This post was originally supposed to be a very long rant on how frustrated I am for catching a stomach bug that's left me eating no more than 3 spoons of soup or rice for days now. I've seen the doctor and gotten my meds so the healing process should speed up soon, God-willing.
You know what stopped me from being all whiney? My previous blog post. My stomach bug will inevitably go away, it's just a matter of time. As dramatic as I can be, I'm a big girl and I can handle a few days of nausea. Heck, a few days of not eating will probably do my love handles some good.
But there are some people, with much less strength than me who have to endure pain and discomfort for many months if not years. Kids in hospital with tubes sticking in and out of their bodies, suffer hair loss and be in bed all day. Kids with no play time?? That's incomprehensible for any child!
So aside from good quality medical care what else does a sick child fighting for his/her life need? Smiles and laughter, of course. Red Bubbles is a non-profit charity organisation in Malaysia that provides just that!
Dressed in a slightly more chirpier lab coat, Dr Bubbles and his helper goes around visiting children's wards and give the young patients a reason to smile even if they think they don't have one.
Ok, I know what you're thinking. Clowns are SCARY. Before I met Dr Bubbles, I thought so too! But he's not just any clown, he received professional training in caring clowning at Clown Camp, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and studied theatre clowning under one of America's BEST physical comedy instructors, Avner Eisenberg. So if you thought to be a clown all you need is a red nose... think again!
Please don't view Dr Bubble's job as any less important than a policeman's or a rocket scientist's. Keeping children happy is a very honourable job. If you've ever been sick, you'd know just how much you've appreciated someone cheering you up.
Putting a smile on someone's face is such a wonderful thing because it's in that moment that you put your time and energy into something other than yourself. That's how we should aim to lead our lives—selflessly and compassionately.
If you've the time and funds, please donate to Red Bubbles. It's such a GREAT cause.
I'm all for very positive causes AND people. Oh so often, people like to dwell in the unruly side of this world but guess what? There are ordinary yet AMAZING people out there who strive very hard to change the lives of people. Sadly, they don't get nearly as much coverage as raunchy celebs and corrupt leaders.
Dr Bubbles' real name is Iskandar Syah Ismail. I had the pleasure of meeting him during a hospital visit a few weeks ago and I've heard so much about him so imagine how excited I was to find out he was going to be there!
The journalist in me couldn't resist asking him a few questions.
Q: You're a qualified engineer (I KNOW RIGHT?), so you were working as an engineer first before becoming a clown?
A: No, I went straight to this job.
Q: So you never worked as an engineer? Then what made you decide to cheer up young patients for a living?
A: Nope. When I finished my degree, I asked my mentor for advice on how to start my career. He told me to do what I LOVE and he said "Don't be like me. I'm stuck here."
Q: How do you do your job? It must be so difficult.
Q: It took me every bit of strength I had to not cry in that children's ward. I had to absorb every single ounce of positivity in that room; I had to focus on the patient's smile just so I wouldn't cry.
A: You've found the secret! It takes a lot of positivity to work with patients. It takes COURAGE and a big heart.