Thursday, January 13, 2011

A pillow and a soft place

I’ve wanted to write on this topic for a while now, but haven’t had the chance to properly form the words in my head. Though not further ahead in the department of sufficient material for me to work on, I’ll try my best to ultimately convey the message.

Raihan made popular the sentence “Iman tak dapat diwarisi dari seorang ayah yang bertaqwa (piety can’t be inherited from a God-fearing father).” But my concern is precisely not that; it is the nature of the opposite: how come we seldom hear people stress about wickedness and ignorance not being laid on the table for inheritance either? Putting fear into someone is a method of conditioning, and so is motivation.

We see, and we hear, a lot of stories about pious parents that are tested by God with daughters and sons that are hard to be disciplined, much less respecting of elders. Although there are some religious arguments of kids being the mirror of their parents’ past, I’m not going to dwell into that. The truth holds that parents can mold their children only so much, and the rest is left in prayers to our Lord.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

by Robert Frost

But then, stories of children from ignorant parents are not as popularly – or ever – read in a forwarded email. Why? Are their stories less important? There are those out there who have ignorant parents, either by circumstances or choice, yet were led by the light of hidayah in their hearts in due course. How did that happen? The same entity that is feared by most parents to have a bad influence on their child could be at work here – friends. There is no telling how, and when, a person might diverge from his or her early experiences, but when it happens, there is no telling the direction in which the wind will blow.

Not a parent myself, I could not possibly comprehend the matter to make a personal comment. But what I have are cases that point to one so many directions that the only conclusion I can make is that piety at the end of the day is worthless if the underlying values of human relationships are not taught from an early age. Parents that only teach of the Day of Resurrection should not be too shocked to find their kids astray if at the same time they are taught to measure success by the number of zeros in their bank accounts. At the same time, non-observing parents that teach humility can unknowingly lead their child to the right people, thus the right path. Isn't life wonderful in all its unpredictability, as nobody is perfect except for Him.

To a specific friend who has an inkling as to where this post comes from, yes, I am so proud of you. In all your hardship and frustration, you find yourself among the lucky few who had God by their sides. I know you are scared, but don’t be, because I believe in you.



Syar Chek Mat said...

I owe you a Thank You for this. A bigggg one. :')

ChEsZa said...

anytime syar, BIGGG HUGGGG!! :)