May Our Hearts be Full

This has been my jam for a while, looks like I’m turning back to cheap pop for a while, but do enjoy. This song and catching The Fault In Our Stars today made me think about how we all want to be remembered in one way or another after we leave the Earth. We hope to leave a significant enough impact that will last for a time longer than ourselves, and hope to passionately and intensely feel before we can’t anymore.

We say these things often and we think about it occasionally- about our place here and what we are here to be doing and how to most ‘purposefully’ and ‘meaningfully’ lead this one life of ours. But I’m not sure how many of us act on this desire.

Maybe with this in mind, Term 3 could be the start of a new attitude that treats the pursuit of grades and academics as just one aspect of our hope to provide more opportunities for ourselves, to be where we want to be in years down the road. But it’s only one aspect, and let’s make the rest count as well, from friendships to family to interests and hobbies, to try to be spontaneous and learn new things, to be purpose-driven in even the little things and maybe.

Maybe something else that could possibly define our journeys as students and learners will come out of it, besides the grade.

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The Influence of a Superstar

This morning as I sip from my warm cup of coffee and browse through the news and pages I follow on the web, I chance upon this video and I’ve decided that I truly respect Angelina Jolie.

Once in a while I think to myself about the career I would wish to pursue in the future and what kind of life I want to lead, what kind of impact I want to make. Then, I often also think about the position in the society that would allow me to create this positive change I want to leave behind in this world as my legacy. Back in Cambodia, in the midst of feeling terribly helpless at the sight of families living in the undesirable dumpsite and feeling the wrath of the disparity they experience right to my very bones, I also recall the day these politicians came by to visit the kids at the orphanage. The politicians were very friendly and amiable, two of whom were celebrities, even. And the sight of these politician cum superstars immediately brought all the kids to a level of ecstasy that cannot be rationalised. It was effortless. The superstars were basically being there, and merely existing in their presence brought such overwhelming happiness to the kids.

Connecting the dots, it once crossed my mind that the profession that could allow one to most effortlessly evoke positive change and have the greatest power of influence today, could just be being a superstar.

Celebrities today are highly regarded with their position of influence, considering the 21st century sees technology surge to a new popularity, what a celebrity says, does or advocates easily influences all their fans across the globe. Yet there are disappointing (hopefully anomalys) like Justin Bieber or Demi Lovato, Lindsay Lohan, and Miley Cyrus those who grew up with us and actually had that much power of influence over us but messed it all up by being terrible role models. I was disappointed by the abuse of influence for a bit. But now I realise that, on the flipside, there are also those who actively makes good use of their influence to bring the human race of our time towards a direction like never before– Ellen Degeneres, Oprah Winfrey and now, Angelina Jolie.

With the power of influence that they possess, these celebrities have constantly advocated and passed off as good examples of what the human race should be about- hope, love and kindness. And they talk about issues that we were never ready to discuss before and evoke thoughts and inspire us. I wish all celebrities used their influence in this way.

We Were Special

We tend to think we are so different from everyone else. And sometimes I feel like we were- years ago, the people in my batch, across the cohort, across the world, despite being born in the same year, we had very different personalities, we spoke so differently and thought so differently, we wore different clothes and liked different colours.

But fast forward to today, we’re not so special anymore. I study in a school same as a thousand over other batchmates, we go through the same curriculum and we learn about the same things. If I get a certain grade in a test, I could bet at least a hundred others did too. Nothing’s left to help us decide if we’re special (it seems).

In the future, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’re going to find something that makes us special either. You see, we will just graduate to be one of the many million students who graduate with certificates, we will be one of the many million who pass with straight As or a single B or a couple of Cs and cry or regret. Today, if you know 3 languages, you’re alright; if you know 4, you’re kind of special but remember, you’re not the only one. We’re all aiming for that one ‘best’, but we don’t realise that the chances of ‘best’ is way too small it’s almost impossible and there’s no real way of deciding you’re the ‘best’ without a tad of delusion.

It is certainly a case of nature vs. nurture, society happened and it makes us find ‘our place’ in society in that certain way that allows our economy to prosper, and nation to grow. Unfortunately we leave behind a couple of talents left undeveloped because ‘if it can’t definitely make you money, it definitely can’t be your career’ and any form of adventure or risk guided by passion in your career would appear ‘foolish’.

All thanks to nurture- today while you can think you’re special; there are so many others just like you. The only attempt at a consolation I can give is that you know, we were all special once; when we were young and creative and emotional.

What Would You Do

Here’s a video I’ve watched at least 4 times, and still cry each time.

Today is the start of World Autism Awareness Week, and I found out because my friends from Community Advocates had changed their profile pictures on Facebook. After changing mine to support the movement for awareness and reading a page “10 Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew” (http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/100-day-kit/ten-things-every-child-autism-wishes-you-knew) I’ve been watching documentaries and reading pages about autism. And right now, I’m feeling sad.

I’m sad about the kind of connotations that ‘autism’ come with and about the treatment that so many of these children on the autism spectrum receive all over the world every day. Autism, from a state of being ‘very different, but still human just like us’, has become a mix of ‘mentally retarded’, ‘socially inept’, ‘unacceptable’, ‘useless’ and ‘slow’.

You know, just because we are part of the majority doesn’t make us ‘normal’, and ‘normal’ isn’t necessarily a good thing like how ‘abnormal’ isn’t a bad thing just because we say so. If ‘normal’ was such a brilliant thing that gives us the right to be so proud of ourselves and discriminate those who are different- what noble deed did we ever commit to deserve to be ‘normal’ in the first place?

Autistic children aren’t born in the spectrum by choice, and the people who think they’re superior to them and make fun of them are saying so much more about themselves than they are about these autistic children. Discrimination is disgusting.

One Day, it Wouldn’t Matter

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
Joseph Campbell

It is difficult to remember that little things like tripping over nothing, forgetting to bring something out, forgetting what I did last Tuesday, having nothing to do for a day; doesn’t matter as much as it may seem to in this particular moment, since the best things we leave behind aren’t these little things but the larger things that they become.

Of the little things that don’t matter but I overdramatize often, I think the hardest to cope with is losing friendships. It’s hard to remember that these memories aren’t as important as who we’ve become because of each other.

I find it difficult to cope with losing friendships and people because the relationships have so many memories and emotions encompassed in them. But I suppose I can try to convince myself that at the end the memories remain in our hearts and those emotions once felt were great while they lasted, and that part would matter as much as it’s a pity the person is gone now.

And I guess, also, that I can convince myself that the miracle that we’ve crossed paths is something fortunate that I should be grateful for. I can also convince myself that it’s magical it even happened in the first place. I suppose that’s as optimistic as a loss can be perceived so bye, and enjoy the music!

High heels are not a requirement

I just thought this was beautiful, enjoy!

And the same way high heels are not a requirement, and neither a flat stomachs- neither is a clique, nor a guy friend before the end of JIP, nor pre-judgements about all your possible classmates nor the complaints about the lecturers we haven’t had a chance to listen to properly. I think there’s a lot more to this school and this incoming experience than the 6 days and counting we’ve been through.

So I hereby let go the expectations I think I’m supposed to have and fulfill, and I let go of the expectations I impose on this place and the experience that hasn’t begun.