March 24, 2011

I am a very careful person but …

I bought a motorcycle a few of years ago … basically I wanted to use it to run around doing errands conveniently without having to worry about the traffic jams and parking spaces. It does move around conveniently but it also comes with higher risk of injury in the event of an accident.

While my family and many friends have no objection of me riding a motorbike, they however cautioned me seriously. They warned me to be careful and try not to use it on main roads and I told them “No worries, I am a very careful person”. Yes, they agreed that I am a very careful person but they told me it is the other drivers that are not careful.

And so it happened on 21st March 2011 … I was on the way going to run some errands and I have to use a main road from Subang heading to Shah Alam. As I was slowing down to turn into the motorcycle lane, a speeding driver (did not see me slowing down) ran right into me from behind. I was thrown about 15 meters away and landed on the side of the road. And I don’t have to tell you what happened next.

To cut the story short, I landed in the emergency ward of Subang Jaya Medical Centre pretty battered. I got a deep gash (that required 8 stitches) on the back of my head, a blue-black eye, sprained shoulder and a very bruised back plus bruises, lacerations and cuts all over the body. Not to mentioned a smashed up motorcycle and the trouble of going in and out of the police station making the accident report and the hassle of making insurance claims.


I thank those who were praying for me … the injuries were not permanent or long term and I should recover. I probably need several weeks to be up and running again. It was while resting at home that I felt really scared thinking about the accident. I could have been killed and that’s it. While I am lucky to be able to sit up and write about this, I had my loved one worried like hell. My mom cried when she saw me all patched up and I felt really bad seeing her in tears. My wife has to put in a lot of extra effort to take care of me while I recover and my two children were so worried when they heard that I was in the hospital. All my friends who knew about this were also very concerned ... I brought them unnecessary worries and concerns.

This is a painful lesson learnt … yes I may be a very careful person but that doesn’t mean I can avoid accidents. I don’t think I will ride my motorbike into main roads again … I am not risking it. Not so much of me going through the painful recovery … it is the thought of the distress and grief that my loved ones will go through should anything severe happens to me.

I want to say sorry to those whom I have given unnecessary worries and concerns and thank all, especially my great wife, who is making a hell of an effort to help me recover.

March 05, 2011

I don’t teach my kids to be clever

I was talking to a friend over lunch not too long ago and we were talking about our kids. She said “Shiek, my kids are not clever lah”. I asked “Huh? What do you mean?” Then she told me that both her schooling kids did not obtain good results in school and she is a bit worried. She then asked me “How do you teach your children to be clever?”. I told her “Look, I don’t teach my kids to be clever”. In disbelief she then asked me “Don’t you want to teach your children to be clever?” I told her again “I meant what I have just said … I don’t teach my kids to be clever” … and the conversation went on with me explaining my point.

Now, don’t I want clever children? Of course I do but I don’t have the capabilities to teach my children to be clever. Honestly I am not a clever person myself … I don’t have any high paper qualifications. I studied up to “O” level … and even that, I only got Grade 2 in my MCE (Malaysian Certificate of Education) exams. So what do I have to teach my children to be clever? 

I tell you what I can teach my kids … I teach my kids to be filial, I teach my kids to be responsible and I teach my kids to have respect. I teach my kids discipline. I tell my kids to accept “NO”. I tell them to appreciate and make do with what they have. I tell them not to complain about their shoes because some people don’t even have legs. Now, if I can instill these values into them, then I think I have done a good job as a parent.

I once visited an old folk’s home and was told that a dentist left his mother at the facility some 9 years ago and has not visited her since … where is the filial piety? I have seen a college whiz kid shouting foul language at her mother just because her mother was a few minutes late picking her up … where is the respect? I heard of a mother who packs the school bag for her 13 year old “top-of-the-class” son EVERYDAY … now where is the responsibility? Sad isn’t it?

I let the schools, the colleges and the universities teach my kids to be clever … that is the role of these institutions. If they can turn my children in whiz kids, I will be the happiest father on the planet. If they can’t, I am fine too. I am OK if my kids don’t grow up to be doctors, professors or lawyers … really, that is not important.  The important thing is they grow up to be filial to the people that provided for them, responsible for what they do and have respect to the people around them.

We all want clever children … by all means put the kids into programs that will bring out their potential. But sometimes people are just so engrossed and focused on turning their kids into geniuses that they simply forgot how to teach their kids to be a better person.