A Heritage of Peace

3-5-22

This morning, decked in traditional finery that spoke of ethnic pride & brimming with benedictions fresh from morning prayers, First Tutee touched the back of my hand with his forehead to wish me peace.

First Tutee is now taller than me. I’ve known him before he entered Primary One.

For the past few years, my home has been his first place of visit after prayers at the mosque on Hari Raya mornings.

A little boy and his cat friend on Hari Raya morning a a few years back.

This year he brought a friend with him. He wanted to show him how to interact with Oliver the Cat.

First Tutee supervising his friend’s first contact with a cat.

First Tutee explained to his little friend how he used to be scared of cats before he met Oliver.

He then taught him how to sit still while waiting for the cat to approach, and how to offer food respectfully to the animal.

Showing his little friend how to approach a cat & feed him respectfully.

“Don’t touch him when he’s trying to eat cos it makes him nervous,” said the older boy to the younger one.

While they were sitting by the window, First Tutee pointed out the direction of Batam, Indonesia, to his fascinated guest. He also told him the body of water he saw was called a reservoire, not a swimming pool.

Two Muslim boys looking out of the window at the world while the prayer flags flutter above them.

Although First Tutee and I are not related by blood, and these days we don’t see each other much, he seems to have taken after me in the way he explains things. And now & then when he spots a full moon, he’ll send me a picture of it.

While we make material provisions for our children, showing them how to live peacefully with all despite our differences could give them the wisdom & compassion to journey further & do better under all circumstances in life.

“Unity doesn’t have to mean uniformity” – Palki Sharma, news anchor of WION.

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