Deal With It: Not Everyone Will Like What You Are Doing

I made a mistake thinking that everyone would understand or support the documentary that Andrew Han is producing. Although the idea of the documentary was birthed out from a genuine hope to preserve nature for our next generation, we've encountered many who seem to take offense for reasons unknown to us.

While their snide and cynical remarks can be discouraging (sometimes painful to hear), it has somehow put us in the spot where we rethink how much we really want to make this documentary happen even when nobody believed in what we're doing. This, plus the countless rejections for interviews, data scarcity, lack of resources, technical issues, working late nights, and even financial strain.

Many, if not all of us are fighting a battle we know nothing of. So let's be kind to each other.

Therefore, I just felt the need to put this out there: nothing worth it ever comes easy. It helps to go back to the first time we set our minds and hearts on pursuing our cause and to recall why we need to do the things we do. Hang on to that.

My sincere hope is that this post might also encourage some of my friends out there who are seeking for a glimmer of hope in a world where people are ever so ready to be critical of us. Hang on in there, it'll all get better.

Fading Cultures

Dissecting my disposition on fading cultures.

A particular culture only lives as long as there is ownership. Ownership will stay as long as there is relevance. Relevance exists where there’s value defining it. And the kind of value that we uphold defines our identity. It is a tragedy for ‘good cultures’ to fade away, but that is because inevitably, people change with time. So does culture.

But why do some of us fight so hard to prevent a certain culture from fading from our lives?
Because culture leads us back to our roots.

Because culture is a heritage passed down from our forefathers.
Because culture is our anchor of familiarity in a rapidly evolving world.
Because culture breathes character and depth into our lives.

Gender: a stereotype

There has been numerous occasions where I encountered gender stereotypes in my life.

Some are quite petty, while some are downright uncivilized. There is one though which has changed the course of my life - although not for the worse. I was lucky to have found a place to belong after being steered away from what I really wanted to do but this experience has left a lasting impression on me that will constantly serve as a reminder that I should never surrender to or advocate gender stereotype.

Although it has been more than 10 years, I still remember the day when an academician told me that urban planning is an industry dominated by men; and therefore women will almost certainly face challenges and will need to struggle to keep up in order to make it. Because of this remark and out of the lack of self-confidence, I dropped my intention to enroll in the School of Housing, Building and Planning in USM.

I look back and wish I had received as much empowerment for women as we have today. I still have a deep interest in urban planning which could have been my career path today if I had just went ahead despite what people tell me what women can or cannot do. If there’s a message from this experience; it is to never ever trade-off your passion or interest to fulfill the society’s typecast idea- that which gender should be the limit to someone’s ability to rise above challenges. And also; never be that parent, sibling, friend, mentor or partner who snuff out the dreams of someone you know just because of gender stereotype. 

(May 11, 2015)