Nov 15, 2013

Of words and tongue

Assalamualaikum wbt.
 
To begin with, I have never been particularly comfortable with words and those who use them for living. I don't like the 'so-called wordsmiths', the skilled user with words? Yeah. This may sound unqualified, or imprecise but I have good sound reasons. And before you judge, I am certainly not having any issues with anyone who's in that field. As long as they're not presenting themselves with what society knows lies and frauds.

I am, however used to be a girl of many words. I loved storytelling, I have friends who had passion over my stories and one, Asiah. I remember there was one time she texted me just to tell how bad she was missing to listen to my stories, whether good or sad she said, she enjoyed all of them. She loves to watch what I am at. I purse lips, roll eyes, the dramatic whisper and the cries of, "Damn!". I took that as a lovely remark from a friend. Thank you, Yah. Kita rindu kamu.
 
And so I quit. Words, words, words, they could lead us to a lot of problems. You know, there are people who spread idle gossip and leave silly notes strewn across busy desks. Over the years I was to see that it was these acts, or rather the signal failure to act, words were the true seeds of disaster and chaos. By quitting my passion of entertaining friends with my stories, I am glad to say that I've saved my life.
 
Mama used to say, "Jangan cakap banyak. Nanti orang benci." Maybe I'm unduly old-fashioned, call me a bumpkin, but unlike many people I know, I've always listened very carefully to such advice. I paid heed. I saved my words, storing them away from all the hatred and worries. So I was taught also by my mother, that those who used too many words were a danger not only to themselves but also to their colleagues and their country.
 
The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that “everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. So what do we have in Malaysia? Article 10(1) of the Constitution of Malaysia grants freedom of speech.
 
However, things have limits. So to protect Malaysians from being instigated, anybody who disagrees can voice his or her opinion provided that it is done in a constructive manner. Being granted with that power with which we call freedom of speech, Malaysians must also exercise great care not to offend anyone unnecessarily when they disagree with a point of view other than their own. Told you, words are evil sometimes.
 
So now, I am trying to shun the use of words as much as possible (realizing I am writing an essay with more than 300 words). As you can see, this doesn't mean that I don't like language. I do. I love literature. And even until today, I jot down new words in my notebook. It's just that, I don't get with people who use their words as authority and chance in any way in which is inaccurate and sloppy.
 
I am pretty sure you get my points. Right?
 
Cakap siang pandang-pandang itu apa?
Kerana pentingnya untuk menjaga lidah
Kerana tidak mahu ada sengketa
Tidak mahu pula berbalah sesama kita.
 
Dengan kata "Aku terima nikahnya", maka termeterai satu ikatan
Betapa penting kata-kata hingga sampai disaksikan Tuhan
Begitu lah juga bencananya lidah, "Maka aku ceraikan dikau dengan talak"
Hanya dengan kata-kata, semua seakan satu kontrak.
 
Kata dan lidah semacam pasangan musibat
Bila mana beratur menunggu giliran resah hati bukan kepalang
Pada waktu dan ketika lidah tidak lagi satu penyelamat
Detik tiba semua kata tidak lagi dalam simpanan.
 
Berucaplah, berkatalah yang indah
Tegurlah, nasihatlah dengan nawaitu yang mulia
Berpuisilah, berlagulah untuk setia.
 
Kerana
Dalam setiap perkataan terucap
Masih ada harapan
Sedikit sebanyak untuk bahagia.
 
Bukan dusta dan hina semata.
 
- Sheriel Aizan binti Mahaiddin, 15 November 2013, Kuala Lumpur
 
 


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