I remember when I was a kid I really had much respect for the elders. I still remember showing my greatest respect to the stocky not so tall Pak Shaari ,my immediate neighbor who used to work as a barber trading his business riding an old Raleigh bicycle. Sometimes I used to buy him cheap cigars, always locally made ones, and we spent time talking at length on a wide ranged of topics from politics,religion to sports. I would normally get a free hair cut from Pak Shaari whenever I needed one . I was also quite closed to Kak Peah, a makcik and a wife of an influential local UMNO politician but she preferred to be called kakak because she thought she looked young and pretty and that she liked me so much that she kept on reminding me to be her son in law. I have to say that her daughter was not bad looking not dissimilar to a Hindustani actress but somehow nothing workout between me and her daughter although the girl had shown some interest in me.
I remember helping out Pak Mat a good looking but a bit lanky laksa seller married to a slander Mak Mah in our neighborhood.Occasionally, I would help him push his quite heavy laksa cart donned in bright green Kedah colours around Taman Bakar Arang and Rumah Murah areas and shouting my heart out " Laksa , Laksa" while still pushing the creaking cart slowly.I would gladly pushed the cart as hard as I could and asked for nothing in return but Pak Mat would at the end of the day served me a full plate of the delicious laksa Kedah with shredded pineapples and ulams as the condiments. If the profit was good for the day he would give me a ringgit , which was a lot of money to me then
Not far from my house I would go to meet and sweet talk Tok Su, an elderly woman staying alone and probably lonely in a small dilapidated hut by the mangrove or bakau river . I would spent time with her talking and she really enjoyed it and she would never stopped telling my neighbors around how good I was to old people like her. As always, whenever I met old people, I would give salam and showed my respect by kissing their hands. I believe all my children have some of my good traits. But sad nowadays some of our children and youngsters are really ill-mannered , selfish and have no regards for old people.
|"Dont try to teach me..."|
At another restaurant while enjoying dinner with my family, a youngster, whom I believe from a well off family judging from the way he dressed and the expensive watch he was wearing just grabbed a chair next to me ( The chair was left vacant while my wife was looking for some order at the counter). I was too slow to react and the chair was immediately already grabbed by the youngster who was with his rowdy group of boys and girls shouting and making so much noise.He did not have the courtesy to ask me whether the chair was taken.
In in another incidence when I was at a government hospital at a pharmacy counter to take my medication, a pretty young fresh Malay graduate, a pharmacist by training, was dispensing medicine to me but she was was rather 'rude' or I would say not very polite in her approach . Instead of giving salam and addressing me as pakcik or En (I'm quite a senior high ranking government officer) in which one would typically use to address a person at a counter . She just said " You kena ambil ubat ni..." . The choice of word- You when talking in Malay- here is very rude when one is communicating to an old man who is like 30 odd years more senior than her as there is an age gap. She just did not have the courtesy to address me in a very polite professional manner by just calling me pakcik or En. The positive notion that I had of her based on her beauty just shattered and melted in the air.I just said to myself.."If only she was polite I would have introduced her her to my bachelor doctor son.."
|"No warning next time.."|
Whats' wrong with our youngsters today? What have we done to them that have transformed them to become monsters or young adults with no manners and show no respect to old people. I believe one main reason is the lack of religious upbringing. I strongly believed that these young people have been brought up in an environment that is too liberal, lack of finesse in local culture and probably too westernized in orientation . Their actions or their manners may be quite normal in their unguided free and liberal domain but in a Malay Islamic culture, it is just utterly inappropriate and totally disgusted.
I believe the lack of manners have nothing to do with the socio- economic status. I have seen many young boys who were very well mannered and they came from very well to do families. Likewise, I have seen instances of young adults from the kampung areas who are just beyond description in their behaviors and they are just plainly rude. One thing for sure is that it has got to do with how we bring up our children rather than how much money we have in the bank.
Another possibility for this ill-mannered kids could be that the parents are too busy working to support their family that they forgot about their children altogether. The parents , both husband and wife working 24/7 to support the family but inadvertently neglecting their children who have to mend by themselves.The kids actually learned all the so called manners on their their own from watching western movies, friends of the same age and probably just get some pieces of cultural training from their non stop working and very tired Bibiks.
I don't know whether we still have the time to actually undo the bad training or upbringing that our children have been immersed as I believe their current manners are so deeply entrenched and fossilized. There is no way that we do can undo what has been formed. Sending them for professional motivational workshops like the ones run by Dato Fadillah Kamsiah would probably give a relief for a few days and then they will resort to the old ways. The best thing to do is actually get them to realize on their own that what the way they are doing is wrong and inappropriate. It would be more effective if the parents themselves start first by doing the right things . Telling them what's right or wrong but when the parents are still doing the same westernized and liberalized way would just not work. It must begin from the parents and we have to start doing it ourselves the right way before we expect them to change for the better. We just pray an doa that we are still blessed with beautiful children the ones that are very well mannered, respect the old folks and also very intelligent.