Had an interesting chat with Fuad over our extended weekend in KL about his umrah, which he undertook back in December. Our focus was the Islamic virtue of sabr, which translates inadequately as 'patience', and the pressing need for it in performing the holy rites: indeed, the pressing need for it in our daily lives, which performing the small pilgrimage to Makkah seeks to teach us. Goodness me, it's a hard lesson to learn; or, perhaps I might better say, to put into practice. Just when you think you've made some progress in the necessary self-control attendant upon the virtue, some pettiness emerges from one of the many small parts of the self to remind you that there's an awful long way to go.
The great thing is that life has a way of throwing up many ways to allow, indeed encourage, childish pettiness. I encountered several today and was reminded of how small I can be. But at least I can glimpse a bigger self somewhere in the far distance.