By: Dawda Baldeh
Privileges granted by our creator, such as health, wealth, and power, are a significant focus in this era of social media platforms.
Many individuals fail to comprehend that these are not rewards for select individuals but rather tests from Allah to humanity sometimes.
The belief that wealth is a result of hard work varies among individuals.
This topic opens up a discussion as both perspectives have valid justifications to offer.
Nevertheless, what is clear is that health, wealth, and power should not be considered as exclusive rewards but rather as blessings that don’t accompany us to the afterlife.
Despite people’s envy, admiration, and embrace of the fortunate and healthy, illness, accidents, and calamities don’t discriminate.
During the period from 20:00 to 20:30 in August 2023, I received a frightening phone call from my mother in our humble village.
Amidst the call, I could hear people yelling and screaming.
A feeling of shock overwhelmed me.
My mother informed me, “There has been a serious accident here, and your brother is involved.”
Completely unaware of what had occurred, I immediately contacted my eldest brother to share the devastating news.
At that time, I already had two brothers undertaking the perilous journey of the back way, which filled me with constant dread.
This fatal accident exacerbated my depression, yet I remained steadfast, understanding that I could do nothing but hold onto faith.
Phone calls flooded in from family members from all corners, and although at times I wanted to ignore them, the burden of responsibility prevented me.
The accident affected my brother and a person who resided in our home, someone who was affectionate and caring but tragically didn’t survive.
May his soul rest in peace.
That night felt like the longest of my entire life.
Despite not owning a car or having sufficient funds to hire one, I desperately wanted to travel to Bansang, where the injured individuals were taken.
Devastated and full of sadness, I sat on my bed contemplating my options.
Moments later, another call informed me that an ambulance carrying my brother was en route to Banjul for a referral.
The first night I spent in the hospital would forever remain etched in my memory.
Upon arriving at Ndemban Hospital to visit my dearly beloved brother, who had been involved in a severe motorcycle accident, I was stunned to find him lying silently amidst the grimy tiles, covered in scrapes and cuts.
I immediately knelt and inquired about his well-being.
As I glanced around, I observed other patients also lying on the unsanitary floor, their prospects for survival appearing bleak.
My heart raced, melting with emotion.
It made me realize that there’s more to life than the daily routine of work and waking up each day.
At the hospital, each passing hour brought another person with a severe illness or accident.
Turning my gaze in various directions, I witnessed dark clouds looming in the sky, patients filling the ground, and separated body parts stained with blood.
My experience at Ndemban Hospital was terrifying.
Spending three weeks there proved to be an eye-opening experience for me as a young individual.
If one is feeling excessively proud, arrogant, or pompous, it is necessary to regularly visit a hospital or cemetery for a mental evaluation.
Physically healthy individuals could be admitted with severe fractures and life-threatening injuries.
It was nights marked by restlessness, fear, anxiety, sadness, depression, nervousness, and immeasurable losses.
I witnessed once-healthy individuals lying on their beds with no hope.
While I was at the hospital, I learned new methods and was impressed by the camaraderie among patients as they supported one another.
There were moments of relief.
People ought to adopt humility, embrace love, and cherish humanity.
The individual whom you underestimate today could end up saving your life tomorrow.
In one way or another, we all depend on each other.
To my family members, I express my gratitude for always being there for me.
The year 2023 was undoubtedly a year of challenges for everyone, and I pray that Allah makes it easier for everyone in 2024.