“A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself.”
Above: Photos of Port Klang where we hanged out once and pondered about life.
Years ago when I started lower 6, I was assigned to a seat next to a girl whom I knew since Form Four but hardly spoken to. Her name is BB. She hardly spoke much Cantonese and English while I could hardly speak any Mandarin (the language she is fluent in). Sometimes, we have to communicate in Malay which both of us could speak and understand relatively well.
Despite the language barrier, a friendship is born. Language was never a barrier between us. The universal language is always the language of the heart- such as a smile which all people will understand.
As she just gotten her driving license, she’ll take me around all over town. She will patiently take me to Makro to shop for groceries for my mom (my old car then could not make the far journey to Shah Alam).
BB is a kind, sincere and humble person. She believed in me and had offered me nothing but true friendship, drag me out of painful situations and are there to listen to me.
Even when we studied our degree at different states, she always wrote me long letters because she knew I was quite homesick. She took lots of effort to keep in touch when others were too busy to stay in touch. She always accepts me for who I am and that, with her kindness, have transformed me into the person that I am able to be today. She has her own inner confidence and does not try to live a life to impress others. It is such a refreshing difference as being teenagers living in a city, many were trying to be ‘cool’ or whoever they see on TV.
Recently I went to Klang to have my passport renewed. The immigration department is situated very close to Port Klang. As I was waiting for my passport to get ready, I walked over to the Klang port and memories flooded back on how as right after Form 6 exams, both of us went there, sat down and chatted. We wondered where we will go for studies, what jobs we would take up, how would things be for us when we grow up…
Well, today, both of us work in multinational companies and basically lead very different lives. She is very fluent in both Cantonese and English. She’s married now with a cute baby boy, juggling between the demands of her family and a busy career while I chose a very different route of life. Both of us have totally different interests and goals but we still remain best of friends today.
I am not really that well versed with Mandarin, but strangely enough, I find that when I speak to someone who is sincere and spoke from the heart, I can understand the person well enough. And I have met a few who had verified that fact.
Even during my travels, I often meet people whom I could not communicate due to the language barrier. For instance, even though I could not speak Thai, I survived so well in Bangkok because I meet many sincere Thais who were kind enough to give me directions. The driver who took me to Mahabalipuram (in Chennai) could only speak very few words of English.
Yet, I really believe that true communication, friendships or any relationships, are often fostered through the heart. The language of the heart transcends all languagues and does not require much words. Background, interests, age differences, goals or beliefs should never the the excuse. So, don’t let barriers stop you from forming valuable relationships. It could be very well the relationship that transforms your life for the better… and make you become the person that you’ll never thought you could be……