Never Give Up
June 13, 2021
In one magic moment, near some orange trees by the Caspian Sea, Simin Ghaffari – now in Low Entropy’s work experience program – discovered a source of resilience and gratitude within the horrifying violence of war.
When I was 24 years old, my country, Iran, was war-torn. My father was an army officer, and my fiancé was killed after he delivered a speech in his class. We had a lot of difficult times with money, work, etc. I was so broken inside and so deeply depressed that I had no hope at all. At that young age, I had suddenly become responsible for taking care of my mother and my six siblings.
Wherever I looked, people were suffering from the war and trying to bring about a revolution, especially the people from the south and west of Iran. All of these people took refuge in the rest of Iran and Afghanistan. Iran had become a refugee state, especially to the north, by the Caspian Sea.
In that same area, I had my little cottage, which had a garden filled with orange trees. A day before Nowruz – the first day of the spring season – began, I went to my cottage with all my family members. Would you believe it . . . our decision to leave that day allowed us to just narrowly escape missile and suicide bomb attacks.
I had a long walk by the Caspian Sea and was crying to myself. I was angry at the blue sky and nature. I couldn’t see people suffering and the weather changing into a beautiful spring at the same time. I found myself standing in my yard, tired of my life and constantly wondering how much more I could handle, when I noticed that the gardener hadn’t cleaned the yard at all. He also hadn’t cleaned a portion of the building where the wall and house were partially broken.
Amidst the debris, I saw a plant with tiny flowers smiling brightly at the sunshine. The flower knew how to grow up in that messy, cement-laden area. The flower rose to greet the sunshine and it seemed like it had grown almost a meter from the last time I had seen it.
At that moment, I realized something: if this little plant could fight for its life, then why should I not do the same with mine? I felt ashamed of myself. I felt ashamed to consider myself weak, to be displeased with nature and, above all, to be angry at God’s will. Soon afterward, I started to clean the area. Once it was done, I touched the plant and I exclaimed magic in my native Farsi language:
So what’s the moral of the story – never give up. The plant taught me that lesson by fighting all odds and coming out victorious. I went home and encouraged everyone to stand up and clean when my mother started cooking. I let strangers come inside to use our washroom and water and shared food among us.
Since that day, I promised myself that, no matter how hard life became, I wouldn’t give up.
Every spring since then, I renew myself and try being one with nature. I have become a minimalist and actively promote peace. I also devote a lot of my time to nature photography. Above all, I am thankful for what I learned that day. I now understand the creator more and am thankful for the message I received that day.
Since then, whenever there have been many ups and downs in my life, I don’t get flustered, and I don’t ever give up.
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