Saturday, October 29, 2011

30 Day Challenge, Day 7: A picture of something or someone that has made a big impact on you

Her name is Sharbat Gula, and she is the face and name behind the haunting National Geographic cover. I was six  years old when, being the snoop that I am, I came across my da's old collection of iconic magazine covers. I asked my da, "Why is she so sad? She would be so beautiful if she smiled." My da looked at me sadly and said, "Well, darlin', she looks sad because she and her family lost her home because of war." I naively suggested that we should send her some of my toys, and maybe half my piggy bank so she and her family could find an apartment.

Da looked at me strangely--I remember thinking he looked like he was holding back tears--as he explained to me that while it was sweet that I wanted to help, this little girl and her family were probably already dead. He tried as best he could to explain war, displacement and starvation to a 6-year-old girl. I remember crying myself to sleep that night. "Dead" was a concept I'd yet to understand. To me "death" was like sleeping, and I wanted so badly for a prince to find this beauty, so she could live again. And maybe, just maybe I'd find her one day and send her my toys. Then this girl with the haunting eyes would smile.

It is because of Sharbat Gula that the seed of humanitarianism was planted inside of me. Through the years I became actively involved with advocacy for survivors of war, genocide, gender violence and honour crimes. More often than not, being in this field has brought me heartache. Some days i feel like I cannot bear to hear one more story of raped women and babies killed in front of their mothers.

But then I remember that in 1999, as my da and i were watching PBS, there was a special that caught both our eyes. It was the search for the girl with the haunting eyes.

Her name is Sharbat Gula.

She didn't die.

She was 30 when they found her again, married with children. And her haunting eyes burnt as bright as ever, telling me to keep the faith. To stay the course in humanitarianism. For her. For her children. And for their children, and many more children in generations to come.

Hope lives.

Quote of the Week



I want to be remembered as the person who helped us restore faith in ourselves. 

--Wilma Mankiller, (former) Chief of the Cherokee Nation 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quote of the Week


For in the end, freedom is a personal and lonely battle; and one faces down fears of today so that those of tomorrow might be engaged.

--Alice Walker 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Set-Up: Personal Filofax Finsbury in Red

After a couple of weeks of using my personal Filofax Osterley in Wine (as the colour is called here in the States), I've come to the decision that as beautiful as she is and as much as I love her, Ms. Luxurious Crocodile-Embossed Leather just does not fit my current on-the-go lifestyle. Even if I put her inside a dust bag before putting her inside my bag, I am still so paranoid about getting any scratches on her. And then there was that time when I used an anti-bacterial gel. I thought my hands were dry, but when I opened the organizer, a wee part of the leather became discoloured :o(

I'm now using a personal Finsbury in red and if you can believe it, is actually a simpler, slimmed down version of my usual ;o) Just one ruler, one business/credit card holder, no dpp. It also functions as a wallet...Heaven help me. Eventually I will do a major overhaul, but for now, this system works.

I will write more detailed posts later, but for now, here are some  (low-res camera phone) photos:

30 Day Challenge, Day 6: Your favourite superhero and why




They were my favourite superheroes growing up and to this day, I have a soft spot for them. (Yes, even Kimberly. Especially Kimberly.)

However, if I were to pick my favourite superhero based on why, it would have to be Batman. He wasn’t born an alien with superhuman skills like Kal-El/Superman or as the Chosen One like Buffy. Unlike Kimberly, he wasn’t given a power coin that enabled him to tap into the power of the Pterodactyl and enabled him to command an oversized robot. 

He’s just a regular man who chose to defend and protect people as redemption of sorts.
He chose to be a hero, although reluctant to be labeled as such. There’s darkness in him and yes, quite a few undesirable characteristics like brooding and being a playboy. But despite this darkness, he makes the effort to fight through it so that others may live in light and love. His is a story born from loss and took flight in the wings of vengeance, but ultimately ends in redemption.*

*Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman is bang on. He’s truly the best actor of my generation.

Quote of the Week


 This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without wings. 

--Mevlana Rumi 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

30 Day Challenge, Day 3: A photo of you and your friends

Spring 2009. L-R: Mischief (a.k.a. R), me and my BFF Bliss (a.k.a. J).

Quote of the Week

Some people are afraid of what they might find if they try to analyze themselves too much, but you have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.

--Tori Amos 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Quote of the Week


We are all pink on the inside. The beauty is in our differences.

Quote of the Week


Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content. 

--Helen Keller    

We must never permit the voice of humanity
within us to be silenced. It is Man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him a Man.

--Albert Schweitzer

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

--Viktor E. Frankl