Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Children's Day

“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million” ~ Walt Streightiff

My Little Angel, Nor Faris Haziq, turned 4 last August and even before that, he had started reading his favourite stories to his ‘audience’, actually by memorising words by words recited by his Mama. Last week, he read his Peter & Jane 1A book and “The Ugly Duckling” to me. Now, he read the words printed on those pages. He told me he would read them to Baby Ahmad Fitri Rusyaidi next time he come over to our house. At the same time, I am planning to go shopping with him and together we would read those words on the items we are going to put in our cart.

He’s also familiarising himself with the global map. He would pinpoint Australia, where one of My Little Women of Penang is preparing herself to be an actuarist. Then, he would make comparison on how small his country to the largest continent in the world. He knows where China is as his neighbours are mostly Chinese, speaking in a language foreign to him – yes, maybe one day he’d go to SJKC instead. I guess we have to thank the jigsaw puzzles he treasures for his attention to details and endless “Whys”.

If I could fly, you could see me flying like a shooting star, lighting up the northern sky like Aurora Borealis. What a magic to see a little baby I once held in my arms transforming into a talking, reading and thinking little boy. What a feat for him when I could still remember sitting next to a 8-year old boy, who couldn’t read. To ‘camouflage’ his weakness, he used his bulky body size to intimidate those who pick on him.

“Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting”~ Aldous Huxley

My Mak says I started reading when I was his age – thanks to the time I spent with Ayah reading the newspaper after he came back from work. Later, instead of storybooks, I secretly read materials (read: reports) from Ayah’s briefcase. Ayah was an Army intelligence man so my eyes were wide opened turning the pages of espionage ‘tales’ under my bed with torchlight. Since then, I haven’t stopped reading – everything that caught my eyes. Many a time, my Tok had to remove the newspapers used to line the dining table because, instead of eating my meal, I was busy reading them. Now I know why I don’t read newspapers anymore – I had enough of them back in those days! :P

“The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination” ~ Elizabeth Hardwick

Reading has been my greatest pleasure, and not forgetting, my sure-fire ‘escape’ plan. It opens up my eyes, ears and heart to the reality, removes my ‘katak bawah tempurung’ cap, gets me going places and meeting up new faces. Once upon a time, I did share a dream with someone dear that one day we will set up a Children Library, where these innocents would learn and play, where we would read them stories and get them talking and thinking.

You must be wondering why am I talking about my Little Angel’s reading ability today.

Well, for one, tomorrow, 20 Nov 2009, is Universal Children’s Day and if you go to UNICEF, you could see how much we can do to put a smile on a child’s life because he must know that he is a miracle, so special there is no other child like him.

Secondly, Jamilah of “Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia” emailed us on Top 10 CNN Heroes - Ordinary People Extraordinary Impact. A grant of $100 Grand will be given to the Winner to help him/her further his/her work.

As I go through stories of the top 10 heroes, I think I found my Heroes by the name of Mr. Efner Peňeflorida and Bapak Budi Soehardi.

Peñeflorida of Philippines and his team of teen volunteers have taught basic reading and writing to children living on the streets. Their main tool: A pushcart classroom. Stocked with books, pens, tables and chairs, his Dynamic Teen Company recreates a school setting in unconventional locations such as the cemetery and municipal trash dump. He created the Dynamic Teen Company to offer his classmates an outlet to lift up themselves and their community. For Peñaflorida, that meant returning to the slums of his childhood to give kids the education he felt they deserved. "They need education to be successful in life. It's just giving them what others gave to me," he says. Today, children ranging from ages 2 to 14 flock to the pushcart every Saturday to learn reading, writing, arithmetic and English from Peñaflorida and his trained teen volunteers. "I always tell my volunteers that you are the change that you dream and I am the change that I dream. And collectively we are the change that this world needs to be".

Bapak Budi of Indonesia founded “Roslin Orphanage” in West Timor orphanage for young victims of a fight of East Timor independence, 10 years ago. Budi, whose father died when he was 9 years old, can relate to these young people's hardships. "Food was hard to come by and my school fee was very difficult," Budi said. "The refugees just really strike me so badly and [I want] them to be better off. To help these children is a privilege for me and my wife because it's giving back to society ... giving back what has been blessed to us".

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today”~Stacia Tauscher

Such heartwarming real life stories on children always make me weepy with a glow on my cheeks because to them, happiness comes in the most simplest, basic forms. Alas, to some spoilt little napoleons, thanks to their parents, happiness is high-tech gadgets, branded attires, overseas trips and nothing less.

In a child’s eyes, we are god. Maybe we should act like one by being compassionate, merciful, protecting, forgiving, providing, wise and loving. The one that sees things through his eyes. The one that listens to him. The one that gives chances for him to be what he wants to be. The one that accepts him for who he is today – dirty, sticky, noisy and mischievous.

Indeed, children are precious, priceless and pure. Let them be.


vandetta818 said...

it was paediatric clinic's round last thusrday. what a day...
tp pikir balik, indeed they are

precious, priceless & pure

looking forward to see them again next time =)

Fi-sha said...

Hi Vendetta818

Thank you for dropping by and left an enlightening comment.

It makes my day, indeed, to know that there's someone out there who would look after these innocent souls.

As you know, our life script is written as early as 4 years old. Lets give them memories that later would give a positive impact in their lives.