Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Of Being Judgmental

We live in a very judgmental society.

In office, I watch with sadness how superiors pass judgments on their staff, usually without knowing much about the staff to begin with. Likewise, now that I am leaving the company, people are more forthcoming to share their views so I discover that even staff are as judgmental about their superiors – not much different compared to the superiors.

In school, adults become more judgmental every day.

In anything that goes wrong, very rarely I come across an expression of remorse, or a reflection of what could have been done differently, or a voluntary admission of guilt – on the part of the adults.

Teachers will point fingers to the students for not being bright. Either because the students sleep too much in the class, or they did not do what they were supposed to do, or anything else – but it’s usually the students’ fault. The fact that the boys started out as the top 100 Malay students in the country is often conveniently ignored.

I usually smile because to me, it’s really a catch-22 question.

If we say students do not understand, shouldn’t we wonder whether we are teaching them right that they don’t understand.

If we say they sleep too much, could it be that the way we regulate their routines is wrong that they do not have enough sleep?

If we say they look disinterested, is it not that it is our job to inspire them in the first place?

Is it not that as an adult with the upper hand, we always have the choice to change it for them?

I can always relate to this dilemma – because at work too, for every complaint that I make about my staff; I remind myself that I have a larger part to play because my influence as a boss is greater than theirs.

In the case of students, the buck must always stop with the adults, because they follow what we show them.

Unfortunately, we live in a very judgmental society.

Parents blame teachers and their children. Blame the teachers for not doing the job right. Blame the boys for getting the priority wrong, or for failing to see things the way we adult should. Teachers blame the children. The children burn the bridges and withdraw into their little own world.

In the end, we corrupt the very people we thought we were protecting and care for. That’s the price you pay for being judgmental.

One of the best blessings I got out of the five years spent coaching MCKK teams – is the lesson in life not to be judgmental.

Boys will be boys, one day they will come around (of course there are always dickhead amongst them – so long as you have given them a chance, if they blow it up it’s their own fault).

And I am so thankful to have been surrounded by a group of people who are not at all judgmental. Being around them reminds me that the only judgment that matters is His.


The following series are a good lesson of not being judgmental.


Badut and I went back to Kuala recently because we fear Mr Thaman and Mr Pala could have felt that we abandoned them – ever since they took over.

I spent the first day getting to know the Form 3 hockey players, as these are the backbone of the future team. Our hope rests with them for a turnaround and to bring back the sporting culture to MCKK.

Little ducklings being the little ducklings, did not say anything throughout the lunch. They smiled, nodded or shook their heads; or giggled once in a while when you mentioned anything pornographic.

Then we met Mr Thaman and Mr Pala the next day.

We asked about the boys. And they heaped praises after praises about the boys – how they are trying their best, how they have improved bit by bit, or even how they have grown up. Before we left, we dropped by at the hockey pitch and saw Mr Thaman sitting by Zul (one of the players) mending his (Zul's) hockey stick. It was a classic picture of one man's care for the youngling that transcended age, race or religion.

Many of our Malay teachers are so sensitive when we make comparisons. But I can’t but to compare. How I wish that the small segment Malay teachers, would have poured as much passion as these non-Malays, to look after the brightest of our brightest.


Ayu arranged for a surprised birthday do for Idzam – yes, we have hit the 32nd year of our physical being. Many others couldn’t make it so it was only myself, Joe, Epit and Aily (or nama manja Kak Yong he he).

It was a serene night. We had to put up with the lousiest pizza ever (charged so exorbitantly, considering there was no pizza sauce to begin with), but it was nice. We adjourned to Coffee Bean outside and discussions revolved around things that I never thought we would ever chat over coffee.

Fertility, family, priorities in life. And fertility again. And fertility (yes, I get the message loud and clear).

On behalf of all the Bapak Itiks who couldn’t make it there – Happy Birthday EZAM!

Many people asked how did we manage to stay focus with Mighty Ducks. My answer is simple – accept things as they are, celebrate people in all their differences and antics; do not judge each others’ commitment. Once we do not pre-judge, then everyone will do what they can and that’s how a team moves.


This is almost 2 months late.

We met with Cikgu Malek and Dr Mior Hamdan (both taught at MCKK in the period of 1988 to 2007) at this year’s PPM.

We had fun chatting and both validated our stories to the present boys of how casual things were back then.

“Dulu masa kami, kalau kami tengok junior tu selebet sikit ke, kurang ajar sikit, kami panggil senior cakap junior dia macam tu. Kemudian senior paham2 la apa dia kena buat..”

Both teachers are examples that we used to have really matured and non-judgmental teachers among us, hence why we too grew up not being judgmental.


  1. Dear Encik Noni Kapet,

    How timely - beautifully written.

    BTW, hows Holland the gang doing? Are they back in their pinkest state of health?

    Thanks for sharing - it's good to see that some guys could really write with their heart - not about them but others...

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Fi-sha,

    Gempak je lebih Holland. Demam pun idok. Menghabiskan grub within 10 minutes ada la. Holland memang pink pun, cuber tngok gambar ha ha

    Thanks - ha ha my heart is.... defective :-p

    Got to sleep :-)

  3. Anonymous1:11 PM

    dah kau hidang grub depan bebudak tu, memang la 10minutes or so dah gone. hidang batu pun diorang telan

  4. ha ha aku pi beli grub ngn badut.

    ambik2 lepas tu badut rasa banyak sngt. aku dah ckp tak cukup.

    duduk je ngn diorang, lepas 10 minit tak cukup. badut tak percaya diorang habiskan semua.

    ha ha tu la aku dh ckp kat badut, dia kena ada masa tournament north zone and tengok budak2 ni makan. baru dia paham ha ha.

    kita dulu lapar mcm tu ke?

    aku rasa aku malu2 kucing, jaga status tak bataq dpn old boys ha ha

  5. Concerned3:50 PM

    haven't we gave a thought that we may be obsolete in our ways?

  6. Dear Concerned:

    1) It's "haven't we GIVEN a thought"

    2) You need to elaborate. I don't quite understand what you are trying to allude.

  7. Anonymous12:51 AM

    Oh my,

    very biased view

  8. Err Anonymous,

    Care to elaborate which part is very biased?