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"


Anonymous said...

selamat hari raya sharifah, this is my 3rd comment to your blog. this entry is an eye opening for us adult, especially MALAYS. May GOD keep you in His tender care always. Salam dari jauh.

Sharifah Rashidah bt. Syed Ahmad said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your comment.

I would really like to get to know you better. I hope you'll give me the chance. Pls email to me at


Al-Manar said...


Two months ago I came across your blog for the first time. Saddened by what you had been going through with a very brave heart,I felt obliged to comment. I have since occasionally come around hoping to see things were going well. So they have, alhamdulillah.
I have never been made to go through what you have. It is His way of bringing you closer to Him, a very special gift foom you, as I see it.

Hope whichever way you are now reshaping your life you will find it rewarding. Perhaps, you do not mind me quoting my motto : berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.


Dr. Swill said...
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Dr. Swill said...

You put a smile on my face today. Having tongue cancer I understand the irony in your post where others without tongue cancer might not.

In America, or perhaps just my home as a child, my mother would pronounce, "I'll cut your tongue out if you ever talk like that to me!" This after hearing a neighboring child speak nasty things to his mother.

I never really took her seriously because I couldn't EVER imagine her doing such a thing. But now, I tell her I had to have my tongue cut out for using bad language and it was all her fault.

As I grew up her favorite word was Sh*t. My first words as a baby were "Oh Sh*t!" So now I blame her for my lose of tongue. All in fun of course!

Thank you for today's smile!

Peace B

Sharifah Rashidah bt. Syed Ahmad said...


Your comments means a lot to me. I've visited your blog too and I think you are doing a remarkable job in shaping our youths and thus your motto says a lot about your endevour. Thanx for your prayers.


I'm happy that my post put a smile on your face. I do visit your blog every now and then and I do smile every time I read your posts.
I suppose we really need to cheer each other up to face this harsh reality.


Dr. Swill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.