ENVIRONMENT TODAY Environment today is worsening along with time and worse; it does notseem to draw the attention of the people. The main cause of this crisisis in the name of development and industrialization. The saddest truthis no one gives a „DAMN‟. If nothing is done, it will definitely be animpediment to developments and is not only happening in Malaysia butaround the globe. All of us living here on this planet are losing ourconscience and have conveniently ignored our responsibility to care forthe environment. There is not much awareness in today‟s youngergeneration about the seriousness of this matter. What they think aboutis their career and being well being in life but have missed the pointthat our environment is a catastrophe in the making if we give a closedpair of eyes to it. Pollution, disasters, diseases, loss of innocentlives, and depletion of natural sources to name a few would be staringat us soon and would be the news of the day. All these could be avoidedand e\averted if every single soul living on this earth gives a thoughtand cares for our environment. On hand, we have pollution to water, land and noise. The most lifethreatening and hazardous is air pollution. Open burnings, especiallythe haze from Indonesia and on a lesser extent locally plus the smokereleased from the exhaust pipes, unfiltered smoke tunnels, cigarettesand hazardous chemical fumes from factories are the main pollutants. Itcauses illness and put lives at stake, sickness like asthma, breathingdifficulties, cancerous diseases on the airways, lungs and otherrespiratory organs would be on the rise. Our government would lose millions of ringgit in term of loss ofrevenue from tourism (haze especially), loss pf productive labour hoursthrough illness and higher ill. This money would have been channelledto better use like education and eradication of poverty. Water that we consume everyday has gone through a labyrinth processesbefore it is fit for drinking. Sad to say, more and more rivers arecontaminated with wastes discharged by unscrupulous individuals stayingnearby, factories and other factors. This is far beyond tolerance andthe authorities must act promptly as it will kill the aquatic lives,which causes disruption on the ecological system. For those who areliving in the outskirts of consuming the contaminated water especiallyif it has not gone through the thorough purification process. A very good example is the recent case in Nilai when an unscrupulouschemical manufacturing company dumped all their wastes near a rivercausing an evacuation of all the people living nearby who were exposedto dangers of emission of sulphuric fumes. The company was charged andfined. However, a harsher punishment with mandatory jail sentenceshould be imposed to serve as a deterrent to the intending offender. Recently, in a program in the National Geographic Channel, there was afinding by NASA scientists that there is a huge iceberg melting due tothe warming of the Earth. If we choose to ignore this and close oureyes, mind you, this will cause massive flooding and tsunami, alsothere is a possibility that we will be living in ice age. Let‟s look at a broader horizon where appalling disasters that wipeout vast areas are caused by our own hands, logging (legal andillegal). This is one of the activities that cause tremendousecological system disruption. Landslides and soil erosions areimminent, tumultuous floods drowning cities and provinces with deathtolls that wrench our hearts over the lost of the number of innocentlives, which we conveniently blame on vicious act of nature but we haveall forgotten it is the price we pay for development. Economic pressure to sustain and compete in today‟s demanding world isthe main factor of rapid development taking place, often neglecting theimportance of ecological balance. Resources are being managed poorlyand are exhausting at an alarming and critical rate. The management ofresources must be done meticulously and efficiently especiallypetroleum, gas, minerals and coal to avoid scarcity and unnecessaryextensive excavation and mining activities that spell pollution,landslides and erosions. Fortunately, our government have madeprodigious efforts to preserve our environment by implementing strictrules and regulations, mass awareness campaigns, gazettes forests, andmany other actions. It has been provided in the national forest act1993 to preserve our rich forest that offers an array of diversity offauna and flora species. To eradicate illegal loggings, illegal loggerswill be penalized a maximum sum of RM500, 000 and a mandatory jailsentence of 20 years. Many other laws and rules are introduced topreserve our nature and to contain pollution in our country. Globally, many campaigns are launched to create awareness andcultivate the care for our environment especially among the youngergeneration. There are some highly prominent non- governmental bodieswhich are contributing to the world in saving our nature, and hadinitiated many well-responded campaigns, for example, WWF (WorldWildlife Fund), ACAP (Asian Conservation Awareness Program), GreenPeace, and the list goes on. The Earth day is celebrated on 22nd ofApril every year to inculcate the value of caring for environment andto reinforce, the world‟s representative has made it clear in theUnited Nation‟s congress that economy development and modernizationsmust be done within the line drawn to ensure the ecological system inbalance and not leaving a legacy of disaster for our grandchildren. The support of the people is paramount importance otherwise all theefforts of these good and great people (NGO) would go into the wastebins. The key to garner this support is awareness and of course themost important is education. The education ministries should have asubject or topics on the issues faced by our environment and themeasures to save our Earth. The face of our Earth is being brutally defaced every second and allof us breathing here, must stand up and be counted that this problemmust be resolved and play our part in saving our Earth! The destiny ofour Earth is in our hands and we must cohesively with the governmentand legislative bodies to manage environment issues efficiently andeffectively because „An Issue Unattended Is a Crisis invited.‟ Jealousy What is jealousy? Jealousy is a disposition in which we feel angryor unhappy because we do not posses something that someone possesses orbecause someone we like or love shows interest in someone else.Jealousy is an undesirable emotion that can lead to a lot ofunhappiness and even murder. Jealousy over material possessions is quite common amongst people-young and old. Among youths, it can be simple things like an expensivepencil pouch, branded garments and flashy cars. They are the symbols ofstatus, wealth and style and are much desired by youths. As a result,they are also the provocations of jealousy. The few who can afford themtend to be ostentatious while the many cannot afford them feel jealous.These feelings of jealousy can result in arguments, quarrels and evenfights. The effects of jealousy can be harmful. Let us deal with jealousyamong youths over material things like expensive possessions anddesigner garments. It is a fact of life that this is a materialisticworld and youths with expensive possessions tend to show off so as toattract groovy company. It is a fact that some are born lucky. So, itis better for those who are less lucky not to be jealous of the luckyones. If they are jealous of others, they will only make themselvesunhappy and in the process, become unsociable themselves. They tend tocompare and complain too much and too often. They will make themselvesvery unpleasant company in the presence of others and even their bosombuddies will gradually shy away from them. How can adolescents like us rid ourselves of feelings of jealousy?Among our friends and schoolmates, there are those who are wealthy andbrainy. There are those who possess status symbols and attain stellaracademic grades. We should open up ourselves and accept the reality ofcircumstances. Be modest. Have a good and sincere word of complimentfor whatever is good and amazing. Do not wrap ourselves up in pettyjealousies. That way, we will be happier with ourselves and feelcomfortable in the company of friends. Jealousy is an insidious disposition. It is a natural streak in manyof us and it can gradually harm our personality. It can be an obstaclethat can hold us back from doing something good for ourselves. So, bepositive in outlook. Be envious of others by all means but never bejealous as envy can be turned into motivation to try harder in whateverwe do. So, do no be jealous. Be envious, if you like. Love Conquers All Love is an affection felt for a special person that comes from a trueheart. I believe whole-heartedly that love conquers all. Love cannot becompared with wealth or even earthly things in which the saying “Money can‟t buy love‟ is very true. Love can be shared among spouses,friends, family members and even can be shown through patriotism. Loveis forgiving as love means never having to say you‟re sorry. Besidesthat, love is also an act of unselfishness whereby we learnt to shareboth our happiness and blues with that someone you love. With theexistence of love, man can be joyous. At times, love cannot be portrayed by words only but also shown bytreating that someone with care and patience. Love can build up astrong bond in one‟s relationship with another. As such, a harmoniousatmosphere can be formed. Consequently, conflicts between twoparticular parties can be avoided. Love can also stop war. Throughlove, men learn to be kind, caring, patient and other moral values canbe instilled in them too. One‟s life will be happier if love is aroundhim. What‟s the use of getting all the riches in the world but islacking of love? This is indeed wealth─truelove. Love overcomes hatred which is the root to crimes such askilling. This proves that love conquers violence. We know for a factthat there‟s a number of crime such as murder committed by their ownrelatives and according to the police‟s investigations, their motivesare to look for revenge, jealousy and so on. Many would wonder whatfactor that leads to such act. This tragic phenomenon can be avoided iflove exists. One who has love will not hurt someone else just for the pleasure ofit. The nature and animals will not be mistreated by men if they learnto love. Therefore, the ecosystem can be maintained. Pollutions such aswater pollution, air pollution and so on that may contribute in thespreading of bacteria and viruses which can deteriorate our health canbe put a stop if we love the environment. Love can also free us fromsufferings. For example, if one loves himself, he will not get involvein any unhealthy lifestyles such as clubbing. Thus, he will not fallinto temptations that can lead to death. In other words, he has bettertomorrow. Social issues among youths will not arise if they are taught to loveand being loved by their parents. With their parents‟ attention andpassion towards them, they will be drawn far away from social- illsactivities. Besides that, child-abuse cases will also eventuallydecreases if one has love. The world will be a happier place to live ifwe love one another. This can be shown when one helps the victims ofthe natural phenomenon such as the tsunami that hit our countryrecently. With the love from the public, the victims able to stand upand continue their lives in no time. The less-fortunate, the handicapsand others are being encouraged to carry in their lives by the lovefrom society. Patient diagnosed with a kidney failure is given a chanceto live by a doctor who has love. It is no doubt that love conquers all. Everything we do will be asuccess if we do it with love and passion. So, start a life filled withlove and do not hesitate to show love to others. Money by itself surely cannot bring happiness. “Look at your health, if youhave it, praise God and value it next to the good conscience; forhealth is the second blessing we mortals are capable of, a blessingthat money cannot buy.” -Izaak Walton. These are words of wisdom none would question their validity. Thechoice between money and health is a favourite topic people like toargue about, however the argument pointless as in the end, people willthink that health is paramount compared to money. The twentienth century we are living in has been labeled in variousways – the age of affluence, the age of illusion, the age of atrocityand so on but the age of greed is perhaps as a good a label as anyother. There is no denying the value of money and the pleasure ofenjoying it, however there are basic issues involved. If money can beobtained only after a huge amount of sacrifice, is that worth it? Is itreally necessary for human being to go on increasing their needs andtemporary pleasures? Or would it be wiser to impose one‟s needs? Peopleget so busy in getting money that they forget how to enjoy it! Engaged in getting money, man has no time for his family or hisfriends and even for his health. On the other hand, the pursuit ofmoney may threaten both his physical and spiritual health. Besidesthat, his desire for power and money may lead him to go astray hencethe long-time enigma of how much evil is justified to get the good issolved Let‟s take on an example, this example is actually one of theparables found in the Bible, it begins like this: Now a man came up toJesus and asked. “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternallife?” Then Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not steal, do not commitadultery, honour your father and mother and love your neighbour as wellas yourself.” “I have kept this since I was young!” said the man.Without any hesitation, Jesus said again “If you want to be perfect,sell your belongings and give them to the poor heard this, he went awaysadly because he had great wealth. The figurative meaning of this parable is money is not the mostimportant thing in the world and it can‟t bring happiness by itself. Inthe story, the young man cannot let go of his wealth because he stillhas greediness in his blood which is one on the most deadly sins,therefore it is true to say that it is easier for a camel to go throughthe eye of needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. If one has to choose, definitely health is better than wealth. Ahealthy person can look after not only himself but also others. Incontrary, an ailing person is a drain on other. Well, he can buymedicines, pay a visit to a health resort or long hospitalization butit can neither buy health nor happiness. Ask a rich man who has beenthrough along illness, will he be happy. He will answer “no” because hehas been attacked by viruses which make him suffer each day. Money is the value of the man-made world-not of the world Godcreated while happiness comes from the inner heart of human, forinstance, the poor who lived in a small hut, eating sweet potatoeseveryday with other family members maybe happier than a rich man wholives in a mansion, eating abalone‟s but lives alone. In this case, theelement which exist the happiness is love not money. In conclusion,money by itself surely never brings happiness to anyone. QUALITIES OF A FRIEND Everyday we meet people. Many of them become instant acquaintancesand most acquaintances bloom into friendship. Often this transitionperiod occurs gradually. Friends come into ours lives and go. Few staya while longer and fewer still leave footprints in our hearts and thesands of time. Who is a friend and what are the qualities a friend should possess?The definition of a friend and friendship varies with each individual.For me, a good friend is someone who understands me, accepts me forwhat I am and at the same time inspires me to do the best. At apersonal level, a true friend should not give up on me, should alwaysforgive my mistakes and never judge me by actions as sometimes myactions may be rash and inconsiderate. We live in a very competitive world. Most of us are caught up in therat race of paper chase, mounting work pressure and demanding familycommitments take a toll on our time and energy. Consequently most of usexperience mood swings due to high expectations placed upon us. It isduring times like these, when we are burdened with responsibilities andlife seems to be an endless uphill struggle, that we seek the comforting words of a friend; a friend who urges youto pick up the pieces and move on. A good friend is always there tolend a helping hand or to lend us a shoulder to cry on. At the same time, a friendshould be trustworthy and loyal. When friends trust us with secrets, weshould never betray their confidence. No one can confide in someonewhom he cannot trust to keep his secrets. True friendship is demanding. It requires loyalty, trust, empathy,support and understanding. However, one should never expect suchvirtues in a friend unless he is willing to offer these virtues inreturn. In other words, one must be a friend to have a friend. It may be impossible to find all these virtues in a single friend.However, should I come across such a friend; I shall treasure ourfriendship for life. As I reminisce about the good times I have sharedwith the best of my friends, the words of William Shakespeare keepsringing in my ears. „The friends thou has, and their adoption tired, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.” Yes, friendship that has stood the test of time should be most revered and happy is the man who is blessed with such a friend. A FATHER-DAUGHTER THING For each problem my teenage daughter tells me, mine are only 2 foldsof what she has. She never knows that whenever I answer, “Its ok lifegoes on. There‟s always tomorrow.” It is because I‟m tired from a harddays work. Come to think of it, that‟s what my father said when Ipounded him with my teenage woes back then. All I hear from my daughter is her infatuation problems, girl power,the latest fad and of course, a raise in her allowance. Recently, shehad a crush on Adam Brody, some teen movie stars sensation. Whenever Icall him Adam. Nobody I get a whack on the arm. I‟m thankful though,that she was in a girls‟ school. No worries of any boy problems for nowuntil I ship her off to a nunnery. But that‟s probably wishful thinkingseeing my daughter has a mind of her own. She continues to lecture me on women rising in power. In otherwords, she daily rents on battling the so-called popular girls inschool. Yesterday, some girls named Brittanny called her a fashionretard when she wore her favourite earring, a plastic panda face.Anyway the girl was caught red-handed while applying eyeliner in thetoilets. Serves her right, my daughter and I agreed. In the middle of our conservation, I noticed that her neckline werea little too low, and showing a little too much! She retaliates it bysaying that it‟s the latest fashion flare.” How would you like your ownmother dress like that?” I pointed to my wife in the kitchen.Dramatically, she squealed and ever so much like a damsel in thedistress, „fainted‟. Within seconds, she woke up and upstairs to changeinto some proper clothes, the bunny pyjamas which I brought her lastyear. In not more then fifteen minutes, she came down and flopped herselfat my side just like she used to when she was 5.She put on an innocent,look and even reminded me that she scored an A plus in last month‟sscience test. “Do you want something?” I interrupted her. With pleadingpuppy dog eyes, she begged me to increase her allowance. I heaved asight of resignation and took out my wallet. The gleam in her eyes wasdifficult to miss. When she saw the hundred ringgit note, her mouthwidened. I could have sworn there was a drop of drool on the seat rest.Hundred fifty-five and two ringgit. I gave her the green not with agrin. “Here, it‟s more indestructible than the others”. I said handlingit to her. She squinted her eyes in dissatisfaction yet kissed me good nightbefore running off. The missus comes in with a warm smile. “How is itthat she‟s closer to you than she is to me? I am the other woman in thehouse aren‟t I?” I gave her a hearty laugh and replied: “We can relate to each other. Ever heard of the saying, like father like daughter”? **Grows-upsnever understand anything for themselves, and it‟s tiresome forchildren to be always and forever explaining things to them-Antoine deSaint-Exupery. A Promise It plays over and over again in my mind, like something sort ofhorrible movie. I promised to stay with her forever. Never to leave heragain. I made this promise because I remember the day when she brokeher left leg and it was my entire fault. If only I didn‟t leave herbehind. I will never forget the accident that caused my sister to walklimply for the rest of her life. It happened when my sister and I wereeleven. Near our old house lies the most beautiful and sacred place in theworld. It was a forest. This forest was my and my sister‟s sanctuary.Everyday after school, we would go there together. I remember clearlywhat happened on that day. When we arrived, my sister, Emma, immediately sat by the river. Sheloved to sit by the river, admiring the surrounding as she pondered onher own thoughts. As for me, I wanted adventure. Nearby, I spotted apath in the woods that I had never explored before. The problem was… Ihated going alone and the only person nearby was Emma. “Emma, there is a new path in the woods. How about exploring it together?” I asked her. “No. I want to sit here,” Emma replied softly and reluctantly. Emma hasbeen shy and afraid of exploring places. A plan then came into my mind. “The new path might lead us to a field full of butterflies. I saw a fewwent that way.” I knew that my sister loved butterflies. I knew shecouldn‟t resist my offer. Just as I expected, Emma got up to follow me.As I wanted to know what was down the path, I didn‟t notice that I hadleft my sister behind. “Eve, wait!” I heard her yell. I didn‟t stop running. Why didn‟t I wait for her? If only I waited for her… “Wait, Eve! Don‟t leave me behind! Please!” That was when I heard sound that haunted me forever. An early piercingscream and then a series of sickening cracks. I was too afraid. Iturned and walked slowly to the side of a low cliff. I then realized myworst fear. Down the cliff ledge, my sister was lying there in astrange position. If only I had waited, maybe this would never havehappened. I ran home to get for help. My parents immediately sent Emma to thenearest hospital. It took her a long time to wake up. When she finallyregained consciousness, I wrapped my arms around her and cried onto hershoulder. I was glad that she was all right. The doctor said that Emmahad broken her left leg very seriously. She will be limping for therest of her life. I couldn‟t stop blaming myself. “Emma. I am sorry. I promised that I‟ll never leave you again,” I said. “Eve, one day, we‟ll get married and then we will live and dieseparately. We can never be together forever,” she said in adisappointed tone. “Please promise me that we‟ll always be together. Please…” I pleaded.My sister looked at me for a moment, before giving me her answer A SILLY THOUGHT I used to live in a large family on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.The members of the family were happy, close and boisterous that couldnot conceal other‟s envy. However, the happy family ended in some yearslater. The family consisted of nine members including me. My folks wereresponsible and concerned for the welfare of us. Our neighbours werealways saying that my mother is like a „machine‟ for giving birth butin fact, it was because of their desire to have a big amount ofchildren. They were ensured and guaranteed that we were developing wellby giving us what we need such as proper food. Furthermore, we have hadgroomed and instilled good moral values and responsibilities. Besidesthat, we were treated with kid gloves by our folks to hinder us fromarguing. What saddened us and broke our dream to keep on living happyaltogether was happened when I was five-year-old. My father met withfatally accident one day when he drove to work and then he was taken toa hospital. Even though he had fought tooth and nail to exist, hefailed finally. We could not believe our ears when he was pronouncedperished. From the day our father was deceased, we were unable toreceive the love from him anymore. However, it was no use crying oversplit milk. After our father had passed away, I felt like not even receiving „adrop in the ocean‟ of love from my family. Consequently, I started toseek love from my friends. Despite they were gang-banger; I stilljoined them wherever and whenever they were. Consequently, I rarely gohome because I found that there had no love that I need in my familyanymore. Then, I began indulging myself in unhealthy activities with myfriends. For example, snatch theft, pickpocket and car theft. Eventhough I realized that I committed something illegally, I still kept ondoing in owing to I did not want to lose my particular source of lovefrom my friends. One day, I aimed a target on a narrow and less people travelling.After I had grabbed the victim‟s handbag and rushed rapidly towards myaccomplices‟ car, I was seized by the public. Nevertheless, myaccomplices did not even lend a hand to me instead they drove away asfast as lightning. In spite of my regret, it was too late and I wasapprehended by guardian of the law to the gaol. Unfortunately, thosefriends that I considered them who could supply love to me did not evendare to visit me. However, the woman that I never anticipated she wouldcome was finally visited me. My mother was not angry and did not scoldme because „the blood is thicker than water‟ and despite allcircumstances I am still her son. At that moment, I felt regret over myprevious act and my tears began exuded and at course it was notcrocodile‟s tears. After three months, I had served in the jail, I was freed. All myfamily members waited for me outside the gaol that made meheart-warming. I swift-running towards them and hugged each others. Ipromised them that I would turn over a new leaf and would not desertthem anymore to indulge in unhealthy activities due to love conquers all. HAPPINESS Happiness is owning a bungalow, a Mercedes Benz or a collecting ofbranded clothes. This is the idea of many if we ask them what ishappiness. Do you agree with them? I agree that we can be happy byliving a luxurious life but remember money by itself cannot bringhappiness. Happiness means feeling or expressing pleasure orcontentment. This can be attained through many means. A healthy lifestyle will pave way towards happiness. A healthyperson will lead a happier life compared to a person who is ill. Aninvalid may be a millionaire but he may not have the chance to consumedelicious delicacies. Education is the key to success. Knowledge cannot be obtained bymoney. An educated and knowledgeable person will always be honoured andrespected wherever they are. Wealthy parents tend to spend a largeamount of money to educate their children but not all children prosperin their education. Harmony and peace are the spine in ones life. Harmony and peace canbe achieved by having a good attitude, rational thinking andconsideration towards others. Similarly, world wide problems can alsobe solved with the same consideration and rational thinking by peoplein authority. This clearly proves that money cannot buy these kinds ofpositive traits. The above said aspects of happiness will only be meaningful if it isshared with others, namely family and friends. Sincere friends will nottake into account of our financial status. Furthermore, family membersdo not keep monetary gains in their mind to assist their own familymembers. Assistance is given to another family member out of love andaffection. In conclusion, it is obvious that money by itself cannot fall intoplace for a man‟s happy living. Although money is essential in ourdaily lives but that is not the criteria for a peaceful and harmoniousliving. Generally, if everybody observes the fact that money by itselfcannot bring happiness, there will be less problems in our daily lives.
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