Poetry: More Than a 'Thing' (Inspired by the orang asli kids)
Ask any mission tripper what he has drawn from his trips, long or short, and one of the replies you'd mainly hear would be 'a sense of gratitude'. True. I've had my share. The orang asli (the official term for the indigenous people of Malaysia) kids I've been blessed to work with on my previous few trips to their village have certainly reminded me to be thankful for my comfy bed and showers, my convenient access to air-conditioning and the internet - both I seemingly can't live without, the books and education I am privileged to have, the Lays and Diet Cokes at my disposal, etc. Indeed, they truly helped open my eyes to contentment, though not to be mistaken for complacency.
A recent trip to the orang asli village further broadened my scope on the subject of thankfulness. Although we are thankful for the things we have, we do not often step back to appreciate the essence. It's just like a lady who feels blessed to be showered with a lovely sheath dress by her beloved friend but doesn't digest how skillfully constructed the ruching is, how intricately and creatively structured the seams are, or how proportionately the garment looks thanks to its subtle appliqué; or a husband who is grateful to be married to a beautiful woman but doesn't pause to admire her radiance and grace. This is not experiencing thankfulness in its quintessential form, and in my opinion, if we miss out on this we miss out on one of the joys life accords.
Hence, the following poem is inspired by and derived from a scene I witnessed between one of the orang asli kids and a fellow mission tripper.
Snapshots of their lives...
More Than a 'Thing'
When you own a something
It exists only as a 'thing'
Hardly do you pause to think
Of it as a blessing
And not merely a rightful my-thing
How can life feel fulfilled
When there's no sense of thankfulness?
How can the sweetness of an apple peeled
Be savored on taste buds so lifeless?
So how can he be thankful
When he doesn't see
How freshly lucid the crystal can be?
When he doesn't consider
The regal stateliness of the bezel?
When he has never understood
The dignity the dial's oyster color exudes?
Till an orang asli boy nudged for a clearer look
At the watch that caught his eye
Relishing the beauty to him rare
Only then did the wearer ponder and stare
Gaze and face with the little boy shared
Appreciating his timepiece with never before profundity
Therefore, I'm truly grateful
For reminders like this bountiful
That awaken my capability of admiration and gratitude
Otherwise buried passively within life's amplitude
October 15, 2013
You might also like to check out the poem which was also inspired by these kids written by my fellow mission tripper:
© 2013 Carmen Beth
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