The Importance of Innocence.

Morning Glories. Dabong, Kelantan, Malaysia. 2012.

About a month back, I picked up a piece of paper on the floor, and it turned out to be the payslip of a janitor. I got a shock when I came to learn that for the 14-hours of shift-work daily, they barely earned as much as I do when I was a 1st-Year student! Yet, not once have I heard any of them complaining. MasyaAllah.

Then, on the television, I would see tunnels and bridges being inaugurated. Usually, a lot of celebrities and local politicians stand in a line, in the centre of which is the minister or a local governor. Then a ribbon is cut, and when people in charge of the project return to their desks, they would find lots of letters expressing recognition and admiration.

The very people who sweated and worked on the project, who wielded pickaxes and spades, who laboured all through the summer heat or endured the winter cold in order to finish the job, are never seen. Those who did not work by the sweat of their brow always seem to come off best.

I want to be capable of seeing the unseen faces, of seeing those who do not seek fame or glory. Those who silently fulfill the role life has given them.

I want to be able to do this because the most important things, those that shape our existence, are precisely the ones that never showed their faces. Subhanallah!

InsyaAllah, I shall embark on a personal mini-project for the janitors at my workplace. There is just this soft spot in me when I look at these odd-job labourers. They would remind me of my own parents due to the age-group that most of them are from.

Now allow me to share a poem by the late Mitsuo Aida. It reminded me the importance of innocence.

Because it has lived its life intensely
the parched grass still attracts the gaze of passers-by.
The flowers merely flower,
and they do this as well as they can.
The white lily, blooming unseen in the valley,
Does not need to explain itself to anyone;
It lives merely for beauty.
Men, however, cannot accept that ‘merely’.

If tomatoes wanted to be melons,
they would look completely ridiculous.
I am always amazed
that so many people are concerned
with wanting to be what they are not;
what’s the point of making yourself look ridiculous?

You don’t always have to pretend to be strong,
there’s no need to prove all the time that everything is going well,
you shouldn’t be too concerned about what other people are thinking,
cry if you need to,
it’s good to cry out all your tears
(because only then will you be able to smile again).

Life is Awesome!


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About lyemoon.

I would like to travel the world and journey the footsteps of Ibn Battuta. I would like to be a zookeeper and tame the lions. I would like to sit at the edge of a cliff and bask in the sun. I would like to drink tea and read a book. I would like to sit and dream all day long.

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