The Real Face of Empathy

Last night, I went to see my grandma who had just underwent a major surgery to remove stones from her gall bladder. She is 70 years old. The surgery was very risky considering that she has diseases of all sorts; heart problem, high blood pressure, diabetis, gastric, just to mention a few, ..and now gall bladder stone. The surgery was performed in KPJ Damansara Specialist by a very senior specialist because of the many health complications my grandma is having, making the surgery a very difficult one. Therefore, praise be to Allah that she is now in good condition and is recovering well, and hopefully fast.

The thing about seeing my grandma especially in these few years is, always having to listen to her complaining on and on about her pain and sufferings. A bit boring you know, the outcomes of every visit can always be anticipated. When I was younger, I was never able to understand why she was always complaining, sounding very negative and low-spirited everytime. I always thought that we should always be positive and be strong in facing whatever trials that Allah give us; be it health problems or financial problems whatsoever. Until I had my own share of pain, my first major surgery; a c-section delivery.

I learnt a very important lesson; YOU CAN NEVER UNDERSTAND ONE’S PAIN AND SUFFERING UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN IN HIS/HER SHOES.

Recovering from the c-section was the most traumatic experience in my life. I lost all the strength that I thought I possessed. I was not able to do a lot of things as easily as a healthy person for a long course of time. I realized that I had a lot of comfort in my life that I had taken for granted. And how little gratitude I have shown for every good things in my life. I was left with not only a physical cesarean scar, but also emotional scar.

That was the turning point for me. Besides learning to listen better to my grandma and give the right responses, I was also able to listen and respond better to my late mother-in-law who suffered from Parkinson. Remember my story about her? You can read about it here.

The real message here is, when somebody comes to you with a problem, more often than not, she is not trying to ask for sympathy. She is not trying to ask you to be sorry for her. Rather, she is trying to heal her emotional wounds, and ease her pain by talking about it. In short, she is trying to heal herself, and feel better. By paying attention to her true troubles and acknowledge it by responding kindly, you can actually help her heal. This is what you should do, rather than brushing her off by saying that she should be thankful that she is still in better condition compared to a lot other less fortunate people, which in turn hurts her more.

The easiest example, when my grandma starts telling me of her pain, how should I respond?

Should I tell her to stop thinking of her pain and troubles, and focus on the positive thoughts that she is still alive and can still walk around although slowly, as compared to some folks her age that are bedridden, or had to stay in hospitals, or dead even?

Or should I tell her that I am sorry for her pain, and then forget all about it?

Or should I acknowledge her pain by telling her that what she is going through IS painful, because she is no longer able to do all the things she liked doing, she can no longer be active like before, and she has to depend on others, and then try to soothe her by saying that Allah wants to reward her big for all her patience, and then pray that she gets better?

Option one is simply rude. You don’t tell that kind of thing to other people. No matter how motivating it sounds to you. You have never been in her shoes, remember? So please be mindful.

Option two is simply lending a sympathetic ear. Nice enough but not helping.

Option three is what we call EMPATHY, where we LISTEN, ACKNOWLEDGE, and offer SUPPORT. ( I said LISTEN instead of HEAR because hearing simply means perceiving sound while listening means perceiving sound and paying attention to it. )

Bottomline, when we are faced with a sick or less fortunate person, we should always be empathic, especially if we have never been in her shoes. Even if we think we understand, we actually don’t. How can you understand something that you have not been through? If you are not sure how to show empathy, just be more observant of people around you and you might find someone who can set a good example of empathy for you to learn from.

Senyap Selamanya

Semalam dok belek-belek suratkhabar, muka depan akhbar tu cerita pasal sorang budak lelaki berumur 3 tahun yang dipercayai dipukul ibunya sampai mati. Haish! Kalau baca cerita macam ni mesti aku rasa semacam. Terbayang kalau anak sendiri yang kena macam tu, konfem tak keruan aku dibuatnya. Baya Aiman je budak tu. Aiman pun 3 tahun jugak tahun ni.

Budak tu anak sulung dari 3 beradik. Bapak dia tentera. Selalu takde kat rumah kalau  tak silap. Alkisahnya, budak tu dikatakan suka menangis dan sangat aktif. Haish! Standard la budak lelaki. Aiman pun macam tu jugak.

Tapi itu tak bermakna dia patut dipukul begitu sekali. Apatah lagi sampai membawa maut!

Pagi dia meninggal tu, mak dia kejut si anak ni bangun. Sebab dah pukul 11 pagi pun tak bangun-bangun lagi. Tapi taknak bangun jugak. Rupanya dah meninggal. Bila hospital bedah siasat, badan budak tu penuh dengan lebam baru dan lama kesan kena pukul dengan penyangkut baju. Terdapat jugak kecederaan otak. Hmm memang sah la ni kena hempas. Budak kecik kalau kena hempas, pendarahan dalam otak, memang meninggal la jawabnya. Mak dia dok pukul dia nak suruh senyap kan, ha sekarang ni dah senyap selamanya. Puas hati tak? Waaa sedih sangat-sangat aku baca cerita ni (kalau tengah pregnant kat Irfan ni mesti dah nangis sampai merah hidung)!

Kenapa dia sanggup buat macam tu ye?

Mungkin la si ibu tu tertekan tahap gaban, atau mungkin lebih besar dari gaban. Ada banyak masalah. Beranak pulak tiap-tiap tahun. Tapi takde rasa kesian ke tengok anak kena pukul sampai lebam? Memang aku tak akan dapat faham. Perasaan belas kasihan tu patut sinonim dengan gelaran ibu pada setiap wanita. Haih~

Aku rasa, kalau tertekan dengar anak menangis, lebih baik ketuk kepala sendiri ke dinding atau ke lantai. Takpun jerit sekuat hati. Well, I did that masa awal-awal bergelar ibu. Ye la masa tu kan takde pengalaman lagi. Memang takde faedah pun, tapi sekurang-kurangnya anak aku tak sakit.

Sampai la bila Aiman dah besar sikit baru la aku dapat idea untuk cuba reverse psychology, why not instead of marah kat Aiman dan rasa tertekan setiap kali dia start crying tantrum dia tu, aku cuba buat dia happy supaya dia tak menangis? Aku pun cuba, dan terbukti bila Aiman happy, dia tak buat perangai, tak menangis, dan sangat mudah diurus. Bahkan kalau dia nak apa-apa dan aku cakap tak boleh pun dia patuh. Padahal selalunya dia menangis kalau tak bagi apa yang dia nak. Bila budak gembira dan tenang, konfem tanpa was-was yang mak dia pun akan gembira dan tenang. Maka aman damai la rumah tu.

Benda ni tak susah pun. Cuma kena berkorban sikit, dan guna otak banyak sikit, dan kena banyak-banyak sabar. Kena control minda supaya tidak memberi reaksi marah secara automatik bila anak menangis, tapi cuba pujuk dan buat dia gembira.

Nafsu marah mesti dikawal dan dididik, bukan diikut.

Aku harap ada pihak yang cukup prihatin untuk memberi bantuan kaunseling dan didikan rohani kepada si ibu ni. Something that her husband should have given.

Tak kira la apa jua punca sampai berlaku macam ni, orang macam si ibu ni patut diberi support.

Wallahu A’lam~

MAKE YOUR BABY HAPPY, THEN YOU WILL BE HAPPY TOO

 

Jom hormati orang lain!

Assalamualaikum

Hari ni popular sangat dalam facebook dan youtube berkenaan satu video yang saya tak nak sebut kat sini. Malas la nak ulas kan sebab rasanya dah ramai yang mengulas pasal ni.

Tapikan, saya sebenarnya agak terganggu melihat video tu. Bukan kerana isunya, tetapi kerana sikap (attitude) yang ditonjolkan dalam video tu. Saya cukup risau kalau satu hari nanti anak saya bersikap macam tu. Nanti orang kata, “hai anak sape la tu tak reti nak hormat orang, egois pulak tu!” Waaa saya tak nak orang cakap macam tu kat saya ataupun anak saya!

Oleh itu, jom lah kita sama-sama ajar anak kita untuk menghormati orang lain (respect others), mempunyai rasa belas kasihan terhadap orang lain (compassionate), merendah diri (humble) dan paling penting, jangan merajakan sikap ego dalam diri.

Kita tentu rasa sakit hati kan kalau jumpa dengan orang yang egois ni. Berlagak pulak. Ingat dia je yang betul, tak nak dengar cakap orang lain. Jadi, kalau kita sendiri tak suka orang macam ni, kita pun tak boleh la jadi orang yang macam ni. Dan anak-anak kita pun kita kena ajar supaya tak jadi macam ni. Anak-anak ni kita kena ajar satu persatu apa yang kita nak dia tahu. Tak boleh nak assume dia akan belajar sendiri semua. Kita ajar dia dengan cara menunjukkan contoh yang baik, dan juga ‘ceramahkan’ sikit tentang sikap-sikap yang baik dan yang tidak  baik, dan apa akibat baik dan buruk – consequences – dari setiap sikap tu.

Mama saya dulu suka belikan buku-buku kisah tauladan dan kisah-kisah Nabi untuk saya. Sebab saya suka baca buku macam dia juga. Jadi, saya banyak belajar tentang akhlak-akhlak yang baik dari buku-buku tu. Walaupun saya masih kecil pada waktu itu, sekurang-kurangnya asas akhlak yang baik tu dah melekat dalam kepala saya. Tinggal nak amalkan atau tidak je. Saya pun berhasrat nak ajar anak saya dengan cara yang sama juga.

Jom kita perhatikan perangai dan perwatakan orang, dan belajar membezakan yang baik dan yang buruk. Sikap yang baik dicontohi, sikap yang buruk ditinggalkan. Saya pun masih belajar dan belajar, agar saya dapat mengajar anak saya pula. Saya tak nak orang kata anak saya buruk perangai..malu la saya kan.

Jom sama-sama belajar akhlak dari Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Lain peringkat umur, lain cara layanannya. Yang tua dihormati, yang muda disayangi. Siapa lagi yang lebih baik selain dari Baginda sendiri untuk menjadi inspirasi kita kan.

Lets earn respect by respecting others~!

What u give ur child, that is what u will get back..whether u like it or not~

Assalamualaikum,

Alhamdulillah di pagi senin yg berbahagia ni masih diberi peluang bernafas atas bumi Allah ni dlm keadaan sehat walafiat dan cerdas. Di kala ramai org menghidap sindrom ‘Monday Blues’ ni, sy dgn hepinya menikmati sarapan pagi yg tenang di anjung umah sambil ditemani kicauan burung merpati. Time aiman lom bgn ni la bule duduk lepak2 dgn tenang. This is the best part about being a ‘stay-at-home mommy’.. hmm…

Apapun, cerita sbnr utk entri kali ni adlh pasal si kecik aiman ni la. Nak dijadikan cerita, ptg semalam, lps sy penat dok bertungkus lumus memasak kat dapur, sy pun pergila duduk di ruang tv, joining papa aiman dan aiman yg asyik bermain henpon sy. Baru je baring2 betulkan urat2 pinggang yg lenguh ni, tetiba si aiman ni datang kat sy dan ckp, “Eped, eped”. hmm faham la nak Ipad la tu. So sy pun ckp la kat dia, “ha gi amik, ipad kat bilik”. Pastu, instead of obediently pergi amik like he always did, dia suruh mama dia plak gi amik, “gi amik, gi amik, eped, eped”. I was caught by surprise. Nak tergelak pun ada. Dia siap tunggu saya bangun, dan ikut dia masuk ke bilik. Okla bangun la teman dia kejap. Pastu bila sampai bilik, saya berdiri la kat pintu, tunggu dia gi amik ipad atas katil. Tgk2, dia pergi kat katil and duduk situ bersandar sambil leka bermain dgn henpon sy. he was expecting me to come to the bed and take the ipad for him!

Then it hit me, ya Allah, si kecik ni tgh buat exactly mcm sy treat dia sblm2 ni. Sebelum ni, everytime dia mintak sesuatu kat saya, musti sy akan ckp “gi amik”, pastu kalu dia xpegi jgk, sy akan teman dia, and suruh dia amik sendiri apa yg dia nak tu. kecuali kalau dia mmg xsmpi ke apa. So apa yg berlaku smlm tu, adalah cermin kpd cara sy treat dia sebelum ni. Huhuhu..looks like i need to make a few amendments. Kalau kita dgr kat telinga kita bunyi xsedap, mesti la org lain dgr bunyi x sedap jugak. So kena la susun balik gaya bahasa tu. tukar from “gi amik” to “aiman amik ye”. rasanya bunyi polite sket kan. huhuhu..tu la jd parent ni byk bg kesedaran pd sy, what we want our children to become, that is what we have to show them.

Sebelum ni pun, bila saya ajar dia sesuatu yg baru, kalau dia berjaya catch apa yg saya ajar, mesti sy akan praise by saying, ‘pandai!’. Tujuannya nak boost dia punya confidence. So skrg ni, bila dia belajar apa2, kalau sy x ckp ‘pandai’ mesti dia akan ckp pd diri dia sendiri ‘pandai!’. alamak! mcm parrot pulak. tapi itu la hakikatnya, anak kecil ni mcm sponge, dia absorb semua yg dia nmpk and dgr di sekeliling, dia perhati mcm mana org sekeliling dia bercakap dgn dia, layan dia, pastu mcm tu la cara dia bercakap dgn org lain, mcm tu la jgk dia akn treat org lain. sbb tu la org kata anak ni adlh cermin bg ibubapa. haih~ the wisdom of old sayings..

mcm ni la kalu dh jd parents. zmn belum ada anak dulu, bahasa percakapan and behaviour pakai bantai je. nak rojak ke, nak kasar ke lembut ke, sume ikut suke ati. skg ni bila dah ada ‘parrot’, xboleh dah buat mcm dulu2. kite xnak la anak kite pegi umah atuk nenek dia nti bckp gaya bahasa yg pelik2 kan..huhuhu. bikin malu kampeni je.

pastu kalu dia wat something yg kite x suke, xleh marah2 sbrgn,. kena tarik nafas dulu, sabar dulu, pastu ckp baik2 pd dia. explain. kalau dah termarah, dia upset. bila upset, dia akan belaja memberontak plak. since kita xnak anak kita ada temper, kena la tegur cara baik. cakap dgn lemah lembut dan sopan. minta maaf sbb berkasar pastu explain kenapa kita marah. semoga dia faham. budak kecil ni hatinya masih suci, so waktu ni la lg senang nk bentuk dia, daripada tunggu dh besar panjang dah keras kepala baru nak betulkan mmg susah la. ajar dia that when we do wrong, we must apologize by showing the same example to them. it’s so not wise to make them learn a lesson by displaying your own ego. konfem diorg pulang balik mende sama. so when they actually show the same ego, dont blame them. blame urself for teaching them that.

sblm sy tamatkan celoteh sy ni, nak cerita psl this one family that i had known for a long time. everytime jumpa diorg, mesti sy akan notice the way they treat the little ones. x kira la anak sape pun. dorg ckp lembuuttt sgt dgn budak2, kalau perlu marah, suara tetap lembut tp tegas. anak2 kecil dilayan dgn penuh kasih sayang dan lemah lembut. so when the kids grow up, sy perhatikan dorg ni layan adik2, atau anak2 kecil lain with the same manner they were being treated before. they also become people who are polite, well mannered and very likable. i think this is a very good example. Rasulullah SAW pun layan kanak2 dgn lemah lembut dan penuh kasih sayang kan.

Ok la that’s all for now. Till next time. Wassalam..