Stories of Kindness from Around the World

My One Wish For a Genie


--by drcary, posted Mar 9, 2009
I had a dream. A genie appeared and offered me one wish. I begged: “I want happiness.” The genie answered: "Happiness? You can't give someone happiness. What is happiness for one person is different for someone else. It is relative. I cannot give you happiness, but I can give you what will make you happy. What will make you happy?” the genie asks.

I examined my life and found that the most ecstatic moments of joy, bliss and happiness were when I was helping people. My happiness came from serving others.

So, I said, “Genie, let my life be one of serving people." And so it has come to pass. I became a physician to provide medical care to indigenous peoples worldwide in war and in peace. I held the hands of hopeless people in warring Rwanda, dared to care for the desperate in Angola and the traumatized in the trenches of the Gujarat earthquake. I taught AIDS prevention to missionaries in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, set up a humanitarian project providing care for people infected with HIV in Bombay and secured financial support for an orphanage in Nepal along with construction of a school for the orphaned children to break the cycle of poverty.

One day while walking down a desolate dirt path in the diamond rich region of Angola, I stopped a ragged barefoot boy and asked an important question: “Little boy, can you tell me why God made rich people and poor people?” He answered my question without reflection or hesitation: “Sir, he made the rich people to take care of the poor people and he made the poor people to take care of the rich people.” MMMM

I have a dream. I have a dream that the people of plenty embrace their power and collectively work to empower the people of poverty. I have a dream that the people of poverty embrace their power and collectively work to empower the people of plenty. We are one people, one family. And when I eat I want to be reassured that everyone goes to the table and partakes in the same bountiful feast I so comfortably enjoy. Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Abraham Lincoln had a dream of the oneness of all people. They moved mountains by their determination and convictions.

And then there is you, equally powerful, equally determined and equally convicted. Who are you? What are you doing? Where are you going? And when will you get there? Living has taught me that the simplest of acts of love bring profound ripples of goodness throughout the planet. Sewing buttons on children’s shirts in barren fields restoring their dignity, showing Guatemalan villagers how to floss their teeth, passing out roses to strangers or saving someone life are random acts of kindness that remind us how sweet it is to care.

A man went to God and asked how he could create such terrible things in this world without creating a solution. And God said, “But I did create a solution: You! What can you do? What will you do? And when will you do it?”

[Dr. Cary is currently in Zambia, helping grandmothers care for their orphaned grandchildren.  See his website for the latest.]
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Readers Comments

Josephine wrote: Thank you malak. And i would like to take that opportunity to ask you if you wish to ask or read about any issue that is not alaavible on our site, just ask and i shall reply as soon as possible and i shall also publish as a post.
Hamza wrote: I can\'t hear anything over the sound of how aewsmoe this article is.
bob wrote: This story is so garbage
Lula wrote: I agree with brenda, too much wealth may be bad but when you can't afford to pay your bills and not have enough for food for your children you want to have money. When i was growing up i wanted to be like dr. Cary-i was going to save the world, loved mother theresa (i am albanian like her) but life had other plans for me, i have a 7yrs. Old who was diagnosed with cancer at 3 and a half yrs. Old and life is still very hard especially on days like this when you don't have a penny and have to spent spring break at home with bored kids. Maybe our luck will change and i'll be able to help others but right now i feel useless. I applaud dr. Cary and keep doing what you're doing-we need people like you
Amy Fisher wrote: Check out the movie, "shortcut to happiness. "
arjun wrote: This is one of the best stories i have ever read
julie wrote: Brenda: how unfortunate it is that the saying, "time is $$" resonates even louder in reverse: "$$ is time. " $$ often provides us w/the time we so desperately want & need--& would spend doing good, helping those we love, treasuring the angels in our lives. Perhaps the time you're forced to spend @ work is god giving you "down time"--a chance to put your mind on other things (who would ever think of work as a mental respite? ! ) certainly you're grateful for what you have, but it's only human to want the best for your children & grandchildren, which sometimes means wanting more than you currently have. Your little ones are blessed to have you. I don't think you're greedy in the least--you're simply concerned (and most likely frustrated) that your plan hasn't come to pass: that you haven't been able yet to afford the life you'd like to have. And it's not as if it's a life of luxury that you desire! You wish to have a life that enables you to care exclusively for those you love. No, that's not greed. I pray that god reveals himself--and his plan for you, your son, and your grandkids--to you. The most difficult part of believing is having the faith that he'll take care of our needs--please keep looking to him for strength and guidance. And remember, if he tends to the little sparrow, then certainly he'll see that your needs are met--you're infinitely more important to him than the little birds. He wouldn't let someone he loves so much fall.
julie wrote: Lula: i'm so sorry for your struggle these past 4 yrs. As a mother, it's so easy to feel useless & helpless when you can't make things better for your kids. But one of my first thoughts when reading your post was that your kids are so blessed to have you in their lives. They need you & love you--& that makes you far from useless! You may feel as if you're not contributing to the world b/c you're so wrapped up in the day-to-day burdens of your family but by taking care of your children--taking care of your sick son--you are contributing to the world! Being a mother is one of the highest callings in life. I hope you don't negate the good you do by being a mom to your little ones. And as for them being bored on spring break, it can easily become overwhelming when you want to provide fun for your kids but w/no $$ for it. This time w/them is a blessing, tho. Soon you'll wish for the time when they were home&bored w/nothing to do! It doesn't take much to have "free fun"--just a little imagination. There are lots of these activities on the internet. Time w/your kids is a gift & you are a gift to them. You're tired & overwhelmed by all you face everyday, but you're not useless; please don't think that. You're doing your part--you're doing just as mother theresa did. Perhaps the world needs more people like dr. Cary, as you said. I think the world needs more people like you, too. Christ be with you&your children.
Nerissa wrote: This story has really moved me. It has answered life questions on how to find happiness and bring meaning to life.
asha wrote: Whatever is written is true. I work in palliative care setting where all age people come with cancer or other life threatening diseases. It is very much contended job and i enjoy being able to do something for them. My job gives me happiness as i serve for those people. My job has changed my thinking and brought new meaning to my life. I looked after my sick mum & my mum in law before this job, my enjoyment of serving people is still the same as it was 25 years ago. I wish i could have the same physical strength so i will not feel tired at the end of the shift. I just love and enjoy my work. But i always feel sad and empathetically for the family of such patient. As we are all human being we can understand others problems by putting ourself in that situation. I think it is quite good to be useful in this only one life. Because we are all unique and one of a kind so we should do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.

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