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One Moment In Time

Nobody is perfect. I asked myself, "How to be a better person than I am today?". The answers are the values in me. I use the values as my guidelines, limitations and a standard on how I behave, my interactions with others and my perception towards everything. My values are my principles and beliefs. Values determine what I strongly believe and practice in my daily life.

I'm lucky because I grew up in supportive and close-knit yet strict family. Being a middle child can be quite challenging, nevertheless it taught me how to respect and compromise with my elder siblings and how to pamper but remain firm with my younger sisters. Ever since my siblings and I reached adolescent stage, my parents, especially my father realized that it was time to "let go" (my mother have some problems with it), but first he made sure that our wings were strong and we knew where to fly back; to the solid build nest on the solid tree by implying two ultimate rules in my family. They are: "You should know what you should and shouldn't do".

It is very important to make your own decision, and whatever the outcome of the situation, learn from the experience. These experiences have shaped me into a responsible and confident person. Having a successful father in career and with his support, I learned that one must always strive for excellence because success is not about luck; it's about an effort.

Throwing tantrums are definitely a no - no because I am always given a chance to express myself well. "Resentment, anger and ignorance can harm your well-being", my father told me one day when I broke up with my boyfriend. From that day onwards, I learned that every decision or action has a logic behind it.

In my opinion, values should be cultivated first at home. The perception that the school is the only place to teach values and teachers are moral educators is wrong. They are just 'supplements'. If I were to go to school with little values in me, no amount of education can instil the values that I possess which were acquired from my family ever since I was born.

Like some people, I learned my values from those closest to me, that is my family:
  • Having an optimistic and romantic father, I learned how to bounce back from failure and when you love your parents, siblings or people around you, let him or her know it by showing it.
  • Having a supportive and loving mother, I learn that love has no boundaries and it is true that behind a successful man is a woman. And seated in front of a stage on graduation day, when graduates give their speech, is a smiling mother who knows that her work is done.
  • Having an eldest brother who is supportive and protective, I learned that giving in doesn't mean you are losing, but to have a win – win situation. And being protected, I feel safe and loved.
  • Having two older sisters, one with a bad temper yet generous, I learned to control my anger and know that sharing is better than being selfish. The other sister is full of vision and high determination and I learned the power of dream and how to achieve it.
  • Having a younger sister that struggles for a position among the older siblings and confronting four different characters everyday, I learned how to be tough to survive, compromise without getting bullied and accepting people just the way they are.
I am a happy and contented person. I know my own strengths and weaknesses. By practicing right values that are well balanced, I know I will always be on the right track anytime. I know that because I hardly blame the western influences, peer pressure, bad luck or surroundings for any challenges that I faced. This is because I have a solid foundation in my life: my values and me...

A family could make this world a better place to live, isn't it? And isn't it worth living for?

My visions and practice is in line with the theme of the Ministry of Women and Family Development "Family First - Bringing your heart home"

Yvonne Brian
Intern Student at FFPAM (May 2003)
Universiti Putra Malaysia

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