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Abandoned puppy
Ampang, Malaysia

A Wake-up Call

I think most people can relate to me. It is not that we don’t want to help others, but we don’t have enough ourselves. Think about it, how can we help others when we ourselves are in need? Who knows about our pain but us?

A few years ago, I saw a puppy in front of my house. I had a long day and I have to study so I ignored it. The next day, I saw the puppy sleeping in front of my house and again, it just walked away slowly to the car parked in front of my house and hid under there. I felt like it told me, “Its okay, I will be out of your way now.”

For 3 days, I ignored the puppy. Other than not having the time, as a Muslim in Malaysia, I was worried about what my neighbors and how some of my friends would feel. Oh wait, did I say “reasons?” maybe I meant excuses.

After 3 days, I noticed that the puppy's pace was slower. I took a picture of the puppy and was overwhelmed by the feeling of the puppy’s helplessness. I could no longer think about what is the ‘right thing’ to do. Instead, I figured that feeding the puppy was the only thing I could do. The sight of the puppy when it smelled the food was imprinted in my heart. The puppy was jumping up and down, it seemed very hungry, but it also looked happy.

The puppy quickly finished the food, pausing in between to come to me as if it was saying thank you. I have never felt guiltier in my life. How could I have ignored this poor puppy for 3 days? Was my heart made of stone? I was sure that my heart went missing. I felt gutted. The puppy then came to me and wagged its tail. I put pictures of the puppy online and asked for help. Some of my friends and neighbors were not happy about what I did, but there were more which supported my decision. A friend adopted the puppy and named her Lucy. She sent me a few pictures of the puppy who is now all grown up. She told me she is loved by everyone.

I believe the puppy was there to test my humanity. It was a wake-up call, and it has helped me change into a better person. I am now a volunteer in a not-for-profit organisation and I teach English to the minors.

We can tell ourselves that we do not have enough, but maybe we should question ourselves, when will it ever be enough? The puppy helped me to be kind and to love myself. The students helped me feel that I am of use to this world. We can think about our pain and struggle or we can help others ease their pain. My dearest friends, I ask nothing from you but your trust in me when I say this: When you ease the burden of others, your burdens, too, will be eased.

Kindness has the power to create radical change.

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