Maybe She Preferred It That Way.

No one else seemed to notice her, but I
realized maybe she preferred it that way.

-Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian

I think the best way to be strong and overcome criticism is to accept it and not be affected by it. For some reason, I quite like not being noticed sometimes — it gives me time to think and reflect upon myself. It’s like being in nature, in a way, where everything is quiet in your own head and there doesn’t seem to be anything worth worrying about. There are moments when I just want to be left alone, and not because other people want me to feel alone. Sometimes it’s a positive thing, and silence shouldn’t be used against somebody. People tend to forget that just because silence can be powerful, doesn’t mean it can’t be an advantage.

It’s the same with the whole extrovert ideal. It’s getting to the point where anybody who simply enjoys their own company is labeled with “shy” or “insecure” and just not “proactive” enough. But what is wrong with wanting to do things on your own? What if you don’t want to be noticed, and just want to live a long, happy life? What if being normal and discreet isn’t so boring? And what if being “successful” doesn’t always refer to lots of money and a doctoral degree?

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Gravity

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I look up to seek comfort in the sky, but I don’t feel it anymore. I don’t find what I’m looking for. The sky is Pocari blue, clouds the shape you would draw in a coloring book with crayons. But something is not there, something stolen from the bright blue which meets the gray buildings and dull mountains and the mist. Halfway down meets a defined line with bumps and crevices with green-black colored in. The peak seems further away than usual. On the second and third bumps two Eiffel Towers stick up, and a cable stretches through them. I think of birds perching to rest, and then leaving for migration. Leaving everything else behind. Sometimes I want to be like that, knowing where I need to go, not by a compass but by pure instinct, and being able to travel with the flock in a victory “V” formation.

Exist.

“You have to make people like you.” In the Hunger Games, Katniss is forced to attract attention to herself – positive attention – in order to survive. Through Suzanne Collins’ words, Katniss successfully achieves that in many ways, one way being how she pretends to be in love with Peeta Mellark on national television – this is a reasonable measure since the Hunger Games is a life and death situation, and she didn’t really have a choice. Also, despite the fact that Katniss does this in order to stand out amongst all the other tributes, I do the same in real life.

As an introvert, I now have the friends whom I rightfully deserve. I have earned love and acceptance through my quiet confidence. Through respecting myself, and the people around me. Through taking risks. Through an open mind, and through observing others. Using intelligence to tell right from wrong. Through my conscience that lead me through so many little decisions and sacrifices I had to make. Not hiding my true self but letting it out a bit at a time so others have time to warm up to me. By considering their reactions to what I do, and everything I do, and understanding that everything matters and everything is equally as important as myself, and the people I love and the things I want to achieve. Last but not least, knowing that in the end, none of these will matter unless I let them have an impact upon me, an impact that affects more than me – something that will stay with me even after I die. So I let sleeping dogs lie, because I have a choice. A significance.

I am more than this now, more than the person who used to deprive all the fun from a conversation every time she walked past a circle of girls who pressed their shoulders against one another to prevent her from squeezing in. Even more than the girl who confided to her mother whenever things didn’t work out for her and the girl who simply accepted how different she was but didn’t do anything about it. I now realize that it is impossible to wait for other people to come around and accept me; I have to learn to respect them and understand and listen to what they have to say, because that is the only way I can be accepted – not just at school, but everywhere else. So I stop being a black hole and start being more like Jupiter, the gas giant that is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in the Solar System combined, the planet of abundance, good fortune and generosity. The colossal sphere with the trendy orange-and-blue stripes. And maybe I can be a bit of Saturn, as well, with a little halo above my head. Consequently, I always find it better to agree with other people than get them to agree with you, since conflict will only work against good reputation.

I don’t feel like I’ve changed that much since the time when I believed in letting things be – the only new thing I’ve learned about was how similar my peers and I really are. It is only now, writing this, that I discover that the natural state of things do not exist anymore; there is nothing natural about our society and how it functions, and almost everything is a result of greed. It is harder to understand, though, what this says about my previous belief. I do understand a part of it, though, and I now realize that this must be why I have decided to make a difference. I have also learned that I already have the power to change the world; I just have to choose not to let the world change me – I just have to exist.

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Too Much Homework

Alright. In case you were wondering, this is why I haven’t been writing for a while. Although there are sessions in English class when we were allowed to write, I haven’t had time to edit my drafts. So they’e just sitting there right now, uninspired.

How can too much homework negatively affect kids?
They don’t have time to just be kids anymore  — they’re so bogged down. And since many of the assignments are simply busywork, learning often becomes a chore rather than a positive, constructive experience. Homework overload is also affecting family life  — a lot of kids can’t even make it to dinner, and as a result, the only interaction they have with their parents involves arguments about homework.

What are signs that your child might be getting too much?
If he starts to hate school, like my daughter did, that might be one, as are nightly hysterics over homework.

The National Education Association recommends that kids have a total of ten minutes per grade level of homework per night. Anything above that is excessive.

The bottom line is that a child will understand a concept better if he has time to work on five problems, rather than struggling to race through 50.

Borrowed from http://www.parenting.com/article/too-much-homework-bad-for-kids

I should get back to work.

The Ship

Her smile was no longer as pink as a peach. Her smile faded. Her smile vanished. Her life has vanished.The man bent over to his mom and dad who are lying on the metal platform in the refrigerated room. He brushed his fingers against their icy, cold cheeks, outlining their cheekbones. “I want to go to Japan.” The man whispered to them. “Mom, dad, please don’t ride the ship to Japan without me!” He shook his parents He shook the flour off his mother’s wet shirt. He shook his head and picked up the flour dropped on the floor, endeavoring to put the powder back on mom’s shirt. Endeavoring to revive their smiles.Gravity felt heavier than normal as his knees fell on the floor. His hands touched his forehead as if this could let him restart life and restart his relationship with mom and dad in the later years. “Don’t leave with the ship without me…”

via The Ship.

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

A lot of us remember too much of what happened wrong and think too much about what we could have done that we forget who and what are really important to us–the people who love us. For instance, when some kids are being bullied, they feel so bad about themselves that they cut their wrists or drink bottles of bleach to end their life. Another example is that some adults are too drowned in the pool of money that when they lose a lot of money, they feel so depressed that they jump off a cliff and end their life. We often forget what’s really important to us–what are the silver linings. Our family, our loved ones. These are the things and people who are the outlines of the clouds we fall in.

via Every Cloud has a Silver Lining.

Greed and Human Extinction: How (I think) they are related

Looking at today’s society and what it has become, I often wonder if there are any people who are not driven by greed. Despite this, is greed really such a bad thing?

I noticed that, most of the time, it is greed that causes people to develop. It is greed nowadays that pushes us humans to invent new technology, because we want, and we think we need. Greed is closely related to economy, because welfare is so valued in today’s society that people simply cannot live without it.

However, we have to look at the bigger picture. Greed is “an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs” (The Free Dictionary), and is just the right word to describe the invention of advanced technology, because, firstly, we don’t necessarily need this kind of technology when all it does is let us avoid doing the dirty work ourselves. Additionally, although all of these entertainment and games, calculators, and even machines open us up to new opportunities, do we really need them? Do we really have to use all these resources to build something so nonessential, when clearly it is time to start reducing and reusing? (The research of green technology is clearly needed in our society, as well as a good way to manage our waste, but these are not influenced by greed.) Last but not least, most people today do things simply for their own economical benefits, especially in Hong Kong, where houses and apartments are immensely overpriced. Few people work purely because of their love for their job.

As the society continues to develop, and until that one day when all the resources are used up and the human race faces extinction (it is inevitable), people will be utterly oblivious to the power of the greed that drives them to their very end.

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