Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A is for Amanah

Note: This entry has been interrupted so many times after it was first drafted on Friday night the 22nd.. blame Fatihah! hehehehe :-P

I wanted to sleep.. but words keep on constructing in my head and I knew I have to type it before it goes away. If you are a mother (just like me) who will be experiencing for the first time ever of sending your kid to a primary school (just like me), then you might be as anxious as I am. As you can see, I am too anxious until.. I found myself rejecting the cold side of my favourite pillow for a keyboard and a screen.

You see, in Friday's usrah, we discussed on surah al-Ahzab from verse 53-73. The last two verses have left the biggest impression on me. The verses speaks on Amanah.
"Indeed, we offered the Amanah (Trust) to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant. [It was] so that Allah may punish the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and the men and women who associate others with Him and that Allah may accept repentance from the believing men and believing women. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful." 
From cold sweats to sweaty palms.. yup, you name it. I have always thought that being a GTA, my only responsibility is to give my best to the students i.e. to educate and inspire them. That's it. However, after today's discussion, I just realised that the burden of my amanah has multiplied. I am actually holding the amanah of my employer, my students' parents as well as from the society on top of every student's need. Adeh.. Scary~ May Allah guide us all.

Soon after, we discussed on our role as parents in caring, educating and inspiring our children.. which in fact IS our BIGGEST amanah of all. Listening to my fellow usrati, I could not help but to feel the numbness in my head. Honestly, I was craving for straight answers like the one we could get from "what is 1+1 equals to" kind of question when they were discussing the solutions for all of the common problems faced by our youth today. One story that was shared was about a University student who attempted suicide because she has developed an addiction towards 'intimate relationship' which led her to depression. The student has been doing 'it' for the past 5 years. Sad kan :-(. 

I was literally praying in my heart during the sharing moment that my children.. our children will be protected from the evilness that are lurking and waiting to strike our children today. These things do happen in the past, but we have to admit that these problems have gone from bad to worse. :-(

You know what. I have been thinking. Could it be that for the 70s and 80s generation, we grow mature alongside with the IT technology? Changes were not too drastic and so, we manage to keep up with the transition? There is no issue of culture shock in technology transfer? Could it be?

I knew that we are living in a different era now.. where evil is at our finger tip. YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to name a few which definitely provides a different dimension in terms of interactions between a girl and a boy. I'm not saying that having smart phones are all bad. I personally think that it is a necessity to have one these days. However, I believe that technology has its fair share in causing problems among our youth today. Previously, teenagers have only had to deal with peer pressure that come to them in flesh and blood. Now, they would also have to be prepared to combat peer pressure virtually.

Looking back into my early years, it took many, many months after computer was first introduced into my life before being able to get connected online. At that time, even if there was YouTube, it would be near impossible to watch without having to wait for hours via the dial-up connection. I would also assume there weren't much of a variety of videos because uploading is not as simple. We are speaking of analog storage at that time. Yup.. people blog instead of vlog. Computer interface applications are also not that advance and not very user friendly. People chat using Java mainly using MIRC. It took a few more years before computer software and applications were enhanced. I was in the computer lab during my first year of my undergraduate when a friend of mine introduced me to yahoo messenger. I could still remember her words, "this way you will only be chatting with your own circles of friends". There was also Friendster which nothing like Facebook or the Instagram. Hash symbol were ONLY used as part of coding or shortform for 'number'... 

Whether or not my speculation is right or wrong, to me, it all comes down to how one utilizes the God given technology. And just 'how' you use it is best guided with true knowledge... True knowledge that sprouts from those early years foundation seeded by good parents. 

Speaking of parents, I guess our main task is to provide our kids with the right values and understanding. We sometimes stopped our kids to do something or asked them do something but we forgot to tell them the reasons why. For example, we might tell our daughter to put on hijab but we didn't really explain to her 'why'. Telling her 'sebab itu tuntutan agama' isn't enough. We have to reason with them until they are convinced.. which I believe is the hardest thing to do. It took Yaby and I close to an hour just to convince Jia to go to school when Bahim wasn't well enough to attend school yesterday. Adeh~ :-P

Last but not least, I was reminded to continue to keep our children in our Doa. Afterall, doa is the greatest power any Muslim could have and only Him alone can be with our children 24/7. May Allah protect and guide all of our beautiful children. Aamiin~~

Friday, August 15, 2014

Be brave!

A few days ago, I was shocked to learn that Jia was ‘bullied’ by a small-n-cute-kids-group. Yes, I was exaggerating a teeny weeny tiny bit when I used the word ‘bullied’. It is more of a series of tease-like actions made by some of Jia’s classmates. But I couldn’t help but to notice the red flush around my ears listening to Jia’s confession.

Luckily, my senses got the better of me. I was able to keep my calm before asking Jia to repeat the whole scene again so that I have some time to compute what is the best piece of advice I could offer her. 

At this point, it is just like in the Spiderman movie when Peter Parker just realised (that is after he was bitten by the genetically engineered red and blue spider) that the world move so much slower than him. Yup! My head is racing trying to solve the conditional probability. I knew for sure that what I am going to tell her should NOT be a ‘one time’ only solution. I knew that what I really need to do is to prepare her mentally. That she needs to know that life isn’t always beautiful and going smoothly as planned. I need her to understand that life can be complex and that this is just the beginning. And that she needs to be brave to face the world.

Just as she finished her second round of confession, part of what I've told her was..
Me: Jia, next time if she ever teases you again, you should not cry. You tell her that Allah don’t like people who teases another. Then, you just walk away from her. You can play with other friends if she doesn’t want to play with you. Do you understand?
Jia: Yes, Mi-mi
Me: You don’t go teasing her back Okay?
Jia: Yes, Mi-mi
Nak dijadikan cerita, this morning while we were in the car, the speaker on the IKIM radio was telling a fictional story of a mouse who is tired of being scared of a cat. So the mouse went to see a witch and asked the witch to change him into a cat. After becoming a cat, the mouse decided to become a dog because the mouse is tired of being afraid of the dogs chasing him around. Again, the mouse went to see the witch and requested to become a dog and a dog he became. Not long after that, the mouse realised that he is scared of the lion. With that, the mouse visited the witch again and later turned into a lion. After becoming a lion, the mouse faced a new problem – it is frightened of the hunter. Having the same idea, the mouse went to see the witch again only this time, the witch said that she is not able to help the mouse. When the mouse asked “Why?” the witch replied him telling him, “the real problem with you is, no matter what you have become, your heart is still a mouse. Until you change your heart, then only you will solve your problem.” The speaker than wrapped up the whole thing highlighting the importance to become brave and confident.

After listening to all this, I asked Jia if she understood the story. At first she said she didn’t understand. But as I slowly talked her through, she seems to catch the storyline. I later then told her to learn from the story.. to become brave and confident at heart.

Just a while ago, she told me that in her Karate-Do class today, her sensei told her not to be afraid and be confident. I was quite surprise to hear that. It’s as if ‘someone’ is guiding her on how to face the real and challenging world. The message keeps repeating over and over again. Of course it is no other than Him. Alhamdulillah.. May Allah continue to guide all of our children. Aamiin~~ After all, HasbunAllahu wani’mal wakeel.. :-)