Let’s Try Kindness Therapy – #ItsTimeToChange

By Yousra Mateen

Recently I was talking to a classmate who mentioned how a girl in university was distributing chocolates to everyone, so my classmate asked why she was doing it; was it a part of a project? Or was it her birthday? So this girl who was distributing chocolates smiled and said, she was doing that because it was the World Kindness Day. We were all a little surprised first and actually contemplated on how there are these angelic sort of people who exist who distribute chocolates because they want to be kind but then appreciated how it was a good gesture and later the conversation moved on to other topics.

Later that day, I was thinking about how there was actually a day dedicated to being kind and sat down to research on it. Initially the old weird negative approach we hold towards “Hallmark Holidays” was the first thing which came to my mind, that there shouldn’t be one day for kindness, everyday should be a day of kindness but then I brushed through that thought and eventually found out that this year, the world kindness day was celebrated globally on the 13th November. The day was first initiated by the World Kindness Movement, which is a group of NGO’s working in different countries. It is mainly propagated by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation but is now rapidly gaining popularity worldwide where people are actually taking up small acts of kindness and compassion and sharing them on the social networking sites.

Even though we shouldn’t need a day particularly to be kind, and carry on everyday but maybe by initiating and forcing ourselves to be caring that one day instigate the feeling of contentment we get from being compassionate and eventually continue carrying out random acts of kindness for the rest of the year. Some of these acts actually outline our personality too in the long run as we are usually defined by our actions. There are various ways through which we can adopt to show random acts of kindness. It isn’t just restricting to giving charity or giving out candies but way beyond it. Even in simple things in life like holding doors and saying thank you and giving out hugs to people you know will feel comforted from it. It isn’t just making an old man cross a road; it is also removing that big stone on the path or offering to hold an extra bag for a friend. Not just giving your seat to elderly or disabled or pregnant, but also putting your shopping cart back in place and writing a small motivating text message and sending it to someone who really needs it at that point in life. Hence, kindness doesn’t have any form of boundaries; it can range on all levels and at all levels is equally appreciated. A very small positive gesture can make someone’s day a little better!

Let’s take out time, change ourselves and change someone else’s life positively.

#ItsTimeToChange

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Say No to Stereotyping – #ItsTimeToChange

By Neha Zubairi

A middle-aged man, sitting at the airport lounge eagerly waiting for his flight to arrive, keeps his bag aside and walks to the restroom to freshen up; so that he can finally eat that meal, he purchased from the tuck shop near the departure lounge. But before he could step out of the restroom, he is ambushed by two armed security guards holding him by force and the third one holding his bag. They rush him to their security office…why? The man had a Pakistani passport and a thick long beard.

This is just one of many different examples we see around us, highlighting the height of stereotypes; created by our own society. But the worst part is, that we as a society, hardly fight against it. Instead, without thinking twice, we give in to our impulse of labeling an individual as a terrorist, if he has a beard.

Not just that, if unfortunately the color of your skin is a tone too dark, you’re in a bit of trouble! You are most likely a drug dealer or you have substance abuse issues. And if you are an Asian, BRAVO! People have probably already deemed you smarter than the rest. If you are a girl wearing a head-scarf, everybody will be appalled, because you are forced into a lifestyle you probably haven’t chosen for yourself.

When a person sees something or someone, they search for any type of information that they might have stored in their memory regarding that thing; making it easier for them to properly understand what is before them. But sometimes, the information that they have stored away in their mind might be wrong. But, on their level of understanding, that perceptions they have are absolutely accurate.

The problem is that most of us are too proud and indifferent, to the fact that we need to educate ourselves and broaden our horizon to see what lies beyond what our eyes see. How can a few physical features and lifestyle choices dictate an individual’s complete personality?

It’s time to rid our society of stereotyping…it’s time to take a pledge to open our mind’s eye and look beyond what we already see.

#ItsTimeToChange

Exams, Egregious or Excellent?

After a 3-day after-exam holiday, here I am with my Monday blues and to-dos. But while I am on the way to the university, I can actually tell you all how much I find exams amazing and people around, amusing. I, unlike others, like the thrill of exams. Not because I’m an overconfident git and have a bring-it-on-buddy attitude, but because they make those few weeks of university different; action-packed.

A day before exam, I love watching the battle of my mind and heart where my mind, wearing a halo, gives me every logical reason of why studying at least today is crucial and my heart; well, it just does not feel like studying. 😀

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Here’s a sneak peak of how I study. Since no preparation for exam has been done prior to that day, I become a crisis manager and allocate one hour to each chapter (e.g. 4 hours to 4 chapters). Then all of a sudden, I start missing my relatives and long-lost friends so I make calls to them otherwise their memories will keep distracting me from my studies. In the meantime, another tragedy hits me and all of my favorite shows start playing on TV. So I resist my temptation and watch only a couple of them, not all of them. Its then that I realize that I’ll need to decrease the time allocated to each chapter. So it becomes half an hour for each and then I seriously start studying. But it’s important for a healthy person to get proper sleep too. So I keep the books aside and go to sleep early with a challenge in mind, a deadline in head and a wish in heart.

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When I enter the university the next day, I see mind-numbing scenarios. Geeks with headings, sub-headings and bullet points of every topic crammed, girls who seem they’ll drop dead anytime because they’ve spent a sleepless night studying all the time, guys with unshaven beards and alphabets ready-to-overflow from their head (as if they’ll puke out all the crammed material). I’m so absorbed in this dramatic scene when my phone vibrates and I read MQ’s text message:

“I am scared of people who study a lot. They have so much of information stored in their brains that there is no space left for common sense!”
Haha! And I laugh out loud.
MQ is one of those introverts who talks less but witty.

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A night before exam, my dad goes to a relative’s place and just when she starts bragging about her daughter studying day and night, my dad says, “My daughter studied for only an hour and was ranting on internet after that.” 😐

I get mad after I hear he said that. But then, I know he thinks I’ll manage 🙂 so, all good!

As with all matters of the heart, you just know when you can do it!

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At last, that ahaa moment when the exams are finally over. That awesome moment when a friend greets “happy freedom” is priceless and makes adrenaline rush through the systems.

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See. The point here is not that I want to insult or underestimate anybody. Everyone has their own way of studying, it’s theirs. I just believe they should enjoy their life more otherwise when they’ll turn the pages of life to see the past, they’ll find nothing but multiple regression and hawthorn effect.

Mel Shwartz says “Perfection is not natural and cannot be obtained. The irony is that the closest thing to perfection is in being able to be present in the moment, which the perfectionist never attains.”

I have seen people change, improve, testify against the odds and play it right when they know the time is right. Don’t run after perfection, study less, enjoy life!

Godspeed!