Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Grow Up, Not Grow Old

During my younger years, Mak would say “Kita buat dia, bukan dia yang buat kita!” (“We make them, not the other way around”) when I told her I couldn’t do a task she asked to complete. Mak forced me to think outside the box, which most of time was plain simple. I grew up thinking everything is possible and it irks me if people giving countless excuses for not doing things they are supposed to do (what more if they are paid).

I was about to procrastinate by not attending briefing session for EPIC’s “Voice Your Choice” campaign last Thursday when conscience hit me bulls-eyed – How could I not go when I don’t really know what I’m going to do? How could I not help myself before I aspire to help others?. I decided to take a cab to the designated venue because it was raining. Thank God, it was easy getting one and the cab driver was friendly – I felt safe.

Due to wet weather and horrible traffic, not many managed to be there on time and Johnson was empathic enough to start the briefing with a handful of us in that mini auditorium. When curiosity and creativity run wild, you tend to enjoy and I am grateful to attend and meet interesting youths behind this magnanimous campaign.

"Youth disserves; middle age conserves; old age preserves" ~ Martin H. Fischer

There I spent some time asking Alvin how EPIC started and why they took on this seem-impossible campaign (well, even SPR doesn’t bother to do anything about it). Alvin is a Second Year student in one of those IPTS, doing football management – how cool is that. Ng Swee, another volunteer, who took time off from work doing voluntary works with special needs children et al, rightly responded that Alvin could help to revive our dying football scene.

Alvin told me EPIC started with friends and strangers connected via FB, undertook to build washrooms and painted 12 (or 13) Orang Asli houses in Kuala Kubu Bharu last year. He shared about them getting 2 of their friends from Kedah to help building the environmental friendly washrooms. He shared about how the Orang Asli used very minimal electricity. He opined that we, Orang Bandar, would be the first to suffer if Mother Nature decided to turn topsy-turvy one day and it is important that we learn survival skills from Orang Asli - perhaps, at this point of time, it is more about learning from them how to conserve our natural resources. What almost brought tears to me eyes was when he said that what we have doesn’t belong to us entirely for keep but to be shared with others. He said they would go back to that village in near future to start some educational activities for the children there.

"Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children"
~ George Bernard Shaw

Why these youths went that far helping people – out of their own pocket and little free time? I couldn’t find any concrete, material answers but I recalled what I told someone before “Cubit peha kanan, peha kiri terasa sakit”. I fell asleep feeling proud of them. In this modern era where many people continue to question the existence of The Creator and many more being ‘cocooned’ in their own materialistic world, there are very few who think we are, after all, His living creations.

Alvin and his friends have certainly grown up, unlike some of us who have only grown old, cold and dulled. Suddenly, the burden in my heart feels lighter, my mind seems clearer, knowing that our future would be better than what it is today – thank you God for these special youths.

To Alvin and the rest of E.P.I.C Team, you are my inspiration!

p.s. I hope Alvin supports my Arsene's Eleven! :)

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