It is at this present moment 8:13 in the morning – Abu Dhabi time. Abu Dhabi time is totally out of sync with anyone else’s time – particularly North American time. Actually only four hours different from UK, so corresponding with Computer Guru Chris has become much easier.
Anyway, for reasons which shall become clear a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald is ringing in my ears. I had an old grey book which has become lost in my travels – I used it over the years to write quotes that inspired me – ones that I patterned my life upon. In my careless fashion I dated none of them but do believe that this must have been written when I was in my twenties.
I have not found the exact quote as yet but it is something like: “I can’t save you Zelda, I am trying to save myself.” He wrote this in a letter to her, do believe she was hospitalized at the time.
I do know why I was thinking of this at this particular time. I received a similar message. I have been preoccupied – one could even say hell bent on trying to save the lives of many who surround me here in the United Arab Emeritus. It has preoccupied me for months. I am entirely too empathetic for my own good. I do know that about myself and do know the cure, which I do employ but it can be used against me – and has been. My focus needs to be upon me – saving myself not those who surround me. I am doing that and have a firm plan in mind – a plan paved, not with good intentions, but with plane and hotel reservations. PHEW.
But to go backwards – If you say that someone is hell-bent on doing something, you are emphasizing that they are determined to do it, even if this causes problems or difficulties for other people. An example is this: The aging sage Tellah, becomes hell-bent on revenge following a traumatic incident early on in the game. These are some instructive synonyms: determined upon. fixed, dead set on, determined, set-on, bent, dead-set, out-to, intent on, resolved and resolute. Hell bent is an informal expression that has been around for ages.” The use of hell-bent in the sense of “recklessly determined” dates from the first half of the 1800s. Leather alludes to a horse’s saddle and to riding on horseback; this colloquial expression may be an American version of the earlier British army jargon hell for leather, first recorded in 1889.”
(I do recognize that the last sentence may accurately be described as too much information, TMI for short.)
Now onto the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The road to hell is paved with good intentions is a proverb or aphorism. An alternative form is “Hell is full of good meanings, but heaven is full of good works”. Now this proverb has an extremely ancient history: The expression is often attributed to the Cistercian abbot Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 1153).
Wikipedia says more:” Another interpretation to consider would be; One is naive and acts in good faith with no altruistic objective. It merely seems as the proper or even sensical thing to do. In this scenario the act, regardless of its virtue, leads the actor to unintended negative consequences.” An example is the introduction of invasive species, like the Asian carp introduced into the US, which has become a nuisance due to unexpected proliferation and behavior.” “A different interpretation of the saying is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but nevertheless fail to take action. This inaction may be due to procrastination, laziness or other subversive vice.As such, the saying is an admonishment that a good intention is meaningless unless followed through.”
By the way, psychological, therefore scientific studies, have shown that there is truth in the proverb. “Psychological studies of the effect of intention upon task completion by professors Peter Gollwitzer, Paschal Shee ran and Sheina Orbell indicate that there is some truth in the proverb.” A novel by Terry Pritchard pictured individual cobbles on the Road to Hell have good intentions written on them. These included “for the good of the kids”, “I meant it for the best” and “we are equal opportunities employers”. The last has particular relevance here in the UAE.
Wikipedia led me to this related phrase: “The phrase ‘No good deed goes unpunished’ is a sardonic commentary on the frequency with which acts of kindness backfire on those who offer them. In other words, those who help others are doomed to suffer as a result of their helpfulness. It has been attributed to several luminaries, including Billy Wilder, writer Clare Boothe Luce, American financier John P. Grier, banker Andrew W. Mellon, and Oscar Wilde. In one form or another, the saying dates back to the 14th century, if not to antiquity, with a bitter disillusionment redolent of the book of Job. “
But getting back to my plight. Plight is a dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation. Those synonyms are most worrisome: Predicament, unfortunate/difficult situation, sorry condition, sad state, trouble, difficulty, mess, dire straits, extremity, bind; circumstances, situation, condition, case, state; dilemma, tight corner/spot, hole, pickle, jam, fix, scrape.
So I am in a tight corner, a tight spot, a pickle, a jam and a predicament. I am here, somewhat stuck in the UAE wanting to aid, assist and rescue others.
I have turned to other sources of help in my past life. Now I turn to Allah and these verses from
4 Women (an-Nisa) appear.
- And why should you not fight in the cause of God, and the helpless men, and women, and children, cry out, “Our Lord, deliver us from this town whose people are oppressive and appoint for us from Your Presence, a Protector and appoint for us from Your Presence a Victor.
- Those who believe fight in the cause of God while those who disbelieve fight in the cause of Evil. So fight the allies of the Devil. Surely, the strategy of the Devil is weak.
That empowers me but Allah adds this caveat.
- Whatever good happens to you is from God and whatever bad happens to you is from your own self. We sent you to humanity as a messenger, and God is Witness enough.
- Whoever obeys the Messenger is obeying God, And whoever turns away. We did not send you as a watcher over them.
- They profess obedience, but when they leave your presence, some of them conspire something contrary to what you said. But God writes down what they conspire. So avoid them, and put your trust in God. God is guardian enough.
- Do not ponder the Qur’an Had it been from any other than God, they would have found in it much discrepancy.
- When some news of security or alarm comes their way, they broadcast it. But had they referred it to the Messenger, and to those in authority among them, those who can draw conclusions from it would have comprehended it. Were it not for God’s blessings and mercy upon you, you you would have followed the Devil, except for a few.
- So fight in the cause of you are responsible only for yourself. And rouse the believers. Perhaps God will restrain the might of those who disbelieve. God is Stronger in Might and More Punishing.
- Whoever intercedes for a good cause has a share in it, and whoever intercedes for an evil cause, share in its burdens. God watches over everything.
It is clear now what I should do and I have done it. Then miraculously help for my new found strength, coupled with compassion appeared. An email from a recommended, prestigious and highly regarded immigration law firm in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Stay tuned.
The photograph attached to this blog is me and several others. Members of the incredible staff at the Abu Dhabi Airport Premier Inn. These wonderful people keep me organized, make my bed, vacuum my floor, line up my many pair of shoes, occasionally put away my prayer rug. The staff requested that this picture be taken. Boss Man, mentioned before in this blog, is their boss, he took the selfie and arranged the ‘sitting’. The other photograph is of me, Boss Man and S.A.S.S. S.A.S.S. is so funny, he looked at the picture and commented.
He: That is me but what happened to my hair? I am not bald and it looks like I am.
Me: How strange that your thick Arab hair did not appear in the photograph. What are you doing with Arab hair anyway – you are from the Philippines.