Out of the mouths of babes


Innocent outlook: A screenshot of ‘The Flashcard Experiment’ showing a child giving an answer to a flashcard.

Innocent outlook: A screenshot of ‘The Flashcard Experiment’ showing a child giving an answer to a flashcard.

PETALING JAYA: No one is born racist. Or chauvinistic. Or bigoted. Children see things in a simple way and all it takes is seeing things without judgment or prejudice.

At least, that was what was discovered during a small social experiment conducted by The Star and published in a video titled The Flashcard Experiment.

Facebook users’ responses to the video on The Star’s Facebook page had a similar tone, encouraging others to embrace a child’s innocent outlook.

“As adults, we are exposed to lots of local issues. It’s good to be cautious of these, but sometimes it’s also good not to be too rigid in our points of view. Kids can teach us good values or perceptions that we’ve long forgotten,” said Nicholas Ong.

“We live in a beautiful country surrounded by a beautiful blend of culture and races.

“We should leave our prejudices aside and look at the world a little differently. Hopefully, we get to be as positive and happy as the children are,” said Puteri Kaarriena El-Sherief.

Farhana Zain said: “I believe we can all make a conscious effort to take a step back and stop making labels, generalisations and judgments – a skill that we can perhaps learn from the kids around us.”

Jasmine Nur Sufiyyah Jubilin agreed with the video’s sentiment, adding: “Kids are like a piece of white cloth. Pure and naive. Sometimes we should learn good values from them.”

“Hopefully, we all stay as objective and as positive as children are for a longer time,” said Siron Pereira.

“Powerful reminder from the voice of children,” said Teach For Malaysia (TFM) co-founder Dzameer Dzulkifli.

Halian Fadzli Shah suggested a bigger pool of participants from more diverse backgrounds to make the experiment more robust and inclusive.

In the video, adults were asked to share the first thought that came to mind after being shown images on a flashcard, similar to a Rorschach Test.

When the same cards were presented to children, the answers came out surprisingly different.

The Flashcard Experiment is part of The Star’s #ModerateMY campaign to encourage open, rational and moderate discussion to counter the voices of extremism.

For more #ModerateMY campaign articles, visit http://www. thestar.com.my/moderatemalaysia/.

ModerateMY , flashcard , moderation