Today, I want to share my experience about The Power of Forgiveness. As the last child of the family, I grow up being a pampered child; not spoiled; but more like self-centered, selfish and Kiasu person. From a Microbiology degree holder to my first work as a banker, the idea of that “the world should be revolving around me” or “I am the Center of Universe’s Attention” is so apparent UNTIL I switch my profession as a teacher. From 2010, I started my journey as a teacher and from that moment, I have learned so much about the meaning of being humble and also to show compassion and love to people, especially to those who are younger than me because as the last child, I never knew how to entertain kids and I even hated kids! But with the instinct as teacher arose and when my nephew, Rifqi Naufal was born, I began to learn how to love.
The story is uprooted way 2 months ago. The whole school was busy at the school field and since I was the MC, so naturally I was very occupied. But suddenly, I received a call from office that there was a suspect trying to steal money from my wallet (I put it inside my working case at Teachers’ Room – caught in the act by Kak Ani, one of the clerks!). I was shocked to know that the boy was a pupil that I have been teaching English AND I had a small talk and greeted by him on that particular morning!! How shocking was it??! I am the a stern teacher indeed but I am also a friendly one. I greet pupils and sometimes they greet me and it is a natural bond for pupils and teacher, no? This boy is undeniably naughty and mischief BUT I never thought until the extend of STEALING!!
First round of interrogation, he was adamant of being innocent and even took an oath saying that if he lied, his parents would be rammed tragically by lorry (See?!). My colleagues were dissatisfied and used another approach. We use the policemen approach and after some provocations (long story, I just want to cut it short!), he was crying and admitted he had the intention of stealing my money (the clerk saw him counting the money in my wallet and before he could do anything, he was caught!). I WAS SO FRUSTRATED by him because half of my heart prayed that he didn’t do it as he was quite an approachable pupil to me!!
I was so angry to the boy. I will not disclose what I did to him in front of the class as you know these days, illogical Malaysian Ministry of Education’s rules and regulation on disciplining children (ridiculous!) but it was very intense. Yes, I may seem like a meek and demure teacher for those who never knew me but as one of Discipline Teachers in my school, I have a reputation for being fierce and dramatic (throwing chairs, books; stamping the desk and whiteboard) amongst the pupils and the canes I usually bring will be worn off; usually I will use 3-4 canes per year. All because I felt so frustrated with this boy who had abused the trust I have given to him as a teacher. I felt betrayed that my friendliness was given in turn, a poison!
From then on, I decided to alienate the boy in my English class of 5 Purnama, refused to let him partaking in any activities; refused to check his works, refused to even acknowledged his presence.
This radio channel is good. Apart from its religious-contents, it is also full with wisdom words and motivational talks that can be inspiring. And the DJs are all with good words; no bad mouthing or any razor-mouths attitude. All sooth to the hearts and ears.
I continued that for the past 2 months UNTIL……….yesterday, 20th August 2014. I was driving to Batang Kali to buy dinner when I heard in IKIM.fm (yes, I listen to this channel these days!) about a segment of education world from Islamic perspective, I think. The moderator, an Ustaz said that :-
As a teacher; sometimes we feel annoyed or frustrated or even felt insulted with whatever behaviours that our pupils/students may demonstrate. Yes, teachers also human and deserved to feel angry BUT the pupils/students are still learning. As hard as it is (it is easier for non-teachers to say “Forgive & Forget”; they don’t know how hard and insulting to have pupils betraying you), teachers MUST LEARN TO FORGIVE. Perhaps from the forgiveness, the pupil will be led astray from the evil path and be goaded to the good path?
I have to say that when I heard that, I was “slapped”! I thought that it is ALLAH’s way to tell me to BEND THE EGO! What good can I reap by alienating this boy? Sure, I was angry and I was sad BUT am I happy doing that? Denying his right to learn and to redeem himself? Sure he had bad track records of even stealing RM100 at Sekolah Agama but will I ever find any peace if I still being egoistic and refuse to teach him? God has entrusted me as an educator and to alienate him means I have not fulfill my responsibility that God has entrusted me with! I actually owing to ALLAH SWT and the boy!
I became restless. And so happened that yesterday was my last day of “6 Days Fasting During Syawal” and I reflected myself. I thought, this is it; I have to repent myself. So, today before I began the activity in 5 Purnama, I called the boy in front of the class and explained the whole revelation. I asked him why didn’t he apologized from me; at first he was stoned cold (yes, he is known for being quite stubborn) & then I began to touch about my responsibility to God, Islam and also my pupils and I myself said that as a teacher, I OWE HIM AN APOLOGY for denying his right to study because of my anger and hatred and I don’t want to be penalized by ALLAH SWT in the AfterLife for that.
Suddenly, the boy CRIED!The whole class was sombre at that moment (although they were excited when I entered as they wanted to do group work!). I myself was overwhelmed by that and I touched his head saying that I also forgave him for whatever he had done. He asked for my forgiveness and I told him NOT TO REPEAT IT AGAIN. I told the class why I did that :-
“Some of you may found this laughable. BUT know this! Perhaps when Sir does this, it can deviate your friend from continue doing wrong things. Hopefully, your friend here has repent. Who knows what I am doing now could be a changing point from a burglar to a Prime Minister?”
When I am done, I felt so RELIEVED. Alhamdulillah. I think it is God’s way to tell me that I have to that. I am so grateful for that. Alhamdulillah for the instinct and I do feel the inner peace inside. You know like a dialogue in Mulan – “A single grain can tip the scale; one man is a difference between victory and defeat”. Who knows if my forgiveness is the catalyst for changes in his future? Nobody knows for sure, but ALLAH HU AKBAR. God is Great!