Truest Sentence

When I woke up that day, the words of Ernest Hemingway called for me to take up my pen again. He said

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I agree with him that when I write one truest sentence that I found in my truth, then words continue to flow on their own to narrate the whole story.


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Freedom

How Freedom taste to you? Sweet or bitter or undecided? I really can’t express myself in the taste but words help me to enunciate what freedoms mean to me. What words crosses your mind about freedom? My perspective towards life let me generated several words that  I define freedom and they are the following:

Adventure   Excitement   Joy   Tranquility   Colorful

Priceless  Travel   Humble Freedom of Expressions

Independence  Meaningful Life   Achievements  Sharing

Delightful Tastes   Equity  Comfort   Wisdom   Perseverance  

Content   Natural   Clarity   Genuine   Truself   Forgiving  

Life Goals   Free to Choose   No Guilt    No Regret  Writing

Able to Say NO   Non-Judgemental   Authentic    Thinker  

Photography   Humility   Overcoming Calamities  Thankful

Change   Connect   Embrace and Practice My Religion   

 

How important is freedom in your life? Freedom is fundamental to my being. Owning freedom grants me a rational soul, a content heart, and clarity in thinking. These three elements in combination guide me in decision-making to go about in life. Interrupted freedom, will deprive me of its meaning (as I’ve captured them in many words above).

 

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Means to achieve freedom: How you define your freedom influence the way you want to achieve them. From Al-Qarni’s perspective of life that viewed ‘Freedom Tastes Sweet’, he proposed the FIVE means to achieve  freedom in life :

  1. Be self-sufficient. Work hard and smart to earn your own life. Don’t own your life to anybody except God.
  2. Be content with your current life. You live with whatever you earn, not more.
  3. Expect no favor from anyone for which a reward is expected in return. Do kind deeds but never expect anything in return. No expectation!
  4. Don’t let aspirations and desires enslaved you.  You should strive to achieve your goals in life. If they do not turn out as you’ve planned, do not be despair. Revise your life goals or find alternatives. God has other plans for you. Something better in life awaits you. Perhaps new and better doors of opportunities are just around the corner of the closed doors.
  5. Wealth and status are not means to happiness. One should work to earn wealth and status. However, never let wealth, and/or status consumes oneself.  These materialistic agents are false happiness measurement standards. Mismanagement of them is likely to cause one a hell life misery thus deprived them of freedom. Have you heard these words,  Power conquers Power? Wealth nurtures greeds? ‘Wealth is the slave of a wise man. The master of a fool‘ -by Lucius Annaeus Seneca

In sum, our life perspectives influence how freedom tastes to us, thus, our definition to it. This definition is likely to differ from one person to another. Hence, means to secure freedom could also be different. Nevertheless, a more important question is that one needs to ask is whether their definition of freedom is relevant in all their live situations?


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Personalized Notes

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

Prelude! Months ago, I came across an article about the power of personalized notes from a teacher on one of her students, saving a soul of wanting to end her life. This true story deeply touched my heart and strongly engraved in my memory. Why? I identified three reasons why these Personalized Notes matter to me. First and foremost, I am also an educator like Darass, the young teacher in this story. This story makes me realized that, in touch with a caring soul and act on it, one could be saving other peoples’ lives. Second, as an educator myself, I have endless opportunities to meet young people who hail from various walks of life with a broad range of academic performance. People from the academic world, sometimes,  extremely care only the academic performance of students and the performance of educators. They overlooked that students nor educators are robots. All of us have lives. We have ups and downs. When we’re in a good life, we love to share. But when we’re in the down life we (might) need help or at least kind ears to share the story without prejudice or a pat on the shoulder. Third and finally, I am a human too. Sometimes, I do feel that life is hard to bear but chose to keep it a secret and prison myself in a damp dungeon. However, at the same time, I also wish that a right person–someone with a genuine kind soul, would reach out and pull me out from the self-prison.

What is Personalized Notes? Personalized notes is a tool in the Interpersonal Communication that could help to facilitate one to materialize his/her self-transformation. Why these Personalized Notes special? These notes are unique to learners. According to Darass (in the story), ‘… how each of us needs to realize that every human being is unique.’ These notes contain heartfelt messages how much he/she is loved, missed and appreciated. Also, they could also contain heartfelt messages on the strengths and potentials for successes in life.

As an educator, I believe this tool is a treasure to inspire a learner to realize his/her potential. Sometimes, young learners need a little bit push from their educators, like “you can do this, I believe in you.”  Since educators are authority figures and role models in young learners, words from them–spoken or written, are significant to them. Every word utters from educators’ lips or pen or keyboard matters to these young learners.The same way, one or more words inspire them to make achievements, ugly chosen words could tarnish or kill their spirit.

What Personalized Notes can do to learners? Crafting personalized notes are meant to be inspirational and motivational strategies that promote positive self-esteem development in learners. These notes contain heartfelt messages that trigger and nurture deeper awareness of how important they are, their contributions’ matters, their strengths make a difference, as well as their future potentials and achievements. These handwritten messages are believed would be able to boost the self-esteem and fuel energy for persons to strive for their future success. Moreover, for those who are in a deep struggle with conflicts, these messages would be able to gently reach out to a ‘drowned person’ to swim up to the surface of hope.

 

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How do these Personalized Notes work? These heartfelt messages must be handwritten in StickOn Note for instance,  by the educator to give a powerful personalized effect. But most importantly, before that, the educator needs to personally get to know each of their students in a meaningful way.

When to hand in the Personalized Notes to your learners? Knowing the best times to give the notes are also essential to fully realize the power of Personalized Notes. The educator can write the notes to a student in crisis as what Darass has done. Darass also handed her personalized notes before her students taking their final exam. In addition to what Darass has practice, I would say, regular feedbacks on the students’ performance before they sit for their final exams, would also be one of the best times to pass the personalized notes.

In general, I believe that ‘the when question’ is referring to at any points that an educator can convince or persuade the learners to change or consolidate their decision-makings for positive outcomes in their lives. Departing from this statement, I believe academic performance is not the only thing that matters learners or students lives.

How I could make a change with Personalized Notes? I will craft personalized notes to my learners and those who I care and love, InsyaAllah. I am going to write them messages that trigger their imagination of their successful future and nurture their strengths to overcoming barriers in learning and struggling life. I would never know whom lives I would be able to save unless I commit myself to this simple gesture, writing a Personalized Notes to someone lives that matters.