Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Save the Heart, Save the World

Once I was questioned by a friend: When is the best time to change? Is it either on Maal Hijrah or on the New Year’s Eve? The friend however is a well-known-cunning-man-in-red who usually already knows the answer to the question he’s asking, and the answer is usually not even in the options he gave. Those unfamiliar to his tricks would be a victim where he would wait patiently for them to give an answer, and gleefully shout ‘salah!’ the moment they open their mouth. I’m getting all used to his trick, but I answered ‘Maal Hijrah’ anyway.

As expected, he would shout ‘salah!’, but I am too interested in his answer that I couldn’t bother that I was wrong. His answer is:

“There is no specific time for us to change; we must change the moment we intend to change”

Quite philosophical for a cunning person. Well, while I certainly agree, in my case, however, I usually have the intention to change only on Maal Hijrahs or New Year’s Eve. So well, it’s all the same.

My motto for 2009 will be: “Save the heart, save the world”. It’s a short, but meaningful motto. Saving the heart includes saving the heart heart, you know, the one that pumps blood to the whole body. Achieving this includes exercising regularly and having a wise selection of nutrition. Saving the heart also means saving the other heart, you know, the one that makes us human human. How? By seeking to understand others first before trying to be understood, by keeping promises, by resisting the urge to criticize, by spending more energy appreciating what I already have instead of wanting what I don't have, and by spending more time with those that really matter in my life (Allah S.W.T, family, close friends) =)
When both hearts are being taken care of, then I can concentrate on saving the world, which includes, spreading kindness, helping those in need, creating a greener world, standing up for what is right, and stopping villains from taking over the world!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Road to the United Nations

It’s holiday season again, though I shouldn’t consider it as a ‘season’ since my holiday is only for 2 weeks. In fact, I shouldn’t even consider it as a holiday since there’s so much to do during my 2 weeks in Malaysia! First, I have to apply for VISA at the US embassy in order for me to set foot in the United States early next year. Second, I have to propose a few companies to kindly sponsor me throughout my 2 weeks stay in the United States. Third, I need to do research on the current world healthcare issues.

For those who haven’t known yet, I will be going to Boston, USA next February for a 4-day United Nations General Assembly. Well, it’s not really THE General Assembly, but a simulation of it. Simply put, it is just the same as the real general assembly except that it is made up of a bunch of university students from all around the world, acting as delegates for an assigned country, and the Directors, Secretary Generals, etc. are made up of Harvard University students. Although it’s a simulation, the topics that will be discussed are based on real-time situations.
Under the General Assembly are a few other committees, such as the Disarmament and Security Council (DisSec) and the World Health Organization (WHO). As a medical student; where else would they put me if not in the World Health Organization? It’s an honor for me to get the chance to see a world-perspective view of the current healthcare issues. I’ve been sitting in class, listening to public health lectures for almost 2 years now, and so far I still don’t have a clear view of what’s the situation out there. Well, it’s my fault actually, usually I will fall asleep during the first quarter of the lecture, and if the lecturer is lucky enough, I would make it to the second half. But I rarely make it to the end. Sad =(…but because during the conference, I will have to speak in front of hundreds of students from all around the world, I wouldn’t want most of them to doze off during my speech. I believe in karma, so lessons learned, for the past few months I have been listening attentively to the public health lectures =P

Despite the busy days ahead of me, I plan to write more about this sometime later. However, if you’re interested in knowing what this conference is all about, visit www.hnmun.org

Friday, December 12, 2008

Finding Myself

24th October 1945, shortly after World War II, The United Nations was established with the sole purpose of bringing peace to the modern world. 24th October 1987, I was born with the same purpose ;-P. Erik Erikson (the Freudian psychologist), theorized that now I'm 21, I'm moving out of the 5th phase of life he termed 'Identity Vs Role Confusion'. I never did have a full idea on what he meant, but well, I guess what he tried to say is that by now, I’m supposed to have my own real identity, or else I will end up having confusion about my roles in life!

Have I've found my identity?

Guess so. ..Few years before, I can say that I spent my lifetime pondering upon questions of identity. I was more concerned about what I appear to be in the eyes of others instead of what I really feel I am. In the words of Natasha Bedingfield: “The slightest remark would embark me on a journey of self-doubt”. I can still remember how I used to get angry, hurt, or otherwise frustrated when people reject my ideas, tell me no, or give me some other form of disapproval. But I did learn a lot from the past few years. I gave myself a break. I reminded myself that even in a landslide election victory in which a candidate secures 55% of the vote, he or she is left with 45% of the population that wishes someone else were the winner. Pretty humbling, is it?


The point is: This is my life. It’s a brief candle. I won’t spend it trying to be what other people want me to be. The question I should be asking right now is: “Am I who I wanna be?”.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Of Refrigerators and Online Blogs

For a few years now, I’ve been writing a journal book which I let lie around almost anywhere…on the bed, on the floor, under the table, under the carpet, and occasionally…inside a refrigerator. The point is, I don’t keep my journal secretly inside a chest that can only be opened with Davy Jones’ key. There’s not much private stuff in there, let alone Davy Jones’ heart. Basically it is simply a record of my daily life, a reflection of how I’m going so far, and a guide for me to be a better person (a mission that has been going on for so long, but progressing slowly *sigh). So, I decided to put some of my journal entry online. That’s because:
  1. I don’t want the precious lessons I’ve learned get lost inside a refrigerator. My website that I created when I was 12 years old still exists today, so I guess the internet is a safer place than the refrigerator

  2. This blogging stuff is really trendy nowadays, so I guess it would be prouder to say that I have a personal journal AND a blog, instead of just having a journal and a refrigerator

  3. When writing in a journal not open to public, I tend to be narcissistic to a pathological level. Online, people can leave comments, so I would know that I have crossed the line when people start voting to shut down my blog

However, the most important reason is that I want to share with you guys what I have learned. Why? Because I am born to give~ =D

Monday, December 1, 2008

Don’t Start With Profundities

If there’s anything useful I’ve learned for the past few years, it would be: ‘don’t start with profundities’. I used to be the kind of person who always jumps from one point to another, seldom finishing what I had started. For example, when I am learning microbiology I would ask myself why do I need to learn bout all these bacterias when I know that antibiotics can kill loads of different kinds of ‘em all at the same time? Who cares how thick their cell walls are, or where do they live, or what do they do for a living? Can’t we just skip straight to the fun ‘kill ‘em all!’ part?

So off I go to get a pharmacology book to learn which drug takes care of which. But then again, I’d go “Why did this pill do this to that creature, but not this one? What’s so special bout this one?” So there and back again I was, opening the microbiology book. I just can’t help it! That’s just one example; others are too embarrassing to be displayed online.

Took me awhile to realize it though… It’s not till recent years that I’ve learned about ‘the law of harvest’. You plough, you sow, you water, you reap, you cook, you eat, you wash the dishes, you wipe it dry, you put it back in the cupboard, no not the top one, the middle one! how many times do I have to tell you? you...Alright, that's enough! What I'm trying to say is that there’s no shortcut to it. Start with the basics, and then slowly advance.
Lessons learned, now I’m starting with the basics! For the first few entries of my blog, I’m going to write about the basics: about me and what I like! Sounds like kindergarten journal writing? Who cares…I miss those days! =P