Thursday, October 25, 2007


The old yellow school bus came right on schedule and my neighbor’s children in crisp school uniforms got on in apparent expectant haste. I guess they are so thrilled to be getting back with friends in school. Not with the driver though who didn’t seem too happy with his task, actually looked so bored. Oh well.

Bit by bit my small neighborhood comes alive with fathers driving to work, mothers seeing their children off to school, several twenty-something maidens walking to the jeepney station for their usual rides off to work or some other destination, a handful of pedicabs stirring the village streets with its ear-splitting noise ferrying people in-and-out of the area, and topping it all are the neighborhood dogs with their own distinct welcome to the new day - a rousing barrage of intermittent barks! -- a language all their own. Ugh! What an odd symphony. Are my eardrums splitting?

Welcome, Father Time! You’re another year older. And it’s back to the grindstone once more for the rest of us.

I see some of my friends delighted for the coming of the New Year. To them it means another set of fresh beginnings – another brand new start. A chance to create once more new hopes, plans, dreams – or hurdle anew those challenges of old unsettled in the year that past.

In another camp I see a good number tittering on the edge of indecision, hesitancy, uncertainty. The question being ‘where do I go from here?’ ‘What next?’ ‘What lies ahead?’

Scary stuff, huh? The future always is ‘scary’ because it always scares us not to know what’s going to happen to us in it. C’mon, this is the future. This is where we are at now. Like some wise man once said – ‘this is the tomorrows we so speak of and thought of yesterday’, or something to that effect. :-)

How it looks to you now is going to tell you how you have prepared for it or whether you have diligently done your ‘homework’. This doesn’t only refer to the tangible and material things that we do to prepare for this. Obviously everybody embraces that as a major concern in life, I know.

What I am pointing at is how you are prepared in your thoughts, attitudes, and in wisdom. You know, the past year shouldn’t just go by with nary a lesson or lessons taken from it by you because every bit of those life lessons (good and bad) help you in your self-growth and shaping. What priceless fruit/s you get out of it or gather from it will comprise your personal arsenal of tools --- Tools which you can use to tackle the future, any future for that matter, and all its uncertainties confidently and fearlessly as should be. You see, God didn’t give us a fearful heart. Instead He gives us the resources, all that we need, to stand up and hold our heads high as we journey through this life. But, mind you, you have to make it your own or it will simply pass you by. God doesn’t take it back but you certainly stand the chance to gain it or lose it. It’s all up to you.

So what do I mean by ‘tools’? Allow me to lend you a brief glimpse into my backpack in my own journey. I’ve got several tools packed in there.

-Like and love life and living

-Understand at best existing differences and uniqueness of every
person you’ll cross paths with.

-Love yourself. You must be so special to merit God’s dogged
attention, care, provision, and love.

-Connect with Mother Nature. She’s your best friend.

-Don’t be afraid of challenges, of change, of making mistakes.
How you face it is who you really are.

-Be patient with everyone, things, and the events of your life,
especially when all of time seems to stand still. Remember,
“They too serve who only sit and wait”.

-Think not only with your mind but also with your heart. These two
are inseparable; one can’t live without the other.

-Grasp every piece of learning that life sends your way. Grow with
and from it.

-Understand your ‘baggage’. Accept that it is part of your own history.

-Be kind and kinder in thought, word, and deed. You’ll never know
how much that could mean to another soul.

-Be of good faith. Pray. Pray for others too. We all need a prayer
at one time or another in our difficult lives. Prayer is active love
and compassion for one another’s plight. Anyone can do it, regardless
of religion, race, beliefs, and culture.

It’s a perfect set of tools --- though often I work imperfectly at it. But I am confident that as I go along and use it, I will become better at it. There will be more added to my pack, of course, because after all this journey isn’t over yet.

Fear not. Just go back to the grindstone and work your old or new hopes and dreams. Don’t waste life – don’t waste you. And let’s not waste the New Year upon us. We’ll never get a second chance. Like Mom would say --- “Honey, give it your best shot! Take care of today, that’ll take care of your tomorrows.”

posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 10:21 AM

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