Leave No One Behind…

WDSD 2019

Today, Thursday 21st March 2019, marks #WorldDownSyndromeDay, which aims to bring awareness to people about #DownSyndrome. By the way, did you know that #WDSD was chosen to be on the 21st day of the 3rd month to signify the tripling of the 21st chromosome that causes Down Syndrome? Clever, right?

Last year, I talked about my thoughts on labelling people, and how people with Down Syndrome should not be called ‘special’. The world calls people with Down Syndrome, autism, or other syndromes ‘SPECIAL’ and they are said to have ‘SPECIAL NEEDS’. They think sugar-coating ‘disabled’ will lighten the effect, but from my humble point of view, it only hurts even more. For a start, being labelled differently means that they will only be separated from the crowd. It makes them feel alone and puts them on a different path from us in life.

This year, the theme is #LeaveNoOneBehind. This is a call to action to people with Down Syndrome, and I am writing on behalf of all those with Down Syndrome. I strongly agree with this ideology, as I believe that we are no different from them. They are equal, and they deserve all the opportunities that we get! Just because they have Down Syndrome does not mean that they should be denied the right to have the same opportunities as us.

People need to stop having negative attitudes and discriminating others with any kind of disability, and we can’t underestimate them either, because they have the ability to do great things too, but only if they are given a chance. And I think that we all should join together and leave no one behind, so that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

Written by,

Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion

#The12YearOldAuthor

#BornToWrite

#GeniusFreeZone

p/s: Like, comment and share this post to show your love for our friends who are rocking those extra chromosomes!

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Random Acts Of Kindness Day

Kindness Day

My parents always taught us that a kind act as little as buying food for the needy matters hugely! This is Fatimah on her 5th birthday last month. Instead of buying things for herself, she bought food to distribute to the needy. And we do this regularly, not just on special occasions. I myself believe that a kind touch, a kind smile, a kind word, or even the smallest act of kindness has the power to CHANGE THE WORLD! Here are 11 random acts of kindness that we all can do not just for #RandomActsOfKindnessDay but in our daily lives!

  1. When you go shopping, buy extra food to give to the needy or the food bank
  2. Volunteer at your local library to read to children
  3. Give up your seat on public transport for pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled
  4. Write kind words on rocks and leave them at the park
  5. Pick up litter on the street to help to clean your neighbourhood
  6. Smile at someone, just because
  7. Buy someone a cup of coffee on a cold day to keep them warm
  8. Send letters of encouragement to sick people in the hospital
  9. Take a day off from complaining, but give thanks instead
  10. Volunteer at an animal shelter
  11. Get others to continue being kind

    Written by,
    Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion
    #my11things
    #RandomActsOfKindness
    #TogetherWeCanChangeTheWorld

    p/s: What else can you do to be kind? Extend the list!

Thank You Malaysian Digest!

This post is specially dedicated to Ms Hana Maher and the team at Malaysian Digest! Thank you so much Ms Hana for writing an EXCLUSIVE FEATURE about my humble self! Words can’t describe how much I appreciate it! Also, thank you so much for speaking so highly of me! I am very grateful! I’m so humbled by your kind words! As always, the write-up was very well-written and high-quality, and, just like your previous articles (some of which have been displayed in my school), it was written with great care and not a single detail was missed! I loved reading it, not because it was about me, but because Ms Hana’s style of writing is truly captivating! In fact, why don’t you give it a read? I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Click the link below ⤵️ to read the full article:

http://www.malaysiandigest.com/frontpage/29-4-tile/747393-exclusive-meet-the-british-born-m-sian-who-was-offered-a-full-scholarship-at-top-uk-school.html

It’s not just Ms Hana who deserves thanks – the whole team does! I’d also like to say a special thank you to Ms Deza, the Editor of Malaysian Digest, for honouring me with this EXCLUSIVE FEATURE! Ms Hana, Ms Deza and the Malaysian Digest team are brilliant people who have been supporting not only me, but my whole family, and continue to do so! I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many supportive people, including all of you, my beloved readers! On behalf of my family, I would like to again thank Ms Hana, Ms Deza and the team at Malaysian Digest for all your kindness! May God reward you handsomely! Not forgotten, to all my dearest readers, your PAWSOME support is highly appreciated! Please continue to keep me and my family in your prayers!

p/s: Stay tuned for another EXCLUSIVE FEATURE on Malaysian Digest where Mrs Mom and Mr Dad will share their parenting secrets very soon! 😉

Officially A King Edward’s Boy!

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It’s official! I am finally a King Edward’s boy! 😆 I’m going to go to King Edward’s School (KES), my dream school! I am more than over the moon right now, and all the hard work and sacrifices that led up to this moment have paid off!

When I was in Year 5, my class teacher, Mr Webster, said I had the potential to apply for a grammar school. At the time, I was clueless as to what a grammar school was. I had never heard of it. All I knew was that after Year 6, I’d be going to a normal secondary school. Mr Webster then gave me a leaflet for an open day at King Edward’s School. I went home and did some research, and I found out that KES was one of the best schools in the UK and one of its famous alumni was the author of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’, J.R.R. Tolkien himself! That’s when I decided that I had to attend their open day!

It was 18th March 2017 when I first set foot into my dream school for their open day. It was like I was Harry Potter stepping into Hogwarts! The building looked old and grand, and almost castle-like – just the way I like it! I felt that connection between us as soon as I stepped through the front doors. KES was the only grammar school I visited, and I didn’t want to go anywhere else. Whenever people asked me what my school choices were, I always said KES and only KES! Everybody was surprised because the other students had at least 3 choices of schools that they wanted to go to…but not me! I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else other than KES!

The entry requirements to join a grammar school were not easy! First, I had to take and pass a test called the 11+ to be considered for a place at any of the grammar schools, and a separate entrance test for KES. And I couldn’t just pass the test! The results had to be outstanding because there were thousands of students like me sitting for it too! However, Mrs Mom was gravely ill at the time and Mr Dad had his hands full with taking care of Mrs Mom and Fatimah and Ali, so, unlike the many other people who started preparing many years back, I had to start a few days into the summer holidays when the 11+ was less than one month away in September (2017)! 😰

Preparing for the 11+ was hard enough as the things I had to learn were not covered in school, but the search for someone to become my tutor was FRANTIC. Almost everybody turned me down because it was seemingly impossible when everyone had started two or three years back when I had to cover everything in less than a month, but one person had gone beyond the act of kindness and took me as a student of her own – Auntie Shaheen. We didn’t even know her. She was a complete stranger to us but she was like a God-sent angel! She was willing to give me some guidance and support so that I could do the test! I couldn’t have done it without her and I will never be able to thank her enough! Not only that, she also guided Mrs Mom and Mr Dad and told them what they could do to teach me from home!

The whole family was super supportive too! Dadajee and Dadijee flew all the way from Malaysia to help us! Mrs Mom and Mr Dad taught me all they knew, Dadajee always sat by my side every day to help me and time my practice tests, and also made sure that I had enough rest, Dadijee took over the kitchen and made sure all the food was ready and everybody else encouraged me to keep on working hard! Dr Auntie and Mamajee also played their part in assisting me in my studies! I studied from morning to evening and we didn’t go on holiday anywhere during that summer! But I think that the hardest thing I had to sacrifice was reading! I have Obsessive Reading Disorder😁, and giving up my books was like TORTURE!!! There were days when I found myself reading the back of cereal boxes at breakfast time – that was how desperate I was to find something, ANYTHING to read! 😂

After plenty of preparation, the day of the 11+ finally arrived, and I wouldn’t say I whizzed through it with ease, but I was feeling pretty confident! Soon, it was over, and there was nothing I could do other than pray and wait for the KES test. That came in a matter of a couple of weeks, too, and the anxiety was getting to me. 😞

Then, one fateful day, I was at school when I was unexpectedly called out of class by Mrs Chesney-Ly, my school’s English Leader. She told me that Mrs Mom had called. I wasn’t that sure about why. Maybe something serious had happened at home. But then, I put the phone to my ear and when the conversation ended, I was speechless. I had passed the 11+ – with flying colours! I nearly burst into tears of joy! This was basically a dream come true! Now I could go to any grammar school I wanted to! I can still remember that moment when I broke the news to Miss Patrick, my class teacher, she jumped up, waving her hands in the air, and shouted my results out to the whole class!

I thought that this was the last of God’s blessings because this was much, much more than I asked for! I quote what Auntie Shaheen said: “Now you don’t have to worry about anything! No school will reject you!” I had hoped to just pass the 11+, but I had excelled! But later on, we got a phone call from none other than King Edward’s School…my dream school! Apparently, I had done extremely good in their entrance test, and had been offered a school place with a chance to get a scholarship out of the 125 students! In order to actually get the scholarship, I would have to attend a separate interview at the school. The funny thing is that the results for the 11+ were released on Mrs Mom’s birthday (10th October 2017), the call was on Mamajee’s birthday (10th November 2017), and the interview was scheduled on Dr Auntie’s birthday (14th November 2017)! I had a good feeling about this, and when the interview was over and done with, I was glad that I had done my best. But deep inside, only God knew how anxious I was about not being able to get the scholarship because the yearly school fees for KES were extremely high! 😳

Then, the awaited day came when we were all waiting for a letter from King Edward’s School. It was the day before the deadline date for the outcome of the scholarship interviews. The night before, me, Mrs Mom and Mr Dad were discussing that it was fine if I didn’t get the place, even if it did break my heart 💔. KES seemed far out of my reach, and we were grateful that we wouldn’t have a problem to secure a place at any normal grammar school. I was restless, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Then when I came home from school that day (Thursday 7th December 2017), I found a letter on the fireplace addressed to me and it had a KES stamp on it. Both Mrs Mom and Mr Dad were there too. They were both waiting for me to open it. I opened it nervously…and I couldn’t believe my eyes! Suddenly all the tension melted away, as if a weight had been lifted off my back. I had been awarded the full scholarship! It was one of the happiest days of my life – I burst into tears of joy! I was going to be able to go to my dream school, where one of my idol authors studied, where I would be able to do great things! I am truly blessed!

So only a few days ago, on Thursday 28th of June, me and the family were invited to the Admissions Ceremony, where I was formally welcomed into the school! Walking up onto the stage to shake the Chief Master’s hand – Dr Mark Fenton – feelings of nervousness overwhelmed by excitement passed through me. I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening, that I actually had the chance to go to my dream school and make my family proud! 😊

Dear Future Pawsome Lion,

You may be reading this in 10 years or so from today, Sunday 1st July 2018, and if you are, then never forget all the people who sacrificed things for you! Remember what your family has done for you, what Mrs Mom and Mr Dad have been through, what Fatimah and Ali have had to sacrifice for you, all the prayers family, friends and teachers have sent for you, and all the hard work everybody has done for you, because without everything, you wouldn’t be who you are today! And most importantly, please remember to stay humble, be thankful to God as He has given you more than you wished for, and be a great person in this world so that hopefully one day…YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

From The 11-year-old Pawsome Lion

Sunday 1st July 2018

Dear God,

Thank you for all the blessings You have bestowed on me and my family. I can’t thank You enough! Please restore all world peace so children across the world can have happy moments like this too and can grow into wonderful people who can make a good difference in this world and SHINE…

p/s: Feeling:

  • Blessed 😇
  • Grateful 🙏
  • Excited 😜

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My Last Parents’ Meeting…

ms patrick

Yesterday, we went to my last parents’ meeting at my primary school. Wow! I can’t believe how fast time has gone! In a few weeks’ time, I will be finishing school, and in September, I will start my new journey in secondary school! Since my Reception days, my parents never missed any parents’ meetings! No matter how busy they are, they always make sure they both attend. Bless them, they’re very supportive to me, Fatimah and Ali!

This is Miss Patrick, my current class teacher. The same like my previous teachers, Miss Patrick is great! Me and my classmates are so lucky to have such a dedicated teacher! She’s the type of teacher who brings the best out of her students! She’s fun, knowledgeable and always there to help! I will definitely miss not just her, but all my primary school teachers when I go to secondary school as they have done so much for me! Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today! Thank you!

Dear God,
Please guide me on the right path and let me remember the kindness of my teachers and all the things I have learnt from them. Allow me to stay humble and know that they were the ones who helped me get to this point in life! Allow me to stay not just humble, but also lead me on the right path so that I can set a good example to my little brother and sister…and also inspire others so that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William A. Ward

A Message From A Brother…

When I was born, people from Malaysia laughed at my parents for naming me ‘Omar Mukhtar’. According to them, it was a backdated name. They said, “You live in England, why would you give him a name like that?”. The funny thing is that living in England, none of the local people who lived here ever made fun of my name, even at school, students and teachers alike. My parents call me by my full name ‘Omar Mukhtar’, or ‘Mukhtar’ for short. I did choose to be called ‘Mukhtar’ at school too, because ‘Omar’ is also my father’s name and it could get confusing. Even though my friends and teachers found it hard in the beginning to pronounce the name ‘Mukhtar’, they didn’t choose to call me ‘Omar’ just because it was easier for them. They all respected my decision and tried their best to pronounce it. They never call me anything I didn’t want to be called.

I love how my parents named all three of us – Omar Mukhtar, Fatimah and Ali. They didn’t simply just say, “Ooh, ‘Omar Mukhtar’ sounds like a nice name, I’m going to call my son that” no, they named us after the owners of the names, hoping that one day, we might become as great a person as they are – Omar Mukhtar, after the famous Lion Of The Desert; Fatimah, after the beloved Prophet’s daughter; and Ali, after the 4th Khalifa in Islam. Our parents always reminded us how important our names are and that we must live up to them. They also told us to be proud of our names and never be ashamed of them, even though some people say they are old-school.

Whenever we go out and people ask all three of our names, they praise our parents for giving us such great names. There is even a teacher from my school who, whenever I pass him, tells me how much he loves my name. He tells me this on a daily basis without fail!

Now, the same thing that happened to me is happening to Fatimah too. People called her ‘Timoh’ and made fun of her name. It made her really upset! She gets annoyed whenever people call her anything other than her full name because at home and at school, everyone always calls her Fatimah. Sadly, the only people who make fun of our names are Malaysian. Some people simply label those who call Fatimah as ‘Timoh’ only from Kelantan or Terengganu. They’re not! They’re actually from all over Malaysia, which has spread to Singapore and Brunei too!

My parents have been telling people for years to call Fatimah properly but they never stopped calling her ‘Timoh’ until my aunt decided that she too has had enough with all this name calling, so she wrote a post about why we called her Fatimah. After this was posted, we received floods of messages from people who went through the same experience as us. It was truly shocking reading their stories and thinking about what effect it must have had on their lives! But sadly, after that, still, there were many who kept on calling her ‘Timoh’ because they say it’s ‘cute and funny’. How rude!

Name-calling is an act of insult and is a form of bullying. I’m surprised how with all this anti-bullying awareness around the world, people still don’t realise that name-calling is an act of bullying! Don’t take name-calling lightly because it’s a very serious matter! It can affect the person really badly on the inside, even though you can’t see it. They may lose their confidence, for example, and that may affect their life in the long run.

They may blame themselves for their problems, which can also lead to loss of confidence. I could go on and on with this list of effects.

As the Head Boy of my school, if anything like this happened, I would strongly go against it as bullying cannot be tolerated in any situation whatsoever! I would also plead to parents and teachers out there to take this matter seriously and do as much as they can to play their role and prevent things like this from repeatedly happening!

Imagine that every day for a week, you went up to a mirror and called yourself something you don’t like being called. It wouldn’t make you feel too good about yourself, would it? That’s exactly how Fatimah feels when she’s called ‘Timoh’, and how I felt when people made fun of my name. Sure, some people don’t do it intentionally, but we’ve been telling them how to call Fatimah correctly, and still, when she’s now already 4 years old, they continue to mock her name!

Honestly, I’m curious why some Malaysians, who are from the same religion as us, mock our names, whereas people from different religions praise them.

So all in all, name-calling? It’s an act of bullying. It’s something that needs to be stopped and together, we can make that happen. Let us build a world where we can feel safe and happy, a world where bullying is a thing of the past! I am an 11-year-old boy in Year 6 whose sister has experienced bad name-calling, so I’m speaking for her and for those who have suffered and are still suffering from the same issue. If we all act as one then maybe, just maybe TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

p/s: STOP calling my sister TIMOH. Her name is FATIMAH! She has me on her right and Ali on her left. As for me, I’m not bothered if you don’t like my name because I am OMAR MUKHTAR THE PAWSOME LION!

You’re Not ‘Special’, But You Can Change The World!

 

 

WDSD QuoteEvery 21st March marks World Down Syndrome Day, bringing awareness to everyone about people with Down Syndrome, or ‘SPECIAL’ people with ‘SPECIAL NEEDS’. Special? Where’d that come from? Yes, they may be different, but they still live among us in the same way that we do; they eat, sleep, breathe, walk, talk – just like us! Yet they are still being labelled differently from us. I personally disagree with labelling them special.

The world calls people with Down Syndrome, autism, or other syndromes ‘SPECIAL’ and they are said to have ‘SPECIAL NEEDS’. They think sugar-coating ‘disabled’ will lighten the effect, but from my humble point of view, it only hurts even more. For a start, being labelled differently means that they will only be separated from the crowd. It makes them feel alone and puts them on a different path from us in life. Do you realise that we are pushing them even further away from us? Since ‘special needs’ is just a polite term for something else, it may come across as sarcastic to people with Down Syndrome too! It also makes them feel more dependent because if they have ‘special NEEDS’, they would have to be treated specially by a specialist.

Why is this happening? They are just normal people! Sure, they may be different in how they act or look, but aren’t we all different? God made us in all different forms, shapes, sizes and colours, and while this is important to keep in mind, it is also important to remember that we are all from one human race! So even though you think you are ‘softening the blow’ by using a positive word like ‘special’, it only makes them feel different in a negative way! Try putting yourselves in their shoes! I know I wouldn’t want to be labelled ‘special’ the way they are! They want people to recognise their differences and understand their feelings, which I am sure is also true with the rest of us!

So what do we call them then? Why not try calling them by the name their parents gave them if you know them well, or if you don’t, respect the fact that they are humans as well, then recognise that they have Down Syndrome, autism or anything of the sort.

Let’s not label them ‘special’, but recognise their illness! This way, we can study them, recognise their needs, identify the assistance they require – and help them break through. Instead of putting all the responsibility on the parents, we should take it upon ourselves to play a role in helping them. Whether you’re a friend, neighbour, or simply a member of the community, you should help them every chance you get! Rather than making them fit into our world, why not we try to fit into their world? If we can understand them, this will help them to live among us and make it easier for all of us! Be it at school, in a workplace, or in public places, this awareness will help us blend into their world!

We also need to be aware that people with Down Syndrome are with us every day, therefore, we need to know of the vital importance of WDSD! This knowledge is key in understanding the diverse people of today’s world. So, please, oh please, keep in mind before you call somebody with Down Syndrome ‘special’, just think – maybe they aren’t so dependent! Maybe they could go on to do great things in the future! Maybe they could CHANGE THE WORLD!

“I see people with Down Syndrome more superior than me – after all, they do have extra chromosomes!”

– O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis

21/03/2018

p/s: I’m an 11-year-old writer, and this is my humble point of view.

 

Want To Write? Start With Reading!

I’ve received many requests to share my writing tips. Well, to be honest, I don’t really have any, but I’ve always loved to read. It’s been a major part of developing my writing skills and I have to admit, I have ORD – Obsessive Reading Disorder! Just one book a day can stimulate my mind into creative mode and get those imaginative juices flowing. So no, I don’t really have any tips, but I believe there is one core, essential practice which is the foundation of writing.

You. Need. To. READ.

Seem daunting? It might sound like that at first, but it is the key to writing. You’ll need to read to find ideas and check your work. It happens whilst you’re writing! When I say read, I don’t mean read for a day or two then stop, I mean read everyday! Make it part of your daily routine. Make it part of your LIFE! Keep a book close wherever you go, so if you have spare time, you can open it up and peruse with ease.

At an early age, we all learn to read and as we get older, we start to read more difficult texts. We’ve been reading naturally all this time, and yet some people sweat at the thought of having to read something. If you could do it so young, why can’t you do it now?

The action of reading has many benefits. Books can teach us grammar and punctuation skills and language basics. Your vocabulary will be enriched too. Books are like dictionaries – there’s bound to be new words on show! The human brain is similar to a sponge, so it will absorb everything it reads. For me, reading also enlarges my imagination and stimulates my creativity. Books have many other benefits, such as improving your health, helping growth and much more. It’s clear that books are a writer’s best friends!

So now you see why reading is so crucial. We shouldn’t just give up reading because it seems hard or boring. If you did, you wouldn’t be reading this right now! But then there’s the choice of what to read and what’s good to read and what’s bad. Well, like I have said in the previous post, there is nothing good or bad, it’s just what you personally prefer! I love reading science fiction and fantasy, but other people might not. However, even though I like these specific genres, I still read a broad range of books. It’s great to read many books, but if you want, you can find the genre that suits you. The best way to find your perfect genre is to read a range of them, and work out their pros and cons so you will be able to find the one that you like the most. Once that’s done, you can read with relaxation and soon write! Remember, reading is an important step towards making yourself a better writer!

Yes, I think it’s great to read, but when I say ‘read’, I don’t mean just in English. You can read in your own mother tongue or your preferred language! Be it Malay, Urdu, Thai, Arabic, Gaelic, Chinese…you can read in any language you want! Don’t let language be a barrier that stops you from reading! And of course, remember to be bold, be brave, challenge yourself to read, readREAD and never stop reading! Now, if you’ve managed to read up to this point, then you’ve successfully read 581 words! So that’s me sharing my experience with you. Hope you find it useful.

Keep calm and carry on reading so that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”

– Lemony Snicket

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The Human Race – How Different Are We?

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“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

This was a quote by William Shakespeare, and it has a very good meaning behind it.

There are 7.6 billion people on this planet, and we have different backgrounds, culture, heritage, religions, skin colour, eyes, hair, fingerprints, but we have one thing in common: we are one race – THE HUMAN RACE.

Have you been in that situation where you’ve seen someone do something you found impolite, rude, or some other negative thing like that? Well, did you acknowledge the fact that their culture could be much different than yours? Almost every day, someone in the world judges another person without respecting their differences. In my eyes, this is quite cruel and careless, for not only are we judging them, but we are also claiming that they should be the same as us! We are all unique; God has made us this way, and this way is PERFECT!

Speaking of differences, here are some strange customs from around the world.

  • Cutting a potato with your knife in Germany will insult the host of a dinner party
  • In Saudi Arabia, burping after a meal is considered a compliment to the cook
  • In Cambodia, Egypt, Jordan and the Philippines, leaving a little bit of food on your plate is polite; giving back an empty plate will be taken as an insult, suggesting that you were not given enough food
  • To show that you have enjoyed a dish of noodles in Japan or Hong Kong, it is best to slurp loudly whilst eating
  • The Greeks throw baby teeth on their roofs
  • Nicaraguan people point with their lips
  • To ward off evil, people in Greece spit on the bride at a wedding
  • Sikhs wear a bangle all the time, even in the kitchen. Some Sikhs also carry a ceremonial dagger (not intended to harm others, but a sign that they should stand up for goodness)

Shocked? Me too. But, all this goes to show that we all do things for a reason, however strange or contrasted to our customs they may be. So we should all stop judging people and instead show some kindness to them by respecting their culture, customs, religion and basically who they are as a person. So next time, before you are about to judge somebody, remember that each of us is unique, and keep in mind that ‘there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so‘, because if we do, then TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

p/s: What do YOU think about this? Does your opinion differ? Feel free to drop a comment and share your thoughts!

*Media Source: Google Images

…HELLO 2018!

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2017 has passed, and as it steps off the stage, 2018 greets us warmly by the hand! At the start of every year, people set ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, their own personal goals that they wish to achieve in the year. From my humble point of view, I personally think it is more like a trend that everyone is taking part in to be the same as others, and after a few days, they will forget everything! Don’t you think life resolutions should come more regularly than once a year? I believe we should be setting our own personal goals everyday, not waiting a whole year to choose them and working on them for another year to achieve only a few of them! Some of the most popular resolutions are:

  • Go to bed early
  • Spend time with family
  • Reduce TV time
  • Read more books

These are almost never stuck to – and they’re things we should be doing every day! Don’t you think that our resolutions are mostly too self-centred? I feel they are quite selfish as we are mostly thinking about ourselves, and not the other people who have helped us a lot, or who are in need! So, this year, why not break the stereotypical trend and put our faith in God to help us achieve what we want. Whilst we help others and continue what we are already doing, doubling the effort, God always has the best plan for us, and if we do good things, we will surely be rewarded in return!

To start the New Year, I pray to God to put my parents on the top of His list for 2018 so I can continue making them happy as they are my main priority in life. How I will do this is:

  • To keep on being a good son to Mrs Mom and Mr Dad every day so I can be able to make them proud and give them what they deserve in return for their love towards me
  • To continue setting a good example to Fatimah and Ali and help them to do the same

I have full faith in God that He has the best plan for me because no matter how much trials I am put through in life, things always work out perfectly in the end with His countless blessings! He is indeed Al-Wahhab (The Supreme Bestower) as He has continuously gifted us no matter what!

And one thing we can all do to start the year on a good note is to give out to those who give to us, starting at home. Surprise our parents by doing something small around the house! Keep a good attitude and volunteer to help our parents. Don’t think of household tasks as chores where we’re wanting a reward in return, think of them as our responsibility as a member of the family. Of course, always be kind to our siblings too and avoid jealousy, or arguments – after all, siblings are some of God’s greatest gifts! Then reach out to the outside world, like the neighbours, and maybe even local community! From small things, like a smile, to big things, like donating money for a good cause, and all the stuff in between, everything can help and each little thing counts towards a better future! So, come on! If each and every one of us does this, then TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

p/s: …HELLO 2018!