An opinion by Leymah R. Gbowee
On my recent travel to Dubai, I was met on arrival by a lovely young lady assigned to ensure I had all my needs at the airport met. I have learned to validate people helping in my travels by engaging in conversations with them. I asked her where she was from, and she said, “Pakistan.”
I remarked that she was a long way from home. She replied, “Yes, when Papa died, mama was in no state to work, so I had to sacrifice and come here to work and educate my younger siblings. I am sacrificing, but I am happy”. I replied, “Really?” She said, “Yes, I am sacrificing, but I am happy.” I asked how many siblings she had, and she said, “Three—one is a final year law student, and the other two have two more years to finish their engineering studies.”
I then asked her about her plans once they finish their studies. She told me that she hopes they find quality jobs so she could return home. When I inquired about her own family, she responded, “None—I am sacrificing, but I am happy. Maybe, just maybe, they will take care of me in the future. If not, no worries. I am sacrificing, and I am happy.”
We ended our conversation with me offering to buy her lunch. She thanked me and ensured I was in my car, and we said our goodbyes.
On my hour-plus drive to Abu Dhabi, I kept thinking about this young lady and her sacrifices – she put the potential of marriage and children, the joys of personal freedom, and any goals she had on hold to support her siblings’ dreams.
I couldn’t help thinking about her. Was she really happy? Is there anything like happily sacrificing? I wonder how many nights she cries herself to sleep because she is lonely and far from home.
To all those sacrificing their comfort, dreams, future, and joy so that others can achieve theirs, I pray God to bless you and give you indescribable joy and happiness.
I AM SACRIFICING, BUT I AM HAPPY that—in my opinion—is true GENEROSITY!