Hope & Politics

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Photo Credit: Yasmin Ahmad (yasminthestoryteller.blogspot.com)

Lost?!
At a time when politics appears to be filled with a lot of mud-slinging & political uncertainty. At a time when we are worried about foreign investments, our economy (the expected inflation rate of 5.5-6% scares me honestly) & governing uncertainties. We peer to our neighbors with the fear that riots & demonstrations become a norm (instead of it simply being BBC repeating the same footage repeatedly ;))

Audacity
Yet there is hope. Not one grounded in falseness & being mere fleeting dreams. But a hope in the process of democracy in the country. Of one that the two (major) opposing political camps all have a role to play in the check-balance of power. That the constant bickering & mud-slinging are all part of the process towards the best possible result for the majority. Yes it will be messy at times. Yes the media (both official & unofficial) plays an increasingly important role in how the public perceives reality. Yet it’s all part of the process to make headway despite the political murkiness.

The Great Unifying Divide
We look at both sides of the great divide & see many examples of politicians who actually do walk the talk. Both youthful politicians getting their feet wet in political drama & the tempered experience of the few respected older gentlemen who have been around for a while (minus those who missed their exit queue we hope).

Reforms Not Reformation
We look at reforms not in the sense of ‘reformation’ as sudden change will definitely brings about uncertainty & chaos. But gradual change by having an unwavering goal/objectives yet making it happen in small purposeful steps:-
– Education focused towards the challenges of a global economy & retaining talent
– Unity echoing this year’s independence theme as we become more alike
– Safety as we safeguard freedom while clamping down extremism & violence
– Energy & food self-sustainability as we face the challenges of mother earth
– Wise investments, accountable spending & killing off corruption

Happy Independence Day
It’s more than just symbolism. It’s more than just flags (controversial this season). It’s more than raging against the system. It’s more that just controversies & conspiracies. It’s about who & what you are, and what it actually means to you being a Malaysian.

Question
How do you identify yourself with your country?

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Masks

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Photo Credit: Chibi Ichigo by wslasher

Two-Faced Dilemma
Have you even faced a dilemma where you found yourself whether consciously or unconsciously presenting different aspects of your character to different people? Did you embrace being that person full-heartedly? Or did you ponder whether this to a certain extent makes you a fake in a way as you wonder which of these masks you put on is your true character?

Masked Acceptance?
Still over the years, we often reach acceptance or possibly become too busy to think of matters as such. Yet how much do you truly know yourself? Do you wear masks, at least some of the time, in believe of protecting yourself from the harsh society & world that we live in? Or do you eschew the concept of masks being very sure that the person that you are is truly yourself? Or have you actually reached an equilibrium whereby it no longer is a mask but an acceptance of that the various roles & characters you play in your stage of life are all really, truly — you?!

What It’s Not About
It is not about being a two-faced two-legged snake. It is not about pretending to speak with a foreign accent after only spending 1 month abroad (puh-leeze!) It is not about lying through your teeth or making the truth worse than lies. It is not about telling what is the most convenient lie to whoever happens to be listening.

Natural State of Being
It has been proven through research that even a child learns from a very young age to cry (the proverbial crocodile tears) only when someone is looking & can stop crying almost immediately once what the child wants is achieved. Likewise how we react to different people in our lives is actually but a natural state of being whereby from our experience & gut feelings, we act in a certain why. There is no point in trying to reason with a bull who does not even listen to reason. Nor is there point to argue with an idiot. Instead you tackle the bull with the red cloth. And you deal with the idiot in whatever you deem the best way there is to deal with idiots (ignoring usually works).

To Realize What is Truly You
Therein lies the re-learning on how to cope & act accordingly depending on our situation & surroundings. We need to shirk off the arrogant yet false believes of self-imposed nobility. We must know when to press the advantage. We must know when to retreat – which is actually another form of advancement. Yet all this of course requires balance with our own individual maturity & inner goodness which is not bound by pettiness. Detach yourself from your own constraints taught to you by society. Put yourself first, and only then will you be capable of helping your fellow men.

Question
Controversial mayhaps, but what do you think?

(Re)Learning to Say No

I thought I knew how to say no. Yet somehow I find myself saying yes when my feelings and instincts tells me I shouldn’t. Gotta (re)learn more to follow my gut feelings. Hmm…

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Photo Credit: Wrong by toyib

An Earlier No Saves a Bucket-full of Hassle
You know that you don’t want to do it. Yet for the sake of face or because saying no appears difficult or because you are doubting yourself, you say yes anyway. Only to later be filled with regret, pain and anguish. This is followed by the need for apologies and an even lengthier explanation on why you said yes in the first place.

Just avoid all this hassle in the first place. Just say no when you know that your true answer is no.

Know Why You Say No
As much as possible, know why you are saying no. Is it that you already have other commitments? Are you stretching yourself too thin? Is it that someone has unrealistic expectations of you?

If that is the case, do go ahead and say no. Then try to explain if the person is willing to listen. Else it’s not much lost anyway.

And at the end of the day you don’t know why you are saying no but merely based on a hunch, go with it. Quite often your sub-conscious knows you better than you think you know yourself.

Saying No in a Polite Manner
As a wise man once said, don’t slam doors shut that one day you may need open. Do maintain politeness, basic courtesy and professionalism no matter the circumstances.

If every single time you say no you end up with a broken relationship, then you’re going to be needing to find many more friends in your life 😉

No is a Liberator
Enough said 🙂

Question
Have you ever found it difficult to say no?

Simplification

A time to dream. A time to rest. A time to simplify. Life itself.
PS. Check out Zen Habits for simple productivity ideas

Christopher Macquet @ photoprojectplus
Photo Credit: Simplicity by photoprojectplus

Simple Wish
It all begins with a wish
To find simplicity in your daily life

Simple Action
And willing yourself to step away from the chaos
To find peace & certainty with your actions

Simple Work
By breaking down huge drowning stressful tasks into manageable little pieces
By focusing on what’s important & simply get things done almost like automagic

Simple Rewards
And then feeling good for each step you take
Rewarding yourself for each accomplishment

Simple Days
Knowing that each day you are making a difference, simply
By doing & giving what you do best

Simplification. Makes even the maths of life appear irresistibly sexy.

Question
How can you simplify your life?