Women of substance in conjunction with International Women’s Day 2015
Compiled by NINA TI
We celebrate International Women’s Day by highlighting just a few of the billions of unsung heroes.
We love strong, independent women who move with courage, make unconventional choices and forge their own paths.
Here are three inspiring stories shared by you, our readers, about the role models in your lives.
Role model mum
My beloved mother, Jeyamany Pooranalingam, is now in her mid-70s. She did not have a tertiary education as it was considered improper for girls to be highly-educated during her younger days.
My mother managed to run the house on a meagre income as my father, a primary school teacher, was the sole breadwinner in our family of six.
She would always advise my three siblings and me that education was very important and that it was the key to a bright future.
She would ensure that we ate a healthy breakfast as well as nutritional food for all other meals every day.
Now, even after I am married with two children of my own, my mum still treats me like a child.
Whenever I return to my hometown, she will prepare my favourite dishes, serve them to me and watch me eat.
She shares ideas on how to prepare nutritious yet simple meals for my children and advises me on how to take care of my health and to bring up my children.
Even now, my parents are still concerned about our wellbeing and do their best to support us in whatever we undertake.
So, mum, I just want to say:
“You are my role model and I will always look up to you!”
By Parames Pooranalingam, Penang
Best friend forever
Jade is a girl I met at a leadership camp (DIODE Camp) run by Leaderonomics. We were complete strangers on the first day at camp. Never would I have imagined that we would become the best of friends, even now.
Jade, 16, is a firecracker. She left such an impression on me. She may be beautiful, humble, kind, sophisticated and all other gentle things in the world, but as soon as you get to know her – BOOM! You’ll never know what crazy things she might do that could make you laugh your head off.
But everyone has his (or her) own story, including Jade. Looking at her, you will never know that she went through a very painful childhood.
At the age of 10, she was extremely headstrong and outspoken, which are the qualities of a leader. Unfortunately, these attributes made her a target among bullies. Her “friends” started leaving her and it made her think, “Which is worse? A person who is full of envy, spreading rumours and lies, or the people who believe in those rumours?”
Quoting Zayn Malik:
“No matter how many people try to criticise you, the best revenge is to prove them wrong.”
That was what Jade did.
She drew on her inner strength to keep on living and to not give the bullies the satisfaction of putting her down.
It’s true that she will carry these emotional scars with her, but the experience was what made her the strong person she is today.
In life, negative or toxic people will want to drag you down, but do not stoop to their level. Move away, because their insecurities have nothing to do with you.
By Ashley Chin, Johor
Heartfelt poem for mum
In the year 1957,
God sent a beautiful angel to Earth,
And a flower blossomed splendidly in this world,
She was everything I could wish for.
Amazing as she is,
She is also an extraordinary person,
How lucky I am to have a best friend like her,
She lifts me up whenever I am down.
Who is this unique person, you may ask,
It’s none other than my hero; my saviour, my Supermom,
Whenever I need an inspiration,
She will be there.
Even though she is an ordinary woman,
She is no average human being in my eyes,
And she can do anything,
You name it.
Even though life for you was hard,
You didn’t give up at all, Mom,
You worked hard to accomplish many things,
God has made you this way.
Something in you makes you a bionic mom
Vigilant, cautious, alert,
Whisper your name and you will be there
Believe you can save the world with your mighty hands.
Feeling a theme song coming on soon,
Supermom you are, superhero you be,
In a Marvel comic book,
Pretty sure you have many readers.
I can’t find enough words to describe you
You are just amazing, cool, beautiful,
And many more adjectives that escape me right now,
And you are just a funny person who makes my world go round.
There is nothing you cannot do, Mom,
You have done more than I can ever ask for,
Thank you for being there for me always,
Remarkable that you are, I love you.
By Alexandria Johnson, Perak
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Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 14 March 2015