I remember my grandfather told me once “Manusia jadi jahat sebab satu benda je, mereka hendakkan kasih sayang” (People become bad because of only one thing, they want love). His statement was in response of me curiously asking him why on earth his everybody calling atuk or abah. A queer character, my tok sedara was a prolific political writer but also a philanthropist. More often than not, he would accept guests with open arms. His warm welcome made people at ease. They become so comfortable that some even stayed for months. Oh well, that’s his part of charity for the Hereafter.
Back to his statement, how illogical it may seem to me at that time. It does have some truth to it. In a book I read recently entitled “Raising girls: Helping your daughter to grow up wise, warm and strong” by Steve Biddulph, he says that a girl (perhaps applies to boys too) goes through five stages of growth. The first stage which is vital in providing the stable platform of being human is being secure.
Babies from the day they were born to 2 years old are in a phase of total insecurity. They need full attention. Like building a house, a child will have a strong emotional foundation if it is loved via hugs and attentive communication. A crying child would calm down if a mother takes it into her arms for cuddles. Feeding and clothing a child would be insufficient for it to develop prosperously emotionally and mentally.
Biddulph asserts that affection is the key. Not only via hugs and cuddles but also play! I saw a documentary on pregnancy that explains how pregnancy would affect the infant’s character and intelligence. It says that if you want an intelligent child, the father must play the role to care and show affection to the mother during pregnancy. It shows that how much does love and affection is instrumental in the process of human growth along the way.
However, despite that the seeds of love should be sown from the beginning stages of life, it is never too late for anyone at any phase. All they need is a little compassion and love.