You cannot and you should not tell me who I am.
You cannot and you should not tell me what to wear.
You cannot and you should not tell me where to go.
You cannot and you should not tell me when to speak.
You cannot and you should not tell me how to feel
you can and you should tell me why you are afraid of who I am, what I wear, where I go, how I feel, and when I speak.
You know who you are.
(pic from "positive thoughts")
26 June 2011
23 June 2011
The pictures are not clear because it's taken from inside the bus, with my Blackberry. I meant to take more but I got so excited when I realised what was happening that I managed to get only these two.
It was 13 May 2011. I was half way to Singapore that day. We had stopped in Pagoh for the obligatory break in the journey.
When I boarded the bus to wait for the remaining passengers, I noticed another passenger, an old man, walking very slowly back to the bus. Two younger guys strolled up to him and then one of them took his hand to help him cross the road and board the bus. Simple enough. So what do you see?
At first, I saw 2 Malay men with 1 Chinese man.
I had to chide myself and correct the bad programming in my head.
Then I realise that what I saw was 2 young Malaysians helping another old Malaysian. This is how it should be always. Not only on May 13 but every day.
What did you see?
22 June 2011
In the year 2009, a Malaysian was honoured to be one of the eight recipients for the 2009 Secretary of State's Award for International Women of Courage Awards.
In the ceremony, the United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton commented, "... Ambiga Sreenevasan, has a remarkable record of accomplishment in Malaysia. She has pursued judicial reform and good governance, she has stood up for religious tolerance, and she has been a resolute advocate of women’s equality and their full political participation. She is someone who is not only working in her own country, but whose influence is felt beyond the borders of Malaysia. And it is a great honor to recognize her and invite her to the podium."
Here is what Wikipedia has to say:
Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (born 1956) is a Malaysian lawyer who served as the Malaysian Bar chairlady from 2007 to 2009.
In March 2009, she became one of the eight recipients for the 2009 Secretary of State’s Award for International Women of Courage Awards. In the ceremony, the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commented, “… Ambiga Sreenevasan, has a remarkable record of accomplishment in Malaysia. She has pursued judicial reform and good governance, she has stood up for religious tolerance, and she has been a resolute advocate of women’s equality and their full political participation. She is someone who is not only working in her own country, but whose influence is felt beyond the borders of Malaysia. And it is a great honor to recognize her and invite her to the podium.”
In the picture, she stands between two women who will go down in US history. I think Ambiga will also make it in the annals of Malaysian history.
(pics from here)
19 June 2011
12 June 2011
I guess it's too much to ask, nowadays, if people know the unwritten rules of protocol when visiting elderly folk in a nursing home.
Yes, I know that it's frowned upon when a parent is put in a nursing home. Yet, if people take the trouble to look into the extenuating circumstances, they might understand the whys and the wherefores.
In the taxi to visit my mother-in-law yesterday, the taxi driver asked me who I was visiting and I told him, "my mother". He asked me why she was in a home and I explained to him. When we reached the destination, he turned around and said to me, "You are doing good". He went on to say that his mother was also in a nursing home. It was expensive but it was the best thing for her. The fact that a total stranger could understand, in under ten minutes, really took me by surprise because there are so many family members out there eager to whack us about this. Fortunately, Stephen and his sister did not have to depend on the so-called family members when deciding this. Today, mom is still alive and that's all I have to say about it.
Then, there are also people who want to put their aged parents in a home but just cannot afford to. Nobody wants to come out with the money. When this is the case, the aged parent is not in a better situation because the children are 'forced' to look after them. I have heard accusations flying back and forth between siblings who are counting the hours each one has to do 'duty'. It is not a pleasant scene.
Isn't it also true that some aged parents, when they are no longer useful to their children, are ill-treated, even at home? How many cases are there of physically and mentally abused parents? Parents who bear the humiliation and pain because of not wanting to disgrace their own children.
What about the children who take their parents in because of money? To comply with the clause of "you take me in, you get the money". Let's not pretend here about some of the cases out there of the "holier than thou" variety.
I'm not going into all that today. Perhaps, I'll come back to it another time.
Today, I just want to list some "unwritten rules" that decent people should be aware of.
GUIDELINES FOR VISITING ELDERLY FOLK IN A HOME
1. You do not ask or hint for money from them.
2. You do not unload your family or personal problems to them.
3. You do not bring unhealthy food for them.
4. You do not poison their minds about their immediate family members.
5. You do not pretend concern if you visit only once in six months.
YOU MAY, HOWEVER, CONSIDER THESE!
1. You bring a smile and a cheerful countenance.
2. You talk about events that lift the spirit.
3. You sit and listen because they want to talk.
4. You give a hug and a kiss because it's good for the soul.
5. You leave with words that nourish her.
So often I have had to listen to the complaints from my mother-in-law about the people who have broken their promises to her to bring her food/to visit again/to buy her something or other. How can people be so thoughtless?
08 June 2011
Other than when I am with Stephen, I am used to being the one who is in the position of servitude.
Well, at work, that's my job.
In my family, it isn't unusual either that I am the one everyone expects to step up to the plate and to deal with whatever happens.
I'm the one who goes the distance for the family, when necessary. For as long as I can remember, I'm the one who carries the bags, the one who gets the car while they wait at the entrance. I'm the one who does the banking, picks up the stuff, gets the groceries or whatever else needs to be done. I've hosted gatherings, sleepovers and dinners at restaurants.
This is the reason why I love being with Stephen. He will queue up for me, order my food and drinks while I sit and wait. He will go shopping with me, carry the bags, open the doors and even watch movies that I like. I'm really pampered.
It's a stark contrast to how I am with my family.
Recently, I was out with my son and his girlfriend, Gwen. Yup, I was the lamp post.
Anyway, we had lunch and then browsed around Ikea. We found some stuff that we
wanted needed. Hence, we ended up carrying quite a bit between the three of us. Since we intended to shop some more, the kids decided to leave the things in the car so that our hands would be free for more shopping.
As we made our way to the basement and just as we reached the exit, Gwen turned to me and said, "Aunty, you sit here and wait while we put the things in the car". For a moment, I was stunned. I'll explain why.
Other than when I am with Stephen, I am the one who does what needs to be done.
Now, the kids are treating me as I have been treating my old folks.
I'm O L D.
The tide has turned
I love it.
02 June 2011
Hah!!! No matter how many times I think I won't be surprised, I surprise myself when I am.
No, Stephen hasn't received any Datukship for me to inherit the Datin title. Stay with me here.
For some time now, I have observed that people love it when you call them "Datuk" or "Datin". It has become an invisible but immediate elevation of their self-esteem. I wonder if it's because they had a low self-esteem to start with.
Anyway, this reminds me of two stories:-
Recently, I heard that a non-Malaysian couple had dinner with a Malaysian couple. After introductions, the nice non-Malaysian lady leaned to the Malaysian lady and said, "No need to call me Mrs Doe, I'm Jane to everyone". To this, the Malaysian lady sweetly replied, "and you can call me, Datin". Go figure that out!
Another story, which I also heard, is about a Malaysian Delegation that went to Peru in 1996. There was an announcement, upon their arrival at the airport. On the PA system, they were paging for a Mr Tan! "Mr Tan, please go to information counter. Mr Tan! Mr Tan!" No one responded because the Mr Tan, they were referring to, was a Tan Sri so and so. Go figure, again!
If you are my friend, you'll be the same friend to me, with or without your Tan Sri/Puan Sri/Datuk/Datin title. So if you are one of those people who insist on being known by your title, I have this to say to you
(all pics from photobucket)