself that the earth I am walking on and the air I am breathing belong to the same Master, even if the politicians are different. If I fear what other people might do to me, I am giving strangers more power than they deserved when the power to hurt me belongs only to God. It needs reminding that whatever happens, good or bad, will not happen if He does not will it to happen. Based on this logic, I should fear no one but God. Out of this fear, I recite the first nine verses of Surah Yasin every time I walk out the door, and praise the Lord in gratitude every time I arrive home safely. It is He, not mere mortal, who decides my fate.
In regards to the safety of your child, my favorite story is of how the mother of Prophet Musa A.S. (Moses) puts her entire trust in God when she sets her son adrift on the mighty Nile River. That is the purest form of a person whose depth of trust in the promise of God is bottomless. So, do not ever tell me the world today is different, because every generation has its own problems—even millennia ago. Plus, what today can even come close to being as scary as the thought of your child being killed by the most powerful man simply for being a Jewish boy?
Have more trust in your life. More importantly, have more trust in God, and you will see how safe this world really is to you and your family. Thankfully, my parents taught me that early.