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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Good – See, Be, Do! #ItsTimeToChange

The other day a teacher of mine sent me this wonderful practice done by an African tribe where when a member of the tribe does something wrong, he/she is taken to the center of town and is surrounded by the entire tribe. For two days they tell the person every good thing he has ever done. Behind this practice is their belief of every person being ‘GOOD’ from the origin and committing mistakes in the pursuit of safety, love, peace, and happiness. They see these mistakes as cry for help, so they unite to cure their fellow by reconnecting him with his true self and making him remember the truth from which he’d temporarily been disconnected: “I AM GOOD”.
I was pretty amazed by this idea and wondered whether it will work in our world. Yes, I do believe that everyone is good from within, good in at least some role of their life. But accepting one’s mistake comes as a result to realizing it. When a master talks cruelly to his servant, he thinks it is the right of his position; when children talk to their parents in slang, they justify it by labeling themselves ‘new generation’; when a student argues with a teacher for trivial things, he says he’s fighting for his rights. Thus, we get to see a lot of people continuing their wrongdoings due to lack of realization.
Moreover, majority of us have turned into selfish beings thinking for ourselves and not concerned for what happens in others’ lives. We would very rarely spare time for the good of others. Spending two days insulting a person looks easy to us but telling him good things he did for two big days would be hard for us. But only when we ponder over the idea of “what goes around, comes around”, we will be more considerate towards others. The aforementioned practice could be an ideal one for us wherein not only the person committing mistake is taken out of the sin harmlessly, but others also get to participate in an act to retain humanity within them.

Farewell; moving forward!

I still remember the time when I entered here for the first time. I was as carefree as always, even though it was a matter of my career. Just as I crossed the gate, a green campus with red-bricks’ building came in front of my eyes. It was raining, so the greenery looked even more ravishing. I, along with all students who came for the entry test, headed towards the auditorium. The place was giant and beautiful. It was so cold that even the warm auditorium couldn’t take the chills off. Shivering in our seats, we took the test. Just as we finished the test, we headed to cafeteria to fulfill our crazy wish of having ice-cream in that cold. What we didn’t know that time was that it was a just the beginning of all the craziness and the journey that awaited us would be filled largely with crazy stuff. Sukkur IBA truly mesmerized all of us that day.

Time has flown so hastily ever since.

Whenever I go back to the flashback and return to the present, I find two differences.

That day it was raining; today its 46 C 😛

That day it was my first test; today it’s my last exam 😦

Such a bittersweet feeling. To be sad for the end or to be happy for a beginning, that’s the question. 4 years spent. It was different yet beautiful, uncertain yet amazing. I can’t ever forget my group of friends without whom the journey would have been like an lost match, the classroom jokes which kept us alive during the boring-est of lectures, the hunger emergencies which used to occur to me more often than others, the library which we seldom visited, the time in IBA and then outside, there is so much we all would miss.

In these last days here, I want to do so much – deal with undecided matters, mend the broken hearts, and complete the underperformed acts of wisdom. On my mind today is all what has started and ended in the past four years. I’m thankful to IBA who made me realize what I am and what I’m not. I got my first chance to be a trainer, traveled to Turkey, became the most seen anchorperson of IBA (I remember people telling me that they are tired of watching me on stage again and again) and received bundles of applauds and millions of criticisms.

People asked me today whether I was sad on my last day or happy. I’m happy to start a new phase of life; however it might turn out to be. But I’m sad to leave such respect-giving (read the exact opposite) friends who generously filled my life with so many colors; the yellow color of brightness, the red of love, the white of ease (the unmatchable comfort), the blue of truth and the green color of self-growth. My life would have been colorless without them and I’m sure no one can add the same colors to it. They are the greatest gift IBA could have ever given me.

The entire 4 years have been unforgettable and for that, I believe some credits are in order. To all my teachers, you’ve taught us more than the subjects; a way of life. You’ve chiseled our abilities and played a part in bringing us up to where we are now. To all my classmates, we’ve come a long way together. I wish you all fight well in the big wide world, touch the sky and still remain just as humble. Farewell buddies. Trust me, each and everyone of you is special and will be missed.

It is never easy for me to say goodbyes. So I’ll just ask everyone to stay in touch. See you all on reunions every year. All my good wishes reach out to you. These moments will never return, all we can do is never let the memories fade away.

Thank you once again for four very happy years!

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Love her, Love her not?

You must have heard that dialogue ‘when you get injured, it hurts me’. I’ve always heard heroes telling that to heroines. But yesterday I really felt it. Not for my hero (though I’m in an awesome relationship) but for a heroine. Don’t think I’m THAT type *wink wink*, I’m proudly straight from origin. Coming back to the point, the girl was my SISTER. My always-annoying, fat-like-a-hippo, kid sister.
I thought I literally hated my sister. I mean she downright irritates me to the core when she keeps laughing for hours for no particular reason, when I’m talking to my fiance and ask her to get lost but she remains standing there grinning, when she wants to wear my clothes and jewelry but ends up destroying them. Her pampered ego is already such a tough nut to crack, above that she manages to gain baba’s sympathies and undeserved attention.

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But yesterday when she was standing there with her wounded finger making one of those innocent faces and faking her crocodile tears, it came! I saw the blood dripping and it hurt me! I was surprised at the feeling and then it dawned upon “I love her, maybe”. So I ran to help the brat and yelled at her to shush down. And it was all settled in no time. The blood, the bandaid, the sisterly love, everything!

Today, I think I love her. Or maybe loathe her a little less. I’ve seen her turning into a nurse when I get ill, turning into an adviser when I can’t find matching shoes and jewelry and remaining a brat all the remaining times. The tom-and-jerry fights we have are irreplaceable, the secret plans we make to surprise mama and baba on their birthdays could not be the same with anyone else, the way I find her beautiful when she wears my clothes is unexplainable (though I tease her a lot :P) and the relation we share couldn’t be more special.

Sisters are precious!

This goes out to everyone! Sisters are not THAT bad. Trust me. Been there 😀

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If you think you love your siblings a little much, go and hug them right away!

My recent brush with NIMUN ’13

12 highly motivated students boarded the bus to cover a 17-hour journey from their small town to experience what were going to be the most exciting 4 days of their life. Looking forward to take many memorable moments from this experience, off we headed to NUST International Model United Nations 2013 (NIMUN ’13).
We passed the journey singing songs, sleeping half the way, watching “The Pink Panther” and getting challaned by the motorway people once 😀

The first ones to arrive at the hostel, we were given the privilege of choosing which bed mattresses we wanted. By the way we were staying in a hospital ward-like room common room and 30 girls were to be accommodated with us in the same room. Not really happy with the accommodation, I still looked forward to the next days sessions and the social events.

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OPENING CEREMONY

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The opening ceremony was decorated aesthetically with white tents; green, blue and white balloons representing the NIMUN logo colours; packed with around 1000 students coming from around the world. We were welcomed by a number of experienced speakers, where Mr. Aizaz Chaudhry told us the surprising fact of MUNs coming into the world before the League of Nations itself. Something out of his speech that stuck in my mind was “students who come unprepared find themselves severely handicapped”. I don’t know why it felt he was pointing to the category where I belonged 😛

The Chief Guest Akram Zaidi who was next to speak told us very interestingly why they focus on organizing MUNs “we have United Nations (UN) with divided nations, we have security council that creates more insecurities, so MODEL is what we’re still commending.”

——-

GLOBAL VILLAGE

In the evening, everyone dressed up in the cultural dresses of the countries assigned to them, ours was Iran. It was a treat to visit stalls of other countries displaying their culture, food and performances. An amazing first-time experience for us was to walk on the ramp portraying Iranian cultural apparel.
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COMMITTEE SESSIONS

When I entered the committee, the environment was so learning-oriented that I realized I have to kill my heart remain concentrated towards the chair (the moderator) and the fellow delegates (coming from different countries) all the time. I was really surprised to see the professionalism and the rules of the game strictly being followed. “Let diplomacy be your argument” was the tag line and that’s exactly what everyone practiced  I realized the truthfulness of the statement “Diplomacy is to tell someone to go to hell in a way that he looks forward to the journey.”
Every day, we used to buckle up and refill our energy bags to attend the committee sessions. They were so thought-provoking yet so tiring. But some events awaited us daily in the evening which refreshed us for the next day’s sessions.

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——-

CARNIVAL

A festival of fun and frolic, girls and boys screaming their lungs out on the giant wheel, people savoring their taste buds with delicious BBQ and some just giving the dose of beautiful music to their souls; the carnival was charmingly decorated like the small town melas. Girls dressed up in colorful and vibrant colors while boys relaxed in jeans and tees. The event ended with Punjabi and Pushtu rap by the students and very unwantingly, we left for our hostels.

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FORMAL DINNER

The formal dinner was no less a delight. We met in a ravishingly decorated area, all glammed up for a 1920s theme dinner. I was awestruck at the first sight of the place, there was an antique-looking car (I wonder where they managed to get it from), mannequins dressed in silk and chiffon, ladies eloquently dressed in flapper dresses and men looking handsome in tux, the red fluorescent lights adding the wow factor to the place and everything that made it ‘pure vintage’. Sinking in the beauty of the area, I moved towards where the aroma of food came from (had to mention it being the foody I am :P). After feeding my stomach, I took some pictures of the area and the 1920s themed me and off we headed to walk through the cold roads to our hostel.

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——-

THE SURPRISE EVENT

On the last day, we got ready for the surprise event. The arena awaited us!
The tableau on “Peace” performed by NUST Dramatics and Debating Society had all the audience to their feet and lauding. The flying lanterns, which followed the performance, was another move by the organizers to inflict the gesture of unity and peace.
And with this, 4 exciting days came to an end!

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——-

The organizers truly deserve a lot of appreciation for all the effort they put in. The event organised by a team of NUST’s final year students pulled off amazingly.
The decor team never ceased to surprise us with their creativity and the photographers covered the proceedings so well, relentlessly taking amazing pictures. All in all, the event was a huge success, a platform where ideas were shared and bonds were formed.

NIMUN ’13!

Hip hip hurray! *screams*

A fantasy; A fairytale

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Once upon a time, there was a small town girl in a far far away land. She was born in a happy family, brought up well by two awesome characters named ‘Mama’ & ‘Baba’ and lived an almost-perfect life. Suddenly the strict uncle called ‘time’ waved his wand and within no time, small-town-girl was in her teens and started waiting for her prince charming to come and sweep her feet off the ground. One sunny morning, a friend asked her “how would you want your prince charming to be?”

She replied,

“I WANT A GUY

who would sing to me at random moments and make me smile no matter what.

who would think I was beautiful and even if I dressed so trashy, it was classy.

who knows the right things to say and do at the right times.

who would let me gossip to him and would just smile and agree with everything I said.

who would make fun of me just to make me laugh.

who would surprise me with coming a day earlier than he told me he’ll come.

who would tell his friends about me and smile when he does it.

who would run his fingers through my hair even if it was dirty.

who would get along with all of my friends and make everyone feel at ease.

who would never be afraid to say “I love you” in front of his friends.

who would argue about silly things with me then make up.

who would be friends with my family and become their favorite.

who would tell me his embarrassing moments and make me promise not to laugh.

who would make me laugh like no one else could.

who would hold me closer than normal when I’m sick.

we would make funny faces at each other when we’re on the phone.

we would squirt water guns at each other in the house.

I want someone who would be MY BEST FRIEND.”

 

Today, that small town girl is a grown-up and has found her man, the story of her life hasn’t been as dreamy as a fairy tale but she believes that with her courage, she’ll mark the end of the story as “and they lived happily ever after...” 🙂

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The story of a heart

This is a real story of a very close friend, Sally, who wants the story to reach across to many people but doesn’t want her name to be disclosed. So here I am, writing not only for this friend of mine, but for the majority of youth who fall in love in very young age and lose track.

She could feel her voice gone, no words came out of her mouth and she just awed in that moment of perfection. It was Sally holding hands with Harry. Harry was tall, smart, spectacle-wearing cousin of hers who had proposed the very young, pretty and petite Sally 4 months ago. Harry had an unsuccessful affair before Sally came in his life but it was all a novel experience for Sally, an experience she was not going to forget the whole life. She did have a few crushes before him, all of which got crushed after a week or two but this guy, she didn’t know, was going to have a lasting impact on her life. The first time Harry said those three magical words to her, she felt that indescribable tingling feeling; the feeling of being the most beautiful, the feeling who said “yes he is the one for me”, and the feeling of common sense leaving her body. She was so overwhelmed with what had happened that she forgot all her values, her attitude and said YES to him.

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Four months later, Sally visited Harry’s place with her family and met him after a long time. Sally’s family knew about how she was infatuated with him and Harry’s family was also aware of his liking towards Sally. Both the families stayed together for a week and both of them (Sally in particular) had the time of their lives.

One morning, Sally was still in bed when she overheard her family talking about how Harry’s family didn’t accept Sally as part of their family and didn’t want to extend their relationship. Sally heard all this and the fantasy bubble of her life burst there and then. She cried in the blanket for hours and didn’t want to get out of the bed. When her family found her crying, they didn’t know what had happened to her. They asked her but she couldn’t explain the loss. She just told them that she had heard them talking and realised that this relation wasn’t going to work. When she met Harry that day with swollen red eyes, he was totally unaware of what had happened. He asked Sally many times but she remained quiet. She knew that the battle could not be fought without allies; the battle was lost.

A few days later, Sally told Harry what had happened, expecting him to change the scenario. But Harry, being dependent on his family, could not take a stand for Sally. So they decided to close the chapter and prepared their mind to move on.

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Today, Sally is happily settled with a person of her choice, her second love maybe. Harry is busy in his own balanced life; work and family. When I asked Sally why she wanted me to write her story, she said,

“I want your readers to know 3 things.

First, choose someone after knowing the feasibility of a long-term relation with him. You gotta see if your family, your culture, your lifestyle is open enough to accept that choice of yours. Your choice need not be from the same background since that would become an ideal situation, but both families, cultures, lifestyles should at least be accepting each other’s differences.


Second, don’t give hopes to anyone if you’re not able to take a stand for them. That applies to both girls and boys. If you think you won’t be able to take the relation till the last step, don’t even start it.


Third and most important, life goes on! No matter what happens, God has given us the willpower to make a way out of it. They say time is the best healer, I totally agree. When Harry and I broke up, I cried for many months, I thought the world has ended, I thought I’d never love anyone again. But when God empties your hand by taking one thing, he fills it with another. And surely God’s options are better than ours.”

With this answer, we reached the end of the conversation. And I went to sleep thinking that at some point of life, you have to be aware that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.

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