Say What? Child’s Play

Posted: February 5, 2011 in Say what?
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After some much needed rest and relaxation, I find myself overwhelmed by interactions with individuals who are either grossly immature or are in dire need of Sharma’s personal development and self-help seminars. I simply cannot bring myself to believe that rational and intelligent adult(I am in no way implying that kids are not rational considering I know many children and teenagers who could give these ‘old bags’ some much needed advice on how to at least act mature) homo sapiens could indeed conduct themselves in so many demeaning ways.

I remember when I was a little kid that being nasty was a very ‘ugly’ thing to do (I quote my Mother). We’ve all had our bouts of nastiness to the unfortunate kid in the playground but some of us never truly grow out of it and this is really disconcerting. For instance, I’ve already had somebody try to discredit the Muslimality website by trying to pass some chain mail or the other saying that Muslimality supports Banks (FNB, in this case) because he(or she) happened upon an advert on the Muslimality Contact Form/About Us Page. I’m hoping that said reader still reads our articles so that the following explanation might help: Muslimality is hosted on wordpress.com and so, we have no direct link to the adverts being displayed when GoogleAds detects your IP address, establishes that it belongs to a South African and thereafter displays the appropriate ad for the person viewing the page.I hope this clarifies any misunderstanding on your part but please feel free to visit our site again.

You see, I hate having to do that. It makes me feel like some nursery or primary school teacher having to call the rotten apple to the front of the class and make a lesson out of him for the rest of the kids. Which brings me to my next point: Bad Mouthing. Whilst this trait is not extremely common amongst the foundation phase, it is very much evident during high school where teenagers have truly made an art out of sensationalism, slandering and large scale smear campaigns to deal with competition, outcasts or the poor little souls whom they have decided to take revenge on.

It would be most untrue of me to say that these are traits most people outgrow by the time they have reached adolescence or that these are traits practised upon only by women. This type of behaviour has become a big part of adulthood and is definitely not gender-based. It is also not restricted to exclude religion. Of late, I have come across many a smear campaign targeted at those institutions or individuals who are assumed to be ‘backward’,oppressive, misogynistic ‘chilla wallas’ etc. Facebook, Twitter and many other social networks have made it possible for people all over the world to air their views to a large audience, who is only more than ready to read and believe. This is starting to sound just like high school…only worse!

I have often heard individuals who are parents to toddlers confess that when their kid decides to throw a tantrum, the most effective quick-fix is to join in the tantrum. I can only begin to imagine the horror of seeing a parent kicking and screaming next to their equally kicking and screaming 3 year old on a supermarket floor. Nursery school and foundation phase teachers often resort to ‘a few raps across knuckles with a ruler’ to return a class of rowdy kids to peace and quiet. Of course, with adults this is not possible and so one has to seek alternative methods of showing disapproval to keep the peace.

The best way to deal with matters such as these is to contact the person and have a good chat about what the issues at hand are. This does not work very well, especially in circumstances where the result infinitely outweighs the means to getting to the result. There are other options which are subject to certain conditions and are more effective.

One such instance resulted in approaching the problem with the age-old system of hierarchy. This means if a person is being considerably troublesome via any medium, you seek to solve the problem via the puppet-masters(the person/s who has considerable leeway in said troublemaker’s life e.g. employers,father,mother,grandfather,teacher etc.) but this method only results in a light rap across the knuckles and in no time, the troublemaker is on the loose yet again.

The option which I particularly favour is to face the troublemaker with the truth. The truth holds far greater value than any opinion of any person. By examining the truth of your existence, the purpose of your existence, any vile comments, lies or slander committed against you and intended to reach you will never affect you more than what any other form of useless speech is supposed to affect you. It is a truth deep within yourself, a truth meant to strengthen your core and a truth designed to keep you steadfast. It is the truth of your religion, the truth of Islam and if you are steadfast in holding on to the truth of Islam, no amount of child’s play, mockery or gossip (aimed purely at testing your resolve) will change the truth of who you are, what you are and everything you stand for as a Muslim.

Islam does not require change, It changes us…

The Say What? column featured on Muslimality is meant to inspire, teach, engage debate or simply make you laugh. This column revolves around a variety of issues relating to Muslims in South Africa and Muslims around the world.

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