FMF Day 6: Story

We are fascinated by other people’s stories. Gossip magazines sell because buyers read eagerly about the lives of the Hollywood famous. Biographies and autobiographies of both current personalities as well as well-known players of the past, line the shelves in book stores. We tend to believe that others have stories that are interesting and well worth reading.

And yet, men and women living in modern society have their own stories. Their lives are made up of experiences and choices that determine a unique tale. Life struggles and successes are weaved into the fabric of their adventures on earth. Decisions made cause deviations, which in themselves develop a person’s character and prominence within their own story.

Just like the unknown people of the past experienced their own life stories, so do we in the modern age discover ours. We may not have articles in magazines spreading the word about our lives, or have films and statues created in our name, but snippets of our lives are shared with people we know as well as with those with whom we come into contact. Our stories do matter. They are a part of ourselves and what makes us unique.

Do you often share your story?

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. To read any posts you may have missed on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

FMF Day 5: Trust

In whom do we trust? Many organisations and groups demand our trust and receive it without question. Our government (whom we trust will make the best decisions for our country), our farmers (whom we trust will grow our food in a way that is beneficial to our health), our doctors (whom we trust will know how to heal us), our teachers (whom we trust will guide and protect our children). The list goes on.

Often we do not realise that we are putting our trust in these people. The trust we give is so much an integral part of our lives that we do not question giving it. Even to those that do not deserve it. In the past people have trusted the police, for example, and yet we hear horror stories in which this trust has been abused – so much so that there are groups of people who no longer trust those who have pledged to protect and serve. Sometimes the breach of trust is three-fold as in the abuse of a child by a priest. The parents’ trust, the child’s trust, as well as the trust of the congregation has been misplaced.

I often wonder what would happen if members of our society did not automatically give their trust. What if organisations, and members within those organisations, had to earn our trust. Would the abuse of our trust be less frequent? And would institutions like the Government and Agriculture be more accountable?

What are your thoughts on trust in our society?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. To read any posts you may have missed on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

FMF Day 4: Hope

Hope was a part of lives in the past, and it continues to feature in modern day lives. Many hopes remain the same – to be healthy all our lives, to be successful, to find love. There are differences, however, in what people over the ages have hoped for. In the past, people may have hoped to catch their dinner – or a few centuries later, to begin working without  school leaving certificate. Our hopes in the twenty first century have changed for a desire to have a stable income and job security, to find an affordable place to stay, to save enough money for a comfortable retirement.

One of the hopes forefront in many people’s minds is that global war does not happen, and that the nuclear weapons that governments have built are never used. So many countries seem to be at war – amongst themselves or against rivals. The hope for peace seems to be unattainable. And yet we still desire it.

An aspiration that those who are concerned about the environment have, is that humans do not destroy the planet. Global warming is slowly becoming a reality and the hope of environmentalists is that others begin to change their habits so that the planet can heal.

As I am writing, a phrase comes to mind that I have often heard/read: “Hope springs eternal”. This statement seems to hold true because no matter what we are experiencing (war, poverty, redundancy, illness), we continually hope for the better. It is with hope and the desire for something better, that we continue to strive and to live our lives.

What hopes do you believe modern people have?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. To read any posts you may have missed on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

FMF Day 3: Create

“Mommy, people today don’t use the creative side of their brain.” My daughter insists that her statement is true and I tend to agree with her. In my daily experience of the person living in the modern world, I notice that we are expected to follow the rules and stay within everyone’s comfort zone. Even though we are asked to ‘think out of the box’, our employers do not always reward us when we deviate from their expectations of how we should behave and work within the workplace environment.

Our creativity is stifled from the time we are at school. Children are asked to conform to rules and to respond to tasks in a particular way. Children who do think differently are often misunderstood. As children grow older, they lack the confidence to explore and delve into learning with the same creativity and vigour that they did when they were young. Adults seem to have much of their creativity siphoned out of them.

If we could create more – with our hands, with our minds – we may be able to release some of the stress that we hold within ourselves. We should look into ourselves and our imagination in order to help fulfil our souls. We should look inside of ourselves instead of relying on others to feed the creative part of our being. We should look into our own minds instead of relying on the film maker to imagine for us.

Creative people are rare in the modern world. Each person does have a spark of creativity within them. It is up to each individual to nurture it and help it bear fruit.

In what ways are you creative?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. To read any posts you may have missed on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

FMF Day 2: Tell

Modern life tells on our bodies. The lack of exercise shows in our weight and lack of muscle. Our diet shows in our constant fatigue and large bodies. Our stress shows in our haggard and drawn faces.

Modern life allows no time for repose and just being. We rush from point to point and often feel the clock ticking within our minds. Many children experience the same stress as they are shunted from one activity to another. High school students are expected to ‘hit the books’ as a heavy workload is piled onto them.

Modern life is reflected in our faces. In the bleary eyes in the morning as we stagger (sometimes literally) to our workplace or place of learning. The circles under our eyes tell of late nights and over-exposure to screens. (Yes, children show these signs as well).

Magazines and TV shows may show that modern life is great – we have so much more now than they had in the past. Life is shown to be easier. But is it? Our bodies tell that it may not be so.

Does your body show signs of modern life?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. To read any posts you may have missed on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

FMF Day 1: Worship

In the 21st century, our lives are full. We rush from one place to another, cramming as much as we can into our day. Many families are unable to spend quality time together – and often the time that they do spend with one another is limited by the brimming schedule of both parents and children.

In a life shaped by modern values and filled with busyness, where does God fit in? Whom do we worship?

In modern cities and towns, pews in the churches are empty. Church buildings are renovated and used for different purposes – some are even refurbished as homes. God is no longer is part of a person’s life and daily routine. The Lord’s prayer no longer begins the school day, and saying daily prayers is a habit few follow.

Who has replaced God? Knowledge and understanding how the world works. The belief in self and the confidence that a person can control much of their own life. The words ‘spiritualism’ and ‘mindfulness’ are bandied about. A person no longer prays to God, but meditates to calm the spirit. A person no longer believes in God, but is spiritual.

As humanity moves towards worshipping the self, it loses the sense of community and faith that once held it together. Will there be a time when men and women will come to realise that focusing on the self is not gratifying? Will they once again learn to have faith in a Being greater than themselves? Will they once again worship God?

Do you believe there will be a renaissance of worship?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. For the first post on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

31 Days of FMF in October 2017

It has been a number of years since I have participated in the Five Minute Friday (FMF) October challenge in which you write for 5 minutes everyday on a given word. In 2014, I wrote a series of posts on moving from the southern to the northern hemisphere titled Migrating North. In 2015, I wrote about some of my teaching experiences in a series of posts titled Blackboard Scribbles.

This year I have decided to take up the challenge once again to help me get back into my blogging routine. Kate Motaung over at the Five Minute Friday website does not suggest you choose a theme for the 31 days of posts – but I found I enjoyed focusing my writing on a particular topic. This year I have chosen to reflect on our modern lives in a series of posts titled Reflections on Modern Life. The title came to me while walking home yesterday while I was thinking about our habits and stresses in current society.I hope you will enjoy this series of posts and look forward to your contributions to the discussions in the comments.

Will you be participating in the FMF October challenge this year?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Depend

dependThere are so many people who depend on me. I think first of my children who look to me to help them feel secure and to provide them with the essentials they need (including love and support). I give them what they need willingly and with no regret. I love them and am grateful to have them in my life.

The children in my class depend on me and rely on me to guide them in their learning journey. The parents trust that I will look after their children while they are in my care – that I will nurture them and keep them safe. The people who hired me, and the ones who supervise me in my work, depend on me to follow the curriculum and to find ways in which to engage my students in their learning.

This year we have a number of new teachers at our school. In grade 1 we have three teachers who are new to the school board – and two who are fresh out of university. These newbies depend on me to help them with their new teaching experience. As their mentor, I answer any questions that they have, help them plan activities for their room, and support them in any way that I can.

And who do I depend on? My family to help me when I need emotional support. The admin at our school when I have work related questions. And my faith in God when I feel life is overwhelming.

Who do you depend on?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: depend)

Daily Expectations

expectWhat does one expect when waking up? A good day? Or a bad one? When alarm clocks ring shrilly in the early hours of the morning, silent (and not so silent) groans fill the silent hour. Getting ready to join the daily rat race is not always an easy thing to do.

Unlike young children, many of us do not jump out of bed with a bounce in our step. Oftentimes I move through my morning routine with a type of numbness. I need the early morning moments to prepare myself mentally for the day. Silence, routine, and the mental check of what I am to do for the day help me to prepare myself for what I need to do.

My morning routine and alone-time prepares me for a positive day. It helps that I have nothing that worries me incessantly and that I enjoy what I am currently doing at work. If I have had a good night’s sleep, it is a bonus for a positive mood. As I close the door when leaving my home to go to work, I often look forward to my day.

And do I have a good day? Most times, yes. A day that begins with positive expectation and ends with quiet reflection.

How do you begin your day?

(This post was written as a response to the Five Minute Friday prompt expect)

Who Am I?

Our definition changes according to the stages in our lives.

The first moment I was defined was at my birth. I became a daughter. A daughter of two proud parents. Even now, a mother myself, I am linked to their names: I am the daughter of David and Liz. My definition changed during childhood from toddler, to pre-teen, to adolescent. My parents helped to shape me as did those I came into contact with at school. The years on a university campus helped cement my ideals and moved me towards my first full-time employment as a teacher working with disadvantaged children.

Since then I have become wife, mother, immigrant. My changing roles and environment have helped define my strengths. A constant, however, has been my beliefs. My faith has been tested on many occasions in my life and yet now, as I reflect on who I am, I know that my belief has not swayed. I believe in a greater Being who watches over the world. And I believe that this Being will get me through difficulties. Always.

So who am I? At this moment in time I am a woman, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a teacher, a believer in the goodness of humanity and in God. I am a South African and a Canadian. I am the sum of all my experiences.

I am me.

Who are you?

Five-Minute-Friday-badge© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: define)