Mothers Day- a day in many

Today 14th May 2023 is Mothers Day for countries and peoples who recognize this day as a special day to pay tribute/homage to our mothers as the backbone and central pillars of our lives from birth till they or we pass on.

Many lucky children would be sending gifts, flowers and wishes to their living mothers (including grandmothers, mothers-in-law, step-mothers, foster mothers, godmothers etc) but others may have mixed feelings about giving thanks to our mothers on just one day in the year.

Some feel it unnecessary to do so on this day but to thank our mothers everyday of our lives for all the small and big acts of love and compassion they dispense virtually 365 days in a year.

Yet, there are also those who wonder what exactly a mother’s love is? Those orphaned at an early age, are in care, abandoned, neglected or abused. It seems inappropriate to puncture the beautiful ideal of a mother’s role on this “joyous occasion ” but reality comes with memory.

It is hard for some not to have mixed feelings about motherhood or the role their own parents, especially their moms, played in their past lives. Our mothers are only human and very often imperfect, we only realize that when we’re older. Children can’t grasp the challenges of adulthood that cause them to be aware of the under currents of conflict between adults that silently and directly impact them. They can feel rejected or alienated without knowing the reason for it. Adults often play the game of brushing off a child’s misgivings to cover the truth that children, in their innocence, can sense. The child is like a sponge that absorbs certain vibes and does have a sense of justice. A child knows when things are not quite right and if she/he is being treated differently from others.

Yet even those without experience of a true mother’s love may perhaps save their own children from a the suffering they may have gone through in their childhoods. We have a lot to learn, not to wallow in the past and let history repeat itself. We as individual human beings can find ways to change the dark legacies of our pasts and grant our children a future of love, understanding, joy and peace that we perhaps seldom had.

However, we need to teach our innocent children the lessons we learned from our hard pasts to protect and nurture them, not to make the same mistakes our parents or we ourselves may have made. It is a dream, for I do not have children of my own but have a world of children before me. I wonder at the future our children, our hopes and joys, are heading towards. A future we shape…

The value of “thank you”

“It’s silly to say ‘thank you’, quipped the five-year old to his grandfather who told him to thank an aunt for the birthday present she gave him. I wonder what our children learn today? The word ” thank you” seems  fast becoming obsolete to the extent that when it is said it raises expressions of surprise, amazement, annoyance, puzzlement or unresponsive indifference. People don’t understand its meaning anymore. Continue reading “The value of “thank you””

Criminalizing the innocent

An immigration round-up took place in a small suburban village near the harbour on the Penang mainland on the eve of a Muslim holiday. It was the 13th of October 2015, after 11.00pm when most families were settling down for the night. Immigration vans loaded with enforcement and RELA personnel arrived and surrounded a block of low-cost flats and were later joined by a convoy of lorries. Continue reading “Criminalizing the innocent”

A Playground in Palestine

The first 72 hour ceasefire in Gaza felt like the time after a heavy down pour, when the sun starts to peep out between the grey clouds and the sky slowly becomes brighter, bluer, and the air fresher. As the pictures flashed on the TV screen, my mind caught on one. Continue reading “A Playground in Palestine”

Our Cake of a Family

When we were little my aunt took us i.e. my brother, sisters and cousins to the Chinese Swimming Club pool in Penang. There were about 10 children and one adult. My aunt who was a teacher and quite active in sports could swim and had also learnt to life-save. Arriving at the entrance to the swimming club pool, she was fumbling in her handbag for her purse to pay the required fee to the fee collector sitting at a small table at the entrance. The man looked at her, then curiously, at all of us. Continue reading “Our Cake of a Family”

Becoming Invisible as Age Catches Up

When we were young, becoming elderly never crossed our minds. We continue to enjoy life, including the down periods, thinking we’ll always be able to be in good health and carry on in comfort. If we ever thought of becoming old, it is usually in terms of personal financial security, pensions, and medical insurance. That is important to our future, and everybody wants to arrive at old age thinking, ” I’ve lived life and now deserve a good break to take it easy and do what I please.” If that’s the case, we’re fine individually, and imagine that we’ll live without a care in the world. Continue reading “Becoming Invisible as Age Catches Up”

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