A group of working adults got together to visit their University lecturer. The lecturer was happy to see them. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
The Lecturer just smiled and went to the kitchen to get an assortment of cups - some porcelain, some in plastic, some in glass, some plain looking and some looked rather expensive and exquisite.
The Lecturer offered his former students the cups to get drinks for themselves.
When all the students had a cup in hand with water, the Lecturer spoke: "If you noticed, all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal that you only want the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all you wanted was water, not the cup, but we unconsciously went for the better cups."
"Just like in life, if Life is Water, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold/maintain Life, but the quality of Life doesn't change."
"If we only concentrate on the cup, we won't have time to enjoy, taste and appreciate the water in it."
The lecturer continued his advice and said: "According to Noble Qur'an, the Sources of our problems are four:
We strain our eyes in longing for the things which other people have, and forget our own bounties given by Allah and forget to enjoy them. Noble Qur'an says:
(20:131) Nor strain your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to parties of them, the splendor of the life of this world, through which We test them: but the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring.
We complain so much about trivial pains and problems we face in this world, while forget the actual suffering we may face in the Hereafter due to our wrongdoings and negligence. We also forget to realize that actual pleasure is in fulfilling our duty to ease the sufferings of people around us. Noble Qur'an says:
(20:127) And thus do We recompense him who transgresses beyond bounds and believes not in the Signs of his Lord: and the Penalty of the Hereafter is far more grievous and more enduring.
We are so much after the conveniences and glitter of this world that we forget the core purpose of our life; which is a test with full of sufferings in order to obtain reward of PARADISE from our Lord in the Hereafter. Noble Qur'an says:
(28:60) The (material) things which you are given are but the conveniences of this life and the glitter thereof; but that which is with Allah is better and more enduring: will you not then be wise?
We take the life in the world as permanent and spend all our sources just building it as if death is for 'somebody else and not me', while we forget the fact that eternal life is that of Hereafter.
(87:17) But the Hereafter is better and more enduring.
Let us stop complaining and enjoy and appreciate our life which is an investment for a blissful eternal life in the Hereafter.
Once Imam Ali (as) was asked: "If choice given, what would you prefer: life in this world or death?"
Imam Ali (as) surprised the man by replying: "I will select life in this world because through it I will be able to earn the pleasure of my Lord".
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.