Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Blogging sins and other stuff

This is Ainnayya at 2 months. She had started consciously smiling since she was about 10 days old. She also coos and gurgles and had been doing that at a month old. Yes advanced milestones , read why in my posting

My coach Micheal Heah . This was at Eastin in Damansara

Dr Qasim giving his lessons at Hotel City Villa. I was chairing for the 3 days.He is wearing a traditional outfit that he had made for his son's wedding earlier this year. He bought his daughter in law a pen drive. It seems that pen drives are cheaper here than in Dehi

I have committed several blogging sins...one of which is not updating my entry and the other is not doing the blog rounds and leaving apropriate comments on other bloggers site! Is that not the least I could do , since for sure I am not much in the social scene in my physical self. I remember the good old days when we kids used to visit with Mum and Dad . We went to people's houses , we talked and socialised ..at least Mum and Dad did. Their friends came over very often too and sometimes they talked and talked until they found it hard to leave each other . Where did those days disappear to?

I suppose I can answer my own question here: We replaced it with home theater, shopping trips , and for me, meetings ( NGO) seminars workshops and extra work!

Yes indeed I was busy again, so busy that in the 9 days between last Sunday and the Friday before last I was at home only 2 nights and worked exactly 2 days. I slept in a hotel for 3 nights, at my sister in laws for 3 nights , at my sister's for one night.

I was in Chowkit, Low Yat, Damansara,Melawati ,Kelang and Selayang, KLIA ( yes, had to send off Hana) not to mention at Melaka Sentral to catch a bus and at the KL Sentral station as well as the Kelang and Seremban komuter stations. And, on Monday ie yesterday I managed to develope a slight fever. I was a bit alarmed since it did not come acompanied by a cold or sore throat but this morning my voice is slighlty hoarse so I can write it off as a mere cold!

Why on earth am I on this hectic schedule ? I can well ask myself this question. A grandma already with grown children should have retired nicely and be content with looking after my lovely home and garden , having tea with friends and doing the weekend charity work . I wish !

It is not so easy really. I do not think I would be happy retiring ...hey let me rethink this. maybe I would be happy.....

Well ok let me reflect then on the things that I did:

Chair a homeopathy meeting and host Dr Qasim from Delhi: I learned quite a bit during the 3 days,met some very wonderful people and believe I am now very enthusiastic over improving my homeopathy..must read more material medica....It gave me more remedies to work on and a fresh look at ones I already use a lot of.

Attend a 3 day coaching workshop and at the same time get to know my sister in laws family better . I even took my brother in law to see an extremely wonderful Tabib. He is one of my homeopathy students and a great healer , having spent 6 months in a cave in Cairo learning Muslim medicene from Arab teachers . A very exclusive school mind you, you have to be recommended by an Al Azhar principle..he was recommened by Sheik Tantawi. Being with Syed Mohsin as he did his zikr and massage was an experience not to be missed . The energy of the Asma ul Husna is influencing me until today! And we had a discussion on Keris!This was at Ampang behind jalan U Thant..yes there is a kampung there behind all the huge Embassy buildings.

The coaching workshop was another eye opener. I think my energy shifted and I am ready to be a better coach as well as correct a few built in faults I have . Sobering to realise how good you are yet how bad....

I had to send a tearful Hana to the airport. My son drove and she put her head on my lap in the car and cried almost all the way to the airport.

On Saturday I almost sent an SMS telling Raji I could not make it for the PSM meeting because I was too tired but half way through I remembered my purpose and dragged myself to the meeting at Melawati .

My sister had invited us to a steam boat dinner and I went with my daughter son in law and grand daughter after the meeting. My grand daughter was the center of attraction as usual. My niece who had returned from her studies in Japan for a holiday bought her a baju beruang with the word irresistable written in scarlet . Appropriate indeed!

The training I did in Kelang was good too. I was much more aware of my faults from having attended the coaching class and I also shared with them in a different way than before . The lessons I had internalised from the coaching had made the difference. Indeed it is a blessing to be training as a coach under the only ICF coach in Malaysia , ie Micheal Heah.

It is off to Ipoh this Friday night to be panel member and host a talk show and the next few weekend are just as busy and dizzying... and I have not even began to tell you about my grand daughter who I find is advanced in her milestones. I think it has something to do with the loving attention all of us gave Mum and foetus when my daughter was pregnant..You can read about it


The article is in Bahasa Melayu and if you cannot read Melayu then my reference articles are

So peace: Fellow bloggers I beg your indulgence and forgiveness and ask you for prayers that I may go through my life with serenity ....

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Answer these questions !!

Are you a good problem solver?Yes
Can you concentrate for long periods of time?Yes
Are you perfectionistic?No
Do you persevere with your interests?Sometimes or maybe usually
Are you an avid reader? Yes
Do you have a vivid imagination?Yes
Do you enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles?No
Often connect seemingly unrelated ideas?Yes
Do you enjoy paradoxes?Yes
Do you set high standards for yourself?Yes
Do you have a good long-term memory?Yes
Are you deeply compassionate?I think so
Do you have persistent curiosity?Yes
Do you have an excellent sense of humor?Indeed
Are you a keen observer?Sometimes
Do you have a love of mathematics?No
Do you need periods of contemplation?Yes
Do you search for meaning in your life?Yes
Are you aware of things that others are not?Yes
Are you fascinated by words?Yes
Are you highly sensitive?Yes
Do you have strong moral convictions?Yes
Do you often feel out-of-sync with others?Yes oh yes
Are you perceptive or insightful?Yes
Do you often question rules or authority?Yes
Do you have organized collections?not very organised
Do you thrive on challenge?Yes or maybe not so..well maybe yes
Do you have extraordinary abilities and deficits?Deficits more likely
Do you learn new things rapidly?quite
Feel overwhelmed by many interests/abilities?Yes yes yes
Do you have a great deal of energy?When I am enthusiastic about something yes
Often take a stand against injustice?Yes
Do you feel driven by your creativity?Hmmmm
Love ideas and ardent discussion?Yes
Were you advanced developmentally in childhood?not particularly
Have unusual ideas or perceptions?Yes
Are you a complex person?Yes

Ok over to you Pycno , Dr Roza , Kenakalayan, Hana , Hilmi , Aiman , Jebat, Crimsonskye , New Mama, and Mama's baby Aimi , Bergen, And all others not mentioned sudilah kiranya to participate...

What does it all mean....I 'll tell you later...maybe....

Friday, March 03, 2006

Do we have one like him?

This is taken from a news article and I have been to his website

I was actually going to snip this short since I know attention spans can be pretty short and time is also short for the blog rounds...and to borrow from an internet email *thought virus* going around: funny how half an hour watching a sitcom is too short but half an hour reading something is too long...not that it would take half an hour to read this.

His articles are worth reading and upon reading it I was wishing Mawi did more than just say "worrrl"!
Do we have an icon like him that can influence the masses make them shape up , repair their own stuff and stop grumbling over 30 cent and cancel their subscription to Astro etc etc as Bergen has suggested .
If nobody volunteers , I would like to except I am a tad too old, what with being a grandmother and do not know enough teenage jargon...and am not too sure my overly serious tone would sit well with the people...so still calling for volunteers ...who is gonna be the Malaysian Amr Khaled? We need one!

Amr Khaled
Cairo -- As he leaves a press conference in Egypt's swanky Intercontinental Hotel, the wildly popular Muslim preacher Amr Khaled is mobbed by a crush of admirers waving, giggling and snapping his picture with their cell phones and digital cameras. Unruffled and gracious, the 38-year-old Egyptian grasps hands and kisses cheeks like a movie star. "I'm honored," he murmurs. "Bless you, thank you." "He's so cultured and eloquent," says Egyptian university student Aya Mahmoud Samy, 18, as she gazes after him. "He speaks right to your heart and makes religion so easy to understand." "Everyone loves him," adds her 25-year-old sister Mona, an interior designer. "It's because he's moderate and his style is very modern." A charismatic charmer who moves his audiences to tears with stories about the life of the prophet Muhammad and God's merciful love, the young "tele-Islamist" with an engaging smile, smart mustache, chic suits and open-collar shirts markets a trendy, self-help Islam that has more in common with the likes of Dr. Phil or Billy Graham than Osama bin Laden. Although Khaled is a lay preacher and not a religious scholar, he uses his television shows -- broadcast on Iqra, a Saudi-owned religious satellite channel -- to speak out against terrorism and despair. He emphasizes instead the importance of personal piety, political reform, social activism and coexistence with the West. His sermons promote charity work and job creation as a means of fighting extremism and despair among Arab and Muslim youth. Already a super-celebrity across the Arab world, Khaled is gaining popularity among Muslims in Europe and the United States who tune into his "Life Makers" and "In the Steps of the Prophet" or listen to MP3 recordings of his lectures online at his Web site, www.amrkhaled.net. He has at various times joined forces with the British government in promoting outreach to moderate Muslim leaders following last July's terrorist attack s on the London subway system; with the United Nations and World Health Organization in campaigns against drug and alcohol abuse; and even with Nike to promote job creation in the Middle East -- all part of his campaign to trigger a faith-based renaissance throughout the Muslim world. Khaled's latest proposal is a conference to promote Muslim-Western understanding and tolerance. He wants to hold the event in Denmark, where cartoons lampooning Muhammad were published, igniting furious protests across the globe. He plans to follow up with a series of round-table discussions between Western and Arab youth across Europe and hopes to visit the United States for the first time this summer. "There are extremists everywhere, on both sides, Muslim and Danish," Khaled told the recent press conference, describing his new idea with the same energized inflections and passionate gestures that he uses on TV. "They're pushing us toward isolation. Let me ask you, young Muslims: Do you want to alienate the Muslim nation? What kind of world do you want 25 years from now? Do you want Muslims isolated from the world community, or do you want to coexist with each other?" As a moderate Muslim from Alexandria who grew up in a secular, upper-middle-class household, Khaled says he is proof that being religious does not have to mean being old-fashioned or fanatical. Although he is conservative on such matters as women's traditional dress and sexual abstinence before marriage, he favors a relaxed conversational style of preaching that uses the colloquial slang of Cairo youth. "I speak their language," he said. "For a long time no one spoke to the youth in this way." Criticized as a lightweight by some intellectuals and sheikhs, Khaled responds by citing his viewers' responses. Thousands have joined in his campaigns to collect clothes for the poor, boycott cigarettes and alcohol, plant trees in pollution-plagued Arab cities and write letters to record companies decrying the exploitation of women's bodies in music videos. Teenagers form clubs, wear T-shirts and carry key chains bearing slogans from his TV programs: "Together we make life" and "We are life makers not life takers." His DVDs, CDs and tapes are as popular as the albums of the hottest Arab pop stars and often are sold in the same stores. Khaled's success is not just a matter of style, but of ideology, said Mohammed Hammam, the former head of Iqra's youth programming and now a consultant on Khaled's "Life Makers" program. "The problem with Islamic TV shows was that they used to have sheikhs, 60 or 70 years old, speaking in a very monotonous way and sitting in a room with books on the shelves -- very cheap books, in fact -- handing down their wisdom to the audience," Hammam said in an interview. "This was the people's perception of Islam. Amr Khaled managed to create a new product. It's a concept he's building from nowhere. He's trying to pass his enthusiasm through people's souls in order to awaken them from this long spiritual death." "He makes us feel self-worth and see powers within us that we might have misused," said Miriam Nasr El Shenawi, a 22-year-old student at the American University in Cairo. "Instead of sitting bored in front of the TV, we can do something good for our society. And he makes you more in love with God. He makes you feel nothing's impossible -- that you can solve your problems with the right attitude." For Nashwa Awad, a 34-year-old Egyptian tour guide and working mother, Khaled's programs are attractive because his sermons defy the stereotype that Islam represses women. She likes his emphasis on the importance of women's leadership in the Arab world. Khaled tells his television audiences that Muslim culture produced great female poets, a woman founded the first hospital, and Islam gave women the right to their own money centuries before the West accepted that idea. "He's not strict, and Islam is really like that,"! Awad said. "Women in the Arab world face very great oppression and, unfortunately, this oppression is in the name of Islam, but Islam is innocent," Khaled said. "This injustice is due to old traditions and wrong ideas that wear the guise of Islam. Who says a woman cannot be a president of a state? Who says a woman cannot be a judge? Who? Who says not allowing women these rights are ideas or rules of Islam? Unfortunately, some traditional sheikhs defend this idea using flawed logic." Despite his studiously apolitical discourse, Khaled was forced to leave Egypt in 2002. He was attracting crowds in the tens of thousands at Cairo's mosques, and jittery Egyptian authorities, wary of his popularity and growing influence, told him he either had to stop preaching or leave. Khaled moved to the United Kingdom with his wife and young son Ali, but continued to beam his TV programs into Egypt and the rest of the Arab world. Rather than stifling him, the Egyptian ban helped Khaled's popularity soar. "The absence of Amr Khaled and other popular preachers and their forced exile was not a smart move on the part of the regime, which has a very strong vested interest in maintaining influential, moderate Islamic preachers," said Emad Shahin, a political science professor at the American University in Cairo. "The vacuum created by their absence is now leading to a state of polarization between the regime and the Islamists." The Egyptian government seems to be reconsidering its stance toward Khaled. Shortly after a string of terrorist attacks on Egyptian soil last year, he was allowed back into the country for the first time in three years. Since then, he has visited regularly and opened a new Cairo office for his British-based charity Right Start, though he still cannot preach in public. He says the West must be willing to listen to the majority of Muslims who, like him, are moderates, but who nevertheless feel oppressed and misunderstood. "Bin Laden is saying he is talking on behalf of Muslims," Khaled said. "Who asked him to talk on behalf of us? Nobody. But now I'm talking on behalf of millions. They asked me to carry their voice to the world. So please, please listen to these people. Right now the extremists are a minority, but if you don't do anything, they will be a majority."

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Suggestions for bored office workers

This is from my help column. I had 2 messages from 2 different people about their disatisfaction over their jobs. One thought she was not getting a job according to her qualifications and another felt that she is in a safe job but that it was boring and she did not like to have a boss and to be bossed around. Interesting issues ! I will update this with my thoughts later but in the meantime I apologise to my non Malay speaking readers because I am pasting part of my answer here in Bahasa Melayu.

This is added on later as promised. On the issue of being unhappy in the workplace, there are a few issues that I can see here.
For one thing, when one is bored or feels unhappy it may mean that one is not using one's talents gifts and skills and , the job is not inline with one's personality.
Bosses , especially those emotionally stupid ones will suppress as much as they can the creativity of their staff and create yes men and yes women , robotic automatons who do not think but just follow orders.
Very few bosses actually empwer their staff and those who do will have happy staff who will feel much fulfilled since they are allowed to use their creativity. The company also ends up better for the creativity of the staff will make for innovations in the company.
As for the present day rat race dog eat dog situation present in most working environments, I really do not have anything to say , only that I hope no readers here are exposed to such working environments where the ones who suffer most are the ones who are the lowest in the hirarchy because the top guy will be under pressure to meet deadlines and he will thus ketok his managers who will ketok the engineers who will ketok the technicians who will then ketok the supervisors all the way down to the lowly operators who will have no one to ketok and may take it out on their children or spouse or get sick !
What if anything can one do about it short of taking off and becoming self employed which is another scary prospect for most people , or another alternative is to sit ( work ) sweetly at home and let somebody else bring in the bread!Mind you being the House Manager is not all too pleasant a job either although it has its extremely rewarding moments .

Having set up the scenario , what can one do about it if one is one of the beleagured office worker? Firstly I would just like to say that some of the greatest spiritual personalities worked in the most menial jobs, many of them were not very well known indeed except in some very special circles . A famous one is Saydina Ali may God be pleased with him. He worked as labourer if and when needed to earn just enough for him and his family. He may not have liked doing hard manual labour but I am sure he did whatever required to the best of his ablity to earn what his family needed. So the first thing I would point to is that work is honorable and fairly and justly earned money is blessed and a blessing to the one whose blood sweat and tears earned it . ( And I hope the people at home appreciate how hard it is to earn it)
Next, We may think we deserve better work but in order to get better work, one better get better skills or skills that are in demand because there is no point thinking you should be getting the salary of a degree holder when the course you took to get your degree is a superflous one that is not in demand or, is too common. Learning a new skill is never a waste of time . I had thought for example , if I had found myself jobless ( ie no demand for doctors cos there are too many around ..will it happen do you think?) that I could probably earn my living as a cook since I am sure I can cook up a feast oh so tasty...I could also probably earn my keep doing translations other stuff which are now merely hobbies. So the next point is learn as many skills and be as flexible and versatile as can be as well as be willing to see oneself in various jobs.
The next point is to take responsibility over decisions made and not put the blame on the boss, the environment your parents etc. A victim mentality means we cannot change things because the fault lies with others . On the other hand making an assessment of what we can do about it and owning that whatever situation we find ourselves in is our own doing means we can change what we are doing and the outcome would also change.
And last but not least is something that is so basic and simple but seldom done: Count our blessings and be grateful for what we have . So many others have no jobs or are in some ways in worse situations..I know it is a boring answer but there you go!
I remember one day as I was struggling into my husband's old black mercedes ( because my hands were full of bags , the newspaper, a file, my drinking water etc) well not extremely old, about 10 years old..and upon going in wrinkled up my nose at the stale smell of the car , what with somebody spilling something like juice in it a few days back..I saw a boy on a motorbike looking at me as I drove off....and I thought to myself , he probably thinks how wonderful to own a mercedes such as I was driving...and there I was grumbling it is too big , too smelly etc and etc...so I stopped for a moment to send a prayer ..Dear Lord, Ya Rabb, I thank you much for being able to afford this car ...and to be comfortably driving in it safe from the rain and safe from the hot sun , safe from clumsy motorists who drive into motobikers .


Ini adalah saranan saya bagi semua pekerja yang rasakan apa yang dia sedang lakukan adalah boring. Saya sendiri telah menghadapi perasaan yang sama dan nasihat yang saya berikan ini adalah langkah-langkah yang saya sendiri lalui untuk selesaikan masaalah saya.
1. Ambil tanggung jawab atas keadaan sekarang dan terima dia se-adanya sebab ramai lagi yang dalam situasi yang lebih teruk: Ini perlukan perubahan sikap dan perubahannya adalah kita redha ketetapan Allah keatas diri kita sekarang. Saya bincang perubahan sikap dengan lebih terperinci di bawah ini.

2. Amalkan doa
Allahuma inni a'uzubika minal hammi wal hazan
Ya Allah lindungi laa aku dari menyesalkan perkara yang lepas dan merisaukan perkara yang akan datang .

3. Kira semua nikmat Allah swt telah berikan kepada anda sekarang dan ucap syukur banyak banyak mudah mudahan dengan sikap syukur dan redha Allah swt akan memberikan lagi rezeki melimpah limpah

4.Di samping redha dan terima keadaan,kita pertingkatkan diri kita supaya boleh mengubah keadaan dan mendapat kerjaya yang lebih sesuai dengan naluri dan kecederungan kita sendiri.

Apa yang perlu berubah dalam diri anda?
Sikap tidak berpuas hati kepada sikap mensyukuri nikmat
Sikap merasakan diri terlalu tinggi untuk jawatan yang ada kepada sikap meningkatkan diri untuk meningkatkan mutu kerja..sebagai peringatan, kelayakkan atas kertas tidak sama dengan kemampuan yang ada pada kita.
Sikap membuang masa dengan rasa boring/kesihan diri /mengangis dan meratap kepada sikap menggunakan masa untuk berbuat perkara yang berguna.
Sikap menyalahkan keadaan dan juga menyalahkan majikan, ibu bapa dan lain lain kepada sikap bertanggung jawab atas segala yang berlaku pada diri sebagai rentetan dari keputusan dan juga pemikiran diri kita sendiri yang mampu di ubah, ie dari mentaliti mangsa kepada mentaliti pemerkasaan. Inilah ertinya * freedom of choice* yang Allah swt telah berikan kepada manusia dan inilah ertinya bahawa segala kebaikkan datang dari Allah dan segalah keburukkan adalah perbuatan kita sendir sama ada kita sedar atau kita tidak sedar. Dengan kita mengambil langkah pemerkasaan ini, kita tidak lagi merasakan bahawa kita terpaksa buat itu dan ini. Jika keputusan kita adalah untuk tidak mencari kerja lain maka itu keputusan kita yang kita perlu senangi dan buatlah sebaik yang boleh.

Akhirkata: Setiap pekerjaan yang mencari rezeki yang halal ada dalamnya keberkatan dan jika kita buat sebaik yang boleh dalam menjalankan amanah dalam kerja , sikap postif kita akan buka jalan kepada yang lebih cocok dan baik untuk kita.