Friday, December 3, 2010
Presented before the beginning of the Mass in the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy. This is done so that the faithful who attend the celebration of the Holy Mass in the Shrine are given awareness of the greatness of this Liturgical season. Advent calls us to a life of preparation for the Lord's coming in Christmas.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Before I left Don Bosco Makati, one word was introduced to me – “IMBA.” IMBA is short for imbalance or imbalanced. In the past few days, one thing is lingering in my mind; and, that thought is how much I yearn for balance. Balance not in my surroundings but balance for my personal well-being.
In the recent years, I got my mind so occupied with so many responsibilities. Yes, I have committed myself to so many things. Added responsibilities mean added tasks. However, as the months and years progressed I notice one thing, I became forgetful and I tend to forget which task should come in first because I have realized that everything that I wanted to do was personally considered a “priority.” This mentality and belief has led to many consequences. Effects have begun to take its toll in the recent times.
First, since I believed everything was a priority, there was always something that was left out. There was always something that was delayed. Some things were missed. Other things were left underneath the books and then ultimately forgotten. In the end I was the one who ended stressed-up.
Second, since this behavior resulted to stress, my body started to respond negatively. I got more sickly. My immune system dropping – getting hit by the cold several times in a year. I have become hypertensive with a blood pressure reading reaching up to as high as 140/100. And since every single thing I committed to was important, I simply did not have enough time to go to the gym anymore – though I try to come back now. As with regards to my health, I was not able to take good care of my body’s needs any more.
Third, since process has taken its toll in my mind and in what I do, I ultimately got so many process stored in my mind that sometimes I tend to forget the ones that should be done outright. For example, I was at the gym this afternoon. As a practice, I would take all my things and put them in my locker. Today, I completely forgot to put my shorts in my locker. What did my shorts have? Well, It just holds my cellphone, wallet with driver’s license and voter’s ID, my coin pouch which also holds my ATM card. It only occurred to me that I wasn’t able to put my shorts in the locker when I was done using the treadmill. I panicked and thank God that the attendant in the men’s room was kind enough to keep it for me. I ask myself, what other things will be lost if I do not change how I do things and how I perceive things.
I will have to say, my balance has been left shaken and I need to do something before the gravity of things increase.
Here is a quicklist of how I think I should respond to this:
First, accept the fact that I am not a “Superman” or supercomputer.
Second, learn to prioritize the things which really need to be done. Let the ones that need more attention come in first.
Third, give up some of your so-called priorities. Life is about balance and moderation. Too much of something is not good.
Fourth, you cannot do all things at once. You will need to give up something and concentrate on the things that you really want and need to do.
Life should be enjoyed and not be taken as a process oriented endeavor. Before you can raise mountains you simply have to make sure that you are a well-moderated being. Balance is important if you believe that you can do great things. How will you move mountains if you have already killed yourself because of imbalance? How about you, are you also IMBA?
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I got carried away today, so i started writing... It's been some time since I last blogged...
We tend to look up to people and circumstances. The higher we look up to them, the higher our expectations become. The higher our expectations become, the higher our fall becomes when they fall short of our expectations. The same thing happens when we dream. the skeptic would ask us, "why dream when everything else is dictated by the real world?"
The skeptic may be right, in a way. We ask for things that our mind can behold but later on we are left depressed and anxious because the world did not play harmoniously into how we wanted things to be. The reality of things will tend to negate our longing, it will tend to negate what we hold dear in our minds. It will contest our desires by telling us: "Wait, don't do that because...", "Wait, it's not time yet because..." Skepticism will show us that our dreams are not attainable because of the reality of things. It will tell us that dreams are only dreams because they are not real.
I agree and I refute the skeptic. I agree with the skeptic because he is right, dreams are not real. I disagree with the skeptic because dreaming is not an activity of reality therefore it should not be equated with reality.
Dreaming is an activity of the ideal. Dreaming is a result of the mind's workshop. Dreaming is an intangible force of human nature that allows every single individual to go beyond reality and make things better for everyone. Dreaming is an intricate design of the unseen and untouched that every individual possesses, which allows him to ascend from the real to the "superman" that he wants to be. Dreaming should never be considered an activity of reality. It is dreaming that drives reality. Continue dreaming and we will soar to greater heights. Reality is only an effect of dreaming. Reality would cease to exist if we stopped dreaming.
The ideal person should never stop dreaming in spite of the difficulties he encounters in day-to-day challenges. The ideal person is the one who drives communities and societies to make things better.
“What the mind can conceive, it can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill
People by nature always wish to go beyond what they are capable of doing. Gusto natin may mapatunayan tayo. (We want to prove something.) Gusto natin ma-beat ang records ng iba. (We want to go beyond the achievements of others.) Proving something to ourselves and proving something to those around us.Yep, it's part of our so-called "human nature."
I guess that's the problem with many Filipinos. They like to brag their accomplishments. They like to show off what they can do and what they have done. Seriously, it's making me sick. It happens in all government agencies. As an example, just look at the Department of Education. For every term in office, one DepEd Secretary wish to implement something different and do it in the name of "progress and development!" CRAP!!! It's all but a scam that squanders good tax money. They implement but they lack maintenance and verification to determine if their "plan" was fraudulent or not. A so-called milestone in their "leadership."
Why be skeptical of DepEd?!?! Lets just go into most organizations that exists under the sun... many leaders want to prove that they are capable of doing things. "Let's do this and that!", "You do this and that", "You do this and I'll do that!", "Let's walk our journey to greatness!" Flowery words that may seem too great to behold for a third party. Unfortunately, many of these so-called leaders who talk this way can oftentimes forget one dynamic principle. They neglect the humanitarian nourishment of their organization.
Organizations are built in order to embody the principle that "more heads are better than one." Organizations function because of its human side. It is a dynamism that springs out of human nature. It is sad to see that many organizations nowadays function based on process. They neglect that their members are breathing, living, feeling and thinking individuals. In order to achieve greatness, each organization should acknowledge that for a fact. There should be a humanitarian approach in dealing with organizations.
Ethics defines humanitarianism as "the doctrine that humanity's obligations are concerned wholly with the welfare of the human race." In other words, people are important in a living, breathing and growing organization. This is a deep and relevant issue that should not be taken in too lightly because the success of an organization is not just dependent on the leader but also in the welfare of his people. A leader who neglects this is in for a great roller-coaster ride. Humanitarianism IS RELATIVE to a successful organization!!!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
In this day and age we are reminded of the nobility of the knight, the noble chivalry. We are challenged by circumstances, at times we are helpless and at times we are tempted to forget our human dignity and integrity in responding to these challenges. The mind offers so many solutions and it is also the mind that can determine how our bodily actions can respond to these situations. May the qualities of the knight be infused in our day-to-day responses to the growing challenges.
To us commoners, we can all become nobles in our own accord.
To us educators, who celebrated World Teachers' Day on October 5, we have a lot of catching up to do in molding the minds of the young to become nobles in their day-to-day undertakings.
To us who have undergone a great deal of disintegration, it is never too late to continue learning for the better and rise up from the obstacles of life.
To my dear students, past, present and future, may you follow the endeavors of the noble chivalry. Make things happen, move mountains and may your spirits not be dampened by the misfortunes of life.
We must remember that this world never benefited from arms race and the exchange of soiled words. We must remember that this world has been built by people who lived a life of courtesy, giving, and sacrifice with a high regard for quality of work. As we live in the age of reason and information may these endeavors never be left under the dust and bookshelves of the forgotten worlds.
We are often compelled to ask: "why am I here?", "what is the purpose of my existence?", "why did God place me here?"
We always want quick answers to these questions. We always end up disappointed when we do not get the answers. We tend to rebel when we do not get the satisfactory answers.
Ang buhay nga naman tlga, parang life (I couldn't find an exact translation). Contentment, purpose, people, career... daming mga bagay ang dapat tignan, i-consider, at ipagpaliban (there are so many things to check, consider, and let go)... And then when the things don't turn up the way we want them to be, or when things start to topple off the balance, we start to complain, question and rebel.
After twenty-seven years of my existence I am now able to synthesize the answer to these questions. It's this:
First Synthesis... Life is in partnership with patience. It reveals things in due course. Life is like getting into a relationship. Know it first, befriend it, court it, trust it and then once it allows itself to be "seduced" it gives you endless possibilities and opens the door to limitless beauties that it can offer. The problem is we now live in the age of Cyberspace where everything is readily made available at the click of a finger. Minsan tuloy tingin natin sa buhay ay isang work-station na meroon internet connection (We tend to look at life as instant as clicking a button in a computer with internet connection). We are growing impatient with life. We want quick results. But the thing is, life is not like that.
Second Synthesis... Make every moment worthwhile. The information age is making us people take things for granted. When things become slow-phased we become bored and we start to feel that time has come still and it's the end of the world for us. Not so. It doesn't have to be. Simple pauses to thank the creator. Short chats with old and new buddies at *bucks. Exchanging ideas with the young. Learning from the experiences of the learned and the wise. Picking up a book to read. Finding a quiet spot to reflect. Spending time with your family. These are the things that will allow us to put meaning in every moment.
Third Synthesis... Know your "Calling." We are given special gifts and are tasked to do special assignments by the Creator. In every instance the gift corresponds with the special assignment. Have we really given ample time for ourselves to determine our gift and special assignment? Call me an idealist but I avoid people who tell me that we have to be practical and we have to give up what we love to do for the people we love. It's not really relative. I believe that we just have to do what we love and the rest follows. Harness and cultivate the gift that was given. I am still a supporter of this ideology. We make a difference and contribute for the wellness of society when we give our best in the best way we can. We can only do this when we know our "Calling."
Experience is the best teacher. When I was starting college here in Manila it was a totally different atmosphere. I was an observer in a big playground. Having grown in another country and studied in a school where the culture was totally different from where I am is a big shift.
As an observer I said nothing and basically weighed things according to how I see them. I learned from the people around me. I made experience teach me life's lessons. I explored around spent time with more people than I ever had compared to my high school life (when things were really just between me, myself and I). I was like a hound set off from its cage. I observed people, groups, church work, politics, and many more. I regarded myself as a historian (a lover of history), therefore I always relied on facts. Observation is a stage in getting the facts.
I was not an observer throughout. Observing was just a key to get the essentials. A key that allows us to learn what life is capable of giving us, and what we can give back to life. I started standing up for things that I believe is right. I started to say things that I believed is right. I started to initiate things that I believe is right. I was given several chances to speak, lead and serve.
Standing up for what you believe and doing things in accordance has its price. It has a price to pay. As I moved on I received criticism with increasing intensity. You have to mingle with people who did not share the same principles and practices and thus finding ways to get things done with them in the picture.
More than about a year ago when I was still teaching in Don Bosco Mandaluyong, I passed by the Small Chapel, as me and my colleagues usually do on our way home. There was a mass that time being held by the college. Fr. Edwin Soliva SDB was presiding and it was time for the homily when we got there. His words somehow caught my attention (it's something like this, because it was in Tagalog):
"If you do not want to receive criticism, I'll give you a piece of advice. It's this, when times arise say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. Maging isa kang wala! (Be nothing!)"
When people choose to stand up for what they believe is right, they receive crticism. When people choose to do what they believe is right, they receive criticism. When people choose to say what they believe is right, they receive criticim.
You see, when we receive criticism it means we stood up for something. At this point of my life, I can not remain silent nor can I remain still. I have been seduced by life and I have to do something for life, not just my life but also for the lives of those placed around me. I am a Bosconian, I am called to animate.
Any of these statements can be true to anyone. Life gives us many experiences and these experiences allows us to view life from different perspectives. Life can be a curse or a blessing to many of us. Life being a curse or blessing is not really determined by the situation but by how we perceive it and respond to it.
My life as an individual, a teacher, a student, a son, a brother, a leader, and a friend has taught me several things. The things that we face in life, whether good or bad bring us many things; and, among these things, it brings about growth.
The posts in this blog gives testimony to my realizations and reflections as I pass on through this life so that I may be reminded of how richly blessed I have been in spite of the many difficulties life has to offer.