This post is a reflection of the impact one patient had on my appreciation of my culture.
The patient was an elderly man. He resembled a grandad figure. When I was caring for him, I naturally began to speak our native language. The moment I spoke a word of my mother tongue, his eyes lit up. I could see his shocked face, albeit a positive shock. It was almost as if those native words perked him up.
He had been in hospital for a short while, and was fed up of being in a dependent state. In punjabi, he confided in me. He vented his frustrations and fears. I empathised with him, and provided the much needed reassurance he needed. He was nothing short of grateful once we had delivered the required care. As I was about to leave his cubicle, he stopped me and gave me blessings, calling me his daughter. Of course I did explain to him that there was no need to thank me as it was my duty. Regardless, he kept showering myself and my colleague with compliments and words of gratitude.
When I spoke to him in Punjabi, I restored a sense of comfort within him. Similar to the comfort of having a sense of being at home. We sometimes forget, as children of imigrants, the sacrifices the generations before us made for us to have a good life in a different country with a good education and unlimited opportunities. Our parents and grandparents left the comforts of being in a country where they could easily communicate with everyone, to come to a new country where tasks as simple as going to the shops could be a challenge due to the unfamiliar language spoken by everyone else.
Imagine how scary the situation he was in could be. Being in hospital is not a great situation as it is, but struggling to speak the same language as all of the staff caring for you too? Now that makes the situation more uncomfortable for the patient. I was quite surprised to see how much comfort and relief I could bring to my patient just by speaking our mother tongue. I know that made his stay in hospital just that little bit more better.
This just shows the importance of staying in touch with your own culture. My ability to speak Punjabi is most definitely not the greatest, but I do make a conscious effort to try. It’s important for the youth of every culture to actively engage in their respective cultures and maintain their ability to speak their native language. We don’t want there to be a communication gap between the oldest and youngest generation; we want to avoid alienation between generations.
A reflection on a passion of mine: Bhangra.
Bhangra is a traditional punjabi folk dance, originating from a northern state of India called Punjab.
There is a growing Bhangra scene across the world. Something that really warms my heart is seeing people from other cultures grow passionate about this dance style.
I’ve noticed that there are teams that have more non-punjabi’s than punjabi’s, who still dance their hearts out on stage. It makes me proud as a punjabi person to see such enjoyment in these dancers’ faces as they get fully involved in something that is a prominent part of my rich culture.
Bhangra is a beautiful yet powerful dance style in its own right, with punjabi culture rooted deeply within the traditional dance moves.
The beauty of cultural dances is that they are open for everyone to try. They’re a very fun and active way to learn about other cultures. I would most definitely recommend trying a dance from a different culture; a very enriching experience indeed.
A short blabbering of some random thoughts.
We are multidimensional
Often we feel the need to label ourselves, and in most cases we do so by our occupation or what we are studying.
It’s important to remember that as humans we are all multidimensional.
Yes we have our career oriented side, but we may also have a side that’s passionate about a hobby, or a side that’s dedicated to caring for family or a side that’s in love with travelling the world.
A while back I felt a bit lost about myself and needed to do something to restore some confidence. I decided to list down the many different things that I am. The longer the list grew, the more I reminded myself of how much I’ve accomplished in my life so far.
It put a few things into perspective and gave me that much needed boost.
I would most definitely recommend this to anyone else in a rut. Regardless of how few dimensions you think you have, this exercise will force you to analyse yourself and realise how much you have to offer as a person.
When people meet me, depending on the situation, they often encounter only one dimension of me. I have an internal conflict where I want to share all dimensions of me at once but I also want to hold something back, as if I’m packaging a surprise to be opened later.
I guess if people stick around for long enough, they’ll see a lot more!
If not, hopefully what they do encounter still leaves a positive mark.
Either way I shouldn’t forget what I am.
I am a firm believer in doing things for yourself. By this, I mean working hard to achieve your goals to make you proud of YOURSELF. But in order to do this you have to remain motivated. Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself with just the sense of self achievement. At times like this, I call upon the motivation of making those who mean the world to me proud.
Regardless of how much of an “I did it on my own” kind of person you are, there tends to be a supportive network behind the accomplishments. You probably had lots of support and positive influence from some special people, most likely from a young age. For many this is their parents. They worked hard themselves to give you the best life possible; they taught you life lessons and provided the means for you to have the opportunity to succeed and enjoy your life.
So when motivation is low, just think to youself…‘I am not only doing this for me, but I am doing this for THEM’. Make their efforts and sacrifices worth it.
Make THEM proud of you, whoever those special people may be.
Hopefully this gives you a kick up the backside to get back on that grind.
Recently I had a conversation with a friend about why we can’t get mad at certain people; by certain people, I mean our friends, or even members of our family.
Upon pondering this phenomenom I concluded a few things.
We can swallow our pride for these people. Normally, when we are in a conflicting sitaution with someone we don’t know well, or rather someone we don’t mind showing who’s boss, we are very quick to try to assert our authority. It’s only natural. I can imagine that this is an evolutionary instinct; we feel the need to stand our ground for survival purposes. This is understandable, it’s a tough dog eat dog world out there and sometimes we need to put our foot down. But for those certain special people, we are willing to let it slip and quickly move on. It’s because we value that friendship, or relationship, too much.
It may be that the reason why we were mad at the person in the first place probably was not that strong of a reason. The more we ponder upon a situation, the more we realise how silly or minor it actually is.
Here’s a tip to try to rationalise whether an ‘issue’ as is actually worth the argument: either try or imagine explaining the situation to someone else. Do you sound a bit silly? Does the situation sound minor? If so then allow it. It’s obviously not worth it.
There’s something amazing about friends that’s also the reason why they are so annoying… we can’t get mad at them! This is also a true sign of friendship. So, next time you want to tell a friend off and end up not doing so, just curse them under your breath and laugh it off.. or better still they’ll end up making you smile when you try!
Around 20 years ago I was in a situation which could have resulted in me leaving this world.
But that was not the outcome.
I am here.. living, breathing and existing.
I am so grateful for everything…
My freedom to pursue my passions and hobbies
I am grateful to know what happiness feels like.
I am truly blessed.
Thank you to everyone who has ever contributed to a blessing of mine, may it be in a happy or challenging experience. Even struggles are blessings in disguise.
We are often put under the misconception that we have to find our best friends or life partners within the people we meet in typical life situations, such as school, work or uni.
This is just a reminder that there are over 7 billion people on the planet!
Within those 7 billion lurks your best friends, your soulmate and your family.
So don’t panic if you can’t find those special people within your local environment, they may be elsewhere.
We often forget that we’re stuck in our own bubbles, and that there are loads of other people out there. Try to imagine the bigger picture.
Bearing all of this in mind, that does not mean that you should hate or put no effort with the people within your life because you’re convinced that these are not your people. You should still try to make the most of the time you have with those people. Make the experience you have with those people a positive one. A little bit of effort can go a long way. My general moto in life is to enjoy it as much as possible in an attempt to reach fulfilment. For me that means making every experience I have as positive as possible, therefore I make an effort with everyone I encounter within different situations.
I have been lucky enough to find some of those special people in these “typical life situations”.
How do I know they’re special?
I connect with them in a way that makes their presence feel like home.
I feel comfortable around these people, I can fully be myself. My laughs around these people are genuine. Nothing is forced in my behaviour around these people. I can talk about the strange ideas and philosophical concepts that I ponder upon with these people. I feel confident and good about myself around these people.
I am GENUINELY happy around these people.
If you’ve found these people, then cherish them and maintain that bond with them regardless of your modern busy lifetyles. Friendships like these will last a lifetime.
This is a just a random epiphany I had the other day when thinking about an embarrassing situation. I ended up trying to fathom the logic behind what makes a situation embarrassing.
I’ve concluded that it’s quite simply one thing… Other people’s judgement.
When something embarrassing occurs, our initial reaction is “what will others think?” Or “omg everyone saw that they all think I’m an idiot”. And to that I say OH WELL. We live in a harsh world where things won’t always go our way, we just have to accept these situations, deal with them and MOVE ON.
The feeling of embarrassment is a man made emotion in the sense that it’s based on how society reacts to a situation.
This is my theory of the evolutionary benefits of embarrassment:
The negative judgment of the action by the cohort of people you want to maintain face with would mean that they may be apprehensive to allow you into their social group. Evolutionarily, we need a group of people to be part of to survive in terms of working as a functional group to carry out essential survival tasks.
However this evolutionary benefit is not as relevant to social circumstances anymore.
If we stopped judging, or avoided externally showing our judgment, then embarrassing situations would be no way near as traumatising. Also, it would be handy if we just MOVED ON from the situation and avoided holding it over the person’s head. This would in turn reduce negativity in the world, I’d hope. If the embarrassing situation was quite funny, then use it for amusement but not at the person’s expense. By this I mean use it to help them laugh it off… It could even be a conversation starter with that person and could break a barrier. You could end up easing into a friendship this way. I guess I’m being a bit optimistic now and I’m getting carried away with this post, woops.
The point I’m trying to make is don’t make someone feel uncomfortable about an embarrassing situation, just move on and be nice about it. We’ve all been there!
P.S: you might think this is a load of crap, but this is me putting my thoughts in a hopefully coherent form for when I need to dish it out as advice… Safeee
My greatest comfort in life is knowing that I’ve tried my best.
We have limited control in this world, but we CAN take advantage of the control that we do have.
That’s why when it comes to anything important in my life, I put in 200% of my energy.
I focus on the goal and most importantly I try my absolute best as that is genuinely the most productive thing I can do.
It’s important to recognise this. This is how I limit and manage stress.
I take comfort in knowing that I have put in the hours, that I have worked hard, that I have remained resilient at the time when I needed to be and that I have TRIED MY BEST.
There’s no substitute for your best effort. Your best effort is all anyone could ever ask for.
Cliché title, I know.
Recently I’ve been on a journey with a group of people… a team… a family.
The camaraderie I’ve developed with these people will not fizzle out.
There’s something about the bond you develop with the group of people who you embark on a long journey with. I’ve thought and reflected on why this is. We all started the experience effectively as people different to who we became by the end of the process. We’ve all developed our own skills and strengthened both our physical and mental robustness.
Psychology would say that we have conditioned ourselves to associate each other with this new mindset to keep pushing ourselves. Seeing eachother now will subconcsiously remind us of the challenges we overcame and personal development we undertook.
What we’ve learnt and exercised from this experience in terms of personal development will be of a great value.
So if you are about to embark on a journey with a team, be prepared to learn from others and reflect any good qualities put into practice. Thrive off of the good energy within the team and challenge that into achieving your final goal or product.