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?”

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?

I Can’t Keep Trying

Sometimes, I do feel like I am the worst person in the world, or rather the worst daughter that any parents can have. Not that I do not want to do anything in the house, well, maybe I don’t. It is the trait that is hard for me to break. A trait that I wish I have never have. I am not sure if I am even trying to change, maybe I don’t. But if I am not trying to change, why do I feel bad?

Every parent deserves to have daughters that are helpful in the house. Daughters like my sisters maybe. They are proud of my sisters, because they help around. My mother said that. Me? Well, I am always busy with lots of meetings and other stuff. And that annoys my parents really. I feel bad for them sometimes, I didn’t want to burden them but I have to admit that I am young and there are many opportunities for me out there and I feel that it is my responsibility.

I have a commitment that maybe my parents will never understand, even if you try to make them understand. I can’t blame them, because when they were in their 30s, they already had a family. That was their commitment. I am in my 30s and I do not have my own family yet. I am still living with my parents because I cannot afford to live outside on my own. So basically, I am still depending on my parents. Which I think is sucks.

I have resolved to make some changes once in a while. For example, I won’t tell them that I will have meeting at night. Just help whatever I can, once the time comes I just leave home. It doesn’t matter if I have dinner or not. I don’t really care about that. Milo and crackers are good enough for me once I am back from the meeting.

However, I am not sure if that would hurt them. I don’t want to hurt anybody, especially my dad. He is a very sensitive guy. He loves to cook and it annoys him if we refused to eat the dish he cooked. I have to clean the dishes before I leave though. So which means I cannot leave until we finish the dinner. The problem is, Dad always cook late and if I don’t tell him, I will always be late for the meeting. And if I do tell him, he is always rushing and everybody will be unhappy.

I wanted to clean the house before going to work, and that is always a problem because I cannot wake up early.

It is because if these problems I am facing, I decided that I should stop trying at all. Trying is nothing. Doing is everything.

READ!

I love poems and one of my favourites is Roald Dahl’s Television.  Telling us the importance of reading.  Now, I love to read and I keep telling people to always read.  Not to gain knowledge, although yes, that is one of the benefits, but reading can have an amazing impact on our soul and of course reading fires our imagination.  No doubt about it.  So, here is one my favourites poem by Roald Dahl.

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set —
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink —
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

Why … Oh … Why?

Sometimes frustration can lead us to do things we should not do or to say things we should not say. Whether it is done intentionally or unintentionally, the result always leads to hurts and pain of another person and distrusts towards us. The aftermath of it normally leaves us with regrets, if our conscious is right. Just few days ago, I might have offended someone. What it seemed to be a joke, I might had gone too far. I tried to comfort myself that I didn’t do any harm or offended that person; the problem was that person. He could not take a joke. I was being rational, my intention was to have fun. But I have to admit, I was a little annoyed with his joke, so I shot the joke back at him. It seemed fair. However, whether or not he could take the joke, damage has been done. Now, it is no longer ‘he just take things too seriously’ or ‘he could not take the joke?’ I started to realise, I could’ve just shut my freaking mouth and smile!

I apologised. I did! Because my conscious said I must. To some, it might seemed unnecessary, because ‘The problem is not you, it is him… why do you need apologise?’ It was my duty, it was something I needed to do, I could not go against my conscious. That should’ve give me a peace of mind. It did, but not for long. It bugged me. It kept bugging me because I don’t know whether he accepted my apology. He didn’t even want to talk to me.

The Forest

I liked forest very much but scared of it. The serenity sometimes gave me chills. The quietness, the touch of breezes, the music as the birds sang above me and distance away made my heart race. People said you shouldn’t talk in the forest, or else you would be hunted by something you cannot see. Whether true or not, better take precaution.

“Why are you always looking at the streams?” Grace suddenly asked me. I didn’t expect to be asked that way. Yes, I had looked for streams throughout the journey. The sight of those glassy and graceful flowing waters or sometimes just dead calm, they were just fascinating. What would a forest be without streams? I think it would be like a body without the heart. Dead. Or a person without a soul; dead to everything around you. Streams give life to creatures; they make the trees, the grass, the plants grow big and beautiful. They give relief to animals; quenching their thirst and cool them down from the heat of the summer’s sun. They make the forest a forest.

“Oh, I did?” I replied.

“Yeah,”

“I just love them.” It was the only answer I could give her. I forgot that Grace was a very observant person. She picked up small details, details that I might have missed, but she picked them up. She had great empathy, no wonder she was an award-winning journalist.

couldn’t be like her. I lose focus easily. I wondered how does it feel like to be in the forest 40 or 50 years ago? I was not born at the time, but I bet they were very thick and the streams were roaring. The forests were teeming with life! My parents used to tell me that they used to bathe in the river. Bath at the river?? Ewww… I mean… why would you wanna do that? That is just gross! Bath at that muddy river..yuck!

“No…honey…the water was very clean during my time. It is brown now… but my time… it was clear..you could see your feet! We took our soap, our towel..extra shirt and just bath there.” My mother used to say that.

I missed that! The people of my generation missed it! What a pity! My grandparents used to see wild boars in the forests, they were everywhere. They knew the hornbill had come as they listened to that majestic sound of wing flapping, as that big bird flying overhead. They listened to birds singing in the dawn chorus. Forests were once a home, now, it seems foreign. In my place, There were people still keeping in touch with nature, for them, it was still their home, for me, it was a getaway. My job allowed me to visit such places, but as I looked around me as I walked through that thick forest and I watched that stream, I asked myself, how long will it last?