Monday, January 26, 2009

Blend in but Stand out

I was going through old photo albums when I found this:
Six-year-old me, reading to an audience a story I wrote myself

Sigmund Freud theorized that our childhood experiences define our life as an adult. If that is the case, the picture explains why I’m addicted to the microphone today =P. The picture was taken on a Christmas concert, right before my class performed. This is a story of how a Malaysian kindergartener ends up reading a story he wrote himself to a whole American audience.

It all started with journal writing. Back in 1994, my family and I had to move to the United States. My father had an offer to do his Masters at Harvard Medical School, and for me, I had the chance of a lifetime to have my first schooling experience overseas. Robert Fulghum, a world-known author once said: “All I really need to know in life were learned at kindergarten”. I agree. Well, maybe not EVERYTHING is learned in kindergarten, but at least I learned journal writing there. In my school, kindergarteners are required to write in a journal entry every single day. I was still getting used to English at that time, and every night my parents would teach me new words using flashcards. With my limited vocabulary and inadequate grasp of grammar, I wrote some hilarious entries. I remember writing:

“I like to eat Fruit Loops AND my sister too”!

What I really meant was that my sister and I like to eat Fruit Loops (the breakfast cereal). Because of my language limitations, I made myself sound like a cannibal for wanting to eat my own sister!

Journal writing is the start of my passion towards reading and writing. From flash card, I turn to storybooks, and after a while, I started writing my own stories. I made a short storybook of my own; complete with illustrations I drew myself, on a folded A4 paper. Sometime later, we had a “show and tell” session where we were to stand in front of the class and share anything we want to. Eager to share the book I wrote, I didn’t think twice before raising my hand. So I went in front, read my story to the class, and showed them the pictures I drew. The next thing I knew, I was made 'Student of the Month'!

Soon, Christmas came, and as a tradition, our school organized a Christmas concert where parents are invited to watch their children perform on stage. Each class has to perform, including mine. So my teacher had this ‘great’ idea. As an introduction, before my class perform, she wanted me to read my storybook to the audience! And so I did... My parents came over to the concert and took a picture while I was reading on stage. It was a merry Christmas indeed

Sometimes we are intimidated when thrown into a whole new culture. But we have to face it. We have no choice, because nobody likes an ugly duckling, or a black sheep, or a wolf that runs in a different direction from the pack. We must blend in. Blend in, but stand out as someone. Stand out as someone competent. Show that you are just as good, but never stand out as an outsider or an outcast. Blending in doesn’t mean that we must lose our identity. It's like being a chameleon instead of a clone. You still retain your identity (as a Malaysian, as a Muslim for example), but you are readily adaptable to changes depending on what is required of you. So get your name known, but never as an outsider =)

15 comments:

nur_aishah said...

Cute pic..kecik2 dh mencapab kat stage.Bingo,now i noe the reason why the mic loves u...I wonder..do u bring ur childhood along to Jatinangor???

Anyway.Totally agree with u..Blending is like completing the adaptation process with the new environment. However bare in mind not to lose ur own original identity.
When u are fully adapt with the condition, u won't feel left out & the most important thing u'll fill happy with ur life & feel content with it...

Life is wonderful..
dats what i think

IRA said...

hahaha thats so adorable! cute cute! i used to hate english when i was in primary school hahah sgt teruk english time kecik2 dulu ok! hehe

Lutfi Fadil said...

Hehe...now u noe huh?
Yup, adaptation 2 d environment. same as what we're doing here in indonesia la kn?? eventho bahasa lebey kurg same, but d culture is a bit different. so we must respect and adapt with it, while maintaining our identity at the same time

Life is wonderful indeed =)

Lutfi Fadil said...

haa...tu la,i mase kecik sgt adorable ok? *prasan*
well, at least ur english is much2 better now. stat bile u suke english?

IRA said...

hahah bile ekk..std 5 or 6 camtu kot..time tu rase cam gempak plak english aku rupenye ha camtu la so terus suke hhahaa

btw, u tak buat lagi tag i! gi buat skarang! hahah

Lutfi Fadil said...

laa...kne tag ke? haha..x prasan. bole je buat skrg tp yg cutest picture tu susah la sket. kne carik yg btol2 bkualiti dulu.hehe...

rough_U_deen said...

Sigmund Freud mendapat tempat dalam hati pencita ilmu psikologi. (Yahudi mmg bijak, so no doubt bout it)
Maka, telah tiba masanya untuk psikologis muslim bangkit semula.
Sorry, jump-blogging smpai ke cni.
Member sho actually.
Wallahu'alam

far.han.na. said...

bukan masters la p...ayah wat masters ukm/ edinburgh. harvard tu fellowship ler...aiseh =P -kakfarah-

Lutfi Fadil said...

2 hana: la,silap ke...haha..mane la bopie tau...mase tu kan kecik lagi =P..anggap jelah same masters n fellowship

Lutfi Fadil said...

2 rough_U_deen: yup, i agree. sigmund freud pny teori jd feveret psychologists zmn skrg, tp kt kne igt, d first study of human minds were initiated by muslim Sufis thousand years ago.Most of d western theories are taken from them, cuma dorg buang semua unsur2 yg ada kaitan dgn ketuhanan..it's time 2take back what is rightfully ours

càmí™ kurek2♥ said...

pergh..ini adalah blog plg pjg dlm sjarah..nasib baik tak rajin membaca..

Lutfi Fadil said...

2 cami: aha...xpela,nnti bole compile buat buku cerita

Fazzara said...

kenapa tin takde cerita pon?

Lutfi Fadil said...

La,tu yg 'i like 2 eat fruit loops n my sister tu'...my sister tu tin la...bkn kakak. dlu tin ske makan fruit loops gak

mimiqt said...

lutfi. blog ko mmg byk cerita puji diri sendiri. mine too. haha.

sharing is caring.

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