I Met A Syrian Who Lost Everything Because of War

Our conversation changed my life forever.

Niharika Sodhi
Jan 13 · 5 min read

Swiping in Paris

I landed in Paris even though each of my friends had a scary story to tell.

  • No personal information
  • Tells me to meet him on the same day

Introducing you to Mr. A

Mr. A was a short man of about 5 feet 5 inches. He was bald, build alright, and met me with a warm smile.

  • Carried French cheese, wine, and chips in his bag (to give me a flavour of Paris)
  • Didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. We sat at an arm's length with his bag in the middle.

Is your life really that hard?

  1. The family boards a raft (which is overloaded) and sets out to seek asylum. No advanced navigation tools. The only luggage they carry is important papers.

The cup of life is too small, love fills it up.

Mr. A and his relatives lost their home because of the usual blasts, he claimed. I feel chills down my spine each time somebody normalises bomb blasts, and this wasn’t the first time because so did an Afghani man I met in Austria. But that's a story for another time.

It’s sad that it takes a tragedy for us to realise the value of what we have.

Take charge of your life.

This man had his house shattered and lost a huge part of his family. He supports his younger siblings to study because his education suffered.

He learned English by watching Hollywood movies. He was 37 when I met him, excited to finally start college.

His circumstances made it extremely difficult for him to turn his life around, but he kept going.

Lessons I Still Carry to This Day

I met Mr. A in June 2018, that's 2.5 years ago. But my conversation with him gave me lessons I still carry with me today.

  • Your life isn’t hard. Stop crying — it’s not cute.
  • Be grateful. You have enough.
  • Give. Whether or not you believe in karma, make somebody else happy.
  • Take charge of your life and don’t let your environment be a limiting factor
  • Trust your gut instinct. My logical brain would’ve never met an unknown person, but my gut whispered to go ahead.

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness and fulfillment.

Thanks to Dipanshu Rawal

Niharika Sodhi

Written by

Globe trotter | Health Enthusiast | Professional Writer www.niharikasodhi.com

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 150,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

Niharika Sodhi

Written by

Globe trotter | Health Enthusiast | Professional Writer www.niharikasodhi.com

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 150,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

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