I visited a friend who just had a baby some time last week. Took a look at the babies and I noticed something that confirms what I have always thought all along; all babies look the same.
I remembered looking at my son from the newborn incubatory station. He had a few neighbours there. Two boys and three girls. I remember their faces vividly. Why? Because they all look almost identical with one another.
There were three Chinese babies and two Malay ones, including my son. But did it matter? For me, it doesn’t make the least bit of difference. Their parents were smiling while looking at their cute bundles of joy. I can relate to them. I have no doubt in my mind that none of the parents were thinking, “Is that a Malay, Indian or Chinese baby beside mine?”. And they shouldn’t.
Just ask Joneh, who was recently bestowed a handsome pair of twins. I’m sure he’s very proud of his sons (including his eldest, Josh). I’m also sure that he’s thinking of the challenges of raising three kids. I’m also very sure that he’s already working out plans on how to provide the best he can to them.
I’m sure he’s still thinking about it and have done quite a few things in that direction.
Do you think he’s prioritizing his love and dedication for his kids in some pecking order? I doubt so. As parents, we love our children unconditionally.
I’m sure the same feeling was in the hearts of the founding fathers of Malaysia, my nation. And we, are the children of this nation.
Sure, some children may require more attention, and some are more independent. There’s also a few mischievous ones. The most important thing is to remember regardless of the colour of our skins, regardless of our names, regardless of whatever our beliefs, regardless of our upbringing; we are siblings.
We’ve been siblings for 50 years now. Sure, we’ve squabbled, argued, and sometimes even gotten into scuffles. It’s human nature. Conflicts have happened before, and it’ll definitely happen again. It’s a norm in any family.
The thing that separates the strong family from others is in how they handle such conflicts. Weaker families may choose to sweep conflicts under the rug, away from prying eyes of neighbours. But sooner or later, others will know. Worse still, smaller conflicts can snowball into bigger ones; and destroy the family.
There are also families who would turn any small conflict into big issues. Getting family members to pick fights with one another. Some might even get unrelated external parties involved in the conflict. When they realise that something has gone awfully wrong, it’s already too late. Many family members would have ran away, and their house would already be repossessed or occupied by some strangers.
It’s been 50 years, brothers and sisters. Five decades. Half a century. Would you still be my brother or sister in the next 50 years? I hope you will.
Because regardless of what some of our loud-mouthed brothers and sisters are saying; I love each and every one of you. All I ask in return is to be loved as well.
Happy birthday my Malaysian brothers and sisters.