A Smart Boy Learning To Count

My little brother Ahmad Ali loves watching advertisements on television. Well, not only did he watched them but he also tried to understand them.

One day he told us that he was puzzled over one advertisement. The advertisement shows a boy (who was supposed to be smart) came home from school and when asked by his mum about what did he learnt in school he started counting from 1 – 8.

My little brother argued that it is very funny that a smart ‘big’ boy had just learnt counting from 1 – 8 in school when he should have learnt them when he was two years old.

The other day our father’s friend Pak Cik Saidi offered him some cookies (that he knew Ahmad Ali loves). So Pak Cik Saidi was puzzled when my brother refused the cookies. When asked, Ahmad Ali said that he still loves the cookies but he do not want to eat them because they are ‘not good’.

He then explained that in the advertisement a pair of siblings who wanted more cookies stole their father’s cookies. They even replaced the cookies (that they stole) with play dough cookies! He stressed that those are bad values and he won’t want to be like them (by eating those cookies).

There are a number of other advertisements that he used to complain about. These included advertisements featuring kids fighting over the advertised items and also an advertisement showing a pair of siblings fighting over a game of Play Station. Fighting is bad value and Play Station is empty fun (which is also bad).

It makes me wonder that if a little boy could be able to value things; why did the adults who ‘create’ the advertisements can’t? My little brother once said that it is okay for him because he knows that junk food and lollipops are bad but what about the other kids who had not known about it? And what about the ‘cheating’, ‘stealing’ and practical jokes (by kids on adults) that been featured freely in advertisements? I’m really proud of my little brother; he may has his ‘angin’ sometimes but he is a wonderful boy!

Note: Allahyarham Prof Muhammad Al-Mahdi (the founder of Khalifah Institute) really loved and was very close to my brother and until the last day of his life, Prof Muhammad kept on reminding him about the good values, Khalifah responsibilities and on being a good Muslim. Ahmad Ali who was 3 when Prof passed away really miss him until today.