It may be a dream afraid of waking up, or it may be a dream coming to realization in the next morning.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Last night, my friends and I were talking about how the past love life can make someone's current love life right now as how it is. Many of my friends are now settling down with a stable partner whom they will spend the rest of their life with (Ameen!). But one common factor that brings all of them to where they are right now is they have all been hurt.

I watched Raising Hope, episode 18 where Maw Maw, one resident of the house who has Alzheimer's disease, said to her grandchild,

"They wouldn't call it falling in love if you didn't get hurt sometimes."

That is true. That is a spot-on statement about love. And that message made me smile and hopeful about everyone's love life. Where in the world can you actually find a person who settles down with their first love? Even if there are, there must be some obstacles that this couple has to overcome. There must have been ups and downs. There must have been hurt. But then, all these challenges taught them a lesson and matured them. Although it was painful to bear the tears and sadness, but you most likely right now would just look back with a smile.

So, a message for everyone out there, if you guys feel lonely, if you feel like you are not succeeding in your love life, if you feel like it is a lot of work, remember, always remember, it is now. There will be a time in the future (God's willing) where the pain you feel right now is a distant memory in the future.

Just keep holding on.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sometimes, We're Trying So Hard Not to Be Judgmental

Several days ago, I had an academic debate with one of my friends. The proposition was as follows: "Should social worker just comply to what the client WANTS?"

My friend was a supporter of the notion that social workers should respect everything that the client wishes to do and if possible, to help the client to get it too. The example topic that we discussed was a man who had a high blood pressure but still wanted to eat red meat. So, my friend said that it is a social worker's responsibility to present to the client the pros and cons of every option and decision and after that, it is up to the client on what he or she wishes to choose. Even if he chose to still eat red meat, then social worker needs to respect that.

And I am a believer of the notion that sometimes, you have to tell the client that some of what he or she wants is not good for herself. So, even if the client still wanted to eat red meat, the social worker's task is to do whatever he or she could to try to prevent it (in ethical manner of course).

You see, I think both my friend and I were somehow true in our arguments. My friend was arguing on the basis of avoiding judgment getting in the way of intervention, because when the social worker tries to prevent the client from eating red meat, that might be just purely the social worker's own belief about what is right and what is wrong. While I was arguing on the ground that advocates on his social functioning. That eating red meat might hinder him from being healthy, which might affect the dynamics of his family, his work and whatever else effect health issue had on the client's life.

What I can observe is that, Social Work has values that can be so extreme (which is caused by the social workers themselves). These values, at one point, can be contradictory to each other. In one hand, we are asked not to be judgmental and not to exercise our own belief and judgment about what is right and what is wrong in the interventions we are developing for our clients. On the other, we are asked to ensure that our intervention is solely on the purpose of attending to the client's need and ensure that the client's social functioning is enhanced, or restored.

So, the question here, are we trying so hard not to be judgmental? Are we trying so hard not to let the personal value comes in until we're completely detached from the practice itself? For me, personal value can be useful in certain degree.

1) When a social worker has personal values, it means the social workers has experienced moral development that can help him or her see the right and wrong thing in general. Of course, by doing this, the social worker needs to be scientific and backs up the argument with scientific support. The social worker must have the knowledge about what red meat might do to a person with a high blood pressure. So, his personal value is that red meat is bad for the client. So, consulting a doctor, the social worker develops an intervention that has something to do with a healthier diet. Then, one of the responsibilities of the social worker is that to prevent the client from further harming himself with the red meat diet.

2) Personal values are somewhat the end result of professionalism. Without the ability to store a moral memory, then how do the social workers understand the importance of professionalism in the first place? Personal values can be beneficial in practice, because for me, if you really want to help your client, you must have compassion, and compassion is a personal value. Therefore, what I can conclude here is that what the literature has said about how personal values can hinder from professional practice is the ones that involve biasness in decision making like when you have revenge on the client, or even when, for me, you are indifferent with the client. So, let's ask ourselves, if you have to be indifferent with your clients, how do you actually help them? So, at the end of the day, you still need to be compassionate and passionate with what you're doing right? Isn't that a personal value?

So, for me, an extreme form of everything is bad. So, extremely being non-judgmental, and extremely relying on your personal value can be bad equally. If you really want to be in a helping profession, then make sure you check that your moral compass is in a healthy level. And of course, all this is based on my personal thoughts.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

You Are Not Superior When You Forgive

Do you notice a lot of people feel superior at the event of forgiving and their counterpart apologizing? Without being too scientific, when a person forgives and feels that forgiving means he or she is on the "right" side, this actually backfires and can ruin the newly fixed relationship.

It's one thing not to want to forgive because you feel you've done nothing wrong (which is a form of superiority), then when you actually forgive, you feel like the whole relationship should be adjusted to the way you want it to be. You set conditions, and expecting that the conditions are fulfilled without any possibility of amending. I knew this one person, who after forgave her friend, set a condition, "I'm glad that we're okay now, but we can't be like before, at least not now." Try to deeply analyze this sentence. Upon hearing this, I wonder why does she have to preset the condition? Why can't she let it be as it is? When I usually made amends with my friends, I know I can just let it be, as in if we can't feel close yet, so we can't feel close yet, if we can rekindle already, so we will rekindle. Why do I want to set it to "no rekindling and feeling close like before yet" no matter if it's possible or not? Do you see my point?

You see, if you feel like you're "more noble" than the other person because you're forgiving, then don't. Don't forgive at all. Don't bother to think about "finally replying your friend's apology message because it's time for you to forgive". There is no time for you to forgive, it's now. If you think you should be the one who set the time, then, again, don't bother.

Just my message to superior-feeling pricks in the world, especially in Malaysia. I hope I do not belong in this category and I hope my dear friends who color my life currently, do not belong in this category too.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Inevitable Bitterness

Oh my, this past few days, I really really can't stop Take That's The Flood from going around my mind serenading to my recent experience. Well, as I said, it might be due to the fact that the song fits perfectly well to what is happening to me right now. I lost a good friend, to simply put. What I really don't understand is how each day both of us become bitter and bitter. Everything happened between us. Well, she forged questionnaires of a research that we both supposedly had to work together. We tried so hard to hurt each other. I tried so hard to make sure that she got the point I had been making all this while. I decided to hurt her even more by reporting her to the supervisor of ours. Yes, we did all that. We did all the bitterness. We were the epitome of true cat-and-dog kind of fight who can't seem to forgive each other. Everything, except one. Except sit and talk. Just sit and talk.

You see, when I think about the evolution of our friendship - from close and good friends to two bitter nemeses who keep trying to prove a point - I realize something, I did not do what I preach. If you remember my entry, Contact Hypothesis, where I advocated the point where one person can find his prejudice and unreasonable disliking diminished by simply having an interpersonal contact with that hate target. It takes knowing - or reknowing - that person we dislike in order to be able to open up for a friendship, or forgiveness in my case.

What both my friend and I did all this time was avoid significant contact with each other and make sure that if there was anything to refer to, we made it as brief as possible. So, this was the disease that prolonged the bitterness all the way. I also contributed the part where the nemesis of mine felt as if there was no hope so a reconciliation, by my own behaviors.

So, I'm preaching again here. Take this as a lesson. Do not let fear obscure your goal to achieve good relationship with people.Do not let ego in your way of forgiveness. If you, my nemesis, happen to read this, please be assured that I am genuinely sorry for all the hurt and harm that I've done. Forgive me as I have forgiven you. If God wills, I hope we can be able to see each other in the eyes again and smile...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A List of Songs That Inspire Me

Ok, my whole life I have been listening to songs. Some are bad, some are listenable, and some others just stand the hell out and put themselves in the favorite songs folder that I have. These songs are not just amazing melodically, they inspire me, which is an important characteristic for me to stick to listening a song for a long time, perhaps for the rest of my life. By the way, these is the list that pick me up when I am down.

1) Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway

From my own interpretation of the song, it tells a story of a girl who couldn't wait to break out from the shell and go out and explore the world. She was a nobody until she achieved something and a lot of people respected her for that. It basically tells us that you just need to keep doing it until you "reach the sky".

2) OneRepublic - Marchin' On

This song compares the life journey that never gets exhausted (well, except death of course) to a marching squad. The whole song is embellished with the sound of foot marching forward, hence the point of this song. From what I understand, this song tells us that no matter how crappy our past is, no matter how many mistakes we made, no matter how big or small they are, we are still here, moving forward. More than likely, we'll look back and smile.

3) Outlandish - Try Not To Cry

This songs captures my feelings of the war between countries in the world so perfectly that in some occasions, tears are shed. What makes me relate to this song is the one verse it says in the lyrics, "How can it be? Has the whole world turned blind? Or is it just 'cause it only affected my kind?" And I, the writer of this blog, belong to the kind that it said in the song.

4) Coldplay - Fix You

The vocal of this band, Chris Martin, originally wrote this song because of his wife's, Gwyneth, father's passing. The song basically tells the listener that the singer will always be there for her forever. What attracts me to the song is the anthemic characteristic of the song that penetrates straight to my heart. It tells the listeners that don't give up because "lights will guide you home".

5) OneRepublic - All Fall Down

What's so inspiring about this song is that it is very realistic. What it is trying to tell the audience is that, if you ever fall down, don't lose hope because well, everyone falls down. It is true actually. Who in the world has tasted a lifelong happiness? Noone! Whatever we feel, whatever we experience, it'll last so long. But the important thing is, to find someone whose should you can rely on when you fall down to help you stand up again.

6) Take That - The Flood

Take that has struck me as a band who always tries to be inspirational in their songs. This is especially tells us to keep going although challenges never get out of our ways. This is another song that sounds anthemic and it gives you the goosebumps which rarely occurs to me.

There are a lot of other songs that make me feel good and inspired, however, this is what I remember now. I hope all of you who are reading can benefit from them just how I do everytime I listen.