TV3 newscaster was beaming proudly as he announced that Malaysia sits at the 37th spot of the best countries in the world, and 3rd in Asia after Japan (9) and Singapore (20). The ranking was based on five set criteria - education, health, quality of life, economic dynamism and political environment.
Number 37, not bad I reckon, but after looking at the list again, I started to ponder; living in Israel (22) is better than Malaysia? Where Hamas' bombs and rockets will explode on you anytime? I'm not so sure.
So, what I learn from the Newsweek ranking is ultimately, be greatful to Allah's blessings - wherever we are. Saudi Arabia is at number 64, but it does consist of Mekah and Madinah. So, is Italy (23) the home to Pope is better than Tanah Haram (the holy land)? Our choice and judgment do depend on our values- all the time, everytime. I might think the handmade beads that I sew on Alwani's dress is fantabulous, but others might think it's horrendous! So, don't be offended when others say negative things, remember this: they have different values than us.
Another point that I learn from this is that though we are at a good spot, reflection is needed. Let me ask you a question. Are we really better than Pakistan(89)? Though our spot in the Newsweek ranking is way better than them, at least, babies in Pakistan perished because of the aftermath of the raging big flood, not because people dumping newborn babies as if they were discarded thrash in the sewage, river or drains.
Yes, the Pakistanis are scrambling for food crumbs since they do not have animals to slaughter for food; but even with the abundance of food here, especially in the Ramadhan bazaar, a father actually slaughtered his own 3 year old son, for whatever reason. Ironic, isn't it just ironic? The main point learned here is that, as parents, it's essential to educate Islamic knowledge to our children and live our lives according to the Quran and sunnah as best as we can. Lead by example. Don't leave it all up to the teachers at school to teach them all, please...
I personally agree with the closing note in the Newsweek article, "There are plenty of different ways to look at it".. and the above are just the quick samples. Hence, wherever we are, urge ourselves to seek positive perspectives of looking at life. Insha Allah, we will always be contented, though we are in Burkina Faso (100).