Ellen DeGeneres: Promoting Kindness through Her Show

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I have been watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show probably since 2013 and that show has never failed in making me laugh. The real main talent behind this show is the host itself, Ellen DeGeneres.

In The Ellen DeGeneres Show, you can mainly watch how Ellen invites numerous names of public figures to sit down and have a great time talking to her and to the live audience. Not only celebrities, she also loves to invite regular people with particular talent (from 3 year old kid who can memorize and explain everything which are included in a periodic table, 6 year old kid who masters the geography of the world, or adorable girl who sings together with her father) and people who happened to be famous even without talent but somehow went viral (this cute guy called Alex who worked at Target). There are also varieties of games, Ellen’s funny monologue, giveaways, and many other segments in that 1 hour long show.

However, it is not an instant success. In 2001, she was trying to create a television sitcom starring herself and other characters under the name The Ellen Show, but it resulted in poor ratings, so it was no longer played after 13 episodes. Ellen revealed it was mainly because she decided to come out as gay through her character in that series, Ellen Richmond.  It was a difficult time for her career-wise; she was completely turned down from the entertainment industry for 3 years.

In 2003 she finally got an offer to run a talk show – which became a huge success till now. The Ellen DeGeneres Show has obtained several “Emmy Awards” in categories such as “Outstanding Talk Show”, and “Outstanding Talk Show Host”. During the period 2004 to 2014, Ellen has won 25 Emmy Awards. Ellen was also included in the list made by Forbes, 50 most powerful women in the world, in 2015. Winning 20 People’s Choice Award was also one of her achievement that nobody else could compete with.  Honestly, I’ve never seen any other person who is so comfortable and so happy doing their job. She’s completely herself in that show.

It is so difficult to find a celebrity that can be a good role-model, but Ellen is different. I really love how she consistently applies her mantra “being kind to one another” in her daily show. By applying, it doesn’t mean only by saying that quote in the end of her show. It means practicing what she says in random act of kindness. Anyway, it is so smart and nice of her to use her talk show, an established platform, to show to millions viewers out there that it’s possible to make this world a better place. She can easily reach people that might need her help. She can invite them to talk on the show and give nice things to them. And at the same times, two things are done: 1) doing good things to other people and 2) increase even more ratings to her show which enable her to do even greater things to more people.

She often makes other people’s dream come true –  such as meeting their favorite singer or delivering their skills in national television so that other people can know them better. One time she rewarded ten-thousand dollars to a 19 year old teenager who donated his bone marrow to a complete stranger. Other time she helped an English-teacher to sell her school project through Ellen’s website and paid off her student debts with the help of sponsored bank! What Ellen and all these amazing people do also reminds me that you do not need to be so wealthy to help people – in one episode, she had a talk with a waitress who decided to give a free lunch to two customers who complained about their decreasing wages. The story went viral and, as it turned out, in The Ellen deGeneres Show, she paid back what the waitress has done by giving her ten-thousand-dollars.

Watching her show makes me realize of so many good things that happen in this world and there are still so many people with big heart who are willing to help others. Especially in this recent time, there are a huge amount of negativity spreading in my country, watching her show – even just for a tiny bit of it – can make my day better.

Ellen’s powerful message of kindness is now become a reason for viewers to watch her show. And I do hope it will inspire us to do the same.

“We need to remember that we are more similar than we are different. We all want the same thing; love, acceptance, and kindness.” – Ellen deGeneres

When Someone is Trying to be (Like)You

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I think we are all familiar with the term copycat. According to some resources, copycat refers to someone who imitates another person, either partially or completely. He or she will create a reproduction of an act that is first introduced by other person.

Probably some of you wonder why it should be called a copy-cat. Well, I looked up some information and surprisingly, the term copycat is apparently created back in 1887 – which is more than two hundred years ago – by an American writer, Constance Cary Harrison, in her work called Bar Harbor Days. Interestingly, she decided to use the word “cat” because at that period, cat’s attitude resembled an evil behavior, as well as other negative things. However, some people also say that the root of word copycat comes from a kitten who loves to imitate its mother’s movement.

Firstly, we have to wholeheartedly admit that we are all a copycat, at some point on our life. This phase usually takes place  in our youth; a period when we are all busy trying to fitted in. We try so hard to present our coolest appearance and personality in order to be accepted by others. I remember a particular style of wristband that I loved to wear back in elementary school just because almost every girl in my class wore the same things. I find this is still understandable, because as a teenager you probably still have not found your own style, yet.

Therefore, we also have some figures that we regularly looked up to as our role-model. Taking others’ experiences and positive traits to motivate you to be a better person is so common, and very acceptable, even if you’re not a kid anymore. But, it is important to know that role-model could be two things: positive or negative. It’s so easy to spot on some young people who sadly try to imitate a bad behavior from a bad role-model, such as self-harm, smoking, and so on. With the heavy exposure of social media usage nowadays, it’s even easier to be misled by some particular figures or media.  These are all depends on the individuals’ mindset, whether they want to learn how to tackle life’s responsibilities and to follow a good example, or they think that it’s cooler to escape from the reality and to follow a bad example.

Anyway, psychologists say that people who duplicate other people’s act are usually have a poor self esteem so that they are afraid to show who they really are. They have the constant need to take a certain style from other people. Otherwise, they fear that other people will not appreciate them. Apart from feeling insecure, other reason behind the act of copying others is jealousy. They want to take other people’s success and to make it their own. And strangely, the one who has a habit to imitate other people is usually the one who claims that they are original.

So, what to do to deal with a situation in which you find somebody else try to do the same stuffs that you did? Being positive is on the number one of the list. You must have realized first that this world doesn’t consist of only you. There are million other people who might like the same books that you read, the same artists that you adore, or the same hair-style that you own. That’s why, don’t be over-fussy about this issue.

However, if it’s getting more specific and detail, it’s rational to be a little freaked out. Nobody wants other people to be their clone.

As weird as it sounds, you must take it as a compliment. You are an awesome being and sure you have already done something meaningful. You are a role-model for somebody else. What you have done has been acknowledged by others. You have inspired somebody else to imitate what you do – especially if it’s a positive act like creating an art, doing charity, or just simply being nice to other people, you must be really proud of yourself because you have successfully empowered others to do the same positive things. Instead of worrying about these copiers, you can use this opportunity to increase your productivity.

If you really want to prevent your work to be duplicated, it’s also wise to keep some precious ideas just for yourself. Let the copiers steal from other places.

In the end, I believe that the best work that you could possibly done is by just being you. You could never be somebody else, and, nobody else could ever be you, no matter how hard they try. Authenticity is one of the most important factor in creating something.

Let’s just do our own things, even more greatly, and give the copiers a decent amount of time to grow up and to find their own identity.

 

 

 

 

Inspirasi dari Supir Taksi

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Siapa sangka, percakapan yang bisa memberi inspirasi dan ngena di hati kebanyakan justru terjadi di dalam taksi. Ya, saya beberapa kali terlibat dalam pembicaraan yang mengasyikkan dengan supir taksi. Padahal, sih, naik taksinya cuma setengah jam sampai satu jam saja. Mungkin karena usia para supir taksi yang kebetulan saya tumpangi jauh lebih tua daripada saya, jadi mereka gemar membagikan pengalaman hidup mereka sendiri. Atau mungkin juga karena ngantuk kali ya, kalau cuma diem-dieman di mobil, he-he-he.

Salah satu diskusi dengan seorang supir taksi yang nggak akan mungkin saya lupakan terjadi pada awal Desember lalu. Sore hari itu, saya sendirian ingin pulang dari sebuah komplek universitas menuju rumah. Saya baru saja selesai menjajakan produk saya di acara pameran kampus tersebut. Taksi tersebut datang bertepatan ketika saya masih sibuk mengangkut properti yang saya gunakan. Kayaknya sih, si supir ini bingung melihat barang bawaan saya yang begitu banyak.

Setelah duduk di kursi penumpang, supir ini bertanya singkat,”Habis ngapain, Mbak?” Lantas saya bercerita kalau saya baru saja ikut pameran untuk menjual minuman yang saya olah sendiri. Supir ini terlihat kaget luar biasa. “Ah masa, Mbak? Kok bisa?” Menurutnya, tidak mungkin seorang wanita muda seperti saya mau repot-repot berjualan sendirian. Beliau tambah kaget lagi ketika tahu saya baru saja lulus kuliah. Sampai di situ, saya masih nggak paham kenapa supir ini terlihat heran sekali.

Baru deh, setelah itu, Beliau bercerita. Si Bapak yang mungkin berusia sekitar awal 50-an ini bercerita tentang keponakannya yang berhasil mendapatkan gelar Sarjana dari universitas ternama di Bandung. Sayang, nasibnya sekarang bisa dibilang kurang berhasil. Si keponakan mendapatkan gelar dari jurusan Desain, tetapi rupanya dia cukup ribet ketika melamar pekerjaan. Ia punya ekspektasi yang sangat tinggi akan pekerjaan pertamanya, apalagi setelah mendapatkan embel-embel gelar di belakang namanya. Selain itu, dia juga malas untuk memulai karier dari nol. “Maunya, yang langsung enak, langsung jadi boss”, ujar Pak Supir ini. “Tuh, sekarang dia cuma jadi tukang sablon, sama levelnya kayak orang yang nggak sekolah, kasihan anak istrinya”, tambahnya lagi.

Sambil terus melajukan mobil, Pak Supir terus bercerita dan juga melontarkan pertanyaan kepada saya. Saya bilang saya sudah terbiasa berjualan sejak masih kuliah. Kebetulan, saya mengambil jurusan bisnis, dan kampus saya sangat mendorong mahasiswanya untuk menciptakan bisnis sendiri. Selain usaha ini pun, saya ada pekerjaan lain, yaitu mengajar musik untuk anak-anak.

Kemudian, komentar Bapak ini adalah,”Saya salut banget sama orang-orang kaya Mbak. Biar udah sarjana, nggak sombong, mau kerja dari yang kecil-kecil. Mau repot, mau capek.” Sebelum saya sempat merespon, Bapak ini curhat lagi tentang kekecewaannya terhadap generasi muda jaman sekarang. “Ya, anak sekarang kan maunya apa-apa yang enak ya, Mbak. Yang cewek sukanya ke mal, belanja, makan enak, minta cowoknya yang bayarin”, tambahnya lagi.

Saya pikir sebentar lagi percakapan ini akan usai soalnya taksi udah deket sampai rumah saya. Tetapi, lagi-lagi Pak Supir mengagetkan saya dengan ceritanya yang lain. Ternyata, Bapak ini adalah seorang manajer front desk di sebuah hotel di Jakarta selama 10 tahun sebelum memutuskan untuk menjadi supir taksi. Beliau mencintai pekerjaannya yang terdahulu, hanya saja gaji yang ia dapatkan habis lantaran biaya transportasi yang besar karena jarak dari rumah ke tempat kerja yang sangat jauh. Belum lagi, harus melawan kemacetan dan padatnya lalu-lintas di ibukota setiap harinya dengan motor.

Yang paling menarik adalah, Beliau hanyalah seorang lulusan SMA namun bisa mengepalai beberapa orang di hotel tersebut, termasuk para Sarjana sekali pun. Beliau berulangkali menegaskan bahwa jenjang pendidikan dan gelar bukanlah faktor utama yang menentukan keberhasilan seseorang. Menurut Beliau, kerja keras dan kemauan untuk belajar adalah kunci utamanya. “Percuma kalau Sarjana tapi males, lama-lama bisa kalah sama yang cuma lulusan SMP tapi kerja keras sejak muda.”

Tiba juga taksi saya di depan rumah. Setelah membayar ongkos taksi, saya masuk ke rumah dengan perasaan yang campur-aduk. Percakapan tersebut meninggalkan begitu banyak warna di dalam benak saya. Bapak Supir itu nggak tahu, bahwa dua bulan yang lalu, saya baru saja keluar dari sebuah perusahaan karena tidak kuat dengan beban kerja yang diberikan. Dalam hati, saya jadi malu sendiri. Saya nggak sehebat yang Bapak itu pikir.

Di lain pihak, percakapan singkat tersebut memotivasi saya untuk fokus pada apa yang saya kerjakan sekarang, yakni menjadi seorang pengajar dan pengusaha, meski yang saya hasilkan sekarang nilainya mungkin belum seberapa. Terima kasih Pak Supir-yang-saya-lupa-tanya-siapa-namanya, sudah berhasil kasih semangat dan inspirasi ke saya. Tiap kali saya mulai ngeluh-ngeluh dan rasanya mau nyerah, kata-kata Pak Supir itu terulang terus di telinga saya,”Kerjaan sih apa aja, yang penting halal dan terus kerja-keras, nanti pasti rejekinya nggak ke mana.”

5 Lessons I Learnt in 2015

2015
I mean, 2016!

I feel like I discover myself best in this year. Life is really a long beautiful process. The interesting thing about life is that, so many things can change in a certain period of time. You are continuously growing and learning to be better. I notice that I have changed many things, and most of them are intangible.


 

In this year, I am happy to say that I have dealt completely with all of my haunting past mistakes. I learn to distant myself away from people & things that are not good for me, and connect myself more to people & things that are good for me. By distant myself away from them, I didn’t mean by hating or blocking them into my life. That’s the significant thing that I learnt from the most influential person in my life, which is my mother. You can be happy by forgiving people, even when they don’t say sorry. It sounds crazy at first but along with the process I’ve been going through, it works. Forgiveness, in contrary, makes you feel powerful, and happy.

I have been struggling with anxiety. People who are close to me may notice that. Sometimes it’s not too bad that I can still handle it but in other times it really annoys and takes over my mind. I think it comes partly because of my nature, which is a little perfectionist and tends to over-think everything, and partly because of past unhealthy relationship which takes almost my whole teenage years. But now it’s going better. It’s getting better each day, actually. I learn not to worry about something that goes beyond my control, I learn to let things go naturally, I learn to give the best shot for every task that I’m working on, but not punishing myself if it doesn’t work well in the end, I learn to focus more on other people and my surroundings and remind myself that this kind of thing happens to others too, I learn how to relax (yes, it’s something that I must learn!) and I learn to be more flexible and have more fun, generally.

I also make a lot of new experiences this year. I change from “stay safe, stick to routine” into “go ahead, why not?” I went on cultural exchange to Czech Republic, I traveled solo to Europe, I decorated my own bedroom, I built my own start-up business with my friends, I sent my students to join a competition, I finished my Bachelor degree, and I changed my whole career plan after graduation.

I am so glad that I don’t let other people define me anymore. Having a relationship used to be the high-light of my life. I tend to lose myself along with that relationship. I tend to focus so much on how to make it works, rather than, evaluating whether this person really brings good vibes into my life. When I fall in love, I tend to overlook their qualities. In reality they are not as good as my perceptions towards them. Now everything’s different. Therefore, when I meet someone, I will just look at him as what he really is, as a normal person. I notice their flaws and imperfections as a normal human being. So, I guess it’s very important to be happy on your own first, because relying your happiness onto someone else’s life is never be  a good idea.

And I do realize some relationships just cannot stay forever, for some reasons, and that’s OK. It doesn’t mean you should stop trying it right away. It’s also a process that will teach you a lot of things along the way. It helps you to figure out which kind of person you would like to be with for longer time. And if you are lucky, it will make you learn how to love and to be loved by someone.


 

So looking forward for all the challenges and the highs-and-lows of 2016.

Oh, and happy new year dear all readers and followers!

A Message for My Teenage Self

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Hey, you.

Stay true to yourself. Just because everyone seems to talk bad about someone, it doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing – even if it seems a very cool thing to do at that time. Be prepared. There will always be a trend, whether it’s a sophisticated gadget, a hairstyle, a sport activity, a social media, new restaurant to try, or even some sort of cool words. Following a trend could be a ton of fun, and you know, it’s good to try something new once in a while. However, it’s totally fine not to do it if you feel uncomfortable.

Again, you don’t have to get along with everyone. Not everyone deserves a spotlight in your life. Some of them probably just be there occasionally, maybe because you guys are in the same class for three years in a row, maybe because you ride on the same bus every day for going home with them, or maybe because you do the 2-hours activity together every week.  They would teach you some valuable lesson, maybe, along the course of the time. But you don’t have to talk to them or hangout with them everyday if you don’t want to.

Don’t ever be mean. Even to a guy who puts online game as their life. Even to a guy whom your friends classified as a “nerd” because he’s so damn quiet all the time. Even to a guy who comes late to class every day. Even to people who fail a lot at exams. You have no idea who they would become in the next 6 or 8 years. You have no idea how much they would change. And they might even be more successful than you would be. So, don’t ever be mean. Regardless of their future-self, respect everyone for who they are.

Be brave enough to do what you’ve always been dreaming to do. Take that foreign language class. Go to the next performance audition. Teach yourself how to design a brochure. Lead an organization. Handle an event. Never say you’re too busy now to do this stuff, because in the future you would even have more responsibilities and duties to handle. Now, is the right time to learn something for the sake of your own future. And by the way, it doesn’t always has something to do with your career afterwards. Do it just because you like it. Because it makes you happy and brings a wonderful experience for you. Because it makes you a better person and equips you with a lot of useful skills. Because it will bring you closer to your dreams.

Don’t let anyone or anything define you. Keep the balance. The best thing to do now is finding your true-self. Don’t loose all of the productive time for someone who doesn’t value yourself. Just, don’t put a complete trust on anyone who said they love you at their 14. Now, he might be your whole world, but in the next 3 years he would be a stranger for you. Never stay too long in an unhealthy relationship.

And last but not the least,

If you knew beforehand how busy your life will be in the next 6 years, you probably think twice and make more time for your family. Time passes so quickly. One day you would see yourself in the mirror and notice how fast the last 5 years had gone. One day you see your parents and they are not as young as they used to be. Spend more time with your family while you can, while they can.

Enjoy your youth, make (a lot of) mistakes, that’s fine, because people are more forgiving when you’re a lot younger! And besides, your mistakes are one essential thing that makes you, you, in the future. 

Bahagia itu Sederhana

HOW TO BE HAPPY

Bahagia itu sederhana, katanya.

Tetapi banyak riset dan karya tulis yang secara mendalam membahas gimana caranya supaya orang bisa bahagia. Sederetan buku di kategori self-help juga ikut-ikutan menjelaskan tentang hal ini, baik dari segi spiritual, psikologi, dunia pekerjaan, dan aspek sosial. Alasannya tak lain adalah karena semua orang menginginkan hidup yang fulfilling dan menyenangkan. Seorang Dalai Lama juga mengatakan: The purpose our life is to be happy. 

Berdasarkan aspek psikologis, dikatakan kalau happiness takes effort. Memang butuh usaha dari diri kita sendiri untuk merasa happy. Tidak hanya dengan menghindari hal-hal yang tidak menyenangkan, tetapi juga kita secara aktif harus melakukan hal-hal yang menyenangkan! Nggak harus dengan hal-hal yang besar dan wah seperti traveling ke negara baru, mendapatkan penghargaan dan trophy, atau punya mobil mewah.

Berikut ini cara-cara simple how to be happy yang semua orang bisa lakukan:

Build a better relationship with the people you love. Hubungan yang harmonis dengan teman, saudara, dan keluarga, secara positif berhubungan dengan tingkat kebahagiaan seseorang. Coba mulai tunjukkan perhatian ke orang-orang terdekat; ingat ulangtahun mereka, be a good listener to what they might share, support their dreams and ambitions, and try to be present in their important day, whether it’s a graduation, wedding, or if someone’s sick or lose someone important to them.

Spend money on things that you genuinely like. Uang memang bukan segalanya, tetapi kalau kita punya uang, apa salahnya dipakai untuk membeli sesuatu yang memang kita suka? Yang gila olahraga, it’s OK to buy a new pair of running shoes. It looks cool and plus, you can be more motivated to do exercise now. Yang suka jalan-jalan, boleh banget nabung uang sekalian nabung jatah cuti untuk pergi ke destinasi impian kamu waktu ada libur. Yang suka musik, it’s totally fine to spend your money on concerts that you’ve been waiting for.

Give back to society. Sebuah riset di tahun 2005 menunjukkan bahwa dengan berbuat baik kepada orang lain, kita bisa merasa lebih complete and happy. Sejumlah orang diminta untuk melakukan 5 acts of kindness setiap minggunya. Hasilnya, terdapat sedikit peningkatan prosperity atau kesejahteraan pada orang yang melakukan satu perbuatan baik setiap hari. Sedangkan, orang-orang yang melakukan 5 perbuatan baik setiap harinya mencapai peningkatan prosperity hingga 40%. And by act of kindness, it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture like what Mark Zuckerberg just did recently, but it can be small things as well: giving a nice compliment on social media, borrow a pen to someone, offer a ride to your co-workers, and many more which can even make your heart melt! 

10 Quotes on Forgiveness

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white tulip means forgiveness

Life is full of disappointments. Sometime things can go smoothly without problem and just in the next minute everything can turn upside down. Holding grudge against something  brings nothing but an emotional burden on your side. At some point of your life, you will have something or someone to forgive. Whether it’s your boss at work who hurts your feelings with their word, a shitty partner in your previous relationship, the woman at the cashier who gives you the wrong change, or even yourself, who is failed to obtain a satisfying result of the last project.

Here are a collection of beautiful quotes on forgiveness which hopefully can make us understand the importance of forgiveness and exactly, how to forgive:


 

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
Steve Maraboli


 

“People have to forgive. We don’t have to like them, we don’t have to be friends with them, we don’t have to send them hearts in text messages, but we have to forgive them, to overlook, to forget. Because if we don’t we are tying rocks to our feet, too much for our wings to carry!”
C. JoyBell C.


 

“Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” – Unknown


 

“I learned a long time ago that some people would rather die than forgive. It’s a strange truth, but forgiveness is a painful and difficult process. It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s an evolution of the heart.”
—Sue Monk Kidd


“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” – Louis B. Smedes


“Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You’re done. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person. If you keep hitting back, you stay trapped in the nightmare…”
Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith


“We learn our lessons; we get hurt; we want revenge. Then we realize that actually, happiness and forgiving people is the best revenge.”
—Madonna


“Forgiveness is the one gift you don’t give to others. Rather, it is the gift you give yourself, so you can finally be free.”
—Shannon L. Alder


“Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. It prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.”
—Hemant Smarty


“Life is so short. The only person you hurt when you stay angry or hold grudges is you. Forgive everyone, including yourself.”
Tom Giaquinto