Seen on my commute ride after work, a teacher squeezing in time to mark essays.
Does his students know—and appreciate— that he works after work? Maybe they don’t, and maybe they never will. And that would be a shame. But I have a feeling that’s of little relevance to him. Many like him continue to work hard when no one’s watching; they are the engine of our society, veiled from view by their humility, and by the noise of those who do most of the talking (and least of the work). Once in a while, if you look hard enough, you will spot them, and you take their picture inconspicuously.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately, particularly in the wake of this past weekend’s events, about how there are so many out there who are kind, responsible, honest and hardworking, and yet never seem to catch a break. Instead we witness those who are brash, who cut corners and find the easy way out, go on to become successful; they bask comfortably, as if rightly, in the folds of their good fortune. It frustrates me to no end when I think about it. I am, admittedly, very conscious of my good fortune and am awash with gratitude when I see my hard work acknowledged for the most part of my life, but what of the others, who are less fortunate in this respect?
But I find comfort in 2 things. One is that if you do good work when no one is watching, you will eventually get lucky. That’s where sabar and tawakal come in. And if that fails, here’s the bigger picture: This life, here and now, is not all there is to it. It might feel like it is our one and only shot at success and happiness. We get so hung up on the uphill battles, the injustices we are powerless to overcome, lost opportunities and suffering. But know this, what’s in store is better than anything we can imagine, and it will be everlasting. In the grander scheme of things, I do not feel God will let the toil of the kind, responsible, honest and hardworking go to waste.