Father Sez

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Non financial lessons from my mother

Monday October 6th, 2008 by fathersez

 Picture Credit: Google

Lately I have been thinking about some of the “lessons” learnt from my parents. Learnt not by receiving formal instructions or such. Just learnt by example and reinforced by reprimands received when we broke them. 

Lessons such as: 

How to awake a sleeping person 

This had to be done gently. By slow and gentle taps on the shoulder of the sleeping person and softly calling out to him or her. The taps can be progressively increased in intensity, but the start must be soft and gentle.  Islam mentions that our souls are taken away whilst we sleep and to some people the souls are returned (meaning that they awake) whilst for others they are not.  Perhaps this was the basis of my late mother’s insistence that we use a slow and soft approach.  

(Sure looks like the Army’s method of waking people up would have merited severe disagreement from my mother.) 

Never cross over a person’s body 

Whether the person is sleeping or just lying down, we should never walk over him or her. We should always walk around the person. I have never ever found out why, but it does seem to make a lot of sense.  

Never cut our nails at night 

This was a severe no-no. Perhaps my mother, having grown up in an era of no electricity,  wanted to make sure that we did not cut ourselves in the dark or in the dim lights we used to have.  

Never walk over or step on a book 

This was a sure way to make sure that we would grow up as “stupid” people. My mother would insist that we had to pick up any book that was lying on the floor so that there would be no chance of any of the younger children walking over them. We never had any tables or chairs, (we used to do everything on the floor) so this was a common issue. 

Never step on or walk over money, whether a coin or note 

This was another no-no, as stepping on money was a clear mark of disrespect and would this encourage wealth to stay away from us. 

Walk softly 

My mother believed that the ground was Mother Earth and should be treated with great respect. Walking roughly, loudly or shuffling would earn us a nasty clip and a sharp reprimand.  All of us brothers and sister, till today, walk such that you would not hear us coming.

All these rules I still follow strictly, though it has been decades since I got the lessons from my mother. It still grates me when I hear people walking roughly and loudly or shuffling.  

I have tried to pass on these lessons to my children. However my wife (who comes from a different cultural background) is not so sold on some of these lessons. I don’t know if these lessons will be ingrained as deeply into my children as it has been for me.  

I suppose when my children are much, much older, they might think back about these times and wonder about these non financial lessons they got from their dad.

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One Comment for “Non financial lessons from my mother”

by mamadou
On October 6, 2008
At 11:14 pm

Assalamu’alaikum Pak Fathersez

I do agree with you as me too was educated such way. As my mother was illiterate but later know how to read or write through Sekolah Dewasa, we always go by “petua orang tua” that came from their experience. Experience always never gone wrong. Good sharing of your thought and experience. Thank you

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