You guys will not believe how many drafts I have for this blog at the moment. I know it seems like I have forgotten everything but no. I stumbled upon a few difficulties and I don't know how to bounce back from it and continue writing my Chapter 21 series. I just need to settle a lot of things that's going on at the moment and I will refine and publish those drafts. I am quite demotivated because the memories are not that fresh and my feelings and thoughts might not be as raw as my previous posts. I also have trouble putting it into words and into this blog. So it sometimes needs me to be in the right mood for it. Another problem I might encounter is when I am in the mood, I might choose to write my book instead of my blog. So that would delay the whole blog post publishing as well.

Plus, Chapter 21 has not ended yet. I have so many more to say about my journey into being 21 and I am still experiencing it, writing my own path and what not. It is on going. With that, I might be publishing things out of order though the archive would still be in order depending on when it happened and when I started writing them. So ya da ya da ya da. I don't know why I am explaining this to you. Maybe I am so frustrated seeing all these drafts and this long hiatus is KILLING me.

I don't know, I am sure I will get all of this arranged. It's so hard to maintain and commit to something, isn't it?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Addictive Feelings

Okay, I have been avoiding writing about this for a long time now. I know I would eventually, but I don't know, I feel (and thing that it is unfair) that it is quite childish to be talking about something that is actually a huge part in everyone's life and has been changing them too. People always say that there are bigger things in life than a certain feeling you get when you see someone you want to get romantically involved with. True but then, why does this topic time and time again affect many people in many ways?

A little back story, I recently have a crush on someone and so has my friend (who is a guy). Of course crushing would result to crazy things like stalking and trying to get that person's attention and contacting (though most times only as a friend) etc. One funny but useful thing about having a crush at the same time with this friend is that we exchange stories of our progress or failures and sharing YouTube videos of "How to Tell if Your Crush Likes You" to overthinking at a point that a video of "Why You Will Marry The Wrong Person" was also shared. Lol

Enough with the story, let's cut to the chase.

I want to get romantically involved with someone. But not just anyone, that's different. I don't know if it comes from a sense of readiness that I secretly feel or that I am bored and done of playing the same game. I am not fearful that I won't have a partner at the end of the day. I know that being alone is better than being with someone you are not happy with. We are talking about a life time commitment that has no way out so I know I should be thinking it through. And I am not that type of person that is easy for just anyone to live with especially with my strong personality, I may be a nightmare to be sharing a roof with. But I still feel a strong sense of longing to be with someone.

So I concluded that being in love is addictive. We are addicted to that feeling once we have felt it, and I had for a few times now. And they end up the same way, down in the dumps. In many situations (especially mine) with each heartbreak, a personality is morphed and we start again with a terrible memory of love. It is unfair but very understandable. But love is not to be blame. It is a natural feeling to acquire at one point of our life. If we see this in the eyes of science it has to do with mating and sense of security. Whatever it may be, it comes back to how we control that feeling, making sure it doesn't get out of hand and losing ourselves in the process of finding the one person that can accept you the same way you accept him/her.

I am in no position to be giving you survival guides on hows and don'ts because my love life is pretty messed up. Even if I can make a good sense out of my experience, there is no way you'd listen because that is just how it is. Love makes you think crazy things like "I am not good enough" or "It'd be different for me" or "No one understands my situation". Truth is everyone wants as many people to understand how it feels because they can't in any way imagine the same thing happening to others. That is how bad a failed relationship is. I remember the sound of my mom's voice when I called her after my first heartbreak. I remember the look on her face as tears streaming down my face. I could only imagined how she must have felt. She kept saying that she couldn't help much because she has little to no experience on this kind of stuff. She met my dad at a young age and though they faced challenges along the way, it's nothing like what I have been through. But I know when I see her eyes, she doesn't want me to get hurt. I also feel like that to friends who are dear to me that I don't want to see the same thing to happen them. Especially when I know they are in a bad relationship but they are denying it in the name of love. I know that I don't have the right to interfere so the only thing I can do is to be as warm as possible so that they won't avoid me when they need a shoulder to cry on with a feeling that I would say "I told you so". So I let them be unless they ask for my opinion, I'd tell them the truth but be as supportive as possible so they know that I'd catch them if they fall off course at one point. Love makes you stubborn *shrug*

So what's it for me now?

Honestly I really like my crush right now but am very self-conscious on what he thinks of me. I know he is not the type that would think about getting into a relationship (I think) and he is definitely single. So well, I'd just stay at the side, thinking and working on more important stuff, show small signs that I am interested but nothing crazy because I really am just focusing on the real romance. The most romantic gesture any man can do (this is cliche, I know, but what the heck) is asking my hand for marriage. And besides, nobody knows who they will end up with at the end of the day.

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Part Of Something Bigger : Introduction

In the midst of all those hectic things going on in our lives, let's take a break and get a little positivity going on around here. Get inspired and motivated in believing that no matter how crazy life is at the moment, we are always a part of something bigger!

For a start, I am doing this because I feel we put much stress on ourselves into things that only benefit us and we consume our thoughts with it until at one point we feel like that is life. Achieving things that has been set to our heads as important and at the end of the day.... we only learn how to survive instead of learning how to live.
Let's change that.
Let's do things that make us feel good about ourselves. Something that can also be good to others and be a contributor to making positive changes around the world. It doesn't have to be big. Because a small initiative goes a long way.

I also think that all lives matter. Those who are fortunate enough to get proper food on the table and those who have to beg, borrow or steal to survive. Those who has been oppressed their whole life and those who are have been oppressing people intentionally or not. People who are book smart or people who are street smart. Those that believe in this world or the next. Everyone. All lives matter and with compassion and empathy, we will realize that we are just different people with different backgrounds but we are all the same. One big family that should look out for each other.

Hence, I believe that we are a part of something bigger!

I want to start this by introducing The Global Goals.

On September 2015, world leaders agreed in committing to 17 goals that will help achieving the end of extreme poverty, inequality & injustice and to fix climate change by 2030. The 17 goals are as follows:

We the people have to work together or at least keep this in mind in things we do so that we are able to achieve this. We are the leaders of tomorrow and as much as you have heard this before, it is so important that all of us understand this because it is very true. We can tend to lose our way sometimes and be selfish and do thing that would only benefit us but I say it doesn't have to be that way. Start being altruistic because if the tables are turned, you would want people to make room in their life for you too.

I would love to call out to all youths to be a part of something bigger for the better of our nation. Don't just hope for politicians or the government to do something, for all of us are able to lead ourselves and to lead others. Always get inspired to always want to do more, inspire other people and think big. We the people are one big family of hope. The hope for a better future everyone :)

Here's a video to (hopefully) get you inspired today

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

To Hear and To Be Heard

So many wants to be heard, many forgot to listen.

Recently I watched an interview of one of the US presidential candidate with a morning cable show. I was kind of disappointed on the answers given by the 'leader' for he was very much influenced by his opinions and of his arrogance when listening to the questions being asked, which leads him to answering very poorly and then, he kind of dug himself in a hole he didn't have to at the first place. He assumed a lot of the questions asked meant one thing when it meant another. When facts are thrown, he tends to focus on the ones that attacks him though the ones that supports him was also mentioned. From that, I realized even someone with a big reputation to take care of can accidentally 'hear selectively' especially when things concerning issues he has strong opinions on were mentioned or when his ego was challenged.

When you have a fixed stigma on something, you tend to react to news instantaneously without analyzing at times. It is very irritating when you express your immediate reaction through social media because many can access it and they would probably get the wrong idea of that issue. True, anything that an individual reads should be individually evaluated and the one who produces the material will not be hold accounted for what s/he says. But, remember, speech is powerful, and with power, comes a big responsibility. How would you feel when what you say have mislead people from the truth just for the sake of you "expressing" your opinions, that even you have not yet analysed? Or maybe you should consider that you yourself have not tried to dig up the truth before having a clear opinion on something. Maybe you believe one thing, because you have never bothered to know about the other?

As much as our brain has limitations to what it knows and don't know, we need to soak up as much as possible and again, THINK. Observe and use rationality. Intuition is also there for a reason. Have your own opinion. And even then, you still have to do constant evaluation when your receive new materials. This is how we avoid being an "extremist" towards and idea. Many people are too obsessed with what they think, or with a pack, they heed blindly and it doesn't define a first-class thinking especially since we always talk about being a developed citizen. Everything we do have impacts, not only in a small community but also contribute vastly at a global level since we live in a limitless world thanks to the Internet.

I am still learning to answer questions precisely when it involves me expressing my opinions because there are times when I couldn't really express what I want to say. But recently I discovered that I also need to know what to say which I call 'selective expressing'. Questions can sometimes be manipulated to suit our needs instead of the interviewer's and still not be out of context. It is quite difficult thinking and talking at the same time but I really do encourage us to try that because day by day, I hear more and more bullshit up the Internet. I feel like we put less thought into things but more emotions. Or maybe likes and shares mean more than conveying a message per say *shrug*

Saturday, August 22, 2015

New Old Me

After spending more than 2 weeks at home, focusing on me and doing everything I like (with supports from mom and my sister I guess)... well... not everything I mean it has their ups and downs, it's life, right? Wait. This is off course. Moving on. After happily making myself fat and messing up my own biological clock, suddenly, I start feeling a huge sense of 'I am awesome and I can do better' with a mix of 'I miss the old me' with a dash of self loving. Today, that feeling bloomed and burst inside of me and I have made plans of how I am going to handle next semester. Why? How? Allow me to rant.

My whole life had been about gaining respect, being successful and making my parents happy. 3 things that I subconsciously have been trying to achieve my whole life, until I was 18. I am not blaming anyone to what happen next but I know I got messed up and did many stupid things after I turned 18. I was not proud of myself and even after leaving my foolish life a year later, I was still broken and trying to pick myself back up. The 19 year old me was not the same person as the 17 year old me, I know that and I was trying and trying but it got out of hand instead. Emotionally and psychologically I am not okay. It feels like I keep trying to find someone to fill this hole for me. It was stupid and was totally not the right thing to do. Guess this new feeling inside of me make me realize this and I am happy.

I look back to my first year in university and I realize how I have wasted a good year to being damage. Embarrassing. I use to be looked up to. I use to be that person people know is dependable. I use to be that person who is free to be herself and get what she wants. And she knows what she wants. Instead, I was scared of what people think of me, emotional to how people treated me and think that everyone detest me. What happened? Not just that, I try to gain people's respect too much that I accidentally say yes to things I should have said no to. I was trying so hard to make everything how it use to be at a new place. And for what? Nothing!

So next semester is a come back! I realize that if I want to achieve anything, I need to love myself and to hell what anybody else wanna say and think. The only person I can try to please is myself and everything will fall to place from there. Alhamdulillah I still have some spark in me last year and I got a placing in the 5ETP leadership track  which is my key to be that girl again. It only takes 1 spark to create a fire, and that fire is starting to burn right now. This girl might not be on fire yet but she will be.

I have a feeling it is going to be a good year.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

News As Entertainment

One thing you should know about me is that if I get access to internet and have free time, among the videos I would watch are from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. The Daily Show captured my attention first actually. When Jon expresses his views on current affairs in a comedy, I couldn't help but get hooked. And his views are just so rational, it makes me wonder whether I am influenced by his oh-so-convincing delivery or this world (or specifically America sometimes) is so fucked up that stating the obvious is pretty much needed around here. Then, after knowing that one of the co-respondents on The Daily Show has his own show, I started watching The Colbert Report (The pronunciation of Colbert is interesting though. It seems that it's Irish).

Ever since I reached 19, I have this urge to talk about more serious stuff. Things that concerns the world. Society, politics, economy, law etc. I don't know if it is a mid life crisis or something (okay, not a mid life crisis, I am too young for that, I think) but I try to gain as much knowledge about the current issues as I can. I try to understand as much as possible. But I am still new so, Google is literally my best friend when I read articles or see/hear people talking about stuff I don't know. Both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report help introduce me to the current occurrences and conflicts of the world. Most of the news focuses in the States, true but they are the capital of the world. Anything happens up there somehow affects us down here and it's just best to be informed. Economy/legislation term that they use is still applicable everywhere. So it helps me to find what to Google. And on the side note, I get to laugh. Like come on, they are really funny. And I am the type that hardly laughs at stupid jokes. They don't make stupid jokes. Their jokes do have content in them that makes you think or nod with agreement while laughing.

Another thing I notice is that they takes issue and mocks them. They embarrass politicians to make them realise how stupid/unreasonable they are. And guess what? Their efforts are actually fruitful. There was a case where a bill was stalled in the senate and Jon Stewart uses his show to raise awareness on how important it was to get that bill pass... by making a joke out of it too, of course. And soon after, the bill got through. Stephen Colbert once admit that he likes talking about people that don't have power. See how awesome that is since he has influence, he uses that to fight for rights or raise awareness for people that the authority forgot matter. Who says comedians can't be influential? Who says entertainment can't be informative?

Stephen Colbert once ran for president. Not to become president. He said, to run as president is different. He was also involved with political action committee when it was discovered that amounts spend on political campaigns can be unlimited. This helped the public to understand and know how the system works. I was really impressed by his approach on the issue. And when Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton actually came to his show, we can see professionalism all the way even though he has countlessly criticise these leaders on his show. Oh, and sometimes he did that while they were on his show too, but with utter discretion. It really blew my mind.

No, I am not going to do any comparisons to my own country. I don't have much knowledge to do that. I do realise though that the system here is different. And the people here is different in terms of accepting criticism. And giving criticism. We have the Sedition Act. We have people as young as 10 to 12 years old lacking respect towards our leaders just because of what have been posted on the Net and the negative allegations thrown about them. And we just don't know how to not be an extremist towards one ideology or a political view. We criticise due to hatred. Not because we want actual change. And for that, I think I should stop talking about Malaysia right about.... here.

Source of his post is mostly from hours of watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report as well as a video on "How The Daily Show and The Colbert Report Affect Politics and Policy"

Monday, June 15, 2015

Music Makes Me Feel

Current obsession: Brandon Flowers

I am a fan of The Killers but being busy and all, I just got to know that The Killers are taking a break and Brandon is going solo for the moment. Let me just make it clear that Brandon Flowers is the lead singer of The Killers and AMAZINGLY HOT AND I LITERALLY MELT WHEN HE SPEAKS AND SINGS! I watched a few interviews he was on when he was in his 20s and in 2015 and I got to tell you that guy grows better with age like a fine wine! But he has the tendency to look at the floors instead of looking into the interviewers' eyes, somehow makes him more attractive and innocent looking and I know that is ridiculous. And the way he curls his lips when he is breaking into a smile while speaking... oh, let me just stop here *swoon*

No, I am not trying to bore you with my girlish description of Brandon Flowers (but if you are a fan too, I am sure you understand). I want to share what I am experiencing with music. If you give a listen to both of Brandon's records (Flamingo and The Desired Effects), some of the songs sounds a little old fashion and I like that. I like the fact that I can get new old songs. You get what I mean? Most songs I hear in the radio nowadays are just... there to entertain me or... to mark this certain time of my life. When I listen to it again in 10 years, I'd be reminded of my trip with my university friends or that dinner we attended. They don't connect to me or touched my heart like old songs does. Guess that's why I have quite a collection of songs from 2000-2008 and older.

But that doesn't mean I do not like electronics and dance. Oh no. I was obsessed with The Cobra Starship once and love The Ready Set's latest album. I am a kind of girl that just love music and can listen a to wide range of music. Hip hop? Metal? Alternative? You name it. Whatever gets me that trickle up my cheeks, sounds clever and gets me humming even when the music dies will make my list. And my list is infinite.

However my friend and I did discuss on the quality of music that is available nowadays. How are we to share the beauty of our music with this generation and the next when all they are used to are songs that are just catchy, repetitive and has sexual contents. Oh, and songs that talks about casual break ups and hook ups. I am not undermining all new pop songs. I listen to them too. I like most of them too. It's just that, it's quite a disappointment sometimes when people love those kinds of songs and when they listen to songs that has deeper meaning, they are not deep enough to understand how I can literally feel my heartbreak or wanting to fall in love or just smile even when I don't feel like smiling or how I can just close my eyes and get lost in my music. These are not made up and have they ever felt that? What about getting to understand something in a different context or empathizing a situation through music? Music use to be a useful medium of expression and delivery. And I still believe it is. I raise my cups to song writers who still believe that even if they are not topping the charts. And I am happy that there are songs in the charts that are not typical. Like All Of Me by John Legend, songs by Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran. That's music.

When my heart is breaking or when I feel something that I can't contain any longer and I need to express, that's when I sing to my heart content or if I don't feel like singing, I just turn the volume up and let the feels surround me until I go numb of either happiness or sadness. It's always a good day with good music. My music.

But if everyone likes the same thing, wouldn't that make this world a bore? I accept individuality and respect all music taste. Most people don't get mine. If you go to my Spotify library, I bet you'd get confuse. Haha! They say there is no such thing as bad taste in music. Just a different one.

PS: Help me, I can't stop listening to Crossfire, Lonely Town and Still Want You by Brandon Flowers like I can really just get crazy when these songs come up my playlist omg!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Admiring Leaders

Have you ever come across people who just draw your attention from the way they speak, look at you, stand, smile, listen etc. You know they have this aura that they are someone born to do something great. And you will automatically become all humble and at the same time, you feel drawn to go and approach this person, talk to them but you don't know how to start because you don't want to come up as weird. Especially if you want to befriend that person, you don't want to come up as trying trying too hard.

Especially when you have a leadership background like me.

What is more critical is I always wonder if other people see me like that too and what do these people that I secretly am drawn to make of me? Now that I am in the university, there are many people that has those qualities. They automatically draw attention when they enter the room and people talk about them. Especially if those people are in the student council. Man, I have this huge admiration towards the president (Abdul Hatim Hakimi) the secretary (Abdul Hakim Mazeli) and Nor Intan Akasha ever since after they have been appointed to the office. Like they just have this smile that make you trust that they know what they are doing. I really like that. I managed to have a very awkward conversation with Hatim and I was in a debate competition with Intan. You should really know how excited I was to see her and I was ecstatic that I got to talk to her in the end because my team had to go against hers. But Hakim? Nah, still didn't get the chance to though I have seen him walking all by himself a few times at a few events and I swear that one time I walked towards him but just pass him because I still don't have the nerve to start a conversation. See, the worst thing is (I really hate that this is the problem but I need to admit that it is) I am a girl. and talking to the opposite sex who is a stranger is just uncalled for. If I am to just be bold and come up to him and start talking, I would be so proud of myself, no matter how awkward that conversation might be because I want to portray that kind of attitude. I want to beat the norms in order to get what I want. I hope I have the confidence and the chance the next time.

My past experience when I had a title, when I was somebody, I met a lot of leaders and worked hand in hand with them. I admire a lot of them and it would be tiring for me to list all of them here. But I remember my president from the National Student Council of Matriculation Colleges,  Abdul Kadir Shah. Wherever he goes, if people knows him, they would remember him. Not only that his confidence is admirable, his humbleness and openness towards the things he lacks just amazes me. He still has a lot to learn when I worked with him, but he listened to all of our opinions before summarizing what he had to do. It comes out effortlessly and able to make me feel much appreciated that he did consider what I told him (especially since I was his vice) and also what the rest of us try to include in his speech when he had to represent us. Now, when I go to his Facebook page, I continue to admire that guy, wish him all the best and hope to work side by side with him in future.

Leadership qualities that are so profound is not only admirable but also are required to bring positive changes to the society and nation. They are heard which is incredible really because its not easy to make people hear what you have to say. It also automatically requires you to be an educated person with reasonable perception to current affairs and any events. From there, we can see your stand and how you think. Their views and efforts are always criticized and evaluated. Most people that are involved in leadership activities find it uneasy and uncomfortable to be center of attention like that and feels like everything said and done would be judged. They would feel trapped of being themselves.

That's why a leader usually have this one attitude that would help them pull through. Even if they don't have this, they need to learn to acquire it. They are indifferent towards criticism that they believe is untrue and is there to knock them down instead of building them up. When time needs it, s/he would give responses to these criticism but not because  s/he is affected by them. It's because s/he wants the people to know that s/he received their perceptions and would explain him/herself to avoid misunderstanding. That's all.

One more thing that gives a pressure of being someone noticeable is that everyone expects perfection from you.  Well, I am kind of not sure whether the expectations come from the title of being a president, a leader etc or you just seem like the person that would meet their expectations. Whatever it is, human makes mistake and that is one thing we need to remember all the time. If we focus on the bad things people do, how are we going to respect them since we drown their contributions. Sure, there are times first impressions deviate from the truth but that doesn't mean that they are hypocritical. Most people just have that trustworthy and much-capable-of-everything look without them even trying. That is why, before putting someone on top, we should do a background check on them to see if they are what they seem. Not the other way round and then, we complain on how much we don't like their ways. That's not right.

Here, I am still struggling and contemplating whether to stand out or just try fitting in with the crowd. I want to focus on doing one thing at a time and try fitting in so that I can get a grip of myself before deciding anything. But the problem is I don't fit in. I did ask people why and they say I'm different and they don't feel that I would understand their ways. So I look around for different groups of people that might accept me but in the process of that, I got a lot of connections and friends. At last, somehow I gained a lot of trust and people start including me in activities or putting me on top. Being naive, I was not able to differentiate between not disappointing people and not losing credibility. Now, I am pretty much a fucked up girl with leadership skills that she is not able to manage at the moment (what a way to put it). Everything happened so fast that I was not able to grab it. However, I am trying to clean everything up bit by bit. I wish to be someone great because I know I can. I experienced it once, why not again?

For now, I am looking up to those leaders that have done well for themselves.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Woman, Man and Society

"Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. She will need her sisterhood" -Gloria Steinem

It's tiring. Being picked on because of your gender. Having to hold you tongue because of your gender. Getting different treatments because of your gender. Trying to empower others of my gender to not degrade themselves. Proving that my gender can do just as good as the other gender (and even if I can't it is because of me and not my gender). Letting myself be the topic of ridicule for what I believe. Always in conflict whether to continue showing people what I believe or just keep them to myself. I am tired. I am in this alone around here. But how can I try to mold myself being something I am not just to hide the person I really am?

If I am around boys, it is not because I crave for their attention. I like being friends with them and they accept me so what is the big deal? Why is it not okay for me to stay up and go out late at night? If you are worried of my safety, I did bring guys too. And why is it that I need to bring guys anyway? Why can't I just bring another girl? It's because perpetrators might see us as potential victims huh? Why? Because we are girls. And how is that fair? How is it fair that just because of who I am, I have to be extra careful? Did I choose to be female (though I wouldn't have it any other way)? Then who made you king and give you the chance to oppress us?

I never labeled myself as a feminist until my sister points it out. I never liked being dedicated to one group because then, people would say I am an extremist of that ideology. So, I just like to throw random opinions and it so happens that mine matches what feminism is about. My sister told me all about sexism and feminism and I clearly agree and support most of what is being brought up to the table. Why most? Well, because I am a Muslim and I support this in context of being that. Some of the things being put forward clashes with my believe as a servant of Allah. We need to admit that we are different from men. And if we are different, we have different needs. Do not take gender equality literally. Gender equality simply means being just to both genders. And what is justice? In Islam, it means placing things in their rightful place. Keep that in mind.

I believe that woman should have equal rights to things. Rights to have the same opportunity as of guys to apply the same job. Rights to equal payment. Rights to equal education. Rights to equal treatment of services. Rights to feel safe, secure and protected etc. I also don't find only guys have to pay for dates cute. It's okay for you to treat me but not because I am a girl. It's because you want to and when I want to, you shouldn't feel awkward. I am allowed to. If I am running for the student council, do not cross me out just because I am a female. I have the right to run and you have the right to vote for me if I am a good candidate. Yes, I can carry 10 chairs at a time. It is just because I am a little stronger than you expect me to be. Do not think that cus I am a girl, I shouldn't be able to carry that much chairs. If I can't it is because I am not strong enough. Not because I am a girl. And girls, no, there is no need to have a guy in your unit because you feel like it is a guy's job to carry things around for you. You can do it too. And please don't use "I am a girl" as an excuse for things the society say you can't do due to your gender, agreeing with them. It really ticks me off to hear that. Oh and stop using the word girl as an insult.

When I said that we have different needs, what I mean is, we need to consider and respect the differences that men and women have. Woman needs maternity leaves. Woman do need guys to have their back because the world is still a sexist place and most of us are not strong enough to stand on our own two feet. Guys ARE more visual and no matter how they respect woman, what they see is the first thing that they remember so woman has to cover up. Both man and woman do have egos and if you come cross with someone of higher ego than you, tolerate. Not because you are a woman and you need to back down or if you are a man, people would think you don't have a pear. Stop these pressures on yourselves. Gaming is not just for boys. And if a girl is into gaming too, don't call her hobby as made up or if she is trying too hard, what's wrong with you? A guy can be into fashion and not be gay at the same time. Come on, it is so cool when a man just talks about how lace would look good on your dress or something like that. And if a girl doesn't know something, freaking teach her. If a guy doesn't know something, freaking ask.

A girl is still a girl and a guy is still a guy no matter what, so what are you afraid of?

Embracing Diversity

Why do I want to talk about diversity?

Well, before I start, let me tell you that I was given a chance to be an emcee at the Ministry Of Education's 3rd Installment of Internationalisation of Higher Education Seminar two weeks ago. As its name propose, it was about how the higher education can be more "international friendly". So one of the slot was a session called Embracing Diversity. I swear I listened attentively. I wanted to actually join the discussion and give my opinions too but I didn't dare cus I was just sitting at the side of the rostrum waitig for the session to end so I can continue reading my line. Haha! I actually jotted notes and bring them around along with my emcee scripts. But after the last session with Dato Ghazali, I guess I got carried away in trying to get the chance to talk to that amazing man, I forgot where I put those papers. Sigh...

Anyway, I still want to do this blogpost because what have been discussed was actually the things I have given much thought about. And hearing them being put into words and carries as an important message to people that actually can make a difference in the system was just upliftng. So here I am trying to give a little insight on this.

What is it like to live in a community that is diverse?

Before giving a thought to that question, we must first understand what diversity is. Usually, when talking about diversity, many people think about how there are different races, different cultures, people of different backgrounds and nationality. People speak different languages. People come from different religion. Isn’t it wonderful how though we are all human, we are diversify in such way. And this is a very obvious difference that you and I have.

But does it occur to you that we might have different opinions? For instance, do we have the same thoughts on the LGBT issue? Are you also a feminist? Which party do you think should win the next election? What do you consider as a sin? Is it okay for someone to have face surgery?

Do we even have the same basic necessity? See, I am okay with the flip table that they provide in our lecture hall but since you are left handed, are you okay with that too? I do not mind that the hook in public toilets are high up but is it a struggle for you to hang your bag considering your height? Are you happy that each time you shop for shoes, you can literally just pick anything off the rack while I am struggling finding a design that is slightly wide because my feet is wider?

What about preferences? Since I am more of a logic person, I do not find programming difficult and no, I do not find remembering events of history easy. Yes, I can endure many types of music genre. Do you like pop punk? Are you okay if I play my music in your presence? Do you like ice cream or frozen yogurt better? Do you prefer warm or cold weather?

These things seem small and maybe somewhat irrelevant to consider but that’s just the kind of attitude that makes these questions forgotten each time we meet someone new or trying to create integration in a community. It is easier to not offend someone who is from a different race or religion or nationality from us than our own kind because we become less sensitive towards individuals that we consider as ‘our kind’.

Embracing diversity, to me, means that we need to acknowledge that everyone is different in every way and we to accept that different people have different opinions and needs. And to judge them base on that, we need to look at what make us who we are now. Then think, how is that different for them, to be the person they have become. It’s not about right or wrong sometimes. It’s about what we think is right just because we are use to it and what is wrong just because we were brought up labeling that action as wrong. We need to broaden our mind and try to perceive something from other point of view before judging that person.

But don’t worry. No matter how different we are, remember three things to truly embrace the real meaning of diversity. Knowledge, empathy and respect.

  1. Knowledge
    See what you are dealing with first. If you are with people of different culture, get to know that culture. The internet is literally at the tip of our fingers. Google. If it is just the matter of dealing with everyday people, there's a great method to gain knowledge on their personal preferences. It's called asking. Do it in a polite manner and if you are afraid of offending them, you can start with "I'm sorry if what I am going to say might offend you but I really am trying to understand something. Can you help me out?" Being polite is key. Basic questions like, where do you live or their basic education can also give a little idea to you on what kind of environment that person grows up in, hence how it influences their way of thinking. Observing is another method to make yourself more informed on the do's and don'ts so pay attention to your surroundings. Stop being ignorant.
  2. Empathy
    Try to understand what other people are going through. Put yourself in their shoes before you start judging. Try asking yourself, in what situation would make you do something that that person is currently doing and assume that they are being put to that situation. You can always think good of other people and give them excuses if what they are doing or their opinion is just very different from your. When you have knowledge, it is easier for you to empathize.
  3. Respect
    Respecting does not mean you are agreeing. Lower down your ego and you are the better human if you smile and say "I respect that" instead of trying to justify why you are right. Allowing different acts to be carried in front of you without saying a word is also a good way to show respect. Once you understand why people are different, you empathize what they are going through, respect should come naturally. Helping them out if they are having trouble and building accommodations that would help make their life easier is also an act out of respect.

Now, don't you think this world would be a better place if we just keep all these in mind? At the end of the day, only humanity can keep us united.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Pornography's Silent Outreach

Have you ever just switch on the television, trying to find something good to watch, and when you do, a few scenes later, the audio and visual make you feel uncomfortable and you check if there is anyone around seeing you watch this. My 1st question would be, why that move? What are you worried of? But we’ll talk about that later. Ponder on this second question first. Do you feel disturbed that a simple movie on the telly is showing explicit sexual content?

Don’t you agree with me when I say there’s a blurred line in the film industry on how they should portray a sex scene in a movie. Even if you don’t watch porn, you feel somewhat a little exposed to it and your consent are not being put into consideration? I mean movies nowadays have some kind of pornographic values to it especially those that are rated 18. Sure, you can say “Hey, that’s a warning right there. If you don’t want to be exposed, do not watch 18 rated movies”. Bear in mind that not all viewers that choose to watch an 18 movie are above 18 and not all feels sex is something that should escape the bedroom. But the movie got good reviews for its other values and besides, they agreed on watching an 18 rated movie. So practically, they did not consent on watching such actions. See, this silent outreach isn’t just focused on movies but also music videos and some advertisements. Do note that ads and music videos are practically watched by everyone. This is why explicit and erotic contents are now effectively publicize. The broadcasting and publishing industry is eager in having a head start of removing the taboo tag that is attached to the topic of sex, huh?

Technology is now on the rise. With much portable accessibility of the Net, we are constantly connected to everything and everyone. Information is now literally at our fingertips making this generation, not only well informed but also well exposed. Now that our media and the film industry is also not much of a help, it’s hard to control what these kids are watching. Early exposure towards pornography is no longer a shocking finding; unless it’s happening to your kid that is. Bet any parents would go ballistic. But to think about it, why would they? Nowadays, kids at the early age of 10 knows what sex is before being taught to them through schools or through the conversation their parents would need to have about ‘the birds and the bees’, regardless whether they know what they know on this matter. Is it the fact that they are young? Or that it is not something that they are suppose to know or see? Is it because it is out of the norm for kids to be that exposed? Does the explicit content has some kind of effect towards their mental growth? Or is it simply just because it is not a suitable matter to be discussed at that age? If accessing pornography is just a matter of clicking a button or tapping on a link, what power does anyone has to stop it from happening to your kid? 

Keeping them under the rock seems like a parenting method that is no longer tangible. Making sex a taboo topic has never been an option I ever root for. To me, I see sex as a natural living process that everyone would have to know and eventually do but it is labeled as something very embarrassing, dirty and vulgar to be discussed. As an adult, sex are only discussed in public when it is meant as a joke. Teenagers that discussed about it is said to be slutty or have a dirty mind or in an eastern culture, where it is a much much enclosed topic, these teens are accused of having experience of engaging any type of sexual related activities. So if this is the kind of acceptance that we are receiving for people that actually understands sex, what about the kids? How will pornography be accepted by curious little innocent minds? Is it still a good idea to keep this topic taboo? I believe in educating kids on what they need to know and this is definitely one of them. Education is the perfect way to make sure everyone knows the truth on any matter and to avoid any misconception. I understand if most wouldn’t want that because it is as if we are ‘stripping their innocence away’ but that’s just because this is different from what we are used to. The era has changed. If kids can get easy access to information, why don’t we beat them to it? At least they don’t get misinformed through their findings.

What they know as a kid will effect how they bring about their knowledge in their teenage years. That’s when all the hormones start kicking in and sex is no longer a spectating sport but they’ll soon to be the player themselves. This is when pornography is not something that they ‘might stumble upon’ but something that they would actually intentionally access. At this point, it is understood when teenagers and adults own and view pornographic materials. However, if a guy was to buy a Playboy magazine in 7 Eleven, a woman behind him at the cashier would still give him an awkward eye. Somehow, it is still considered publicly shameful to want to be sexually aroused or to find exciting ways to be intimate though there’s nothing embarrassing about it when you make it your own little secret. If we know adults do it, why would it bother us? However, most guys accept that other guys do watch porn because they themselves do it too. Catching another guy owning or viewing them at most, will just make him a laughing stalk among his friends, different to if the situation is gender reversed. She will undergo slut shaming, the story will spread around and some guys will even have the nerve to start disrespecting her. She will be seen as someone with unfulfilled sexual desires. Regardless your opinion on pornography, males and females that are involved in pornographic activities should be treated as equals for both of them are practically doing the same thing. Why the different treatment?

 Another unfair event relating to the topic, the porn industry pays adult movie actress more than their actors. These two double standards somehow are related to one another. It’s all about the supply and demand. The porn industry is accepted in many parts of the world and is an established industry in the States. There are movements that are against these activities but the law and the federal government are much more open about this matter. Most pornographic materials are legal depending on the production process. As long as it doesn’t involve any illegal sex related activity, such as raping, everything is pretty much allowed. Since the industry is pretty much legit, there’s a question to what is the actual status of porn now, since it is not wrong to produce and obtain them in that particular country. Will it reach a point where anyone can just casually watch them on a bus ride because he feels like it’s just watching movie, no big deal? Even at this moment, there is no denying that we are a generation that is driven by anything sex related. Any cheap work that has sexual content sells. Look at Fifty Shades of Grey for starters. Turn on the radio and give the songs a listen. Pop music nowadays highlights being kinky, talking dirty and objectifying woman. These contents might seem harmless but if you are against porn, well, it is making its way to us subliminally.

Now that we know and are aware of what is around us, are you comfortable with what’s going on? Do you find that this new trend or entertainment healthy? Since this is slowly knocking down the barrier of awkwardness teenagers have when talking about sex, they can now openly discuss the topic and get adequate information to have healthy sexual relationship and avoid teen pregnancies. They are more aware of the choices they take. However, what will this do to the morale of the youngsters? Are we creating a generation that feels sex is just something to do when they are bored, or a generation of sex addicts? What about a generation that look at sex lightly as casual hook ups? If one night stands are something more frequent, where does it leave passionate intimacy?

I personally am against watching porn. I believe that two person can satisfy each other without any influence from prior explicit exposure be it through porn or through previous sexual encounters. Call me old school, but I believe we should have one sexual partner for the rest of our life if we want to be sexually satisfied. Think about it, is it possible to have a good sex life if one has multiple partners and is always satisfied in different ways? See, that’s when you would need porn, to learn new tricks to beat your partner’s previous sexual experience. And when you are out of safe options, you’d try unhealthy sex to make things in bed more and more exciting. And where would you get all these crazy ideas? Pornography of course. It’s just a problem that would lead to another. It’s best to just put everything to a halt. Just like fairy tales create unrealistic expectations for young girls to look for her prince charming, porn triggers arousal, especially in man, in absurd ways. Therefore, their expectation towards sex becomes unrealistic and they can’t seem to be satisfied by the actual sexual encounter they are facing. Anyway, how can their first time be as erotic as it should be if pornography and weekly masturbation has taken that away from them? On the other hand, pornography might also inflict psychological disorders; many genres in porn might sound sick to some but to avid porn viewers, it’s nothing because they are just watching them, they are not doing it. Examples of the mentioned genres are incest porn, child porn, bondage porn and rape porn (not to be confused with real raping). At one point, this might seem interesting to be tested out to one. This is when something as simple as porn viewing turns into a crime that leads to many social problems. 

Let’s look at it this way. We have to accept that pornography exist and for that, we can no longer make sex a taboo topic of discussion. Let the youngsters know before they discover them on their own. Let them have a chance of knowing what is right and wrong so that they would make the right decision when they grow up because to get indulged in pornography is a matter of personal choice. No one can stop you. And once you make that choice it will affect you in so many ways. So you should understand what you are getting yourself into. And as for someone living in a community that starts to have such openness in this topic, do not be baffled by others choice. If no one wants to be called prude, no one wants to be called promiscuous. And vice versa.

PS: These are my thoughts and I worked about a month on this since it is actually an essay assignment for my English course. I figured, why not just share it. The next time I post, I don't think it would be this lengthy. Haha!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Continue blogging

So I've come to a decision to, maybe start blogging again. I don't know, I feel like I need a place to channel out all these thoughts besides Facebook and Twitter. Plus, I need to brush on my English since I have so little practice here (meaning in UTM).  Notice the word 'maybe'? Yeah, I won't be blogging a lot but I will keep it updated time to time.. Or whenever I feel the need to vent.

Well, this is a very short first post.