Hi! Mak Cik*

How to  show kindness to random persons

by Chuah Jia Ning

Jian Ning & Mak Cik

Jian Ning & Mak Cik *means ”auntie” used to address older women

“Chapel”, I said to the prefect before he could ask me where I wanted to go. He just nodded and resumed his routine of staring into space, probably wishing his duty could end faster. Looks like I wasn’t the only one having a bad start to the day

This could’ve been a nice morning, I thought, as I saw the strokes of pink that decorated the sky while the wind blew my pinafore and my fringe which I tried to tame but failed badly. It was indeed a beautiful morning; too bad I couldn’t enjoy it. I had woken up at four that morning to finish the geography folio which was due that very day, after receiving some feedback the DAY BEFORE that implied, I was going to fail if I didn’t rewrite four of my main points so yes, sacrificing my sleep it was.

As I passed a group of school workers hanging out at their usual spot behind the hall, I couldn’t help but recall this “Kindness Project” we started in the chapel last year where we were required to do random acts of kindness to strangers.

So, despite the fact that I was in a very bad mood, I mustered up the courage, forced a smile onto my face and said “Hi, mak cik (auntie)” to I don’t know which mak cik since there was a group of them but I was just hoping I could get some sort of response.

Most of them smiled at me, which was good, but there was one particular mak cik that smiled broadly and replied with a “Hi”.

Most of them smiled at me, which was good, but there was one particular mak cik that smiled broadly and replied with a “hi”. At that moment my mood instantly changed, and the forced smile turned into a genuine one.

A few days later, I was the last to leave the class after school so I had to lock it up.

Unfortunately, the lock was giving me a really hard time and I was there juggling all my books while trying to lock the stubborn, rusted padlock. I started to panic.

Then, a mak cik came to the rescue and miraculously managed to lock it, kudos to her. We chit chatted for a while and my mood was instantly lifted.

Now, I’m about to take up the role of that teacher of yours who always takes up one whole period to teach you some life values, brace yourself.

First of all I think we should all appreciate what the school workers do for our school.

Honestly, not everyone is willing to mow THE WHOLE FIELD while being attacked by the ferocious grass clippings (ouch) or clean up after you’ve broken one of the class windows, clean the toilets after recess and remove that sanitary pad stuck on the toilet tank.

We often take what they do for granted and to be honest with you, I’m guilty of that too but I’ve come to realise that they contribute A LOT to the school. It wouldn’t kill to show a tiny bit of gratitude, you know.

It’s amazing how one small act can make a big difference to both the receiver and the giver.

A simple hi or smile could turn someone’s day right side up.

Once, our school’s lady security guard was kind enough to keep me company while I waited for my parents.

In those few minutes I dare say a bond was bridged and now we greet each other all the time.

Fun fact, she even reminded me about the oral test which I had completely forgotten about so, a big shout out to her.

One act of kindness can also make you, as the giver just a better, kinder person in general. And I think we can all agree the world needs a little more kindness, even if it’s only a greeting like ‘’hi, mak cik’’.

Jia Ning is a form four student studying in St. David High School, Melaka. Her interests include running, writing, ballet, music and many more.



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