Power of Words

“Words have special powers.

The power to create smiles or frowns.

The power to generate laughs or tears.

The power to lift up or put down.

The power to motivate or de-motivate.

The power to teach good or evil.

The power to express love or hate.

The power to give or take.

The power to heal or harm.

Choose your words carefully.”

— A.D. Williams

Words are powerful. Use it for the good 😉

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More Questions, No Answer

Recently, I watched The Deep Blue Sea, a haunting documentary that chronicles the journey of Australian barrister and human rights activist Jessie Taylor to Indonesia in an attempt to reveal the untold stories of asylum seekers.

Although the film evokes human sensibilities and without a doubt powerful, it left me feeling powerless. There is no one-off solution. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to refugees. Of course, there are many people who need a safe place to stay in varying degrees but who decides how many or how frequent the country should accept refugees? It’s a tough decision, I wouldn’t want to be a policy maker. If speaking from a purely humanitarian point of view, each person has the right to have a safe and secure home and it is not illegal to seek refuge in Australia. Therefore, refugees have the right to appeal to the Australian government and can be resettled here depending on their circumstances. There are a multitude of factors to consider. Exactly how many refugees per year can Australia accommodate or rather, how many asylum seekers is Australia willing to accommodate?

How much is enough? How much is enough if we’re talking about making a decision that will dictate the fate of our fellow men? How much is enough?

Being a migrant myself, I grew up listening to adults talk about corrupt government officials in a third-world country. It is no surprise that in countries such as Indonesia, the living conditions for refugees waiting for resettlement in Australia is appalling and severely dangerous for their health.

I believe there should be more discussion on how to remedy the root of this dilemma – people are not safe in their home country. Why is that? How could we change that?

Beautiful

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have
known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and
have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an
appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that
fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving
concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

— Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross

Enough said. Who are the beautiful people in your life?Have you told them yet? Give them a hug. Make them smile. Spread the love!

What do you want to do when you grow up?

This was my personal orientation project in Year 9:

FREELANCE JOURNALIST

Growing up, I have always loved writing essays for school, answering questions from a variety of topics and expressing my thoughts through writing. I was known as the girl who is silently observing everything that is going on in my surroundings. I remember and take notes of intricate details at most cases. One of my hobbies from when I was younger, until now, is reading newspapers and magazines while observing how articles are constructed. I am very meticulous about punctuations, grammar and spelling. I always try to use deeper, more complex words to describe something. The online thesaurus is my obsession. I consult it very often because I want to expand my vocabulary. I apply what I have learned when we are required to write reviews, reflections or reports for any subject in school. Needless to say, English has always been my favourite subject. I must confess that my guilty pleasure is reading Hollywood gossip on the internet. This provides me with ideas on how to express my opinions or tell a story with a lot of humour, wit, sarcasm and creativity. I am also a bookworm and I think that it helps broaden my perspective. I am extremely curious, inquisitive and easily intrigued. All these have led to my fascination with journalism. I also love traveling to all sorts of places, encountering different personalities and engaging in profound conversations. I am considering this job as my profession because writing is my passion. I want to inspire others and make an impact in someone’s life just as countless of men and women did in mine.

PHOTOJOURNALIST

I simply hate staying in one place for a long period of time. I love moving from place to place because I`m very curious. I always want to see what is beyond what I am seeing. It would be incredibly fulfilling to capture moments, places, faces, and just about anything and tell a story. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. I like interpreting images and looking beyond the surface. The challenge of writing about a broad variety of topics seems quite interesting to me. Since this job requires a lot of traveling, my dream of seeing the world could turn into reality. I love writing reflections and opinions, thinking about local or global issues, simple or complicated messages from people, places or the environment. I want to receive projects such as capturing photographs of people in different living conditions, seeing the world through their perspective. I had a taste of what it is like to live on the other side of the world at the age of fourteen. I loved every minute of it. Through all the ups and downs, the roller-coaster ride, it was an amazing journey of a lifetime. Learning to adjust or perhaps deciding when to adapt to my surroundings and being more versatile to change are definitely essential. When one is not in their comfort zone, it`s amazing what we could discover. I was pushed to my limits and in which I realized that one could always go beyond what we think we are capable of doing or being. I felt a different sense of fulfillment, the kind that I cannot completely express in words but I am sure I would want to feel again and again. I am addicted to this feeling, this challenge of analyzing, interpreting and experiencing moments, simply ordinary yet extraordinarily surreal. The only acceptable report is telling nothing but the truth.

It was fun looking back at this. Three years later, here I am doing a Journalism degree. And it’s not as easy as my Year 9 self had thought.

Isn’t life funny?

Somewhere Only We Know

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Once upon a time, in a far far away land… nah. Fairytales never really made sense to me.

My favourite word is ubiquitous ’cause it sounds cool in my opinion but I frequently use the word “paradox”. In fact, I somehow manage to squeeze it into every single one of my academic essays. I’m also certain that it won’t end there. I’ll use the word paradox repeatedly until my last breath.

I am at once fascinated and irritated by its meaning yet it doesn’t stop me from loving it.

The last time I wrote it:

Haneke creates a masterpiece that shows the great paradox of love as the source of sublime joy and extreme suffering with unflinching honesty.

I have a love affair with words. It can’t be helped. It’s beyond my control.

I’m not afraid to admit it.

Why Rainy Days are THE Best

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All I could say was WOW.

A solid effort. Solidarity. Teamwork. Humanity at its finest.

I love rainy days, don’t you? I write and read and I travel to the world of make-believe. Hot tea and biscuits, curled up in bed is good too. But one rainy day, my friend and I were out and about doing our talk-walkathon because well, we’re cool like that. And then we saw a big group of people holding a blue tarpaulin above their heads.

It’s funny how rainy days somehow bring out the best in us. Don’t you agree?

Mentor

How come you didn’t go back to university to get your Law degree when Mr Smith finished his degree?

I was gutless. I was gutless.

What do you mean?

I didn’t have the courage.

But why?

I will probably… never find out the answer to that question!

That’s sad. That is so sad.

But it worked out well, I suppose.

And you’re happy, right?

(Pause)

Yes.

 

There I was admiring this amazing human being, who was my English teacher and my mentor in Year 12, only to find out that her career aspiration was never fulfilled or rather, she had the intellect but lacked the tenacity to pursue it when she was younger.

I remember when I asked her to be my mentor. I wasn’t in any of her classes. I met her briefly and talked to her a few times because she coordinated the debating teams.

Would you be willing to be my mentor?

(I was expecting a “NO, because I don’t know you!”)

(Genuinely surprised) Oh, I’d be honoured… But I don’t have you in any of my classes!

Yes… but you’re the kind of woman that I aspire to be.

She smiled whilst instinctively placing her right hand over her chest – a nice gesture of appreciation.

A few moments later, that smile turned into a cheeky grin. Suddenly without effort, she hints exactly why she should be my mentor.

Well, that’s because you don’t know me. (laughs)

And she was right with one thing – I didn’t know her. But somehow I knew that she should be my mentor. It was intuition, instinct or gut feeling, whatever you want to call it. It was an irrational decision but it’s something that I will always be grateful for… that I was crazy enough to do it.

She is not some fictional character in a novel. She is not perfect. She is human and humans are flawed. She’s been through a lot*, you see. She has scars to prove it.

I remained in contact with her for various ashamedly selfish reasons but number one in my list is that I see her as my mentor for life both literally and figuratively. Plus, I feel like we’ve become friends too. So what if she’s sixty something?

It was an immense privilege to meet her. It worked out well indeed!

*I will write more about her story in time.

Do you have a mentor? Share your story with me!