Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Stop Playing God! Start Sharing Kindness!

Often, when someone is incapable of something everyone expects him/her to be able to do, everyone laughs at them or scold them for not being able to do it. Or, even worse, for not being able to do it "right". Despite the fact that he/she thinks they can do the task just fine, if it doesn't rise up to the expectations of the judgmental society, they will most likely be shamed. For example, these comic pages below by Azisa Noor, portraying her insecurity for not being able to read the Qur'an well. At her age, that is something quite shocking. However, her friends kindly help her learn. An approach, I am sad to say, not everybody tries. Often, they point fingers, blaming the person and playing God. As if that little flaw were the biggest shame of all and they themselves had none. Doing that isn't going to achieve anything. It surely wouldn't help the less capable person to learn and be better. It probably will even make the person quite ashamed and stop trying altogether. In short: it's not doing anyone any good.

Azisa is embarrassed because she can't read Qur'an very well

Her friends help her learn                                      But there are people who shame others too        

They point fingers to make them "learn"                               But "Isn't Islam a warm and friendly religion?"       

This, of course, doesn't apply only to religions or faiths. It applies to everyday life. For instance, at school. The children who can grasp the lesson less quickly than the other kids usually have difficulty expressing this. In effect, they just fail the class. Usually they simply don't understand what was being taught and were too afraid to ask. They could get ridiculed by other students for asking "stupid questions" - which don't exist, by the way - or the teachers could get exhausted - and annoyed - by these children for making them repeat a point. Another example is when friends hang out. This is something that I personally experience. I'm not too well informed about the politics in Indonesia nor do I know the car route across Java. Sometimes I am shamed for not knowing these things, instead of being told kindly what I'd been missing. To be honest, it decreased my interest in both subjects even more. Such a shame, I could've learnt instead.

Okay, I understand. Sometimes I, too, feel the need to point out someone's mistake or flaw when they lack the knowledge I deem quite common. I feel the need to make them feel bad about themselves because they deserve it. But it seriously doesn't accomplish anything. Does it make me smarter? Does it make them dumber? Does it do anyone any good? No. No. No. Ridiculing in good fun is fine, of course, among close friends and family. However, teaching them what they once lack afterwards is an act of kindness. If we want so much to ridicule someone for their flaws, doesn't that mean that we care? Otherwise, why waste our time and energy, right? So, instead of playing God, why don't we just show them kindness and let them earn what they lack.

Courtesy of KompasIslam.com
Worst case scenario, we could've killed the people who we think have done wrong in the world. So much so that they don't deserve to live. When, in truth, we are just playing God - God is not a game, so why are people playing it? These people who "have done wrong" probably just don't agree with the people who oppress and kill them. Not to bring this into a religious-political problem, but my heart indeed hurts whenever I hear yet another strike of the ISIS. I do not understand how such people could arise, saying they're protecting the faith that believes in gentleness as much as non-violence. How is it that doing the opposite, making people suffer and doing as they please, agrees with these teachings? I'm a Muslim and I am simply hurt. Their actions, using violence to protect a faith that needs no protection other than from God, comes first from the little things that we all do at some point of our lives. If we can share more kindness, there will be less evil.

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