The Sands of Time and the Relativity of Gratitude: A Tale of Two Perspectives

Gholamreza Zare
5 min readApr 27

Have you ever found yourself complaining about the passage of time or lamenting the twists and turns of life’s unpredictable journey? You are not alone in this; we all experience moments when we feel like victims of circumstance. But what if I told you that there is a way to find solace in the most trying of situations, a way that invites you to rethink your perception of your own hardships and find gratitude where you least expect it?

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Let me tell you a story that dates back to ancient times. It is a tale of a man who, like many of us, was discontent with the hand he was dealt. His frustration was rooted in his lack of shoes, which left his feet exposed to the harshness of the elements, the heat of the desert, and the bite of the cold. He found himself longing for the comfort that would come with proper footwear, unable to find peace in his heart.

One day, this man decided to visit the great Mosque of Kufa, hoping to find solace in prayer and meditation. As he entered the mosque, his gaze fell upon a man who, unlike himself, had no feet at all. Struck by the realization that there were others facing much more daunting challenges than his own, he immediately gave thanks for the blessings he had been granted and found it within himself to accept and endure his shoeless state.

To the eyes of those who’ve never wanted,
The roast chicken is less than a lettuce leaf,
But for those who know true hunger and strife,
A cooked turnip becomes a feast.

The moral of this story is a timeless one: gratitude is relative, and there is always someone worse off than ourselves. It is a lesson that invites us to reflect on our own lives and consider the blessings we may be taking for granted. Now, you may ask, what does this have to do with a sumptuous banquet and a humble bowl of cooked turnips?

Picture this: a lavish feast, with a fragrant, mouthwatering roast chicken taking center stage, a symbol of abundance and prosperity. The guests are well-fed and satisfied, yet for the one among them who has never known hunger or want, this meal is no more significant than a single, unremarkable leaf of lettuce on their plate. They partake of the feast with a sense of entitlement, their gratitude diminished by their very…