Thursday, February 4, 2010

We Recite And We Learn


Lying close to my late mother, I enjoyed listening to all the tune she sang while sucking my bottled milk, kicking my legs and swinging my hands.

The same songs I heard all over again.

They were so familiar, so very near, that they continued to hide in the bottom of my heart until today.

Once in a while, I would hum and sing spontaneously and unknowingly while doing my work or playing my game.

I was told they were wise sayings and stories, poems, proverbs, songs, quotes, jokes, facts, thoughts..... passing through the centuries in beautiful tunes and with genuine fervor.

I loved them all and remembered them all.

But now I have slowly forgotten the lyrics... only remembered them as tunes and the rhythms of the past.......

*******

I remembered how I had studied in my primary school.......

How we had recited the pages everyday...

We knew the books by heart...

And were able to read through the books without any reference...

We learned our arithmetic tables by heart...

We were detained in school until we could recite all the answers from 2x2 to 12x12 without making a single mistake...

We sang our many songs by heart...

And we could easily sing along the musical symbols: 1, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, 3,.....

And we could pick up any tune easily just by hearing once or twice...

We also acted in our plays, so natural and spontaneous were our gestures, our body postures and movements, our eyes contacts, our smiles and laughter, our facial expressions, our tones of voice, our speeches and words.......

I loved them all and remembered them all.

But then I had slowly forgotten them... only remembered them as tunes and the rhythms of the past.......

*******

Yes, we have to recite what we learn...

Yes, we have to remember every single word, phrase, sentence, page, and book...

That was how we read, write, count, sing, act, play.......

And we remembered them all and loved them all...

And we all loved our teachers and elders.......

*******

Children today continue to recite.......

But they know and remember mostly music and songs, catchy tunes and melodies, dances and exercise moves, chants and mantras, famous quotes and sayings, ........

No... no... they don't recite anymore than we do.......

They explain simple truths in many words and difficult terms...

They don't explain difficult theories and concepts in simple words and phrases...

No... no... they don't practice remembering things anymore.......

********

The baby continued to enjoy sucking his bottled milk...kicking his legs and swinging his hands.......

The mother continued to sing... with simple words in simple tunes...

She remembered everything... all her children and grandchildren birthdays and events... all the happenings and goings.......

All the wrinkles on her face and the sparkling of her eyes could tell many wonderful stories and tales... in beautiful tunes and songs.......

The old woman continued to recite... and to remember...

It was all so very important to her.......

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