I picked this intriguing question from a book I read sometime ago which asked; “When you are shopping and drop a piece of fruit on the floor, do you put it back and take a new one or take the one you damaged?” (Source: The Book of Questions: Business, Politics and Ethics, Workman Publishing, New York, 1991, Gregory Stock)
What would you do?
What’s my own experience?
I was going to have lunch at a nice masakan kampong in Lumut the other day and this happened to me. As I was busy selecting the range of ulams I dropped some pucuk gajus on the floor. As there was no one around at that time I put it back on the table outside the tray meant to serve the ulams.
“Abah kotor lah” my little daughter said to me.
I kept quiet and walk away bringing the set of ulams to our table. As I sat I felt extremely guilty with myself. There was nobody yet at the warung and my eyes wander at people parking their cars I thought would have lunch there too. I was also watching the ulam which I have dropped.
Out of guilt I rushed back to the table and snatched the piece of ulam before someone took it, rinse it and brought back to my table.
“Nasib baik abah ambik, kalau orang lain makan nanti dia mati” my daughter insinuate.
I felt so remorseful with my daughter statement. Budak kecik pun tahu. Where was my ethics I advocated so much to my children? Cakap tak serupa bikin. Ketam nak ajar anak dia berjalan betul. Fuh…malunya rasa walau tak ada orang nampak.
“Aren’t you eating?” asked my wife.
“Tak selera lah” I replied.
“Alaaa abah dah rasa salah tu” my daughter implied.
“Kenapa bah” my son asked.
“Abah dah kasi jatuh ulam lepas tu letak aje balek kat meja. Kalau orang lain makan tentu dia mati pasal makan kuman. Lepas tu abah ambek balek..ni ha dia” my daughter reasoned out and showed the piece of ulam like a public prosecutor.
I smiled at her.
“Sorry guys” I apologized to my family.
“Apology accepted. Jangan buat lagi tau. Dosa” my daughter said.
Honestly that was the first time I did that. No. I am not showing off. If I dropped something at the supermarket I will always give it to the helper and told what had happened.
That day was an off day for me I thought. The daemon in me might have persuaded me to be such a brat. It happened impulsively. I would have ignored my daughter if I did not istigfar after my daughter recited the doa makan before she ate her lunch. That triggered me.
This could happen to anybody. It might happen to me again but I pray it would not repeat. It could be a trivial issue but the effect could be costly.
What had happened made me so repentant. What had happened is evil!
I beg forgiveness if you still detest my act.
Now, for your listening pleasure……