While attempting to master the proficiency of the National Language way back in 1950s, my Bahasa Malaysia teacher, Encik Yusoff Khan told us a famous Malay proverb or peribahasa which I still remember to this very day.
The proverb was “Masuk bakul angkat sendiri”. Colloquially, if the above saying were to be translated into the English language, it would simply mean “don’t blow your own trumpet”.
One of my former English teachers told me, “if ever you have done good and you feel you should be praised, other people should be the ones to praise you for it”.
Always remember that, my boy, Mr. Pandian, my English teacher advised me as a 13 year old Form 1 boy. Such beautiful and meaningful words are still fresh in my mind even though many years have since gone by.
Very recently, I read an interesting article in the Star newspaper and this had led me to make a decision to write a follow up article on it. In doing so, no names will be mentioned. Just simply treat this article as an advice to readers happening to read it.
According to the article, some people who have done a lot of good for the public would like others to know what they have done. Furthermore, there are many people amongst us who would like to be remembered for their good deeds.
However, there are philanthropists, people who have donated lots of money and wealth to charitable organizations, such as the Red Cross, St. John’s Ambulance Organisations, Scouts Movement and Girl Guides Organisations. Yet they have chosen to remain anonymous. They have donated lots of money to old folks homes, temples, churches and mosques. But they would like to remain obscure.
It does not matter to them if no one ever knows what they have done. Such people have hearts of gold and are not bothered at all if no one ever know about their good deeds. To them, even though no one knows about their contributions to society, it does not matter at all. Even if they should pass away one day, it does not matter the least.
All that’s important to them is, “God above knows”. They feel satisfied that they have done something good in their lifetime.
But the funny thing in life is that the world is made up of all sorts of people. Some do good expecting to achieve greatness and profit for what they have done! In short, such people expect to be repaid.
A certain religion, I shall not go on to state which it is, tells its followers they must not expect anything for the good deeds and contributions to society. Whatever it is, the God Almighty above is aware of the good things and deed that one has done. You’ll be repaid in many ways in life.
In a certain establishment where I once worked, a project for a surau or prayer house was launched. As a member of the so called establishment where I was employed, I was obliged to donate. Although, a Buddhist by religion, I did my duty as a staff member making the necessary contribution as expected of me.
My contribution was nothing much. The important thing was I had made a contribution of what I could afford. I remember one of my teachers advising me when I was young that we should always remember that when making donations towards a good cause, to always keep this in mind.
It is not how much you can pay or don’t but it is the heart that counts. These are indeed beautiful words. I hope readers will always bear in mind what my teacher told me.