Sunday, June 29, 2008


I have learned that I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way. --a friend

When talking with people online I have learned to keep my heart open to signals for help. Well, I have found out that the hurt, pain, issue, concern or whatever else it’s called which a person goes through in life manages to slip out in the chat or conversation. Even his silence can be telling.

Yet I also know my limitations. No matter how much I want to help sometimes I can’t because I don’t have the ready answers to it in my hands. I’m not superwoman or a fairy godmother or some deity who has the solution easily turning woes to joys – and no human being is. Not right to pretend at it either – not good to give out false hopes. And maybe I’d be tempted to simply disappear from the chat and blame it on the ‘failed’ internet connection the next time we meet. Often though I find that neither is my strength sufficient for such a deep need. I may be just like the other person frail and weak; I know I am.

But then I can’t let the moment pass without trying to help ease someone’s burden when the moment calls for it. It’s something Mom was very good at with friends and strangers alike in her time. She never turned her back on a hurting heart. Maybe I am unable to give concrete solutions but I stay and listen. It tugs right at my heartstrings I guess just like Mom.

Yet my human limitations are not a drawback in helping people I now understand. There is something that I can do that transcends everything else. I can --- PRAY.

I can pray and pray I will. I don’t need a church to do that nor a prayer book nor some grand manifestation or external trappings of ‘feigned holiness’ which admittedly is often seen around us unfortunately. Just like this lady I saw in a passenger jeep with closed eyes and fingers on her rosary supposedly ‘praying’. Ten minutes later, her fingers were still on the same bead unmoving! -- Quite amusing indeed. Several days after in another jeep I saw this old woman with her rosary -- finishing ten Hail Mary beads before she got off for her stop. That was something. Just an observation. Not saying that one is better than the other -- I can't read minds nor intent. We each have our ways in pursuing piety or religion. That is not the issue here.

You and I can pray for anyone where we are at with what we have in the silence of our souls – with nobody knowing at all. It’s called the ‘heart prayer’. It’s accurate, foolproof, speedy, and effective because it travels from heart to heart --- from your heart to God’s heart. Straight, direct, no jammed lines or messed up signals. And you’re sure to catch His attention because you know what --- He always keeps tuned-in to --- hearts.

So then when you find yourself saying to someone ‘I’ll pray for you’ --- do it please. You’ll be doing the very best you can do for that person.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


"I have learned that being kind is more important than being right."

Why do people have this fierce quest to be right all of the time? Why do people think that being right ups their personal value more than anything else? Well, maybe yes, or maybe no.

‘Does it matter? He is wrong and we are right.’ That’s what we would always say. Aww c'mon, is that what it is?! But life isn’t all about being right all of the time. Right doesn’t always make us the good guys. If we pursue and defend right in a manner that appears heartless, mean, ruthless, or demeaning then whatever our good intent that sense of being right would be lost in the pieces of a shattered heart --- a broken spirit.

We go to extra lengths to defend being right or prove a point which we think is the correct one. But did we ever stop to think just how this hard badgering and hammering is affecting the other person? That the words we speak although of good intent may not be the right things to say to him? That we have become blind in our hearts and fail to see that the other person is hurting?

How about trying on his shoes for a change and see how that feels? Maybe then you will wish so hard that the world or people were a little bit kinder? That it’s not so much being right but being kind which truly matters? That people can be wrong, true, but are we always kind?

Being right is okay in its proper time intent and place, but being kind is more important --- because it’s in being human and humane that we truly make the grade.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


“I’ve learned that I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.”

I like that line. Why? Because I’ve heard it often people say that they can’t help feel a certain way (predominantly downbeat) – that they can’t do anything about it. Don’t you think that’s simply an admission of weakness and defeat -- Two things which we should never allow to set in our life?

I agree that it requires a mind of steel to veer away from feelings which grip you like a vise but if those feelings can’t provide you with a general state of calm or peace, then wouldn’t it be just right to do something about it? Why choose to remain at a place where ugly emotions such as anger, jealousy, fear, vengeance, envy, etc. gnaw at your sense of well-being? Why not try to shift gear and take it to an upbeat situation or course thereby serving a better purpose? You can’t let those ugly emotions ride or control you, especially when you know that it is hurting another person or better yet hurting you. I’ve learned that much.

You can certainly choose what to do about it. It’s been said that mainly there are two approaches to a problem – one is to solve the problem, the other is to change your attitude towards the problem. With feelings you either stay with it or decide what to do about it.

“I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”

Oh how I know that! I’ve climbed lots of mountains and trekked rugged roads in this life journey. Each not bigger or larger than the other because all were HUGE! Climbing or walking them gave me bruised hands and calloused feet. I got scars from it – emotional scars.

Life’s problems don’t leave us unscathed by it all. It leaves its mark on us, no doubt about it. But you know what, where it hurts us most is where we can experience happiness and growth at its very best.

You probably may have gone through a very difficult phase or situation in life, struggled with it, put in everything you know how, gave it your best shot. And then finally succeeded with it! Remember how you felt with that? The sense of achievement, of learning how strong you can be, of seeing your stack of wisdom grow by leaps and bounds, and of having your cup of joy spill over the brim. Wonderful, isn’t it?

You wouldn’t get that at the mountain top. Rather it’s found as you journey to the top of the mountain.

“I’ve learned that the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?”

Yes, impatience ‘kills’ me. That’s what Mom would always say to me. Things have to be done in the shortest possible time with results following right at its heels. I fret when they don’t. I always believed that time is not to be wasted, that one should do-do-do or work-work-work to get things done pronto!

Impatience was a flaw, I say ‘was’ because I think that I have learned my lesson. Or maybe it has something to do with getting older too. Or maybe Mom finally got through to me. Oh boy! Anyway I have learned that impatience is not a virtue – no matter what some smart aleck says to the contrary claiming that it pushes a person to do more and better. Do more - maybe but better I doubt it. That’s not certainly the case although some genius in our midst may be the exception but rarely.

The average normal person would largely benefit with a process that is well-thought out, studied carefully, and smartly carried out. And this would take TIME, and time requires PATIENCE. Patience to sit down to paperwork or research or brainstorming or to wait for an opportune moment to invest one’s time, energy, and money or to wait till the right puzzle pieces are in place before taking the first momentous step. Don’t you think it is less risk that way?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


A friend once told me that all she ever knows is work, work, work. That didn't impress me at all, even if she managed to take home a fat no fatter paycheck. Because what I saw was a person all dried up, withering away as the years were adding up wrinkles on her face. So I said 'get a hobby!'.. and she replied 'I don't have any!'. Can you believe that?!

So okay my point in telling you about her is to say to you.... "GET A HOBBY!" Whatever it is -- needlecraft, photography, cooking, scrap booking, gardening, writing, etc. -- make room for your passion and creativity. Indulge in it because you got it, it's in there just waiting to be tapped or brought out to the surface... by you!

I have a niece in New York who loves to draw and I hope she gets to read this. The best way to draw is to -- draw!! Draw till your fingers drop. And if it's designing clothes... put your ideas down on paper immediately when the idea comes to you. It may look odd, absurd, or grotesque but it doesn't matter. The puffed skirt was grotesque when it first came out, but look how it's become a big influence in fashion now.

Well, not everybody will become a fashion czar or a famous artist but do it because you love doing it - it's your passion and that's all that matters.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


"You will recognize  your own path when you come upon it,  because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need."  -- Jerry Gillies

That about answers the question asked me so often when among the young hopefuls I’ve interviewed for a job before. They tell me that they have so many plans, so many dreams, and yet never seem to know which one is the right one for them. Confused and bewildered they keep on hammering at a wide range of choices believing that the right one will surface and show its face and that somehow things will break and they will hit gold – but maybe or maybe not. I’m not convinced with that method.

It’s not always smart to spread yourself thinly over a wide field of prospects. It’s like using up energy and shooting wild bullets with no specific target in sight. Besides it will wear you out faster and pretty soon you will find yourself dragging your feet from one place to another. That’s a candidate for frustration and disappointment and a waste of precious time and talent – one which you can’t afford to lose.

And I have seen other young people take on a well-thought out and planned approach. These boys and girls start out with a well-defined and definite sense of self and purpose; have equipped themselves with the necessary education and training, and studied their prospects sorting out those which they believe will be a sure fit. They don’t bother with anything which does not fill the criteria they have set down. In such a way they succeed to narrow down the choices to the best of the crop. Once this has been decided then and only then do they gear up for the pursuit and journey. Armed with a clearer vision of who they are, what they have and what they hope to achieve..... amazingly the required enthusiasm energy and imagination needed to see it through springs out or bursts forth in unexplained measure and further throughout the journey would gain even greater momentum as each time the goal becomes closer to one’s view and reach.

"Start believing now that we can be who we are." --- (Anon.)