A Tulisan Woman: Nadine Zamira Sjarief
“You have to start with your closest surroundings. You have to be a testament to change by being consistent in what you believe in” – Nadine Zamira
Change is a difficult quest. When you have built a life surrounded by daily comforts, it is hard to bring yourself down and plunge back into what is considered bare necessity. The participation of change is often faced with resistance to the unfamiliar and the tremor of fear as it tempers with your consciousness – often creating a resonance of doubt to your beliefs.
Change comes with a price. A price Nadine Zamira courageously convince will be for the better. She once posted in her instragram account, the wisdom of Socrates, “The secret of change is to focus your energy, not fighting the old, but on building the new.” An adage she has genuinely strived for in advocating for the environment.
IT ALL STARTS FROM THE HOME
From a relatively young age, Nadine Zamira has been exposed to the great outdoors. The value of appreciating nature was quickly instilled to her family through her experiences of hiking, bird watching, to urban farming. These constant interactions were pivotal in her life and have since molded her sensitivity to be cautious to the environment.
“It is a way of life,” she often exclaims. Today, foreseeing the lack of awareness towards environmental conservation in Indonesia, Nadine has developed her start-up as both her cause and personal pursuit for living. She has built a Public Relations agency specializing in environmental communication she names LeafPlus – proudly marking the agency to be the first of its kind locally.
“I was only fulfilling my destiny.” She once mentioned to me, when I first asked of her motivation to pursue this field.
My first encounter with Nadine happened three years ago when we were first introduced by a former co-worker. From our initial meetings to the experience of traveling to a global lecture series in Ubud, I had developed an understanding that balance was a great priority for her. She is bold, smart, and equally masters an eye for anything aesthetic pleasing. Her love for beauty and observing nature evolved into her appreciation towards arts and design. Her exquisite charm and slender figure can easily mistake her for a model, but as the popular saying goes, Nadine carries both “beauty and brain” with much admiration.
A good challenge for both the mind and body is something she does not back down to. Other than once being the former contestant of Miss Earth, becoming guest speakers in seminars or writing multiple essays on her cause, she has been involved in activities which give her an adrenaline kick, she joined the Amazing Asia Race with her closest friend and have previously been an active member of a cross-fit gym. Both activities that require not only a mental drive but also a strong physique.
Breaking old habits is a difficult task for anybody, especially, when the habits involve is for a greater cause. Habits may be changed psychologically, but to be consistent requires the right emotional trigger. I asked Nadine, in offering a service that promotes people to reevaluate their behaviors, what her trigger would be:
“One of the most effective ways is really being exposed to nature, social problems, and the needs of people that are less fortunate. I know it sounds simple, but ironically a lot of people do not go out of their bubble – they stay in their comfort and convenience and they do not think they feel they have any other responsibilities beyond that.”
BECOMING A ROLE MODEL
Meanwhile in terms of influencing her team members and clients, she instill a “client-in-training” concept, where she digs deep to ask the core questions of why they feel obliged to associate with these issue and why their involvement is important.
The key very much lies in focusing on being a role model, “I do what I do because I believe in something so much, and I focus on that. I really believe it [and] I do hope to influence or inspire them.” As a leader, she has discovered realization of becoming a leader who manages and nurtures at equal measures. “The hardest things I see with employees, I think they are in conflict with themselves as well, because they want to achieve something else for themselves.” What Nadine encourages is to grow together, be intuitive, and change their roles to maintain a level of exploration and enjoyment.
SUSTAINABILITY AND HUMAN INTEREST
“Sustainability itself is a concept to protect human interest, we propose this balance and equilibrium, but the main agenda is to protect humans so we can still thrive.”
While implementing a thoughtful living has been ingrained in her, getting people on the same wagon proves to be a challenge. Nadine mentions time and again, the problem in an urban setting is the act of consuming without thinking. Although there is an apparent and healthier shift to promote a slow and less wasteful living, many are still dubious on what Sustainability is for their own self.
Sustainability is a rational concept, to sustain is to think of longevity. As people strive on short-term thinking, a sustainable life requires sensibility in thinking for a long and productive life. With this harmonious desire for balance of human and nature, Nadine shares her own interpretation:
“The overreaching value for Sustainability for me is respect. Respecting others, respecting living beings in the planet by creating a balance. The overall mission of Sustainability and with I am trying to do is achieve happiness. Rest assured, whatever you are doing is not compromising the well-being of other people in the planet.”
In order to achieve that ideal happiness, “you need to create your own reality,” Nadine mentions. She has chosen to contribute to something bigger than her own self by ploughing consistently with care. As history has proven that change takes on the side of courageous, Nadine Zamira thrive on her belief with a fundamental spirit, “I want to prove I can do this.”
– Athina Ibrahim
Photography by Gabriela Bhaskar