New Dimension to Climate Change

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-margaret-chan/how-climate-change-can-ra_b_5822950.html?utm_hp_ref=green

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Doing good — What it truly means

This concept of “doing good deeds” and “feeling good” has been in my mind for quite some time. Today, I just want to pen down some thoughts about it. 

When not careful, these two ideas of feeling good and doing good deeds may be convoluted to form somewhat a wrong motivation for us when we do good.

I have been guilty of this before. Though subconscious, I have done good deeds (or what I deem as good — may not necessarily be helping an old lady cross the street, but could be purchasing an environmentally friendly and sustainable product sourced from small-scale farmers, etc.) for the “feel-good” feelings aka endorphins, that come after. That is not necessarily wrong, but it isn’t right. 

The motivation for our doings should be out of purity, goodness and desire to make this world a better place. 

If we don’t stop to ponder about our motivations for doing things, things may alter. If we let it. 

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(Check out the article here: https://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/birds-and-bees-and-how-they-connect-agricultural-economics?hootPostID=6c7f30f3cfbbfdfa706d5292ece1ed1e) 

This tweet caught my attention particularly for the heading “Biodiversity-friendly agriculture is not just a feel-good option — It increases food production”

In this digital age where social media sites and keeping up with internet trends (Take the song “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj for example. I do not get why society is so caught up with it and the lyrics really bugs me) is so prevalent, and one would be called out for “living in stone age” not to do so, the motivations for doing good have shifted. With all these “Positivity Challenges” and ‘hashtagging’ kind acts you have done, though I applaud this initial intention of spreading kindness within our community, I think it has majorly changed our way we perceive good deeds. 

Good deeds now, are viewed as something trendy, means for us to keep up with social trends, and so that we can conform to societal norms. 

This brings me to the ALS ice bucket challenge. I have seen many properly done up videos where people do raise awareness about ALS. However, there are also countless who simply take up the challenge for the sake of it, without mentioning a single word about the disease. 

Hence, it is important that we do what we do, advocate for what we advocate for, and be who we truly are because we truly believe it. Not because it makes us feel good, nor should it be a mean for us to catch up with this hectic social trend race. 

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Respect

Respect is not something that comes cheap for me, not something I hold loosely at the tip of my fingers, certainly not something I am ready to dish out freely. Respect is however, something I hold very dearly, almost as if it is a precious, limited supply of natural resources, reluctant to brandish to undeserving ones, only reserving it for people who truly deserve it. 

Respect is the feeling of looking up to a person who is worthy of following in his or her footsteps, a person who loves, one who cares for others’ feelings, and certainly, one who respects others. After all, if one does not respect others, how can he expect to receive respect in return?

Unfortunately, this is the case for me, for now at least.

I respect you, A, only because you are A and looking from a deontologist’s point of view, it is my responsibility to upkeep my moral duty of respecting you. You do not respect B, simply because she cannot earn her keep and you despise her for that. You do not respect B, simply because you think lowly of her poor education and family background (or perhaps, none to begin with). 

Therefore, I am expected to respect you, a university graduate, clad in cologne and dyed hair to hide your blemishes. Through this facade, your blemishes shine even brighter than ever. Because I am one who looks through the appearance. I look into the heart. Truth be told, I have zero respect for you. Even so, holding zero respect for you would still be somewhat showing you some respect, as over the years, I would venture to say that the amount of respect in the reservoir reserved for you has diminished to a negative value. 

Oh, so a piece of paper you received from a university in Canada and the ability to make two thousand bucks a month (which, by the way, is peanuts in today’s society given inflation and other factors) makes you all high and mighty. I pity you. I pity you, for stooping so low, to pour out profanities in your anger on a woman. I pity you, for stooping even lower, to humiliating her and degrading her all these years, that back then, she wanted to end her life, but she didn’t — all praise to God, Amen! 

A leopard never changes its spots. I should have known better. I respect you out of moral duty to do so, but never would I respect you for your actions, choices, bad decisions. 

 

 

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God is for me, God is with me

I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to attend church today! As we sang “Be With You” during worship today, I am just reminded of God’s almighty grace and feel so thankful to be God’s precious child. God loves me and if our God is for us, who can ever be against us?

This is a time of extreme stress for me, however I am leaning not on my own strength, talent, but rather, I am seeking God’s strength and wisdom. 

Proverbs 3:5 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. 

God is in control of everything — all our problems in life, relationship strains, work related issues, stress and all things that bring us worry, anxiety and depression. Yes Lord, I will trust in you wholeheartedly and lean not on my own understanding of this obscure journey called life. 

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Extremely Passionate People! (EPP–> EEP!)

Today, I am simply overwhelmed with feelings of immense gratitude. I have just so many countless things to be thankful for. And today, I wish to focus on my privilege being a student of my school. 

Being a student of my school, I just feel extremely thankful to be given opportunities to meet such inspirational and passionate figures, and most of all, opportunities to explore ways in which I can serve the community/ society — both the environment and people. 

 

1. Today, I had the very wonderful opportunity to listen to a talk by Dr Tan Lai Yong, a Christian medical missionary doctor. I feel that I have gained so much insight from his talk, and his talk effectively served as a reminder that our talents do not belong to us, but to society and to God. Who are we to use our talents and gifts from God for self-seeking, selfish purposes? Our purpose in life is to make use of these bestowed gifts to better the community, serve others and through all these, serve God. :) Listening to Dr Tan was an extremely humbling experience.

* Disclaimer: Dr Tan did not mention anything about Christian teachings during the talk, due to the secular context, however, this was just my personal takeaway!

 

biblequote- service

 

2. I also had the honor of visiting the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) today for my Geography coursework. I had an amazing time getting to know and talking to the education executive, Ms Maggie Lim. She is such a passionate, down to earth and kind person with a big heart for animals — I am truly humbled. First and foremost, I can feel her love and sincerity towards advocating for animal rights. I think that is the most important — that in everything we do, we do with love and sincerity. She provided me with a lot of insight into the issue of dolphin captivity and factors so as to why people continue supporting marine life parks with captive dolphins. For that, I am thankful, and I hope that my study can go a long way in helping make a difference in the welfare of dolphins. Most important takeaway from my meeting with Ms Lim was her passion. I think she really struck me with her passion and kindness towards animals. She emphasized the importance of empathy (which I truly believe is key to having convicted belief and to taking action!) and mentioned that making a change in our daily lives such as diet was not difficult once we understood the pain the animals had to go through. I think her little actions stemming from her beliefs speak volumes about her heart. I am extremely grateful to have been able to meet her today. Life long lessons learnt. 

3. I have been given many opportunities and platforms to advocate and explore my passions. If you have been following my blog for some time, you would have known that another issue I hold very dearly to my heart is poverty. And with poverty, comes the key to breaking this vicious cycle — education. Literacy is key to breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. Because I am thankful for my own education, I want to make a difference in the lives of many other girls who may not be as privileged as I am due to oppression and gender inequality. But being here in my school, I have been given this platform to advocate for girls’ education and raise funds for this worthy cause. I am truly thankful. Other opportunities include this study that I am conducting — about dolphin welfare and dolphin captivity, an issue that I have held close to my heart for a long time now. 

 

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4. I am very thankful for C who taught me when I was a still a ignorant little Year One. She has been an inspiration to me and impacted me to make a difference in this world. I am also so grateful to her for imparting the values of the discipline of Geography to me, without which, I cannot imagine how I would be living my life now — trampling on plants, trees, the list could go on forever.

 

Being a student of my school, I admit that the workload and stress can peak at an unbearable point at times. The uniform looks glamorous, the school has a reputation of academic excellence, and rich history of more than a century. However, today I strongly feel that being a student here (I will not reveal due to privacy reasons), everything means so much more than just the glory of donning that rich navy pinafore and the honor of being in student of _ _ _.

“Where are you schooling at?”

“_ _ _.”

“Wow! You must be very clever/smart/talented.” 

“Haha, no la.” (Chinese culture states that we must deny compliments due to humility — I am just joking; and secondly, I am far from intelligent. I believe that I am simply determined, hardworking and just very blessed. ^^) 

 

To round off, I am feeling so immensely grateful for all these wonderful people, opportunities and gifts God has placed in my life. I am thankful beyond words and am certain that I will use my gifts in a way that is not self-seeking, but to serve others with compassion and gratitude for what I have. 

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The Fault In Our Stars review

goodlife-TFIOS

I finally caught The Fault In Our Stars just the other day and it was amazing! As everyone would know, it IS overwhelmingly a tearjerker. :’) Initially, I was feeling apprehensive and skeptical towards TFIOS, as I had thought it was simply yet another overrated teenage romance book. However, when I opened the book last November, I could not put it down and stayed up to read it  voraciously savor it. And I cried so badly while reading it. It was such a touching story about life, love and reality. Though I admit that I am one emotional person, it is rare to find books that are so good — so relatable that you can actually empathize with the protagonist and can’t help but let your tears flow.

Needless to say, I was crying in the movie and so was everyone else, as evidenced by the sniffles coming from all directions.

I would say that the book is better than the movie, as I felt that it brought more depth and realness. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, as I felt that the actors and actresses managed to bring out the emotions as portrayed in the book. It was overall a very good movie, but I think it would have been more enjoyable for people who have read and (already cried) love the book. (Speaking from experience that I watched it with someone who did not read the book *disapproving click of my tongue* and claimed that the movie was not that great.)

NOW, for my favorite quote…

My favorite quote from TFIOS is not actually a very common one that everyone would say, such as “Okay? Okay.” or “I fell in love the way you fall asleep; slowly and then all at once.” (though I would say this is my second favorite! Additional elaboration so as to why would be unnecessary, right?)

My favorite is, “It’s a good life Hazel Grace.”

I think TFIOS really teaches me to be more and more grateful for what we have in the present moment. Life is so unpredictable and we will never know what can happen. However, if cancer-stricken kids can be thankful for our life no matter what is being thrown at us, I think we all should too. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, or the negatives in life, I am thankful for what I am blessed with.

“It’s a good life, Hazel Grace.”

 

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To God be the Glory! :)

Attended church this morning and I really feel so much happier, healthier and most of all, safe in my Abba Father’s hands because to God be the glory and in all that I do, I commit everything to the Lord Jesus! 

This June has been a pretty fun and relaxed period of time for me, because I have been and will be going for field trips to various places. My horizon has truly been expanded and I have gained so much from visiting places, museums, interacting with locals and experiencing a brand new culture! Albeit the time was short, but I feel so enriched and fulfilled. All in all, I can just say with grace that I am so thankful to be blessed with such wonderful opportunities. 

Nonetheless, even at this seemingly rosier period of my life, life will never be all smooth sailing or ideal as I wistfully might wish for it to be. I am relatively piled with research projects to do and the work is endless… You get the picture. I guess life really isn’t all about work and conforming to society’s definition of what success is though. I now believe in taking breaks, giving my very best and leaving the rest to my Abba Father above who loves me very much and has bountiful blessings in store for me. After all, as a daughter of Christ who died for us, would He deny us of His goodness? 

Thankful, and also pressing on! :) 

 

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