Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What Do We Teach Our Children?

In many cultures, politeness is of utmost importance, especially among children. In inculcating such values to the children, parents often scare the children by saying things like, "if you like to curse, or say bad things to others or simply being rude to others, one day god will cut your tongue off". Another tendency is to tell the children that if they stick their tongues out to others, god will also cut their tongues off. We hope that by saying so, children will hold their tongues and not embarrass you in front of friends or stranger.

One day, an old friend, along with her niece came to visit me. With my slurring speech, we talked about a lot of things. Her niece was watching me intently, probably wondering why I slurred. Then, she blurted out, "Pasal apa makcik cakap macam tu?" or "Why are you talking like that?". So, my friend explained that I had no tongue. She asked why. My friend explained again that my tongue was diseased and the doctor had to cut it off. Then, the talkative 3 year old girl asked again, "Makcik dulu suka maki orang ka?" or "Did you like to curse others?". There you go. It hit me hard because this is what most of us tend to teach our children. We tend to take the shortcut instead of explaining to them that cursing people is just plain rude and rude people will not have many friends. My friend was so embarrassed and apologised to me profusely. How should you answer that innocent child? After all, that's what the adults have been hammering into her head all these years! Then, I said that its ok because its not her fault. I was sincere.

Fortunately, none of my three children are that talkative. Whenever they are curious about someone, they would wait until we are alone and ask. That gives me a chance to explain to them properly. Even in my case, they just accept me as I am and I have no problem communicating with them about my current physical condition. Alhamdulillah.

Long after that, my friend called again to apologise should her beloved niece offended me in any way. I said that I am beyond care about how people see me or what they think about the way I look or the way I speak. I went on to say that I can't afford to be offended because if I do, I can't survive and I am not about to surrender to such things. I just have to face it. And now, I can really empathize with those physically handicapped people and how tough it is just to be looked upon and treated like normal people. And to make matters worse, some people would just say to you point blank that you are being punished for something bad that you have done in the past.....

I would like to take this opportunity to wish the muslims Selamat Hari Raya and may this eid be a joyous one for all.

Sorry, I'm supposed to talk about my trip to Mecca recently. However, I got sidetracked by this issue about education our children. Next entry, I promise.

Bye, for now.

"Canccer Sucks"

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Career Change

Salam to all,

I know that I haven't updated my blog for quite a while. You know what they say, no news is good news? Well, in my case, that is true. The good news is that I'm doing just fine. I feel fine and life is just great.

I've been quite busy these past few weeks. After I went for my follow up last month, I attended a course in translation. Since there's a very slim probability of me going back to teaching like those pre cancer days, I decided to make a turn in my career into translation work. So, I attended the translation course in Institut Terjemahan Negara in Kuala Lumpur. The course went on for about 2 weeks. It was a rather enlightening experience.

I was quite nervous at first because I did not know what to expect from strangers (coursemates) considering my slurring speech. I didn't want their pity. What if they could not understand me?

Well, after the first day went by, I realised that all that worries were for nothing. Everyone was wonderful. I could converse just as normal as everybody else even though I sounded different. Unique. I commanded full attention from others since they had to really listen carefully to what I had to say..hahaha or else it would have been their loss...

The course was over on 1st August. And I flew back to Kedah. Then, I got busy with the translation projects I have been getting from a dear friend continuously (god bless him) up to the time to leave for Mecca to perform Umrah. I left for Mecca on the 21st of August. So, you see, I've been on my toes and could not find the time to update this blog. However, I read the comments coming in wholeheatedly and guiltily. Thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts.

I'll be talking about my trip to Mecca in my next entry.

Bye, for now

"Cancer Sucks"