By Babar Ahmad
A passenger was once travelling on a ship when someone threw him overboard into the deep ocean. The waves engulfed him and, unsurprisingly, he tried his best to do everything he could to survive. The alarm was raised on the ship. The other passengers heard the call. Some of them did nothing because they were afraid of the deep water. Some of them did nothing because they were afraid that they might be thrown overboard themselves. And some of them did nothing because they thought it was no use, there was little chance of saving the man.
But other passengers came to the aid of the man in distress. One of them ran to the captain and pressured him to stop the ship. Another flung in a rubber ring. Another threw a rope to the drowning man. One of them even jumped into the ocean and swam out to try and save the man. Most of these passengers did not know who the drowning man was or how he ended up in the ocean; they simply saw a fellow passenger in distress.
The situation was serious. The water was cold and sunset was approaching. The drowning man flailed his arms desperately to keep afloat but he felt himself slipping away. Frigid, salty water began to wash into his mouth and nose. He began to lose hope.
While some passengers tried to save the man, other passengers stood on the deck in tears as they watched the scenario unfolding in front of them. They felt unable to do something practical to save the drowning man. So they shouted out words of comfort to the man. They told him to hold on just a little longer because help was on its way. Most of these passengers did not know who the drowning man was or how he ended up in the ocean; they simply saw a fellow passenger in distress.
When the drowning man saw their tears and heard their cries, he suddenly felt a burst of energy inside him. Up to that moment, his fight for survival had only been about himself. But when he saw that there were others who were worried about him and invested in him, he realised that he had to survive for their sake, even if he no longer had the energy to survive for his own sake.
With the encouragement of the well-wishers, the drowning man managed to keep himself afloat long enough for the rescuers to arrive and save him.
A hero is someone who makes a positive difference to the life of another person.
Who are the heroes in this story?
A) The drowning man, who did what he had to do to survive.
B) The passengers who rescued the man and encouraged him to survive.
The writer Mustafa Sadiq alRafei says, “When I looked into history, I found a small number of individuals whose lives mirrored the life cycle of a grain of wheat. They were torn from their roots then crushed then ground in mills. Then kneaded with fists, then rolled out and baked in ovens at high temperatures, just so they would provide food for others!”
Patiently persevere in the face of hardship hoping for a good outcome because you never know how many dead hearts you will bring to life in the process. No hardship lasts forever. There’s always an end!”