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What lies at the root of the problems people face today? I see a lot of people suffering in different ways and sometimes I think it is unnecessary. It seems like we have lost the essence of life and what people really need to be happy and successful. The following is a discussion about this subject.

Life is full of pressure. I have to make money to be successful, whatever that means. So often people assess me superficially, not really knowing who I am and how I may have been terribly successful in some areas of my life, but they only see me according to their context; what they want to see. People ask, "How are you?" but don't usually care about the answer. They say, "Have a nice day," but inwardly couldn't care less.

I have to be tolerant and flexible until I don't have any opinions left. Children must be trained to behave in a certain way so they will be 'acceptable' to society. I am also supposed to discover myself and my potential plus fulfill it or people will say I am oppressed, even though I may be perfectly happy as I am. At the same time I must be on my guard against advertising, brain-washing, and political facades or I'll be guilty of being na´ve. One's spouse is supposed to be completely fulfilled or the marriage will break down.

No wonder I feel unsure of myself and often lonely. People say we all need counselors these days. Some therapy to help us through. But how can I spill the beans; tell all my secret insecurities and fears to a complete stranger, who has been trained to have no opinion, no bias, acting like a mirror to all my faults and weaknesses. A face with nothing behind it. It is like you sit and talk to yourself, pay the money and go home. You still feel lonely.

I need someone who thinks and feels like me. Dreams the same kinds of dreams, understands my fears and loves me anyway. Someone who will love me enough to tell me the truth, even if I don't really like it. I need a friend.

It's trendy to have a counselor or therapy nowadays. Why? Has life become so complicated or have we become simple? Have we become obsessed with material possessions to the point that we leave behind the valuable things in life, like family and friends?

Families used to help each other financially. Now we have Social Security. Families used to protect and represent each other, now there are court cases for every trivial matter. A good way of making money out of people's problems, ignorance and misery. Families used to support each other, now we have counseling and therapy from strangers. Nearly everything has become controlled by the government and centralized yet people call the society 'free'.

Families are disintegrating and friends come and go, as we seek the world and all it contains, with a greed that is never satiated. Maybe if we focus on 'real' things, important things, like developing our Iman, deepening our submission to Allah, gaining knowledge and nurturing our families and those around us then, most of our overwhelming problems will simply disappear.