Sunday, September 23, 2012

lessons from a dinner table

Today i'll tell you a story about my family.

I come from a family of mixed lineage. My father's side is chinese and my mum's is malay. So naturally i have uncles and aunties and cousins of colourful backgrounds.

I have an uncle, and his family is christian. Today we had dinner together and

this dinner inspired me to write this blogpost. You see, in our country there's not a lot of interaction between people of different cultures, religions, etc. even if we see each other everyday. Yes, you talk to the ahsoi if you go to her shop, you see the mamak and have his roti canai everyday, but its all 'professional interaction', and there's not much 'genuine interaction', getting to know the person, knowing what his hopes and fears are, caring about what he feels about, etc (maybe there is a lot of interaction, it is only me who's been living in a bubble huhu)

Like some time ago, there was this major fuss about christians using the word 'Allah' to describe God. There was a lot of protests by muslims back then. "people will be confused!" "a lot of people will be converted!" marah-marah pulak. Have you tried your best in spreading the Message and being a good example to others? You see the germ across the river, you don't see the elephant in front of your eyes. (during the Prophet's time, everyone used 'Allah' for God, polytheists, christians and jews alike)

Where was i? oh yes, this dinner. so i'm quite fortunate to have a colourful family, you can learn of things if you open your heart and mind to people and throw away the prejudices. You see, my uncle and his family are some of the most decent people i've ever met. They are very religious and it shows in their words and their manners. He keeps to his promises, is VERY punctual, cares for the well-being of his employees, and.....(the list can go on and on). In fact, he is even more 'islamic' than most muslims. 

Which saddens me to think about the state of the ummah, and to think about people in D&T including myself. You don't want to be serious in improving yourself and improving mankind? Its okay, there are lots of decent people out there, Allah can replace you anytime.

Which brings us back to a very valuable advice that my uncle gave before we parted : "Start with yourself first. If you can't be an example, you can't lead".