Thursday, October 16, 2008

This I Believe - He "Ken" Yingzhi - China

I believe in my eyes, I believe in my camera, with which I tell the truth.

I like taking photos, but today I am going to tell you about the photos which I didn’t take.

I was supposed to go to Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the year for one of my business trips. I was excited throughout the process during my Saudi visa application. I had dreamed thousands of times about getting off the plane and the hot wind blowing towards me. The sunshine, the dessert, the Arabic music and people’s white robes, the cities, the traffic, the Arabic businessmen, are combined together. Soon after I realized that had become my own A Thousand and One Nights! I checked my camera, lens, batteries and memory cards all the time. I was always worried about if the lens was well-cleaned, worried about how to protect them from sands, and worried about if the batteries and memories were enough to take the photos I wanted. What if I am being considered as a rude foreigner when I take photos of the Saudi women on the street? What if my boss would think I am taking too many photos instead of working hard? What if…?

These worry and preparation soon ended up in a rejection of my visa. It wasn’t called a real rejection because I had seen my visa approved but a temporary status of preventing foreigners from getting into the country kept me out of the door.

Oh, my Saudi, Oh, my dream.

After a few months I quit my job and came to America to study. But I do not think that was the end of my pursuit of that mysterious kingdom. Nevertheless, I am so sure that I am going to go back to Saudi Arabia as I had been there a thousand of times. There would be always at least one chance for me to go there and other wonderful countries and taking amazing photos of their beauties. Although I am not Muslim, I have my own Mecca now, places I am going to keep searching and finally kneel in front of them to show my belief in my own religion with my camera.

My elder female cousin passed away in June. She was 3 years older than me. She fell down from a motorcycle in a traffic accident and during that time I was together with my friends and we were talking about cameras and photography. When I had received my mom’s call, I hurried to the hospital. I saw all the families gathering in the ward quietly. I saw my cousin lying on the bed and could never talk. I saw a busy picture of the city outside the window and I heard people whisper and weep.

Before I stepped out of my friend’s place, I left the camera in his home. I could never raise my hand and press the shutter to record that moment although I have taken photos of other people’s misfortune and their sorrow several times. But still the body, the relative’s breaking-heart and the happy times we had in our childhood are just like photos relentlessly going throughout my mind. Then I realized I never had chance to take pictures of her.

I observe people’s lives through my camera, record their happiness and sadness. But I can’t always be the photographer. When I sometimes think of these photos which I did not take, I realize that I didn’t take them because I am in those pictures, which are relevant to my dreams, my experiences, my happiness or my families and friends. It is exactly my own stories and exactly my own life. They are the most important pictures that I have not taken with my camera but with my mind.

I believe in my eyes, I believe in my camera, and I believe in the pictures I did not take.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This I Believe - Chao-Yu Su - Taiwan

     I believe to be brave in saying I love you.  I mean to express the true emotion to our friends or families, not only a boy or a girl who you fall in love.  I want to say I love you loudly to everyone whom I care about.  My family and friends, which is the most important part in my life, so I want to tell them how much I love them badly.

    I lost my grandmother last year, suddenly I found out that I never told her I love her, even once, and she’s no longer by my side.  I lived with my grandmother when I was a little girl.  Until I was seven years old, I moved back to my hometown and lived with parents and my older sister.  I saw her just in summer vocation and winter vocation.  I think she must be very lonely then.

     We were very close when I was a child.  She took care of me and I relied on her so much.  I made her laugh all the time because I always talked to her like an adult.  She taught me a lot of principles to be a nice person, even though she never went to school.  I still have the greatest respect for my grandmother.

     We used to be very intimate, but the distance kept us away.  I never told her thank you for raising me up and thank you for everything you did for me.  My childhood with a lot of sweet memories is the most priceless treasure in my life.  I think this is the most regretful thing in my life.  No matter how long time goes by, it won’t take away my sadness but deepen it.  I yearn to tell her how much I love her, but it’s too late.

     I always wonder if I could have a time machine to go back to the past.  Maybe I won’t feel so sad at every moment when I am thinking of her.  I know it would never be true, I just keep wondering a quixotic dream.

     Why didn’t I tell her how much I love her?  Most Asians are not used to expressing their emotions, because we are taught to be a steady person.  I was born in a conservative society, which most of people live in and do not express their sentiments easily.  I am too shy to speak out what am I feeling and tell my families and friends how much I love them.  I am trying my best to do what I have never done before, such as a big hug and say I love you.  I don’t want to have any regrets anymore, so I believe to be brave in saying I love you.

This I Believe- Amirul Mukminin - Indonesia

I believe in the word “Success”. The word can motivate me and perhaps other people to do something successfully. The word “Success” can also inspire me to work hard in order to reach the results of my work because I think when we are strong-minded; we will try to achieve the targets that we have set up earlier. However, to succeed in every activity is not that easy; we need to sacrifice such as feeling, energy, money, and time. For example, it was in 2007 when I worked with one NGO focusing on education in Indonesia and we visited some remote and inaccessible areas to meet some teachers and help them to set up their school and convince students’ parents that schooling is very essential. We needed more than 5 months to persuade them so that they would rather send their children back to school than help them in farming activities.

Moreover, I believe that the word “Success” does not have a single meaning. It has multiple meanings. For me, one cannot be said as a successful person when people around him or her are not successful as well. It means when you are successful but you ignore the other people around you such as mother, father, sisters, brothers, relatives, and neighbors, then you cannot be said as a successful person. More specifically, we should share our success to the other people. e.g. we inform the other people how to reach success in their own interest. The other example is a teacher cannot be judged as a professional and successful one if only two or three of his or her 30 students are successful.

Success cannot be measured only by looking at or relying on someone’s property such as having cars, houses, money, and companies. However, a teacher in a remote area who is successful in motivating her students to come back to school is also an example of a successful story. Lastly, I would like to say that the word “ success” has a powerfully inspiring meaning to guide someone not to give up in order to be successful not only for himself but also for people around him.

This I Believe- Yu-Hsiang Wu - Taiwan

     I believe in writing letters.  I believe in the power and love it brings on.

     Usually, I write letters to my parents.  On every occasion I stop by a new place, on special days, at any time I want to talk to them, I drop them a line.  This has become a daily work in my life.  Moreover, my parents and I all enjoy this kind of communication which we may re-read, re-taste the feeling of it.

     Sometimes, instead of telephoning, I’d like to write letters to whom I am really concerned about.  That is because I have absolute faith in the surprises and happiness that jump out from the envelope.  Those letters don’t need gorgeous phrases; simple words also can express the deepest and the best emotions from my heart.

     Once, about 5 months ago, I wrote a letter to one of my good friends.  Without splendid vocabularies, I told him I was missing him.  Additionally, at the time when Mother’s Day was near to, I tried to remind him do not fail to keep his appointment with his mother again.  What’s more, I mentioned three of our friends, one was interviewing for her new job while another one was in the military, and still another one was calling me the very first time after we graduated from the lovely high school we went to.  I hadn’t seen him for a long, long time, I had lots of thoughts and stories to share with him; however, I couldn’t find any valid postal address to deliver this letter to.  Therefore, I posted this short and ordinary letter on my blog.  After I posted it, out of my expectation, I got tens of e-mails and comments from people I do not know.  In those feedbacks, some people narrated that they cried because of the mail I wrote to my good friend.  And, some people told about the touching stories they have had that were similar to mine.  There were so many resonances which made me believe in the power and the love from letters much more firmly.

     To keep on writing letters, I do not intend to make anyone feel sorrowful; or to disclose my feeling purposely.  All I want to do is to let those I truly loved know my heart.  I will keep on writing letters because I firmly believe in the power of letters and the love it brings on.

This I Believe - Hsin-Yi Huang - Taiwan

I believe in SATC. SATC means “Sex And The City”. I do not want to be one of the characters because I want to be myself. I worship the spirit that comes from this series. It included almost everything that I desire in my lives: love, fashion, and friendship.

To begin with, love is the ultimate goal for every woman. Just like Carrie Bradshaw said, “and we were dressed from head to toe in love...the only label that never goes out of style”. In this series, it mentioned all kinds of love topics that wherever and whenever we are will face these same love issues as women in our lives. One thing I admire most is that the four women will pursue their love actively without concerning about being hurt. Therefore, I begin to wish for my special love plot and find own philosophy of love as well. After all, it depends on who I want to be with, and what kind of life I desire.

Additionally, this is a series that contains of fashion. It may be the most famous part of Sex And The City. No matter what brands showed on the television, it will become the new shopping trends. In my opinion, it even is an educational program to me. I can not only get all kinds of fashion information from SATC, but also learn the advantages of high heels and bags. Two of them really make girls become women. That is why we chase those luxurious stuffs unceasingly. Beauty things can always catch our attention. I would long for transforming myself into a woman just like the characters: be independent, be successful in employment, be optimistic, have own attitudes toward lives, and dress up fancy clothes or accessories all the time in my future.

Last but mot least, friendship is the most significant spirit from Sex And The City. To Carrie, there are three types of friends that each of them plays different roles. Miranda is the best listener and supporter; Samantha is the one who can cheer her up when she feels upset; Charlotte is very warmhearted and the best company. Take me for examples; I coincidentally have three best friends in my personal lives. We met because we were roommates in the university. I can always depend on them, and share things with them. Four of us look like Sex And The City in Taiwanese version. According to the movie slogan states, “They say nothing lasts forever. Dream change. Trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style”. True friends are unfading, valuable, and forever.

To sum up, I believe in SATC. Probably many men hate that series, and are unable to comprehend why it is so popular. For me, it controls three main ingredients such as love, fashion, and friendship. Furthermore, the inner spirit is so fascinating that I crave for following. If you ask me which sentence I like most in series, I would recommend this: The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous. That relationship encourages that doing ourselves is the best thing ever. Anyway. I believe in Sex And The City, do you?

This I Believe - He, You-Ning - Taiwan

I believe to keep close communication with my family and close friends.

I used to believe that since I and my family or friends are so close and familiar, we could understand each other even without language. However, my mother’s depression struck me like a lighting bolt. I came to realize that this thought is completely wrong.


I had known my mother before I drew my very first breath. My mother and I lived under the same roof; we said good morning and good night almost every day. There is no doubt that we love each other. I thought I understood her as much as she understood me. But I had not been aware that my mother was suffering mentally until she went to see a psychiatrist. I wanted to help her get through it and tried to understand what happened to her. After several long talks, I was surprised that there were so many things and feelings hidden in my mom’s mind. If I had talked with her earlier, I could have given her much comfort. I blamed myself for that I did not notice it. Then I began to reflect on how I interact with my family and friends.

One time I put newspaper just in front of my eyes, and then I found I cannot read the words clearly. That is just like the relationship between me and my family and close friends. We are so close that I cannot see them and their feelings clearly. I just use what I thought to understand them and take everything for granted. But in fact I am wrong; people change thoughts and feelings with different times. Only through continuous conversation can we keep familiar with each other, even if they are your family or friends. I begin to keep close communication with them and share their different feelings. And I find a lot of things that I did not know before and get closer to them.     

Any two people, no matter how close they are, still cannot fully understand each other, but I believe conversation can compensate this distance. Language cannot depict everything but we still need it to know each other. A lot of people tend to spend much time on meeting and knowing new friends and ignore their family and friends that are intimate with them and their true feelings. Because of that, we unconsciously ignore a lot of important things in our lives.

 Now, though I am in the US now, the distance of roughly 30,000 kilometers cannot block my conversations with my family and friends. We write e-mails or use Skype to share our lives and feelings. Thanks to new technologies, I can keep this belief: to keep close communication with my family and friends.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

This I Believe- Ramazan Cetin - Turkey

I believe in the strength of the beliefs about honesty and goodwill of and for people.
The most ridiculous discussion in my life is to try to claim that life is not fair.
We can see many injustices.
I think, in this way, we are always wasting our time without being concious.
we can think about our beliefs and their mysterious strengths
instead of spending our time in order to prove the unfairness of life.

When we look at our beliefs about people we often think about their bad side.
All the troubles get together there,
and try to prevent us from seeing the miracles and beauty in the world.
Maybe old people called these thoughts as a Satan.
When we remove these obstacles in our life,
we could easily see that it is surrounded by miracles.
Commonly people believe that in real life, every thing is changing by another reason.

When we talk about changes and solutions, people tend to bring up
the laws of the physics and the relationship between cause and effect.
with saying that it is not possible.
So their belief is that we can't have any miracles
for changing our life quickly or effectively.
However, while we are thinking about heroes,
we couldn't point out any logical reason to understand their impossible inventions.

How could the scientists produce many things without expecting any reward?
Edison discovered the electricity, Graham Bell the phone, etc
How can we think they got what they deserved in their life?
Did they really do their job for expecting some measurable things, like money?
We believe that they did all these jobs
because of their beliefs about honesty and goodwill.
However, we all know that they could not have found any new inventions and presented
valuable thoughts without spending more time on some simple problems between people and injustices.
Also we couldn't see any unnecessary things in their life like our pessimistic thoughts.
I think they learned to look at the life from the optimistic point of view.
In all these reasons, I am trying not to lose the thought of the beauty of life.
Because of this, I saw that in my life, I can succeed
if I am aware of the beauty of life. I can't succeed, If I don't.
When I experience something new, my first task is to discover the beauty and goodness that exists.
In this way, I realize that there is no time to look for bad things there.
Sometimes this concept seems to be disturbing according to some points of view,
but I don't think so.
I prefer to change this, with the energy of thinking
about the beauty of life.
I believe that there are many good things in our world more than we realize yet.

This I Believe- Jong Tea Hu - Korea

I believe in the power of experience

I was very shy when I was a child. I didn’t speak in public. I didn’t talk to anyone to ask something. I was afraid of speaking in public and I thought I looked strange. My teachers didn’t understand me when I went to kindergarten. I felt the other children were different from me. So, I became an introvert and pessimist. I also wasn’t a good student when I went to elementary school. I was very embarrassed and blushed in front of all the students when teachers called on me in a class. I wasn’t able to say anything at that time. So, they thought I had a problem with adapting myself to school life. As I became accustomed to school life, I changed a little. Of course, I still had the fear of speaking in public. To overcome this problem, I went to a speech institution. However, it was difficult to overcome my problem for a while. I had many experiences to speak out in class through school life. Finally, these experiences enabled me to give a speech in president election of class though I was not good at speaking in public. I still have a problem presenting in front of many people. However, I know that I can do it somehow. I believe experience was the power to overcome the fear of speaking out.
I also was not good at studying when I went to elementary school for the first time. My parents worried about both my study and character. However, my grades improved little by little through my experience studying. I became one of the best students in elementary school. I also was an excellent student from middle school to university. I have already gotten all the certificates which I can take in the field of my major such as Ph.D. and a Korean highest technician certificate through my experience. I knew I couldn’t do it without my many experiences in company. People who knew my growing up wouldn’t believe what I am today. It takes long time to have many experiences personally. However, I believe in the power of experience. I also believe whoever has many experiences can become like me.
I still have a fear when I challenge new things. However, I think that there are no people that don’t have a difficulty adapting themselves to new things. Though I don’t have an ability to adapt to new environments fast, I believe I can be adapted to those some day. I also believe that I will accomplish all my goals some day if I acquire such experiences continuously. I believe in the power of experience.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This I Believe- Khairil Razali - Indonesia

I believe in Change
I grew up in a poor family in a remote and isolated village that far from glamour and modern environment when I was in childhood. I spent my primary and secondary school ages in a very dramatic nuance. I as a kid could not enjoy the moment as a kid as normal kids had. Khairil, as a kid should work hard, help parents, and look for income generate.
When I was in primary education, my father was only a less land farmer; he used to be a traditional fish seller from village to village using his old bike. I could not imagine what would be my future look like at that time. We lived in a very worry life circle. We just relied on annual harvesting from our rental paddy field as our family income. I as a kid should live from one place to another place, from one mountain side to another mountain side, from one village to another village. I, a kid, should always be with parents.
Although I was just a kid, I should pass mountain to mountain, bridge to bridge and bush to bush in the morning to get education. I should take this routine trip every morning when I was in primary education. It was hard. I did not know the ambition I had at that time; I just kept continuing pursuing my education even though I should walk for 2 to 3 miles every morning, but life should go on. I believed I should work hard and pray.
My secondary education, a horrible life I suffered from. I should be away from my family to start my adventure to dig a better education in another town, the capital of the province. I was fighting alone far from my family. I should manage and control myself alone. I did not have my parents anymore. I was alone living with relative in down town, working hard in their house, being almost like a maid, I should clean the dishes, iron clothes on the weekend of family members, clean and sweep the yard on Sunday.
It was really oppressed and horrible but I did not have any option. It was inspired me to work hard, to study hard and to pray for a better future. I did not want to live as I had, I did not want to be a maid, I did not want to be a janitor, a gardener, a cleaner, a dishes washer, I did not want to go back home to my village and become a farmer. I would like a change; I would like to be better in education, in life, in my social status.
When I was in university period, I did commit to myself; I should change my life, my future, my family social status. I studied hard, prayed hard, tried any efforts to reach my goals. I started to be a freelance teacher; I became a translator, and a private teacher in town. I started to be independent and not to rely on my parents funding, I started to separate step by step from family small funding. I was able. I could succeed; I was been able to support my finance little by little. I had been able to work even though it was temporary position, I got many jobs as a translator, I worked in international NGOs, I could make a better change in my life.
Since my undergraduate graduation, I made a commitment that I should be able to study abroad, but I did not have enough TOEFL score, how could I make it. I should make it. I should study harder and harder. I got many inspirations from my teacher who had been abroad, and it was inspired me. Through my work hard, pray, and hard effort, I could make it. The thing that I never imagined when I was a 10 years old boy, the thing that never crossed in my mind when I was in primary education. Thank God, by the time, I could make it. I believe in change through my philosophies; “WORK HARD, PRAY HARD, AND TRY HARD”

This I Believe- Tzu Yu "Iris" Wang - Taiwan

This is I believe- Be positive, be strenuous

I believe that to keep a positive and strenuous attitude is a way to be successful. When I studied in private school at a young age, pressure and keen competition was my best friend! Although I was so unconfident and unnoticed in class, I knew the only way to catch up was to keep thinking positive and to have things done gradually. “The Best Progress Award” was the best motivation which aroused my fighting will.
Growing up in a conventional military family, my dad always says, “I do not expect that you could be number one no matter what group you belong. In stead, I ask you to make one hundred percent effort to do everything! Do not waste your time to regret from the things that should be done perfectly”. I remembered every word he said to me, from that moment on, to push myself in order to become better and better is my belief and philosophy.
When I studied in my senior in high school, dance became my favorite habit. Because of continuous practice and accumulated performance experience, I felt more and more confident and enjoyed the moments that all audiences screamed and clapped their hands. I hurt my knee and ankle seriously on a car accident. However, an international dance event was coming up four days after I injured. Oh my god, this would be a rare chance and I want to share this incredible moment with my dance crew so badly. So I put up with the pain to practice every night with my crew, and finally, we did an amazing show that night!
To have positive and strenuous attitude is what I believe when completing every mission during different life stages. As a business school student in Taiwan, I also kept my dance occupation as well. I know, you will think that “This girl must be a workaholic!” Yes, I need to admit this truth. Because I believe that if you really yearn for something, your stamina and determination will be aroused. So I tried to manage my time efficiently and balance the education as well as my interest equally. Finally, I got good grade from MBA degree and also kept my dance career so far. Again, I am not a number one girl, but I always try my best!!
I am so glad that I turn myself into a confident girl and still keep pursuing new experience and knowledge. Plus, I want to make my life as colorful as possible! In my opinion, it’s too pathetic to regret things again and again. Therefore, I want to create a unique story as my life, but how to do it? Keep positive and a strenuous attitude is my way to be successful!

Monday, October 6, 2008

This I Believe - Jackvine Prescott - Panama

I Believe in Me

2007 Graduation Year, my last year of high school. During my whole life my school was my second home I used to spend more time at school than at home. Now after thirteen years I can proudly said ‘‘I’m Ex Alum from the Colegio Javier Promotion 2007''.

My life especially in high school wasn’t always happy or easy I passed through difficult times some of them happened to me in the last 2 years of high school my grades started to decrease were not good enough and . I got into a lot of arguments with my parents.

I am going to tell you two stories in my life that made me the person that I’m right now thank God, for better.

In 2006 all the students had to do a social community service were we had to spend one month in a poor country place living without light, pure water and sometimes sleeping under the stars if the house doesn’t has enough space or stability, on one hand this experience seems to be hard ,but it has the goal to make us see and value more what we have in life comparing with the real life of others that’s why this activity is something that every Student have the dream to experience it.

During the entirely month I played the role of a teacher while my friends played the role of builders building a church for the community, I was there teaching full time English, Math and Science I felt proud of me because I saw an enormous improvement ,because they were doing better at school. This experience taught the basic ideas of life that I have in my mind to be an open mind person and to appreciate all the things that I have; family, friends, opportunities and so on. I believe in me, that I’m the one that makes the things happen for better.

2007 was my last year in high school, but one of the best years in my life. November, Finals tests were getting closer, the nerves took the whole control of my soul and heart! This was my Final test to become a graduate student. During an entirely month I studied for 7 tests that included all the material that I have studied since first year of middle school up to my last day of high school.

Everything got so complex I took books, papers, Exams, notebooks from the kids in middle school it was a crazy time I couldn’t sleep for days, because I just had like 4 days each time to study 2 exams about all the things that I studied in the secondary! My hair fell, I got pimples, I got frustrated, I cried, I seemed to be like a zombie, but that was the price that I had to pay to graduate one year before. But thank God After all I passed all the exams and my fears disappeared. I didn’t have to repeat one of them my goal was achieved I was going to get my diploma I proved myself that I was capable to do that and many more things. I’m free now to choose the future that is waiting for me. I had overcome challenges in my life and I’m still doing it.

I believe in me, I believe that I’m the one with the power the builder of my future, I decide if I want to keep going or give up, because at the end of the day when the sun goes down at sunset no one will chose for you . However the people that love you will try to guide and give you advice but at the end you are the one that makes the decision. Everything in life has a solution but while the life keeps passing the life will test you day by day sometimes with harsh obstacles or easy ones just to try to teach you life lessons.

You and me as human’s beings we will get frustrated, we will cry, we will ask ourselves why!? But that’s the life and the life goes you can't get stuck in the past let's try to look forward not backward, but the funny part of this is that Always when the storm pass and everything is clear now is when we always laugh of our past and we remember our problems laughing. I still have things to overcome in my life and I will get more to overcome ,but the only thing that I have to say is let’s keep smiling let's keep fighting ,let's make wise decisions and let’s keep learning about it.