RIP Robin Williams

Today, the news is flooded with the media reporting about the death of Robin Williams. Some people might not know exactly who he is, but I’m sure we all know Peter Pan. Yes, he played as Peter Pan. He was also a comedian and actor, who impacted many individuals with countless moments of laughter and enjoyment. Ironically, he committed suicide due to depression.

It’s really upsetting how someone who gave the whole world so much happiness actually took his own life because of his inner misery. And when someone dies, we usually give our condolences after he dies. Saying how he was such a great person, and how he made an impact on so many people. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it. But, why can’t we appreciate him and tell him he’s appreciated while he’s still alive? That’s the thing about society today: we bring people down with their negativity, complaints and problems, and then when they die, we remember them as someone good and that the will be missed.

It’s not just in Robin Williams’ context. It’s in all of our lives. Why can’t we make someone’s day better by reminding them that they are appreciated, that they have a purpose to live, and they have goals to meet in life, instead of going the other way round and saying mean, spiteful things? To me, his death was an eye-opener on how society treats people as a whole.

Well, anyway, RIP Robin Williams, and thank you for teaching us how we should live.

Life, Love & Loss

“Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Few days ago, there were lots of arguments in my family. All of us didn’t feel very appreciated, and didn’t feel like this was a family. We were pointing fingers at one another, saying that he was the one that didn’t care about the family, and that she didn’t care about others’ feelings, and all that stuff. These past 3 days were supposed to be a weekend and a school holiday. Unfortunately, it has been so far a living hell.

I think the scariest feeling in the world is not fear. It’s indifference. Unfortunately, that was what I felt when my mom left the house. Yes, my mom. Yes, she left the house. Yes, I felt indifferent towards it. I recently stumbled upon this term online called ‘narcissistic mother’. And, as I researched more about this topic, I realised my mom almost perfectly fits every description. It’s very difficult to describe to people who’ve never been through this kind of situation how it feels like to have a narcissistic mother around you. The general public might try to be nice, and offer advice, such as “Maybe you could talk to her nicely.” or “Why not both of you go for treatment and counselling?” Well, here’s a excerpt from the website http://www.narcissisticmother.com :

“Narcissistic moms blame everyone else, and too often their children, for the consequences their own self absorbed choices have caused. It often falls to friends and family members to point out the extreme oddity of the narcissistic mother’s ways and recommend treatment. Even when offered help, a narcissist is more likely to be offended than to seek treatment.

Ironically, though the people around the narcissistic mother can identify the source of their suffering, the narcissist does not believe she is the one who should change.

Therefore, it is unlikely your mother sought treatment for narcissism. In contrast, she may have put you in treatment with the hope that you would become easier to deal with.

Children and spouses are the ones who often suffer most, not the narcissist themselves, because the narcissist doesn’t feel that their chronically self-absorbed behavior is just that. Quite the opposite, actually. The narcissistic mother feels that everyone else is at fault when things go wrong.

As a child, you had to learn from very early on how to please your mother enough to survive. You may have grown up to think that nothing you ever do is good enough and that you are not worthy of the love you desire.

Narcissism, at its extreme, is a mental disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder, (NPD), characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, fantasies of success, power, and physical attractiveness that the person may or may not possess, a constant need for attention and admiration, and obsessive self-interest. These are the obvious symptoms that people think of when they think of the term “narcissism.””

Well, I told my mom about this. And, you might be able to guess her reaction.

For someone who has been living with her for years, and seeing the impacts she has created on our family and the people around her, I honestly felt severely depressed. I felt that parents should provide love and support for their children, and to live a regretful, hateful, depressing life is what an irresponsible parent does. You see, children are a mirror of their parents. They learn from the examples they see, they sympathise with the parents’ emotions at first, and then grow up to make their own decisions. Unfortunately, the decisions these children grow up to make will be based on what they have experienced as a child. If they have learnt the right values, experienced happiness and contentment with their lives, their decisions will be for the betterment of others. They understand that happiness is not meant to be given to others, but shared with others. However, if your childhood has been scarred with unhappiness, fighting and arguments, your decisions might be very self-centred, materialistic and unreasonable at times. And that’s how the indifference came into my life.

I was watching Nick Vujicic speak in the Philippines the other day, about stepping out in faith. One of the things he said was “having parents who fight every day is worse than having no arms and no legs”. You might ask why. Having been through this hours ago, the reason is simple: There is no love experienced. According to Stephen Covey, Love is an action. It isn’t simply just a surreal feeling you get when you’re with the person you love, or the temporary pleasure you get when you succumb to your addictions. Love isn’t always bliss and positive. Love is an action, it is the immensely difficult choices we have to make in life, for the betterment of others. Love is the sacrifices we have to make for others. Albert Einstein once said, “A life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” Yes, because there’s love involved. Love is the action, the driving force which makes the world go round. Unfortunately, I’m not fully blessed with that action, or at least I don’t really feel much of its effects hence the indifference. However, I will strive to begin to make a positive impact on the people around me. I hope to start small. I won’t let my childhood, parents or circumstances stop me.

Many people think you have to give in to your parents all the time, simply because they’re your parents and because they gave you life and groomed you into the person you are today. Even the Ten Commandments say that we have to honour our parents. Unfortunately, as I’ve said above, life isn’t so easy as it seems. I believe that yes, we should thank our parents for giving us life and introducing us to this world. But ultimately, this life is ours, and we have to live it for ourselves and not for them. Think about it, they might soon pass on and we are left to stand up for ourselves in this large, cold society. And that’s where I bring in loss. When you face the loss of your parents, do you lose yourself too? Are you able to make your own decisions, have faith in yourself, and make a living for yourself too? In the end, this life is ours, not our parents’. Some of us are “lucky” enough to go through the hardships early in life, such as the loss of a parent, or the struggles faced, whether financially or socially.

I guess I learnt this over the past three days: Life, Love and Loss. I feel that sometimes I lost my parents, although they may seem to love and care for me. Why? Many parents think their parenting is good because they provide for their children’s needs. But they seldom stop to think if their children really need it at that point in time. In fact, the consequence might be the other way round, and the child isn’t able to make his own decisions, and worse case scenario, be mocked at by his parents for making the wrong decisions, which might affect his self-esteem very severely. Honestly speaking, if my family needs to break up for everyone’s happiness, then so be it. However, some people might argue “The grass always seem greener on the other side”, while others might say “Do whatever makes you feel happy”. That’s why, I really don’t know what to do.

Life, Love & Loss. Sometimes, I really feel I’m losing myself.

“Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” – Mark 5:36, New Living Translation.

ArtScience Prize 2014

Our school hosted the ArtScience Prize 2014 Finals last night, and various judges from different Art and Science sectors participated in the judging.

ArtScience is an international competition for students to unleash their creativity and come up with a product involving both Art and Science. Every year, there is a different theme which we must base our idea upon. For 2014, the theme is ‘Energy of the Future’.

Unfortunately, the finals, to me, was extremely boring. You see, there are only so many types of energy we could focus on as Energy of the Future. And some of the groups had similar ideas, which was leaning towards the science side. Therefore, 85% of presentations were about science, with only a pinch of art. And, who likes to sit for 2 hours listening to presentations about electrical energy, kinetic energy or heat energy? Last night was the only night in my life where I heard so many groups repeating the phrases ‘Peltier tiles, Piezoelectricity and Renewable form of energy’. Honestly, I do appreciate the effort and time put in for the groups, but there is too much science involved with very little art for that night to be truly called ‘ArtScience’.

Our group’s idea was about Positive Energy, and how things like Passion, Kindness, Hope and Faith can be a catalyst in today’s negative world. We would actually encourage more people to be motivated to bring about positive change, through various voluntary events or taking part in activities related to their passion. Unfortunately, the judges did not really understand our presentation and we did not make it into the finals. However, we believe Graciousness is an art in itself, and how graciousness and happiness by doing good affects people is a branch of science and psychology.

Nevertheless, ArtScience Finals 2014 was unfortunately boring, as everything focused on Science, instead of art. There are many ways we can create reusable energy for the future, but in the end, like our group proposed, people are the real catalysts for change.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – My Review, Opinions and Rants

If you have watched the previous movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, you might agree with me that the plot was rather dry. It’s this rather cheesy story about how love and emotions can stop hate between humans and apes. Throughout the movie, you can infer what is going to happen at the end of the movie. Hence, the plot was rather common and mundane, making it a rather boring film to watch.

Thankfully, the sequel is so much better. There’s a significant improve in the apes’ world, and there are many themes which can be discussed throughout the film. Also, the cinematography is rather good, with lots of action scenes, flames and drama involved. From this movie, I learnt the effect of war. There’s a stark comparison between Caesar and Koba. Despite being “raised” in a lab, both of them have a totally different viewpoint on the human race. Maybe we can link this to the world today, where our viewpoints of people and the world influence how we react. Caesar thinks before he acts, and he knows the atrocities of war. He knows a huge population of apes will be lost, and that war with the human race isn’t worth it. However, Koba has this unwavering hatred towards the human race, and is persistent about going to war at all costs. And as the film plays on, we see how Caesar learns to trust, love and forgive, whereas Koba starts to betray, is fearful about his environment and he eventually perishes. Both of them strongly believed they were doing what they were doing for the good of the ape community, but in the end Koba was the short-sighted ape, with his actions ironically causing the ape population to dwindle.

As said above, this might be somewhat related to the world. There are conflicts, unhappiness and war around the world today. This might be ignited by different viewpoints, and maybe even misconceptions. However, as seen in this movie, I hope someday we’ll all realise if what we’re fighting for is really worth our time and actions.

A Theory Why

I’m sure at some point in Secondary school we feel it is the most stressful period in our teenager life. Why? Because we’re trying to focus on so many things at once: academics, people, friendships, relationships, changes and the list goes on.

There’s just so many things that are affecting us right now, and we’ve never been exposed to this before. Maybe one night you could go to sleep worried because of the test you’re unprepared for the next day. Or another night you couldn’t even sleep at all because of the negative happenings with your best friend that has been annoying you for days.

I guess this is why during Adolescence, we meet the best people in our lives, and feel some of the worst feelings in our early life. We’re simply getting used to life.

Going through Changes…

I’m sure there’s a point in our lives, where we have ever felt like we’ve changed. For the better or for the worse, I don’t know. But, we start to feel that we aren’t what we used to be.

I’m going through that process right now. The transition from a boy to a man. Of course, as we change, people will start to have mixed feelings about us. Some might encourage us, some might despise us, and say “you’ve changed”, and walk away from our lives.

However, I think we all must remember that this change is for the better. Right now, we’re in a tunnel, and we’re simply turning in the tunnel. We might not see the light at the exit yet, and the light that guided us at the entrance of the tunnel might fade away. However, the most important thing to do right now, is to keep moving forward, and have faith.

Right now, I know it’s difficult to have faith. I mean, it is change that brings us into depression, and it is also change which makes our life better. As our life is becoming different, we also start to be unsure. This uncertainty and insecurity waivers our faith.

Change is inevitable in us. All of us change, and always remember that we are changing for the better. Have faith, and keep moving forward through the tunnel…

Of Mice and Men – My Review, Opinions and Rants

Of Mice and Men by John Steinback

Of Mice and Men by John Steinback

Everyone has dreams. Some are realistic, some are small, and some are unfortunately unachievable. And of course, everyone too, has emotions. Of Mice and Men talks about what happens when you mix an “unachievable” dream with your emotions. The result? Not that good.

Of Mice and Men is about two men, George and Lennie. They don’t have a proper job, hence they go around the country looking for odd jobs. They found a job at a ranch, and at there, meet several different people. Lennie is a big guy, who is unbelievably strong, and is willing to work. However, he can’t really talk. Forgetful and timid at heart, he’s a gentle giant. George on the other hand, is the talker, and the smarter one I guess. Hence their friendship works out well because of the teamwork between the doer and the thinker. Both men have a dream. To one day buy a nice house, where they could live in together and have all their dreams turned into reality. For Lennie, it’s the thought of rearing his favourite animals, and for George, finally being able to stop and enjoy life. Unfortunately, as the book goes on, Lennie is “a victim of his own strength”. And he let his emotions mix with his dreams. Which unfortunately, brings disastrous results.

This book somewhat teaches you about different perspectives of life. For example, life from the perspective of Crooks, a nigger living at the ranch. He’s tortured, separated from the others, and lonely. Life from a different perspective of Curley’s wife too. She might have the looks and stuff, but deep down, she’s lonely and depressed, and wants to talk to someone. All of them have wishes and dreams. But do these dreams get fulfilled? Never. Just like them, Lennie and George’s dream never get fulfilled too. In fact, maybe I shouldn’t use the word ‘dream’. Maybe it’s just a vision, or if you will, a mirage. Sometimes, our utopian hopes might all be a mirage, and if we put our emotions in to achieving that mirage, as seen in this book, things might not turn out well.