Creative Writing, Uncategorized

3 Reasons Why Teenagers are Afraid to Voice Out their Opinion

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(c) weheartit

“Everyone has the right to express their opinion…” 

With all the different issues our world is currently facing, it is inevitable that everyone has their own opinion. But only few has the courage to express it; Or maybe some are just afraid to voice them out. Like us, teenagers.

I conducted a simple interview with my fellow teenagers and asked them possible reasons why some of us are afraid to voice out our opinions. And here’s what we/ they say:

1. “We are afraid of criticisms.”

We all know that expression of opinion comes with criticism. It is inevitable that some teenagers are afraid of these because they tend to have vulnerable hearts. Or maybe some of us are afraid of judgment. I, myself, have tried to voice out my opinion and had regrets after doing it. After I confidently posted my thought about a certain issue, I received comments and I started to feel bashful. We all understand that some criticisms may be constructive or destructive, but regardless of how it is delivered, we can still be afraid because we’re just starting to learn how to accept it.

But let me tell you that criticisms are actually good. Some of them helps us to grow and learn something. As the saying goes, “If you’re not open to criticism, then you’re not open to truly growing as a person.” 

2. “We are told to shut up.”

Truth be told, this is one of the reasons why.

Some adults view teenagers’ opinions worthless. We do understand that we are too young to think that we could actually change the world. But we know all too well that being young doesn’t restrict us to have an opinion about a certain issue. We also have the right to be heard and our opinions to be valued.

Some teenagers don’t share their thoughts because of the fear of rejection. We are told at school to never be afraid of voicing out our opinions, but we are never warned that we could be bashed by doing so. They degrade us, teenagers, thinking that we were just born yesterday, and oblivious to the “real world.” We’re belittled and told to grow up but stops us from speaking our thoughts, which is how we could grow.

To (some) adults,

We are teenagers, not “just teenagers”. Do you understand? Please don’t limit us from voicing out our opinions. Wasn’t there a time when you were like us? When you were only like us, wanting a voice too? Hoping we could freely suggest about a certain issue?

I know some of us are being careless, irresponsible, and impolite about making opinions. And I know that some adults are reading this thinking that not all are dismissive of teens. I’m not saying these just because i’m also a teenager. There are some adults who support teens, I understand, however, it goes the same for us. You cannot put all flowers on the same pot. Meaning, we are different from each other. Not all teenagers are “careless”, “irresponsible”, and “worthless.” Some of us may be insane but that doesn’t mean that teenagers that actually care like us don’t exist. We do care about these issues, especially we are the next ones to inherit the responsibilities of the future. So please, let us care.

3. “We are not confident enough.”

“All reluctance is a lack of confidence.”

Some teenagers are reluctant to speak out their opinions because they are not confident enough of what they’re saying. They are afraid to commit mistakes about what they’re stating. They aren’t very sure of their opinion. In addition, some may change their opinion after reading or knowing other’s. Because they lack confidence, they are easily confused about which side they should be. So they remain silent, instead of speaking a certain opinion then changing it afterwards.

I know that we all have our own reasons why we choose to stay silent about our opinion. But whatever it is, we should realize that everyone’s opinion matters. But always remember, that it is best to deliver them politely and start to learn accepting criticisms. Be confident and stand for what you believe and what you think is right.

We are teenagers, and we are born to stand out. But we could only stand out, if we start to voice out our thoughts and be part of something.

You have a voice, let it speak and be heard.

Don’t just zip your mouth.

Believe in yourself, and learn to speak, little by little until you can. Let’s do this.

 

(Thank you so much to all my fellows who’ve been part of my simple interview. You were such a great help!) 

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Creative Writing, Uncategorized

5 Ways to Spot a Great Leader

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(c) to owner

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” ― Ronald Reagan

In this world, where different people with different personalities, capabilities, and beliefs are altogether living surely explain why all of us need a great leader for us to follow. Just like a vast ocean, where different fishes swim need a great leader to lead the way. But among them all, how do we spot a great leader to choose? What does it take to be a great leader?

1. They are passionate.

To lead is a very great responsibility, it is something that you cannot take too lightly. It is a privilege, but at the same time, a burden. So it is essential to have a leader who really wants to lead, and is passionate about it. A person with a passion-driven leadership is expected not to give up easily. He will wholeheartedly accept all the challenges and will do his best to surpass them all.

2. They are an inspiration.

A great leader is not just a leader, he is an inspiration. He would demonstrate all the possibilities even during the worst and difficult times. A great leader isn’t just great alone, thus, he helps others to also bring out their greatness within. He lifts his followers up, as he also rises together with them. To be a great leader is to be an inspiration, and how to be an inspiration is explained by John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

3. They are also a follower.

A leader cannot be a great one if he doesn’t learn and experience how it is to be a follower. If not, he would just keep on speaking and making commands, without understanding how it should be followed. To explain it clearly, is a famous quotation, “Great leaders don’t tell you what to do, they show you how it’s done.” Moreover, he takes action together with his followers as one of them, and doesn’t take credits once it succeeds.

4. They are optimistic.

Certainly, we won’t dream of a pessimist leader who only sees the difficulties in every opportunity, instead, we need an optimistic one to see the opportunies in the difficult times. It is very important for a leader to have a positive attitude for everyone’s future is in his hands. A negative attitude of a leader would definitely bring drought to his followers. A great leader is not expected to utter words like “I can’t,” but positive words like “I can, and I will.”

5. They are brave.

Maybe, most of you would think that a leader is standing on the stage, facing the crowd, and making speeches. But a great leader is so much more than that, he also stands in the middle where many guns or knives are pointing at him, waiting for him to make a mistake. A great leader is a brave person. He is willing to take risks for the good of everyone, and brave enough to take the blame when he fails. A great leader is unafraid to stand for what is right, for what he believes in, and most importantly, for his followers. He is fearless to speak out even if he’s the only one at the other side. Above all else, he must be courageous enough to go against the tide of opinions.

Definitely and inevitably, there are lot more characteristics we should be looking for on a great leader. But what is important is for all of us to understand that we, ourselves, are also leaders waiting for our right time to lead. To our current, and future leaders, be great and good luck to all of you.

(This article is originally published on my account at http://www.goals.com)

Creative Writing, Uncategorized

Choose Passion over Money

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(c) to owner

Some times in our lives, we would have to face some challenging questions to answer and decide, for ourselves. Just like,

Passion or Money?

We all know that choosing our career is a very serious and important matter to decide. It’s like planning of how your future would become. Inevitably, we may encounter two different paths we can choose from, one’s about money, and the other one’s about passion. But between these two, what is the best path we should take?

“How do you see yourself 10 years from now?” 

While others are imagining themselves wearing a white gown, being a doctor; carrying a suitcase, being a lawyer; writing on a blackboard, being a teacher; or loading a gun, being a policeman; I am here, visualizing myself holding a pen, being a writer. While others have chosen a career where they can make a good living, I have chosen my passion, maybe i’m not as rich as how I am expected to be, but I am full of learning because I have chosen to do what I love to.

Choosing between passion and money, is like choosing between your heart and mind. And they would always say, “Follow your heart, and so Follow your passion.” 

Following your passion is a brave thing to do. It is a sacrifice and a risk you would take about your future. You may regret it, and fail, but also, you may succeed and be happy. But for me, this is the best thing to do.

We love to do something because we are good at this thing, and have skills to do it. Yes, skills. Skills are given to us by God, as a clue about our purpose in life. Surely, we are not made to earn money because we can’t take them with us in heaven. We are made to live our purpose and achieve our dreams. “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose,” Bishop TD. Jakes said. We are created for one purpose to fulfill, so follow your passion, and live your that purpose.

The good thing about working your passion is that you wouldn’t feel like working at all. You would enjoy every tasks, and you wouldn’t feel stressed and tired like how other people usually feel about their jobs. Choosing what you love to do and working for it will bring you happiness and courage in your job, which success would surely requires to come for you. Like what Arthur Buddhold once said, “Follow your passion, and success will follow you.”

People should start to realize that life isn’t just about making money, building a mansion, and everyday shopping. It is mostly about achieving your dreams and being happy. It is best to follow our passion because it is a barely controllable emotion we cannot ignore. Everyone, stay true to yourself and figure out what you love to do. Always remember that money shouldn’t be our main goal, instead, we should pursue our dreams and do the best that we can to prove other people that passion never fails. Don’t let money limit your dreams. Be brave and take the courage. I believe that the only courage that one person truly needs is the courage to follow her/his dreams.

Creative Writing, Uncategorized

People’s Harmony

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(c) pinterest

har·mo·ny

noun
– the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords having a pleasing effect.

          Harmony. This is not just about music, or anything. At some point, this word could define us, our voice, and people’s joint voices to produce a better world.

        We all know that slavery has been part of our world’s history, where some people are treated as if they weren’t, and they cannot speak and do whatever they wanted to do. All their lives, they suffered from their deafening silence as they are told to shut up and not to speak.
         Today, the proclamation of democracy to most countries has been evident and step by step, we’re escaping the idea of “slavery” and “deafening silence”. The system has given people the opportunity to speak and voice out their opinions. Somehow, people can now expect for a better change as compared to our history, because they are allowed to open their mouth and speak, making an impact to this society… or maybe not. 
          The truth is, yes, we are allowed to speak and state our opinions and beliefs. We have the right to oppose or support our government, or anything. But the main question is, Do they hear us? 
          To suggest, is to expect an improvement.
          To oppose, is to expect an explanation.
          To support, is to expect gratitude.
          To speak, is to expect an action.
         But how can we expect all of these if in the first place, we aren’t heard at all? 
         They have given us the privilege to speak, but not the privilege to be heard.
          Wait. Let me ask you… Why do you think they can’t hear us?
          Because our opinion is worthless? No.
          Because they are trying to ignore us? No.
          It is because we are not loud enough.
           We are not loud enough because only few are brave enough to speak. Only few are wise enough to use their privilege and make an argument. Truth be told, most of us are afraid to voice out our opinions. But think of this, how is the world supposed to know you exist if you’re not going to speak up?
            Everyone, don’t be afraid. Be grateful for our privilege to speak, which the people of our history has hoped for years, and voice out your opinion. In order for us to be heard, we should do this altogether. Every voice counts. Make yours help, and LET THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE BE HEARD! 
 Response to daily prompt: Harmony
Creative Writing

The Light Within Me

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“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ―Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I walk.

Still walking.

I stopped.

The view of something scary stopped me from walking, a dark place with so much cross around it. I don’t know what are they, i don’t know where I am, I don’t know who I am.

I just don’t know.

The darkness entered my soul within me until i feel afraid.

I keep on walking.

Finally, I saw a mirror.

I stepped in front of it, I looked at myself and suddenly… the place around me brighten, sparkled, and was lighten up.

Still, i don’t know what happened. But i come to realize that the light which erased my fear is nothing, i mean, no one else but me…

THE LIGHT WITHIN ME.

Everyone has darkness within themselves.

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”
Mark Twain

Most of the time, there are hundreds of possibilities that we would feel lonely. We would feel worthless and darkness would enter our hearts and would filled it with their horror.

But what are the chances that during that darkness time, we would find ourselves lighten up within?

Thousands.

Nothing else could stop darkness but light. No one else could stop them but us.

During the darkness times of our lives, we should be strong. For this is the time when we could prove ourselves. This is the moment when you could reveal yourself. Everyone has light within them, this is their true personality. This is the light that could outshine the darkness when it filled their hearts.

During this time, you could never lean to anyone but yourself. You won’t see the people who used to stand beside you during the happiest times of your lives, some would be gone. The only way out is following yourself and letting your light guide you to the best place you could ever go to. Just trust them.

Finally, i’ll tell you this. Don’t let this darkness be your shield, or a place to where you could hide. Instead, treasure it because we are what we are because of it, or spite of it. Darkness is just simply piece of a whole. Don’t let this time down you. Never surrender, you got light within you!

Response to daily prompt: Darkness

 

 

Creative Writing

Perfection is an Illusion.

CREATIVE WRITING: Perfection

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‘perfection’
noun per·fec·tion \pər-ˈfek-shən\

-the state of condition of being perfect

“In this world, perfection is an illusion.”― Tite Kubo

Flaws.
Wound.
Imperfection.

They are something I would never exchange with anything in this world. For they are one of the reasons why I keep on striving. We keep on working so hard, just to omit these things, and meet the so-called PERFECTION.

But my fellows, don’t get fooled. Perfection is an illusion. You’re not working hard for this, but you’re doing whatever you do to make yourself better. In fact, seeking perfection will lead you to nothing. The more you seek for it, the less you achieve your goals.

Wanting perfection will make you build endless boundaries without you knowing it. Many opportunities will come for you, but you will keep on declining them because you always think they would never be enough. You are never contented. The truth is, there wouldn’t be enough because in this world, nothing is perfect and nothing would fit to your desires. Because you, yourself will never meet your goals when you keep on searching for a non-existing thing… Perfection.

The search for perfection is distracting, and will lead you to despair. Just like how you try to make your future better, and think of what will it offer, you’re forgetting to live the life you’re currently living now.

Remember, don’t let your flaws down you, instead, let them make you someone extraordinary and unique. You will never taste the happiness in perfection, because if you think the other way around, then you might want to consider your happiness as a non-existing thing. There’s no such thing as perfection. Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection. Don’t be perfect, be better!

 

Creative Writing

Mysteries from Childhood

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Creative Writing: Childhood

“Mommy, why does the moon follow us wherever we go?”
“Sis, why do stars are visible only at night?”
“Daddy, why can’t I hold the sun with the palm of my hand?”
“Bro, can I reach the heaven someday, when I get older and taller?”

You. Do you remember?

Do you still remember yourself asking these questions, thinking of world as a place of mystery? Like a Christmas present from your mom, waiting to be unwrapped.

I do. 

As a child, we have a never-ending questions waiting to be answered. And as we grow up, little do we know that these questions are answered, one by one. Maybe, that’s one of the reason why children are so eager to grow up. They are in need of knowledge, something that could turn their mysterious world into a world filled with many chances and opportunities.

And as a child, we don’t know how challenging and cruel the world could be when we grow up, making us regret and miss our unforgettable childhood.

When you used to play dolls and cars, now you play the game of life.

When you used to listen to bedtime stories, now you listen to endless rumors about you.

When you used to cry because your playmate took your toys, and now you cry because your partner was robbed and taken away from you.

When you refused to sleep because you aren’t tired yet, now it’s the other way around.

When all of your fears could be swept away with a kiss.

When your dreams and reality were one and the same.

Innocence turns to Guilt.

Joy turns to Misery.

Smile turns to Frown.

Everything has changed. And you wish they didn’t.

Do you still remember?

Playing, and playing, doing everything you want. Not caring about what others may think of you. Until you grew into adolescents. You fell and was forced to live a world filled with restrictions and rules, with so many Do this and Don’t do this. You are restricted to cross the bridge you want to go. Beautiful things are hidden behind the walls and boundaries the cruel world has made for us, for adults. You stopped asking questions, and let the society enter your mind and answer the questions for you, and not even considering what you think of it.

These are things you wish to get back. These are things you thought were gone. But they didn’t, because these childhood memories are tucked in the safest corners of our hearts, living and forever will be.

Children, enjoy your childhood when you still can, treasure them for these memories would be the precious possession you could have when you grow up. Don’t worry about the future, because the day you fret about you in the future is the day you will have to left your childhood behind. Leaving it behind, replacing them with what you thought is a beautiful thing but in fact, an illusion. Go on, learn, ask questions, and explore the mysterious world. Uncover the mysteries by yourself and consider it an adventure.

Adults, I wish you good luck to the challenges you’re facing and you will have to face anytime soon. Never forget your childhood, the smiles and innocence you used to have. Cherish them, and let them live forever. If by now, you still cannot figure why stars are following you everywhere, research and explore. Just like a child uncovering all the mysteries of life.

Creative Writing

Stars won’t go dim.

CREATIVE WRITING: Countless Stars

“How many times did you forgive?”
“I don’t know, I’ve lost count.”

I am Stella, an admirer of stars, with stardust in her eyes. Research the origin of my name, and you’ll know (real quick) that I love the fixed luminous points in the night sky called stars. Recently, i had a research about my name and i come up with an interesting fact-‘Stella’ means ‘star’ in Latin.

One day, I had a conversation with my science teacher. She’s my all-time favorite because she admired me for loving stars.

“Why do you love them?”
“I just do.” Honestly, i don’t really know the reason why and when I started having an interest with them. But there’s one thing comparable with stars…
“You can’t just be interested with something without any reason, come on, spit it out!”
“Really, i can’t think of any reason. But I guess there’s something a little comparable with them- forgiveness.

When I was young, I had a huge anger towards my mom because of a certain reason. I used to be a prisoner, captivated by my own anger and pride. It took so much time for me to forgive her. But i’m thankful that time has come and forgiveness came to my heart. I let my grudge down and gained so many things i never thought I could.

Space
Once you let go, you’ll feel so relieved that your mind’s finally cleared. You’ll stop thinking of things and spinning them round and round until you feel bad of yourself. Your mind will have space where happy memories could be placed, replacing the bad ones.

Gratitude
Once you forgive someone, you’ll be able to see things clearly. You’ll finally realize all the things they’ve done for you, and that all of the things you thought were bad are in fact, good for you. You’ll finally be able to tell him/her “Thank You”, instead of “I hate you!”

Freedom
Anger will make you feel like a prisoner. Caged into evilness and revenge. But once you forgive someone, you’ll realize you’re not doing it for them, but for yourself. You’re forgiving them not to set them free, but to set yourself free from negative perspective you built for yourself.

“How do you say so?” My teacher asked me, I can see through her eyes that she’s confused.
“There are a lot of stars that you’ll lost count once you tried counting them. Just like forgiveness.”
“How many times did you forgive?”
“I don’t know, I’ve lost count.”

See, there are a lot of stars. Look at the vast skies, and you’ll see hundred, thousands of them. Forgive a lot, as many as the stars. And once you forgive, you’ll see the memories on a very bright star, saying “You’re free.” Don’t stop forgiving, as the stars won’t go dim.

 

Creative Writing

Vision of Dreams

CREATIVE WRITING: Dream

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
Langston Hughes

Dreams are something we all have. It is very important, for it is our vision. The vision of what we could be, where we could be, and who we could be in the future.

Only I can see, no one else but me. I can see it now, my own vision of myself. 
I am sitting on a comfortable chair, playing with my pen, thinking what i can write. It’s been happening to me for almost a month, i can’t think of any idea i could write. But it’s normal, it’s happening to most of the writers all over the world. This is the so-called writer’s block.
I’m sick of this condition, unable to produce an original idea, so i went to places beautiful places I’ve never been to. I walked around, took some pictures and finally, I got inspired.
I started to search for my journal on my shoulder bag, which is my favorite. Once i had my journal, I took a deep breath and thought of all the places I’ve been to. It was beautiful, and relieving― closing your eyes and thinking of all the words you could put together and sooner or later, they’ll turn into a beautiful story. It seems magical when the pen meets paper, and produce a beautiful work out of words and ideas.
Fast forward 10 months, my work is finished and published. Finally, I felt the success and result of my hardships. My book was read by so many people all over the world. Plenty of reviews were posted, some readers liked it, some didn’t. But you know what’s good? I’ve learned to accept the negative comments I got because i believe, it made me better.  

This is my vision. Me, thinking of a writing prompt, editing, reading, and improving my own work. This is my vision, me as a writer, me as a proofreader, me as a journalist, and me as an achiever. These are my dreams.

We are all dreamers, some are hoping to get out of touch of the reality, some are dreaming, hoping to achieve. To my fellow dreamers, keep on dreaming but don’t let your dreams be dreams forever. Dream, try your best and reach it.

I am Jamaica, saying… DREAM to ACHIEVE! 

You? What is your vision?

 

 

 

Creative Writing

To those who dare to sing the truth…

CREATIVE WRITING: Sing

To those who dare to sing the truth,
Sing, my fellow youth.
And let the lyrics of truth be spoken
Sing it, all over again.

Until the world believes what’s real
Wait for the wounds of lies heal
Sing your heart within,
Let the change begin.

A poem for my fellow youth who are scared to speak the truth. Sing, and let your voice speak within, for the world is entrusted to us.