Having been brought up in family of girls, I was raised to believe that a girl can achieve anything . I've never had the notion that boys can do this or that better than a girl , and I was never told that I am just a girl and so I should keep my opinions to myself. Yet I was brought up in a traditional and strict Malay family where curfews were tight, traditional values were drilled and discipline was firm.
My parents encouraged my sister and I to study and get educated with the very purpose to gain entry to the university . My parents provided us with a positive home environment with warm home cooked food, a regimented time table and solid moral support . Even though my parents are Malay educated, I am lucky as they are educators and they understood the importance of a good education. By the time I finished my A levels, my dad signed me up for driving lessons while waiting for my results - when in actual fact I was scared and not keen to learn. But he said I had no choice as it's a life skill and he assured me that I had nothing to be afraid of. Today whenever I drive my kids around to their respective enrichment classes over the weekend, I cannot thank him enough . When I graduated from NUS, instead of asking me when I was going to get married and settle down, my father allowed me to find my calling and passion to build my career. That's when I discovered the MEDIA industry and went into broadcasting.
My mum, on the other hand, believed that performing arts would make me a well-rounded person who could enjoy life with passion . She loves music and she signed me up for piano lessons from the age of 9. The price for piano lessons was steep especially considering her small salary, but she told me she would rather spent it on my music classes than buying Gold and other jewellery. I got my piano lessons not because my parents were well to do, but because my mum didn't care to buy anything for herself. She wasn't into Gold jewellery or fancy handbags. She spent a big chunk of her salary to ensure I got my piano lessons right to the age of 18 years old and she beamed with pride whenever I practised my classical piano pieces at home for hours daily. I did enjoy classical piano very much and it taught me to be disciplined with my time in juggling studies and music. I was also into Angklung in secondary school where I played the bass kulintang. In Junior College, I took up Jazz ballet dance. My point here is that my mum taught me one important thing about being a woman - a SELFLESS woman of the house (wife and mother) can help her children and husband achieve SO much more. At a young age, I learnt that a woman can be powerful and compassionate at the same time.
On this very significant day celebrating International Women's Day, I believe every woman can be inspiring - to their friends, colleagues, partners, fellow comrades . I am proud to be a woman . If there is ONE thing that a WOMAN must invest in is EDUCATION coupled with GOOD CHARACTER AND STRONG VALUES. These will keep us grounded and genuine. Good looks, a sexy body or any physical attribute can only last so long. There will always be someone prettier, younger, stronger, fitter, curvier, and slimmer. But with education and good values, a woman will always have an edge - she will always be confident and at peace with oneself no matter how hard her challenges are . And no matter what the age, we will not feel insecure. Brains don't age, neither does a woman of substance.
So mummies, encourage your daughters to get educated, find their calling and passion. For only when you are doing something you love and with passion, will you be truly successful and happy . These are true blessings.
The strength of a woman is a combination of her compassionate heart, the power of her naked eyes that speak volumes of her life experiences, the rationality of her brains and the wisdom of her words that reflect how far she has come in her life. As I grow older, I realise that a woman can truly be happy with her life by sharing and empowering others. Sharing can be in its simplest form; a reassuring smile, a helping hand, a small but thoughtful gesture, a listening ear, opening up her heart and soul, showing her emotions, taking time to care, showing compassion, and spreading the love . This makes for TRULY BEAUTIFUL WOMEN who can help make the world a better place, and who will also raise beautiful daughters with compassion and who will shape the future generation of women.
The bottomline is, what the world needs is MORE GOOD WOMEN who will take care of their FAMILY WELL. Let our family be our pride and joy and our trophies and medals. And all will be Good xx. InsyaAllah
Good Women IS Power!
Let's Celebrate being a GOOD WOMAN! <3
FITFAB by Haslinda Ali