Monthly Archives: January 2015

Why Women Care About Their Appearances

With increasing publicity drawn towards the beauty campaigns launched, and recurring media emphasizing what true beauty is, many of us question why do we, women care so much? After some thought, I realized how many bottled up emotions that I need to keep hidden all the time because sometimes in order to keep a certain image I cannot say certain things or control my anger. Things like the image of a woman and who she should be or who should become was built upon layers and layers of societal values/ opinions. It’s extremely hard to suddenly make progress in reassuring that women can love themselves without giving a crap of how they choose to look or how they look on the inside.

I want to start with a quick story, for the most part of my life up until I got bullied because of my appearance, I never judged other people from their first impressions or cared about their appearances. I didn’t feel any girl was prettier than me, or anyone was thinner than me, or that I was fat, or ugly. I seemed to look at the world all the same, or more accurately I looked at everyone for who they were not how they looked like. This deeply saddens me, because no matter how hard I try, I can’t get back to that point in life. And I constantly compare myself to the standards set by society and values that weave their way through my life.

So let’s get to why women care.

It’s understandable that women love to talk. Talk about this, talk about that, but I think all the women out there including myself understand that there’s one thing we love and it’s gossip. Even me, I sometimes like a bit of gossip here and there. And it’s not a good thing, even though I keep my mouth closed, I can’t help but listen to the comments about other people. The really crude and mean things that women say about their close friends. Yes, FRIENDS!!  So while I’m in the interaction, I can’t help but wonder what then do my friends say about me behind my back? It must happen, and blah blah blah.

The thing is women care a lot because there’s so much hype, it’s on the media, it’s in their everyday lives, it haunts them because their insecurities are flaunted to them at night. When everything’s still, and the only thing that can be heard is the heaving of sobs.

It’s hard to diminish the importance of appearances because society is built on it. But we ourselves, can take charge of that. We can choose to emphasize the importance of the mind, of the soul, instead of the ephemeral things like appearances.

Let us be still, and compliment other people. Let us tell them how beautiful they are for the people they are instead of the way they were born.


Efficiency vs. Process

In modern day society, time is money. Efficiency is a quality that many people living today yearn for. Things need to be done and there’s no time to waste. Often we overlook the importance of process because we are so caught up in results, but that does not make it a mistake to value it more. In different contexts that allow more time, the though process is rewarded with long term results and a bigger impact on the world today.

As a young child I had always looked up to Thomas Edison. Prominently because of his determination but also his patience to continually think of different ways to make the light bulb work. Many people believe that Mr. Edison began to quickly put parts together but without appreciating the thinking process before his efforts, his invention would have been futile. Successful inventors like Mr. Edison all began with a single idea. An idea that must be polished and cleaned before it can ever hit the markets. This takes countless of hours and reflection to prefect. But not only do inventors need to take time, ordinary people also need the time to reflect in order to better themselves or even better, move the world along.

I had always evaluated myself for my results because I knew people would always judge me for my end results. But what I realized was that on the outside I might seem to be growing, but this type of change was ephemeral. In order to really prepare myself for the real world, I had to place emphasis on inherent values like taking time to really think things through and reflect. Reflection allows me to see if I have grown. For me growth is the true determination of success.

What does success mean to you?

Success should not be a generic term used to describe fortune and fame. In reality, success is adaptable to each individuals own interpretation. For me personally, success is all about growth. And by taking success in the context of personal growth, it’s not about the end product but what got someone form Point A to Point B. Cooperation takes a large amount of self-humbling and recognition that as humans, we are not capable of everything. We are all different and most importantly we make mistakes. Cooperation allows true success in that it allows individuals to find out who they really are through their interactions with others. It also allows the unlocking of potential not just within one person, but many.

Personally, I am an independent person that has always taken care of myself and others to the point that I rarely ask for help. But also as a leader, if there’s anything I learned that there are too many people with too many things to offer. And as an individual,I’ll never get to the stage of success as I would if I had worked with others. As a team, people can develop through helping each other succeed instead of trying too heard to knock others down to reach success. Not only is team work show to be better than outright competition in my life, but in many different contexts as well.

Pink T-Shirt Day is often known as Anti- Bullying Day. With each passing year, more awareness and attention is being shown to mental health and the bullying of adolescents. That in itself is success.  boy started to wear pink in order to break down a social stigma and also show support for his bullied friend. Even though he ignited the flam, his goal would not have been achieved if his other friends didn’t start wearing pink. By working together to stop bullying, their successful school event has turned into a nation wide awareness day celebrated by many Canadians.

When people take a look as success now. I hope they understand that success isn’t all about oneself. It’s not about how much one can gain but how much one can give others to help them unlock their own potential as well. That is why competition shouldn’t be as much of a determining factor compared to cooperation.

“What doesn’t kill you….”

makes you stronger.” This mantra has been repeated through lyrics, books, and word of mouth. It may be trite, but the message passed on through generations rings true. Difficulties and obstacles force us to change, to grow new perspectives, or even shed mistakes form the past that caused the difficulties. Conflict teaches us that life isn’t fair, but we need to get back up and keep trying.

Last April, I had two lung collapses resulting in lung surgery that disrupted a month of school. This was a major struggle that I encountered as I had worked extremely hard in school and my medical leave was definitely going to affect my grades. At that point, I had a 99% in Biology 11, and when I cam back after recovery, I dropped to a 97%. For me before the hospital, progress meant reaching that 100%. But literally, after a lot of blood, sweat, and tears I made real progress: learning to breath again. I realized that health was so much more important than school. And even though I still worked hard, my priorities have shifted. This was a major leap in my life because I grew from my mistakes and realized the most important things in my life. However, it is not only in my life that progress results only from struggle and conflict, but in others as well.

In the book 1984, progress can be taken a look at on Big Brother’s Side. His struggle is that he needs to maintain power. However, with a lot of his followers constantly committing mind crimes, he effectively brainwashes his followers and those of the opposing team. His power is constantly vulnerable to rebellion and this conflict in itself has formed Big Brother into the person he is. The root of greed for power or lack of it has allowed Big Brother to progress his regime. In both cases, for the good or bad in mankind, struggle is a trigger that forces new strategies to move on and get better.

Through the past centuries of mankind, struggles and conflict have led us to where we are today. Inventions resulted from struggles, wards of conflicts led us to develop the UN, and human rights rooter from those who were suppressed but decided to do something about it. Current society, would not be possible or thrive from all the individual and group progresses that were achieved from physical or psychological suffering. Progress in our society will always need to be fought for because progress is not yet the norm.

Appreciating Earth

Fresh air and some time outside can do wonders for our mind, body and soul. From the natural environment, interactions with nature can depend our understanding of how the world around us works and the tranquility of escaping the humdrum of everyday human interaction allows our minds to be set free. Finding the time to enjoy the world around us and by exploring what the earth has to offer, our horizons broaden to the deeper meanings of our unique purposes in this world.

As a child a lot of my time was spent outside. Climbing fences, running barefoot through the mud, or even feeding ducks! All those moments have opened my eyes to the intricacy of howl life around us forms. Spending that time outdoors instead of couped inside watching television taught me to appreciate the small things in life. Like ants that are small but still end up cleaning our world, or bees giving us fruits. Without noticing these things, I wouldn’t know how much we have to lose. Not only has spending time outside intrigued my interest to learn more about the things around me, it has also been my safe haven.

When stress consumes us, we often go for a walk or take a trip to the local park. The state of peace that nature effects cannot be replaced. The stillness and everlasting beauty of the outdoors awaken all our senses. It allows us to be alert to experience the calming scents and sounds that are bodies desire. Nature is therapeutic! Even our ancestors have long looked to nature as an outlet to relieve stress and have found that in the stillness a lot of discoveries can be found.

Through the medium of nature, not only are discoveries of the life around us made, but also within us. It is through spending time outdoors we realize just how closely we’re intertwined with the earth. Through interactions outside, we learn and we grow to aquire more information. And stillness of the natural environment allows us to discover who we are, who we want to be. Nature will always be a fundamental part of our lives either through impacting the sciences or influencing the arts, it will be the common thread that unites us all.

Potential vs Experience/Achievements

Change is inevitable. After experience with certain life challenges people can change in a blink of an eye, however change can also be gradual. Change always occurs within ourselves whether it be for the worse or for the better. That is why it is important to judge others for the person that they will become because the past cannot be undone. Past mistakes blot the lives of many, but it is their potential that provides the basis for correcting mistakes as well as not making them again.

Personally, I was a child who was somewhat naughty. Thinking up pranks and tricking our neighbours was something I used to do. However, looking back now I would never have imagined that my life now would be dedicating my time to help others. I had the potential for my goals as a child, just like everyone else does, but it took more than a few failures and regrets for me to figure out what I needed to do. However, I’m not the only one who was given a second chance to better myself, there are many others.

Jeremy Lin is a name that many have heard of. Amazing basketball player, Harvard student and a kind person. So when Jeremy shared his story through Youtube of how he hurt a lot of people in the past by being a troublemaker, I was shocked! If we rewinded to Jeremy’s earlier days and judged him for his past then it would be possible that he might not have been able ot get to the point of success he is at today.

Too often, society places an emphasis on experience and what we did in our pasts.The past does not define us but it can be a turning point for many people. For instance, a few years back a 19 year old man killed a woman’s 19 year old son. We would think that is is unforgivable! It isn’t right! But once the man realized that his past wouldn’t change and he could never redo what he did, he fixed his eyes on his future to make sure such a ting would never happen again. The woman eventually forgave hm, and he became her son. he is now a loving person that cares deeply about the ones around him.

It is hard to determine a person’s potential and often our experiences do pave way t who we will be. but life, is constantly changing We do not know what kind of person we will be a week from now or five years from now. that is why judgement on the past can be so inaccurate. The important thing is to realize we can make mistakes, but make sure to make them again in the future.

Individuality vs Community

Individuality is what makes each and everyone of us unique. Often by discovering who we are through focusing on ourselves, we understand what we need. A sense of belong is something everybody needs! With our own attributes, we find different communities to belong in. It is the emphasis on individuality itself, that actually brings people together as the common thread of originality weaves itself through all of us.

The youth generation today is constantly badgered by the numerous workshops and conferences to become leaders of tomorrow. There is the emphasis of how an individual can impact society but also the networking community in which the individual is empowered by others to create change. however, it is not only youth that are affected, but everyone else.

When people accomplish goals through their individuality, they understand that it is their community that has helped them. Instead of straying further away, the bonds between an individual and their community strengthens. For instance, Emily Carr, a famous Canadian artist focused heavily on her own creativity as an artist. But through the means of finding creativity, she used her community to help her discover who she was. Many artistic people realize the emphasis that is placed on creativity, but it is know that it cannot be possible without looking in to the community for inspiration.

Individuality and our community may seem like opposites, but they go hand in hand. Without feeling a sense of belonging in our communities, it is very hard to discover who we really are and focus on our own accomplishments. On the other hand, our individuality and uniqueness are what bolsters our community. Without each and every unique individual, a community would not thrive.