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By Fareeha Qayoom



friend of mine remarked the other day that she’s surrounded by a lot of unhappy/negative people. All she hears are complains, complains, and yet more complains. (I could relate because this has been my experience as well.). Another friend joined us at this point; she started complaining about her job, her bosses, and her life; in fact, she spent the whole time we were with her by zeroing on her unhappiness, hogging all the attention and venting. I got the point. 😀


This started me thinking. Focusing on the negative makes people forget all the positive things (in life that make it worth living). Moods are contagious and spreading negativity and ingratitude to your fellow human beings should not be allowed. Unfortunately, it’s prevalent across all walks of life in our society. We are generally ungrateful folk.

HBR - images

Graphic courtesy of HBR


God even remarks on this phenomenon in the Quran in numerous places – in fact, there is one chapter dedicated entirely to humanity denying His gifts. He gives us a list of notable favors (on top of numerous gifts that He doesn’t count over there) that have been bestowed on humanity in Surah Rahman. For example, being taught to read, for the gift of life,  for speech, for the solar system, for the flora, for space or the heavens, for the balance,  for our ability to measure/ estimate,  for our planet earth, for the fauna, for the fruit and palms, for the grains and fragrance,  for the east and the west, for the two seas that meet but do not merge,  for the pearls large and small, for the ships as big as mountains, for the end of all things, for God the Lord of glory and honor,  for humanity’s ability to go in the airspace and space, for the reward for good deeds, for the gardens, for flowing fountains, for pairs (of two), for luxurious fabrics like silk and brocade, for good, for beauty, for purity. Obviously, the list is exhaustive…but we do get the point.


Yes, we should really count our blessings…I started a list too- this easily topped hundred blessings without any effort and this is still by no means a definitive list, there are probably hundreds of godsends that I still take for granted and left off my list…


Thank God

  • For God
  • For being born lucky
  • For being alive
  • For every year that I live past my birthday
  • For my health
  • For all my five (or is it six?) senses in full working order
  • For my close knit family
  • For my genes
  • For being employed
  • For always landing on my feet in a jam
  • For everyday miracles
  • For personal space
  • For not having to pay rent
  • For my family home
  • For being able to drive
  • For being able to afford and run my own car
  • For being able to live in a city with amenities
  • For living in a nice neighborhood
  • For  being able to pay my bills
  • For being (relatively) debt free
  • For being free and single
  • For answering to nobody (but God)
  • For living in a free country
  • For being born a Muslim in a Muslim family in a Muslim country
  • For not being born poor
  • For not being born rich
  • For being able to express myself
  • For self-actualization
  • For having no hang-ups
  • For the ability to communicate effectively
  • For being born in an educated family
  • For having progressive liberal parents
  • For my mother being still alive
  • For being able to read and write
  • For being better off than countless of homeless, ill, hungry, starving, orphaned, alone, needy, old, tired, desperate, illiterate, hopeless people
  • For having simple wants (or rather for having enough disposable income to buy anything I want whenever I want)
  • For having no personal financial liabilities (or interest-based debts in spite of a credit card!)
  • For having an extensive wardrobe with loads of nice clothes, shoes, jewelry, belts…
  • For being able to like myself
  • For being able to respect myself
  • For being able to look myself in the eye
  • For all my good friends
  • For being able to live my life my way without any apologies or qualifications or regrets
  • For being happy and full of hope that things will only get better, they can’t get any worse! 😀
  • For books
  • For my collections (books, music, clothes, accessories, fabric, e-books)
  • For (collective human) knowledge, inventions, discoveries, for the history, for design, for the past full of useful developments, for good precedents,  for good traditions, for useful innovations
  • For clocks
  • For calendars
  • For systems that work
  • For order
  • for tools
  • For simplicity
  • For elegance
  • For medicines
  • For a good education
  • For ‘real’ knowledge being free
  • For experience and exposure
  • For travel
  • For the world wide web and the internet
  • For computers and calculators
  • For generous friends and colleagues who can count and help me count and do math when I get stuck!
  • For my hobbies and interests
  • For being able to finance my hobbies and interests
  • For my ability to learn new skills
  • For new interests
  • For common sense
  • For being adaptable and resilient
  • For chocolate
  • For music
  • For life
  • For poetry
  • For creativity
  • for words
  • For smiling, pleasant people
  • For positivity
  • For friendship(s)
  • For the concept of equality
  • for good ideas
  • for facts
  • For our humanity
  • For food and moreover good food!
  • For spices
  • For perfume
  • For flowers
  • For trees
  • For the four seasons
  • For contrasts
  • For never being lonely
  • For being busy and useful
  • For colors
  • For good balancing evil
  • For good people balancing out the bad
  • For universal ethics and a moral code across all religions and cultures
  • For justice
  • for good
  • For truth
  • For beauty
  • For love
  • For balance
  • For faith
  • For honesty
  • For harmony
  • For generosity
  • For kindness
  • For consideration
  • For manners
  • For humor
  • For logic
  • For rational reasoning
  • For sanity
  • For art
  • For writers
  • For poets
  • For thinkers
  • For designers
  • For musicians
  • For artists
  • For crafts people
  • For engineers
  • For doctors
  • For teachers
  • For scientists
  • For cooks and gourmet cooks
  • For great recipes
  • For gardeners
  • For beautiful gardens
  • For architects
  • For experts
  • For being able to afford household help to do boring, bot-like chores as clean house, do laundry, wash dishes, dust, ironing
  • For every-day comforts and amenities
  • For good things in life being free
  • For our planet earth
  • For the universe,
  • For time
  • For our place in this time and space
  • For our kids and future generations
  • for hope
  • for human imagination
  • for peace
  • for great stories
  • for great people that touch hundreds of lives positively
  • For people who make this a better world
  • For people who actually like to make a difference (without any visible rewards in this life)
  • For roads
  • For human warmth
  • For being able to smile everyday no matter what
  • For empathy
  • For research
  • For cold water in hot summer months
  • For our ability to store perishable food, (though I wish the fridge –and even air conditioners – didn’t come with harmful CFC gases!)
  • For inventions that control temperatures inside our homes and workplaces
  • For running water
  • For clean, safe drinking water
  • For nature and its intricate eco-systems
  • For (the invention of) restrooms inside homes and workplaces
  • For sleep
  • For cleanliness
  • For rain
  • for fresh water
  • for family support
  • for useful animals and plants
  • for cotton
  • for leather
  • for wool
  • for Lycra
  • for denim
  • for twill
  • for running hot water in cold weather and for hot showers
  • for my favorite cup of tea (classic Earl Grey Twinings), walnut cake, lemon tarts and chocolate tarts
  • for the sense of accomplishment you get at crossing out each task listed on your to-do list at the end of the day
  • for Friday
  • for weekends
  • for job satisfaction
  • for a job well done
  • for interesting work
  • for second thoughts
  • for control
  • for being able to snap out of it
  • for distractions
  • for being able to escape a bad situation
  • For leisure.


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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.


  1. More reading?

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