The Blind Man
May 13, 2021
In a bustling metropolis, there was a blind man who sat outside a supermarket with a donation box by his side and a sign in front that read, “I am blind. Please help me with a donation.”
Most people walked past the blind man without noticing the sign. The few who noticed the sign dropped a coin or a bill.
A shopkeeper on the opposite side of the supermarket noticed that the poor man would come every day and sit in the same spot and walk back sad, knowing that people were unwilling to donate and help him.
One morning, the shopkeeper had an inspiring thought. He walked across to where the blind man was seated and dropped a few coins into the donation box. And, he also did something else. Without alerting the blind man, he took the sign, turned it around, and wrote a new message. He quietly put the sign back in position, where the people walking by could notice the new words written.
Something magical happened with the new message. The Donation box began to fill up very fast. A lot more people were donating money to the blind man.
Later in the afternoon, the shopkeeper who changed the message walked across to the blind man to see how things were. The blind man was very intuitive. To the surprise of the shopkeeper, the blind man asked, “I know you are the same person who changed the message on my signboard. I don’t know what you wrote, but a lot of people have contributed. Thank you. Can you please tell me what you wrote?”
The shopkeeper was surprised that the blind man could sense him.
Smiling, he said, “I just wrote the truth of who you are but in a different way.” I wrote, “Today is a beautiful day, but I cannot see it.”
Both the messages conveyed the truth. The first message simply conveyed that the man was blind, while the second message reminded everyone walking by how grateful they should be to see the world…..
Today is a holy day of Eid that commemorates the end of the fasting month of Ramadan for all practicing faithful, and I remembered this story of the blind man and the power of gratitude.
From when I was in Dubai about a decade ago, my wife and I adopted the practice of fasting through the Ramadan month, just like many of our Muslim friends.
Fasting during Ramadan is a way to break the routine of our normal lifestyle and engage in solemn contemplation where the experience of hunger is a way to heighten our awareness and appreciation for all that we have, which many others may not have. It is also a way to detox the body and feel lighter !!.
It’s difficult times for many people, and I know it is not easy to maintain gratitude. The pandemic is like an ugly storm casting or threatening to cast a dark shadow on our lives.
The holy month of Ramadan and the festival of Eid is a great way to remind ourselves to be resolute and be thankful for all the good that is there in our lives, to feel at peace with ourselves and with what we have.
It is an opportunity to practice gratitude and look at the world with appreciation, regardless of whether your current situation is to your liking or not.
On this day of Eid, take a moment to list down for yourself the many things you can be thankful for.
Salamat Hari Raya and Eid Mubarak to all my friends.