Life Changed

A few years ago, I attended a two weeks Journalism class. Typical in every first session, we needed to do ice-breaker.

Everybody introduced themselves and it was normal; we revealed our names and where we were from. Then it came to my turn, I stood up, and did what everybody was doing. I was ready to sit down and when the instructor suddenly said “Wait… wait… wait… could you tell us something about your hair?”

I had a crazy curly hair at that time. Nevertheless, the question took me by surprise but this was my answer:

“This is not original. My hair is straight and boring. I’d never curl my hair in my life. I just wanted to see how I look like with curly hair.”

“Does it boost your confidence?” He asked further.

“Oh, yes! Definitely!” I replied.

“So you see, new hairstyle, life changed.” He said.

It was true, because after the hair, few years later, people came up to me and asked “What’s with the shirt?”

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Our Common Home

Three years ago, we moved to our new house. It is a simple home but much bigger and with better environment. It has four bedrooms compared to the old wooden house with only two bedrooms.

My mother has a beautiful garden, I have my own bedroom, my father has a space for his vegetables and all other stuff and plenty of space for my four annoying dogs to run around.

Most important, it is a lovely home, filled with love and food.

While I enjoy our new home so much, I cannot help but to think that outside our concrete home, we have a bigger home with a more diverse family.

We call it earth. This earth is our common home; a home that is rich and can provide for everyone; a home that enables us to grow up and to enjoy our lives.

However, today, our home is in crisis. Our ecosystem is collapsing and nearly half of the population in the world is crying for help for a new home because they have nothing to eat, according to UNICEF.

This is the phenomena in which we call the effect of climate change.

It changed this world from a place of abundance to a place for the survival of the fittest, because climate change isn’t just an environmental issue, is a political issue, a social issue and an economic issue.

United Nation describes climate change as a threat to human security with the poor are the hardest hit. The World Food Programme said ‘Hunger is number one cause of death in the world’ and with climate change affecting greatly on agriculture, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) had reported that starvation among young children will be increased by 20 per cent in 2050.

The World Bank predicted at least 20 million people in the world will be pushed to poverty by 2030. That is 12 nears from now.

We are living in a world of great global inequality, and climate change will accelerate it.

That demands the world leaders to change their policy in governing their country or risk greater inequality.

Let me ask you something

As a family, when our brothers and our sisters in need of help, will you try to offer them help, or will you walk away?

The time is now to take action. So, what can we do? Napoleon Hill said, ‘If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way’.

When my father decided to build a house for the family, he was met with financial difficulties, I’ve never seen my dad been that stress. It was a trying times for the family, but that was the time, all of us came together as a family; despite many loans, some of us applied for personal loans and they were approved, we forked out our savings, including my mother who is not working helped financial.

Because of our efforts, the house was completed in a year. I learned that if we are united as a family, even if we give the little that we have, we can achieve our goal.

It is the same thing in answering the cry of our brothers and sisters in this common home. A little effort goes a long way. And we all know that the only way to address climate change is to save energy.

We all know how to save energy; we can do it at home. Things like use recycled papers or stop wasting our food because as Pope Francis said ‘It is like stealing from the poor’. We can also switch off the lights or electricity when not in use, turn of tap water when brushing our teeth or use our own lunch box when ordering take away. Once you do that, it will create a ripple effect. You teach your children and your friends and they teach their children and their friends.

But if you want a step further, be the ambassador to speak about this issue.

We must recognize that climate change is serious, it is urgent and it is growing. Yet things can change, but we need to work together in building our common home. Our future generation deserves much better world than we are in right now. What kind of Home do you want to leave for them?

Our Common Home

Three years ago, we moved to our new house. It is a simple home but much bigger and with better environment. It has four bedrooms compared to the old wooden house with only two bedrooms.

My mother has a beautiful garden, I have my own bedroom, my father has a space for his vegetables and all other stuff and plenty of space for my four annoying dogs to run around.

Most important, it is a lovely home, filled with love and food.

While I enjoy our new home so much, I cannot help but to think that outside our concrete home, we have a bigger home with a more diverse family.

We call it earth. This earth is our common home; a home that is rich and can provide for everyone; a home that enables us to grow up and to enjoy our lives.

However, today, our home is in crisis. Our ecosystem is collapsing and nearly half of the population in the world is crying for help for a new home because they have nothing to eat, according to UNICEF.

This is the phenomena in which we call the effect of climate change.

It changed this world from a place of abundance to a place for the survival of the fittest, because climate change isn’t just an environmental issue, is a political issue, a social issue and an economic issue.

United Nation describes climate change as a threat to human security with the poor are the hardest hit. The World Food Programme said ‘Hunger is number one cause of death in the world’ and with climate change affecting greatly on agriculture, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) had reported that starvation among young children will be increased by 20 per cent in 2050.

The World Bank predicted at least 20 million people in the world will be pushed to poverty by 2030. That is 12 nears from now.

We are living in a world of great global inequality, and climate change will accelerate it.

That demands the world leaders to change their policy in governing their country or risk greater inequality.

Let me ask you something

As a family, when our brothers and our sisters in need of help, will you try to offer them help, or will you walk away?

The time is now to take action. So, what can we do? Napoleon Hill said, ‘If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way’.

When my father decided to build a house for the family, he was met with financial difficulties, I’ve never seen my dad been that stress. It was a trying times for the family, but that was the time, all of us came together as a family; despite many loans, some of us applied for personal loans and they were approved, we forked out our savings, including my mother who is not working helped financial.

Because of our efforts, the house was completed in a year. I learned that if we are united as a family, even if we give the little that we have, we can achieve our goal.

It is the same thing in answering the cry of our brothers and sisters in this common home. A little effort goes a long way. And we all know that the only way to address climate change is to save energy.

We all know how to save energy; we can do it at home. Things like use recycled papers or stop wasting our food because as Pope Francis said ‘It is like stealing from the poor’. We can also switch off the lights or electricity when not in use, turn of tap water when brushing our teeth or use our own lunch box when ordering take away. Once you do that, it will create a ripple effect. You teach your children and your friends and they teach their children and their friends.

But if you want a step further, be the ambassador to speak about this issue.

We must recognize that climate change is serious, it is urgent and it is growing. Yet things can change, but we need to work together in building our common home. Our future generation deserves much better world than we are in right now. What kind of Home do you want to leave for them?

Airport Encounter

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss especially when it could actually save you from embarrassment. But it could also put other people in a very awkward and uncomfortable position. I was at the airport two weeks ago, waiting for my flight to come home to Sibu from Kuala Lumpur. I was at departure hall and I happened to sit beside a man.

Nothing unusual about it, we were trying to do our own stuff. I was trying to write my speech because I had a speech competition few days later. He with his earphones on, minding his business. I had just started writing when the guy beside me started singing. This guy was listening to the music and I think the music was so loud he could not hear himself singing.

It was awful. Now I thought at first, no problem, let him sing, but few minutes later, I could not take it anymore. Obviously, I could not go on, so I stopped writing, tried to calm myself down. I told myself, ‘don’t… don’t… don’t… do not laugh!” I am easily amused by some little things. And that was not little thing. And to make it worse… I am a very curious person. So I decided to take a good look of that guy, I regretted it immediately. He was bobbing his head, oblivious to the people around him.

I did not know why I still chose to sit there. I realised it has become an emergency. I need music… loud music. I struggled to take my earphones from my bag. And my earphones are always entangled. It took few seconds to untangle the thing and I don’t have songs in my phone. I only listen to Spotify. I opened my Spotify. ‘Sorry, your homepage is offline’.

No worries.. no worries… YouTube… but the connection was so bad. Took ages for it to load. At this point, I was already smiling. Then came my last solution…opened my Whatsapp and pretended that I read funny messages.

The Vagrant

The VagrantIt was 9 pm. At the sight of the authority approaching, he tried to run, but he was surrounded. There were more than 10 of them, probably 20 – Police, officers from the welfare, a politician, and those from the rescue unit. All of them tried to help him. At least, with a comfortable bed and some food to eat. But, what the heck did he know about that? All he knew was that these people tried to take him away, only God knows where. Today would be a bad day. Every day was a bad day for him, but today could be worst. He knew he would get in trouble one day.

If sleeping on the street was a crime, then, he would be the worst criminal. He did it every day. This was his regular spot on fine weather. Did not know why he chose that place. To lie down with that stinking plastics, wastes, and suffocating smells was just disgusting. He smells too. He didn’t mind being there.

They pulled him out from that disgusting place. Coaxed him to go with them. He wanted to run, he hated those people. He did not trust them. “Come with us, we have food, a bed for you to spend the night and maybe you could take some shower”. He did not know the last time he had his shower. However, he would not take the risk. “No…Just let me stay here”.

He went back to the spot, closed his eyes, wished everybody would leave him alone.