The Most Important Things

Twenty-three years of bittersweet life passed yet another one unfolds. And I am more than richly blessed now because God gives me another story to write and another life to live. Today, I just want to share a message of how grateful I am to make this far.

I went to a mall in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines yesterday to reward myself with a gift- a new pair of shoes. Too advance, right? So I bought the one that really suits my preference. I was in sheer bliss because it was the first time that I had bought an expensive one. It was by far one of the most important things I have. But, I was wrong. Absolutely wrong! 

Just this morning, I received a message from my mother and sister sending their warm birthday greetings. I was thankful to them because they never get tired of loving me. But apart from that, I remembered the time when I surmounted the greatest challenge. I was in a depressive state last year (2020). I was jobless, helpless and desperate. However, I was fortunate enough because my former colleagues never led me astray. They were there cheering me up when I was feeling low. I also looked back on the days when I was so down because someone caused me great pain and it was the least thing I could handle. But I am still thankful because I have the most important things in my life. It is not literally “what” because…

The most important things I have right now are not really things, not even the shoes I bought yesterday, but they are the persons who have been there through my ups and downs and who have become part of my life.

Unfathomable Silence

“Speak less, listen more, ” the wise author advised. Those words are more than just being written because everytime I want to speak up, they always hold me back. They somehow pierce my soul. They always reverberate in my mind. This experience kept me close to being mute. 

There was one time when a lecturer disturbed the silence and asked, “Which one is better, a good communicator or a good listener?” One person replied, “Both.” “You’re correct!” the lecturer countered. Unbeknownst to them, I was skeptical about their views. I could hardly understand their responses. Thereafter, the lecturer added that it’s better to be a good listener than a good communicator. Their opinions mattered to me, but I wanted to argue behind my approval nod. So I gazed into the slide and expressed my viewpoint. 

“What the hell are you talking about? I couldn’t figure it out!”
“Seriously! Are you dreaming while waking up?”
“Or haven’t you drunk coffee all day?”

Gladly, I was talking to myself and did not use any of the those. My gorgeous friend beside me then asked, “Are you okay?” “Yes, I am, ” I responded. I was about to even speak less, but I couldn’t. Perhaps, it’s because I was poisoned by the author’s words. So I just let my silence be unfathomable. I continued conversing with these thoughts of mine. 

A good communicator can always be a good listener, but a good listener can’t always be a good communicator. By listening to someone, reacting to what he/she has said and subsequently understanding each other, that makes you a good communicator. Conversely, by merely and attentively listening to someone talking, that makes you a good listener- nothing more and nothing less. Well, I’d rather be a good communicator than a good listener. 

When the discussion was over, I realized that you can learn out from speaking less and listening more. But it’s not always the case. I became a good listener during that time which showed whom I was influenced by (my favorite author) and not who I really am, but I never regretted because I learned. The truth may be quite elusive, but there is a hidden message to decipher behind the esoteric words. Knowing the truth, it is best to be a good communicator. One who listens. One who speaks. And one who has the capability to understand and be understood. I guess that is enough for me.

Never Too Late

At times, we need to reassess ourselves- our dreams, our habits, our viewpoints and our core. And yeah, it is never too late to dream of something others find impossible. Never too late to replace our mundane hobbies with more productive ones. Never too late to do away with the negative perspective. Never too late to get rid of the things that do not matter in the end. It is never too late to start something new regardless of how old we are and how bad we were. 

When our bad parts outweigh the good ones, then change. Only then you would get to know the most important person in front of the mirror. 

A beautiful soul,
A ray of light,
A blessing from above, 
The most precious gift. 

So, make a change! Better yourself! It is never too late. Never too late.

Silver Lining of Struggles

These days, we have been facing abrupt disaster that utterly engendered increase of death tolls and downturn of economy. Many countries around the world, whether well-off or impoverished, are tested. However, despite these changes, relationships are strengthened. This undeniably substantiates that silver lining appears in every cloud.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us deep sadness mixed with tremendous fear caused by a myriad of infected persons. Yet, this challenges us to see things at the brighter side and teaches us to accept that change is the only permanent thing in this world. Furthermore, instead of indulging ourselves over sadness and fear, we better replace these with joy through means possible to us. But, joy is no more a perfume that we have to spray on ourselves before we spray it on others. Conversely, joy is a stone that is thrown into the pond which means that we have to be heedful of our actions and intention of making others joyful. It is because even sole action can have a great influence on others. For instance, you hung out with your friends because you wanted them to be happy and unknowingly, you were infected by one of them. Now, are we making our fellowmen happy with our actions? Certainly, not! We can effectively bring happiness to others by following the safety protocols implemented by our government officials and even by affirming the people on the front line to boost their morale rather than discriminating them. In these pressing times, we ought to consider that others’ happiness lies on our actions and not on our happiness.

Moreover, the pandemic has strengthened relationships. In fact, there were organizations who willingly shared their resources to people in need. Apart from that, there were people who voluntarily gave money to strangers amid this crisis. All these acts have shown that regardless of economic status, people can still lend someone a hand. Impossible becomes possible even when we are faced with challenges. In addition, these times have made us do the things we did not value before. We prioritize our health more than luxuries. We devote much more time to our families than our friends. We pay attention more to our needs than our wants and the like. Things have changed dramatically. Particularly, what we can do now is to adapt to change. We cannot gain something from starting up an argument with someone or spreading erroneous information to the public, etc. Let us do our positive part!

No wonder, this pandemic is either advantageous or disadvantageous. It depends on how we see and value things. Besides, what we have experienced and how we have responded to it would greatly contribute to who we were and who we will be. After all, this pandemic will soon turn out into a learning opportunity and a learning experience. May we not be petrified of challenges because according to Robert Tew, “The struggles you are in today are developing the strength you need tomorrow.” Let us see the silver lining of struggles!