Monthly Archives: June 2008

Flowers Blooming

Simple lessons can be learned from simple things.

The following is taken from the movie 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1995):

Colt, Rocky and Tumtum are 3 brothers who were ninja trained by their grandfather during summer break. So, one day they went to the pizza parlor and the bad guys started to mistreat this one girl. Being the people that they are – ninja trainees – they stick up for the girl and started to take down the bad guys.They won, and after the fight, they were praised by the customers at the restaurant.
However, their grandfather disapproves.
Here’s his conversation with the boys after the fight:

Grandpa : You’re gonna have to help pay for the damages to the pizza parlor.
Colt, Rocky & Tumtum: (to their dismay) What? They started it grandpa!
G : That’s besides the point. Let it be…
R : … a lesson to us.
G : So, you wanna be heroes, do you? Maybe, I should stop giving you your ninja lessons.
C, R,T: (in unison) NO!
C : You always said we should help people in need.
G : I did! but that’s not the part I’m worried about! You’re getting too cocky! Sit down! Listen, in helping others, so you can become heroes! That’s not helping them, that’s helping yourself! It’s a lie! Now this, (points to a flower in pot) is what I meant by a correct path for a ninja.
R : Flowers?
G : See this beautiful flowers? You must learn to be like them.
T : You mean stand up in dirt and smell good? (Colt and Rocky lightly hits him)
G : Very funny. Listen to the sound of the flower. It can teach you how to walk the correct path.
C : Do they speak english? (laughs)
G : Listen to them. Hear the sounds of the flowers blooming, only then, can you become a true ninja.
R : Why can’t you just tell us?
G : I can teach you a lot of things but some things, you have to learn by yourselves.

They then helped out at the parlor and go on helping the mistreated girl. It turns out that the girl’s father was kidnapped and was forced to disposing a disc that might turned down a corporation that helped built the town. So, basically, the mayor was also involved and somehow they were forced to help aid the bad guys.

I want to skip to the lesson point now.

So, after Colt, Rocky and Tumtum helped out everything, they rested at a park and Rocky looked at a flower, imagining it blooming, suddenly realising what their grandfather means.

They went back home to tell their grandfather:

G : How did it go?
R : Fine.
G : (watering his plants)
R : So, grandpa, what do the flowers say when you water them?
G : The same thing they say when they bloom… which is… ?
T : Nothing. They don’t want to show off how pretty they are. They just wanna be pretty. Right?
G : Right!
C, R, T: (elated)

———————–

Too many times, without realising, we tried helping others but in our own selfish way, like the praises given. That’s not helping others, that’s helping ourselves! We always see the actions we do, eventually, impact others and pride ourselves for doing it. When we are full of pride, the pride is our own worst enemy. So, here is another extract from the movie’s sequel, talking about pride.
This is from 3 Ninjas High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998 ).

G : A ninja’s journey is never over until he returns to where he came.

Sounds familiar? From Him we came, and unto Him we will return. We are the ninjas.

Anyways, back to the pride thing.

G : When a ninja’s head swells with pride, he becomes his own worst enemy. He loses focus. His spirit loses balance. He sees but he is blind. A ninja’s eyes can betray him. He must learn to trust his other senses. He must learn to see with his ears. He must be one with the environment.

Digest what grandpa says and you can get what our life is about. When pride takes in, we tend to fill ourselves with bubbles that we’re above others. We can see but what we see are always the good, that we forget to evaluate and patch OUR bad. Our judgment lies because our heads are swirling with pride which clouds the judgment we make.

He must be one with the environment.
Upbringings effect how each individual act. But we can’t always reason, “that’s why we are the way we are” when we do things that someone else disapproves. There is always room for change. What some see appropriate may not be to others. Accepting is the key to understanding. and only with understanding can there be tolerance. So, how can others accept when things that we do, make them feel dissatisfied? We have to understand the needs of others just like we want others to understand our needs. Provocation, pushing, constant nagging, negative presuming aren’t what make us one with the environment. Communication is the key to building relationships. Failed communication and failure to understand environment will not create a peaceful one. Start listening more, less on the talking. Talking a lot even if it is good, suffocates the listener. The listener sometimes just want to be the one listened to. He must learn to see with his ears.

Just adding in, time is the key to change. It is also the key to healing. Sometimes, all that is needed is space for people to think and evaluate. Bear in mind, each and everyone of us is NEVER above others in everything, so don’t act like one. No one will then listen to what we have to say.

So, let’s start changing ourselves by being one with our environment. Control our ego. Our pride. They could kill us from the inside slowly. Be like the flowers. Be useful, for the sake of being useful, for the sake of Allah and not to take anything in when we succeed because that could be our manifestation to pride which could possibly lead to Allah’s anger.

I write for myself before anyone else. Take whatever is good. Leave whatever that is bad.

Allahua’lam.

Wassalam.

* Please note that this writing only touches on how to treat people right. “Being one with the environment” doesn’t mean you have to be wrong to fit in, when you know that it is not the right thing to do. Religious beliefs always come first above anything. If it’s right, it’s right. Practice it. If it’s wrong, then drop it like a bad habit.

Management 101 – Communication – Talk less, Listen more.

One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears – by listening to them.

Dean Rusk (1909-1994), former U.S. Secretary of State

Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.

Jim Carrey

Knowing when to keep your mouth shut is invariably more important than opening it at the right time.

Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990), American publisher

If you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.

Marge Piercy (1936- ), American poet & novelist

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.

Peter Drucker (1909-2005), Austrian-American economist and author

Talk Less, Listen More
By Sharan Ilene Tash, CEO of The Professional Networker

There are four types of communication skills: writing, speaking, reading and listening. If you could choose the most important attribute for success – what would it be? If you could choose the one skill that is used daily and must be learned and practiced throughout life – what would it be? It is the skill of listening.

  • Listening is the active skill of hearing the words being said, understanding the information, and continues with the process of judging our reaction to what had just been said.
  • Listening to someone has to be a desire. You have to want to listen to them to be an effective listener.
  • Take the time to listen to someone. If you are not in the proper frame of mind to listen at the moment, schedule time with the person in the future and explain that you are unable to focus your mind on listening right now.
  • Give your full attention to the person you are listening to. Working on the computer, starring out the window, even doodling will prevent your full interest on the conversation.
  • Be comfortable with silence during conversations. Silence allows people to think about what they want to say without the distraction of voice.
  • Try to understand the reasons you have a difficult time listening to someone: preconceived notions, thinking ahead on what you want to say in response, stress, lack of interest, etc…
  • Keep your mind focused and open to new ideas that may not be within your comfort zone or within your mindset. Listen without judging.
  • Try not to finish anyone’s statements. You may be surprised by a conclusion you did not expect.
  • Listen and make note in your mind of main ideas to be discussed further.
  • When preparing a response in communication, it is important to hear the entire message before preparing your response.
  • Use the four types of listening skills: Passive listening, active listening, tone of voice, and body language to get the total message being communicated.
  • Are you a good listener? Ask your partner, your children, your boss, your peers, your friends. Get honest opinions.

Ten Steps to Effective Listening

  • Face the speaker and maintain eye contact.
  • Be attentive yet relaxed.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.
  • Don’t interrupt and don’t impose your “solutions.”
  • Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions.
  • Ask questions only to ensure understanding of something that has been said (avoiding questions that disrupt the speaker’s train of thought).
  • Try to feel what the speaker is feeling.
  • Give the speaker regular feedback, e.g., summarize, reflect feelings, or simply say “uh huh.”
  • Pay attention to what isn’t said — to feelings, facial expressions, gestures, posture, and other nonverbal cues.

Lights.

Tests come in many ways and one of them came a day before our first exam which we just braved through this morning.

QH is currently without any lights.

The man in-charged said that there’s something wrong with the electrical wiring.
We’re now surviving with Allah’s sun during the day and lit up candles around the house at night.
All praise to the Almighty for still providing us with everything else to our effort with His will – the sun, the fire for the candles, the courage, the spirit and of course the life – the fact that we’re still breathing – to go through this test.

Makes me think, should He take the Light from our hearts, exactly how would we respond to this no-light situation esp during exams (or any tests at all)? Which test/exam will we excel? Will it hold any value?

p/s: The power outlets still work though. That’s why I can still post this. (^_^) The ambiance around the house is making me feel so sleepy what with the sun now setting so early. (-_-)!

24/6/08 – Alhamdulillah, the lights are now fixed. yay! study2.

All the signs in the world.

If you are looking for humor yet meaningful input to lighten up your load while studying, try watching these videos. =)

2:118. Those who do not know say, “Why does Allah not speak to us or there come to us a sign?” Thus spoke those before them like their words. Their hearts resemble each other. We have shown clearly the signs to a people who are certain [in faith].

2:118. Dan (orang-orang musyrik) yang tidak berilmu pengetahuan, berkata: Alangkah eloknya kalau Allah berkata-kata dengan kami (mengenai kebenaran Muhammad) atau datang kepada kami sesuatu keterangan (mukjizat)? Demikian pula orang-orang (kafir) yang terdahulu dari mereka pernah berkata seperti yang dikatakan oleh mereka; hati mereka (sekaliannya) adalah bersamaan (degil dan kufur). Sesungguhnya Kami telah pun menerangkan ayat-ayat keterangan (yang menjadi dalil dan bukti) kepada kaum yang mahu percaya dengan yakin.

6: 97. And it is He who placed for you the stars that you may be guided by them through the darknesses of the land and sea. We have detailed the signs for a people who know.

6: 97. Dan Dialah yang menjadikan bintang-bintang bagi kamu supaya kamu berpedoman kepadanya dalam kegelapan (malam) di darat dan di laut. Sesungguhnya kami telah jelaskan tanda-tanda kebesaran (Kami) satu persatu bagi orang-orang yang mengetahui.

41: 53. We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?

41: 53. Kami akan perlihatkan kepada mereka tanda-tanda kekuasaan Kami di merata-rata tempat (dalam alam yang terbentang luas ini) dan pada diri mereka sendiri, sehingga ternyata jelas kepada mereka bahawa Al-Quran adalah benar. Belumkah ternyata kepada mereka kebenaran itu dan belumkah cukup (bagi mereka) bahawa Tuhanmu mengetahui dan menyaksikan tiap-tiap sesuatu?

‘Abang Nak Beli Kuih..??’ (credit goes to iluvIslam.com and the author)

Hari itu, saya pulang ke Kuala Lumpur. Memikirkan highway PLUS sibuk, saya menyusuri laluan lama. Pekan pertama yang saya lintas ialah Teluk Intan. Terasa mengantuk, saya singgah sebentar disebuah restoran di pinggir pekan itu. Sebaik memesan makanan, seorang kanak-kanak lelaki – berusia lebih kurang 12 tahun muncul dihadapan.

‘Abang nak beli kuih?’ Katanya sambil tersenyum. Tangannya segera menyelak daun pisang yang menjadi penutup bakul kuih jajaanya.
“Tak apalah dik…Abang dah pesan makanan,” jawap saya ringkas. Dia berlalu. Sebaik pesanan tiba, saya terus menikmatinya. Lebih kurang 20 minit kemudian saya nampak kanak-kanak tadi menghampiri pelanggan lain, sepasang suami isteri agaknya. Mereka juga menolak, dia berlalu begitu saja.
“Abang dah makan, tak nak beli kuih saya?” katanya selamba semasa menghampiri meja saya.
“Abang baru lepas makan dik, masih kenyang lagi ni,” kata saya sambil menepuk-nepuk perut. Dia beredar, tapi cuma setakat dikaki lima. Sampai disitu, di meletakkan bakulnya yang masih sarat

Setiap yang lalu ditanya…
” Tak nak beli kuih saya bang.. Pak cik… Kakak atau makcik.”
Molek budi bahasanya!

Mamak restoran itu pun tidak menghalang dia keluar masuk ke premisnya bertemu pelanggan. Sambil memerhati, terselit rasa kagum dan kasihan dihati saya melihatkan betapa gigihnya dia berusaha. Tidak nampak langsung tanda-tanda putus asa dalam dirinya, sekalipun orang yang ditemuinya enggan membeli kuihnya. Selepas membayar harga makanan dan minuman, saya terus beredar ke kereta. Kanak-kanak itu saya lihat berada agak jauh di deretan kedai yang sama. Saya buka pintu , membetulkan duduk dan menutup pintu.

Belum sempat saya menghidupkan enjin, kanak-kanak tadi berdiri di tepi kereta. Dia menghadiahkan sebuah senyuman. Saya turunkan cermin, membalas senyumanya. Saya lihat umurnya lebih kurang 12 tahun.

“Abang dah kenyang, tapi mungkin abang perlukan kuih saya untuk adik-adik abang, ibu atau ayah abang”, katanya petah sekali sambil tersenyum. Sekali lagi dia mempamerkan kuih dalam bakul dengan menyelak daun pisang penutupnya. Saya tenung wajahnya, bersih dan bersahaja. Terpantul persaan kesian di hati. Lantas saya buka dompet, dan menghulurkan sekeping not merah RM10. Saya hulurkan padanya.

” Ambil ni dik! Abang sedekah… Tak payah abang beli kuih tu” saya berkata ikhlas kerana perasaan kesian meningkat mendadak. Kanak-kanak itu menerima wang tersebut, lantas mengucapkan terima kasih terus berjalan kembali ke kaki lima deretan kedai. Saya gembira dapat membantunya.

Setelah enjin kereta saya hidupkan, saya mengundur. Alangkah terperanjatnya saya melihat kanak-kanak itu menghulurkan pula RM10 pemberian saya itu kepada seorang pengemis yang buta kedua-dua matanya. Saya terkejut, lantas memberhentikan semula kereta, memanggil kanak- kanak itu.
“Kenapa bang nak beli kuih ke?” tanyanya.
“Kenapa adik berikan duit abg tadi pada pengemis tu? Duit tu abg bagi adik!” kata saya tanpa menjawap pertanyaannya.
“Bang, saya tak boleh ambil duit tu. Mak marah kalau dia dapat tahu saya mengemis. Kata mak kita mesti bekerja mencari nafkah kerana Allah berikan tulang empat kerat pada saya. “Kalau dia tahu saya bawa duit sebanyak itu pulang, sedangkan jualan masih banyak, mak pasti marah. Kata mak, mengemis kerja orang yang tak berupaya, saya masih kuat bang!” katanya begitu lancar.

Saya sebak, sekali gus kagum dengan pegangan hidup kanak-kanak itu. Tanpa banyak soal saya terus bertanya berapa semua harga kuih dalam bakul itu.

“Abang nak beli semua ke?” dia betanya dan saya cuma ngangguk. Lidah saya kelu nak berkata.
“RM25 saja bang…..!

Selepas dia memasukkan satu persatu kuihnya kedalam plastik, saya hulurkan RM25. Dia mengucapkan terima kasih dan terus berlalu. Saya perhatikan dia sehingga hilang daripada pandangan.

Dalam perjalanan ke K. Lumpur, baru saya terfikir untuk bertanya statusnya. Anak yatim kah?? Siapakah wanita berhati mulia yang melahirknya?? Terus terang saya katakan, saya beli kuihnya bukan lagi atas dasar kesian, tetapi kerana rasa kagum dengan sikapnya yang dapt menjadikan kerjayanya satu penghormatan.

Sesungguhnya saya kagum dengan sikap kanak-kanak itu. Dia menyedarkn saya, siapa kita sebenarnya!!!

T_T

Wahai sahabat,
izinkan kuberbicara terus untukmu buat kali kedua
Agar kau bisa terima, hakikat cinta,
yang berasaskan cinta pada Ilahi

Mengapa harus gelisah, bila dilanda masalah
Apakah kau sudah lupa,
betapa pahit derita
Perjuangan Rasul dan KekasihNya

Chorus:
Biar berguguran kasih dan sayang
kerana mengharap keredhaan Tuhan
Kuntuman cinta kan mekar mewangi
bila redhaNya melimpahi bumi

Cinta kasih Allah itu penjamin segala,
kebahagiaan dunia dan akhirat
Biar menderita mendidik hati yang leka
kerna ada yang lebih utama

Moga pohon kasih bisa tumbuh mewangi
disirami hujan keimanan
Dan di situlah kasih kita kan bersemi
Kerana sering dibaja oleh penderitaan

Bila kau rasa derita, jangan kau lupa
derita itu mendidik nafsu dan jiwa
Bila kau rasa terkorban, pedih sengsara,
yang terkorban itu, Mazmumah yang beraja

Hati yang bisa tersiksa akan menjadi teguh
Pahit di mata dunia, kerna manisnya syurga
Bila Allah yang membela, keyakinan kan terbina
Yang pasti nafsu menderita, itulah penguat jiwa
Hati tempat nilaiannya

Repeat Chorus

Cinta kasih Allah itu penjamin segala,
kebahagiaan dunia dan akhirat
Biar menderita mendidik hati yang leka
kerna ada yang lebih utama

Aku sekadar mencari redhanya Tuhan
Harapnya dikau sentiasa bersama
Aku mengharap, menagih cinta dariNya
Dari situ kasih kita akan bersemi, mekar mewangi

Kasih Bersemi Lagi, Suara Hati

p/s: Jazakumullah to housemates for this. I just felt like posting this today.