Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Two Cents Worth—Respect: Core to Understanding Your Tribal Mind

Heaven's expanse starts from where you are now. How you treat the people around you is your heaven or hell. Make-love-not-war that is.



If we are to live in the real world (as opposed to our imaginary, self-made world), respect is the sine qua non of a progressing, harmonious
society.

Without respect, differences or tiffs will grow into fight, battle, or even war. Differences, diversity, and even change are part of a colorful and beautiful gift of life.

To illustrate simply, a couple with three children would raise three different persons with different personalities, different mannerisms, different habits, different perspectives, and even different systems of doing things. Without respect, every single household in a community within a city comprising a province in a certain country within a continent of this big world (catching a breath) will be in disagreement with other households.

No one can totally and perfectly control another. One cannot totally imprint to another his own set of beliefs. It could seem to work at first, but sooner or later the other person will breakfree.

Exercising one’s will is part of human nature. The more one is suppressed, oppressed, controlled, limited, curtailed, all the more one wants to take off.

If we want our loved ones or those under our responsibility to improve, the most we could do is to become the living example of what we want them to learn, and in the process, respect the person they are becoming into—whether it is the version we want or not.

Vicissitude is a staple ingredient of time, of growth, of a beautifully living our lives, of breathing life to our set of values.

Religion is just among the many subjects wherein respect plays a major role. Discussing which religion is best or the original is like discussing which comes first, chicken or egg. But one thing is sure, RELIGION WILL NOT SAVE YOU. IT’S HOW YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE AND TREAT OTHERS THAT WILL SAVE YOU.
No God wants killings, especially of the innocent. Even those who don’t believe in God, their consciences repel the evil acts—killings, tortures, taking advantage of the innocent.

I have my own fair share of religious diversity in my environment, but we live in harmony because of respect.

My mom was born Baptist, grew up practicing Seventh Day Adventist beliefs because she studied in an Adventist school, and she married my father who was born a Roman Catholic, grew up devoted Catholic, and died a devout Catholic. Since getting married to my father in 1980, my mother remains a practicing Roman Catholic until now.

My mom’s brothers and sisters are Baptist, Catholic, and a Muslim. My father’s siblings are all devout Catholic.

When I was in college, I lived with friends who are agnostic, atheist, Muslim, Catholic, Methodist. I got involved with a Protestant, Catholic, a Buddhist, two Muslims, and an agnostic.

When I started working, I lived with three good people who were agnostics, and one was even my roommate. Our Muslim organization brod who lived next door always stayed at our place, and there was totally no issue. They all know I was actively serving in my Catholic religious community, yet we all lived happily under one roof.

I have a very dear friend who is polygnostic. To each his own. Just practice what you preach, and live out the values/tenets/dogmas of your religious affiliation, then others might be inspired and follow your lead.

One cannot say he is better than the other and only he will enter the blissful eternal kingdom because of his religion, or because he has a god/God. Many times, those who don’t publicly profess their faith are those who are actually kinder, more compassionate and understanding, and has a deep personal relationship with his Supreme Being. Being religious is different from being spiritual.


All that I am saying is RESPECT can do great things.
Religion, to begin with, is a complex and even personal matter.
Religion shouldn’t be confused with government.
Let us not be judgmental and self-righteous.
Heaven starts where you are now.


In the worlds of politics and corporate, competition can be healthy and power is part of their existence. But in religion, competition has no place and the only powerful is the Supreme Being.


Isn’t it better if we all have learned from our history—both from the good and the bad—and to move forward with our lessons learned and build a life that is truly civilized and harmonious no matter what our religions are, the colors of our skins are, the structures of our faces are, our social statuses are, our languages are, our body types are, our preferences are, our beliefs are...

It is easier said than done. But if we want to create and nurture a better world, we will understand that differences and difficulty is part and parcel of progress, once we understand this and respect others, then hardship in taking part to build a better world no longer matters.

Respect others and be responsible member of the immediate environment you find yourself in.
LIVE responsibly. LOVE others. LAUGH heartily.



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Horrible mid-east crises... The constant killings--young-old, woman-man--is downright social evil of injustice and poverty. International news about the mid-east is emotionally and mentally cathartic and constipating at the same time.

Inasmuch as genuine respect is something one cannot impose, so is religion. Religion, when lived out, naturally inspires others to live the kind of life it teaches.

No God, whatever one's religion/belief is, desires the opposite of peace, kindness, compassion, mercy, and love. A person is deemed a reflection of his God. (Islam is a religion of peace and love, so is Christianity. They both believe in the history of Abraham and Jesus. Genuine Muslims and Christians believe in peace, love, compassion, mercy, and respect).

Unless it's political manipulation of the power hungry, no practicing faithful (of his religion) will kill his brothers for his own ideology. 

Heaven's expanse starts from where you are now. How you treat the people around you is your heaven or hell. Make-love-not-war that is.





Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thinking Out Loud in my Boudoir: No More We Men

With even bigger work place now, these roles have expanded into international ground where trailblazing women change the mindsets and actions of others; lead international brands and companies with thousands of employees; influencing households across the globe; and managing the entire nation.



No more men’s world. Period.

It is so nice to see many empowered women at the forefront of corporate management, political leadership, legal administration, scientific studies, fine and performing arts proliferation, and many other industries.

When you watch CNN, you can see Park Geun-hye, Dilma Rousseff, Angela Merkel, Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner, Julia Gilard, Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, Thokozile Masipa, etc.

When you visit books you can read about Cory Aquino, Indira Gandhi, Amelia Earheart, Grace Hopper, Mother Teresa, Maria Montessori, Cleopatra, Mary, etc.

When you surf online, you will be amazed by Arianna Huffington, Tina Brown, Jill Abramson, Anna Wintour, Miuccia Prada, Gisele Bundchen, Tyra banks, Sushmita Sen, etc.

When you scan through broadsheets you will find Sheryl Sandberg, Janet Napolitano, Helen Clark, Sonia Gandhi, Indra Nooyi, Virginia Rometty, Mary Barra, Amy Pascal, Ertharin Cousin, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, etc.

When you turn on TV you see Christiane Amanpour, Oprah, Angelina Jolie, Beyonce Knowles, Jessica Soho, Samantha Brown, Taylor Swift, Monita Rajpal, Sisaundra Lewis, etc.

The time has come when the clear and perceptible boundary between colors, races, and even sexes have gradually evaporated with time.

The border is not completely eradicated yet, as some other nations are still bound by their longstanding traditions and cultures on how they treat and deal with women in society; nonetheless, women empowerment has been a productive effort far and away.

This social campaign [or even personal struggle for many] to stop the discrimination against women and the limitations set on women in terms of opportunities, rights, privileges, and even duties have been in existence since time immemorial.

Mythology and legend used to be the only world where women were hailed as powerful and influential.

But now, it is very encouraging and inspiring to see a lot of girls, ladies, and women excelling and leading in various fields—sports, politics, arts, corporate world, mass media, etc.

Thanks to the great women, both in the international arena and household alike, because they have continuously proved that women can do more than domestic activities through the lives they have lived and the way they have raised their daughters. Not to mention, those secured men who acknowledge the capabilities and strength of women also paved the way for the light of women’s brilliance to shine.

Because of them, we now enjoy this era where we have the power and freedom to go beyond the backstage and speak our voices and exercise our rights; share the same board room and platforms with men;  and conduct exhibitions with equal space with the other sex.


Women then and now have played roles in shaping the minds of the people, leading a pack, influencing the people around them, managing affairs and finances—all these start at home.

With even bigger work place now, these roles have expanded into international ground where trailblazing women change the mindsets and actions of others; lead international brands and companies with thousands of employees; influencing households across the globe; and managing the entire nation.

Having read and watched documentaries about the lives of these powerful women at home and around the globe, I have noticed common attributes:

         1. Balance your mind with heart. Work deliberately and with keen mind, but deal with people with considerate and kind heart.

         2. Know yourself and be familiar with the little voice inside you. Discover your gut and instinct and work with them. Women’s instinct is reliable.

         3. Be confident. Fake it until you make it. Even if you don’t know what you are doing, just fearlessly, creatively, gracefully, and deliberately do it.

         4. Take accountability. Be clear of your responsibilities. When you know your responsibilities and the consequences of your actions, you channel your energy on a particular goal and become efficient in doing the tasks.

         5. Don’t be afraid to fail—and learn from them. When you fall, stand up with grace and class. Failure polishes our character, purifies our intentions, strengthens our core, enhances our endurance, and makes us wiser.

         6. Be compassionate. Treat people how you would like to be treated. Your colleagues aren’t machines, just like you they commit mistakes and fail sometimes.

         7. Prioritize. Know the important and urgent things. Be disciplined to delay gratification—eat the cake first before the icing. But girls that we are, just enjoy what’s at hand!

         8. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. You are human, you have emotions. We are privileged that our society is more open seeing women cry, compassionate, and empathetic. Your emotions make you creative and interesting.

         9. Live a balanced life. Be the best mother, the interesting wife, the model boss, the cool officemate, the motivating competitor, and the approachable person. Bottom line, live a purposeful and colorful life!

        10. Be you. Be comfortable of your skin, your height, your figure, your features. If you don’t love and respect yourself, no one will.


In women's world, it is not lonely at the top.

It’s good how systematic and innovative women can be. Because women are born with invisible friendship cuff with other women,  many women who seem to be competitors are actually good friends behind the camera like Donatella Versace and Miuccia Prada. Also, many business executives traverse conference table from purely business discussions to motherhood stories to personal interests and vice versa.

Women love to share ideas, give pieces of professional and personal advice, exchange parenting tips, update children’s new trips or interests, gossip about husbands’ funny habits, and open up their vulnerabilities.

Let’s celebrate our womanhood! And continue our quest of empowering others, both men and women alike.

It is in women’s DNA that we care about others and are compassionate of others, we inherit this from our mothers and we grew up seeing this in our big sisters, grandmothers, and aunties.


PS: Let us not forget there are still many girls, ladies, and women suffering from modern slavery. There are estimated 27 million slaves around the world and most of them are females who are being exploited for sexual labor against their will and the average age of victims is 12 years old. So let us stand up, be involved, and support others to break free from their sufferings even in our little ways. Nothing is too small in helping others help themselves.




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Thinking Out Loud in my Boudoir is a column for some of my random thoughts that, perhaps, other ladies my age are also experiencing or thinking of—whether from same vantage point or another. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s just my own voice reverberating in my own world. I will do my best to discriminate my reason in this column, and just write spontaneously the first things and thoughts that a normal lady could think of. Just writing as I think...


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Living (In My Dreams)

Your face is molded to my hands
Your smell lingers wherever I go
Your voice sings on repeat in my ears


I don’t wanna concede
I don’t wanna move a bit
I don’t wanna wake up from my magical daydream


Peeking, glancing, staring
All I could do
Peeking, glancing, staring


Nervous,scared, petrified
I wanna come close
I wanna smile
I wanna say hi


Peeking, glancing, staring
All I could do
Peeking, glancing, staring from afar


Always rushing to bed
Sleeping even in the train
Because it’s only in my sleep where
I hold your hands
I kiss your hair
You so gently whisper in my ear

Always willing to be out of my mind
Even in class
Because it’s only in my day dream where
You stroke my hair
You kiss my lips
I tell the world I love you

In my fantasies we belong to each other
In reality you’re but a dream
Peeking, glancing, staring
Always stolen
Peeking, glancing, staring from afar


I don’t wanna wake up
In my sleep, In my daydream


Constantly
Peeking, glancing, staring
Stolen, uh huh, stolen
Get some help, I’m a thief
Peeking, glancing, staring from afar

One day you,
You’ll be stricken, smitten
No more stolen
Peeking, glancing, staring
You will notice me, and not the girl who
Constantly breaks your heart


I don’t wanna wake up
In my sleep, In my daydream
Constantly
Peeking, glancing, staring
Stolen, uh huh, stolen
Get some help, I’m a thief
Peeking, glancing, staring








‘‘ Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.’’ ~ John Keats




Some teenage puppy love right there... :-)
Been in the mood of writing poems recently. But this one I wrote months back and was originally written in Filipino, because I intended to submit it for a song writing competition, but I wasnt able to send for some reason...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bold



You keep on toiling, go on aiming
You keep your feet moving, forget about living
You realize you’re just where you should be
Because the world you’re standing is itself constantly moving

Even if you stop, the world continues
So why tire yourself to keep up on the same track that everybody is taking
Go break free, get yourself a breakthrough
Trust yourself, like how I trust you

Be bold
Put on that red polka dot dress,
Be your own stylist
Swim against the current,
Enjoy the splash of the raging water on your face
Ride on top of the bus,
See the breathtaking view of the cliff sitting beside the ocean
 
Be brave
Drive the truck,
Be in charge of the wheel
Dive in the ocean,
Be the smallest fish in the vast water
Touch the clouds,
Don’t just dream flying

Let go of the travelled path
Make your own trail
Leave a mark

The world is constantly moving
Sunrise will shower its blessings even if you’re asleep
The sun will set even if you’re not ready
You will never ever stop midnight to crack even if you try
You will just never ever

So be brave.
Be bold.
Be you,
Just the way He sees you
Beautiful, strong, and free

Don’t just be a passenger,
Don’t just be the biggest fish in the aquarium
Go breakfree, get yourself a breakthrough

Live!
Move at your own pace
Don’t be a pushover
Don’t let others’ expectations choke you

Let go of the travelled path
Make your own trail
Leave a mark

See the colors of the world
Savor the tastes of life
Know the faces of love
Leave the safe zone
Meet all the emotions out there

So be brave.
Be bold.
Be you,
Just the way He sees you
Beautiful, strong, and free

But in every breath you take
Breathe love in and out

Live and love
Just live and love
Surely your life will be full
Surely your love will give life to all




I wish I were a musician so I could arrange this poem into a song.J
I made this for a very good and dear friend on her 28th birthday... today! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

In Time

It is not always about our convenient time. Sometimes it is about the proper and right time of nature. And all the time, it is about God’s perfect timing.



There’s a time for everything under heaven, a wisdom in the Bible goes.

We know it is true. But sometimes we try to forget it or neglect it or deny it, just for us to pursue what we want or to put off something we need to do.
 
Time can be viewed from various perspectives.

Like one may say, “Wait for the right time, patience is a virtue.” And one would retort, “But time is gold.”

However we view time, one thing is sure—time makes things sweeter and better.

An orange fruit can be sweet when it is eaten when it is ripe. We may choose to (a) harvest it when it gets big but still yellow-green and wait for it to ripen before we eat it; or (b) wait for it to freely fall off the tree, when it is naturally ripe.

In either circumstance, the fruit will naturally ripen on its own and it has its own time to mature and get sweet—our part is just to wait. Or for a third circumstance, we can also (c) pick it the moment we get excited seeing the green young fruit. In this case, the fruit is still sour and bitter, and is not filled with its natural nutrients.

Many of our circumstances in life is like this orange fruit, may it be a relationship with family members, with friends, with colleagues, or even with strangers.

In order to taste the natural sweetness of this beautiful life, all we need is just the right timing. Waiting for the right timing does not necessarily mean you have to sit still or just hover around. Right timing is your capacity to prepare yourself, train yourself, sharpen your skills, or purify your intentions while waiting for that moment to hit the target. Simply put, you don't just force nature to adjust for your convenience; instead, you dance with nature

Right timing does not mean stagnation. While you wait for one thing; you instantaneously equip yourself to be ready to receive or achieve that thing you are waiting for and you enjoy the other facets of your life. This is why timing is an art and discipline.

Your time frame depends on your purpose and acceptance of the situation, so either you:

           a.    grab the lurking potential opportunity and work around it—which is of course risky for some endeavors; or
     b.    wait a little bit more for the sure mature time

The third circumstance of (c) taking action without waiting and contemplation is a sure way to waste many opportunities—of growth, of new relationship, of new business.

You may have lost sight or courage to wait a minute more or go an extra step and you may have felt tired, wounded, or fed up of waiting... remember, a forest that has suffered and has been exploited heals itself on its own. Don't snap or lose morale, just take a break and time itself will reenergize you.

Even without any human intervention (cover up relationship, drinking spree, revenge, getting even, etc), just leave the forest alone and let nature do its wonders, the forest will grow lush and thick faster than you think it would. Like when you scatter seeds—you don’t know how they grow overnight, but they just grow into sprouts.

Same with life, whatever aspect of our lives has been abused (physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually), if we leave it in the hands of God and let God do His wonders, we will be amazed on how He heals us and brings us back to vitality.

So whatever it is that you are going through right now, that you are waiting for, or looking forward to… consider this:

“There is wisdom in waiting. The things you may not understand right now, when they finish their purpose in your life, will make you understand life, others, and yourself better. When things happen how it should be, the result is sweeter and better.”

A wise lover knows when to talk and when to listen.
A wise investor knows when to buy and when to sell.
A wise general knows when to attack and when to retreat.
A wise king knows when to punish and when to forgive.

Timing is special skill. It doesn’t mean you have to wait long all the time… Timing is just a matter of finding joy or productivity while waiting; of taking one step forward to in order to take two steps forward; of feeling the pain now and seize all the lessons so you can start dancing tomorrow; of compartmentalizing things—enjoying one thing, while waiting for another thing to mature to sweetness, while cracking another opportunity to be waited for.

It is not always about our convenient time. Sometimes it is about the proper and right time of nature. And all the time, it is about God’s perfect timing.

Life is more wonderful and colorful if we know how to wait and until when we should wait. Let go and let God! He is in our every circumstance, and His hands are working in our every situation.

Be in the now. Be willing to wait while enjoying what you have now, where you are now!