Tuesday, December 28, 2010


---That humble, gentle Saint of the Catholic Church, Cure of Ars, rightly said:

" Humility is to the virtues what the chain is to the rosary. Remove the chain, and all the beads escape. Take away humility, and all the virtues disappear." ---

Man is made to think that he is invincible. Truth is, it's not all about you. If you know who you are in the eyes of God --- that's what truly matters. And that's all you need to know.


"Four basic premises of writing --
clarity, brevity, sincerity, and humanity."
(William Zinsser)

This is what I tell friends who ask what guides me in the writing. Sincerity tops the list, to my mind. Plenty of topics to write on or about perhaps but I'd rather pick something I feel sincere and honest about. So that when I'm found to be either right or wrong... Well, that'll be my honest right or wrong. :-) Makes for a wonderful learning environment.


Images came to life one day as I sat by the window looking out to a dull day. That of a young girl in high school and a best friend who saw herself as insignificant incompetent. That of an office-mate who didn't think that he could deserve a promotion. That of a niece who thought herself to be a loser. But all three were good at some talent or skill. I remember them so well.

Then came one day when.......

---Dina was pushed by her English teacher to join a campus essay contest. She came out besting the best. She was sent off to represent the school in a national competition; won that.
---James was sent by his boss to handle a project at their provincial branch office. He improved their sales dramatically within a year. He became the manager of that branch.
---Leah was asked by an uncle to assist in an NGO sponsored community activity for street children. The children adored her. She later headed similar community activities and became known for her highly-rated organizational skills and efficiency.

Sometimes we don't get to know our potential nor see the spark of genius within our selves. Sometimes we need a little push from someone who sees us for what we are.. one who sees our genius or potential. And when that happens, it now becomes our responsibility to let it shine even so much more. There can no longer be an excuse for not letting our star shine and shine even brighter. We should aspire to do what we do best at anytime, any place, with whoever is sent us, with every opportunity that knocks on our doors. We should be who we are constantly consistently unbendingly uncompromisingly... regardless... because that's who and what we are. The best is our yardstick. The goal is to live life with our best.

"Good, better, best. Never let it rest until good be better and better best."
-- Mother Goose rhyme

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The big day is just a few days away now. Here's a heartfelt wish prayer and blessing to you, friends visible and invisible:


May God's grace peace and love
be with you all on Christmas Day and the rest of your life.
Stay blessed, be blessed, and essentially be a blessing to others
with every gift of a new day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


"Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else." - Mitch Albom

I think he's right. One may give up something.. so that someone else could hold on to his. A mother leaves her comfort zone so that her children could keep theirs. A husband, father, son, brother goes to war so that his family and other families more will have peace. A young doctor turns his back to a lucrative job abroad to serve the sick poor in the far-flung areas of the islands. Sacrifice indeed is a part of life. The list is long and it's the same old story told many different ways everywhere.

Many say that we have a dearth of heroes in our times. I beg to disagree to that. We have plenty of heroes in our midst then and now and tomorrow yet. Silent - unspoken - unknown - unrecognized heroes. I believe that for as long as people know love and learn to love so well -- sacrifice will continue to be a relevant part of life. It's love's true and noble expression... and divine.


"We move through places every day that would never have been if not for those who came before us. .." (Mitch Albom)

Consider the roads & bridges we travel which people have built, the food on our table which people have grown, our families & homes put together by generations before us. Everything passes through different minds hearts & hands who toiled at it before we came. And now.. it's our turn to make a difference too.

There is much to do still as life-the world-people continue to evolve. And everyone is to contribute to that with who we are and what we may know. We cannot simply sit by and watch it roll out and not be taken along or not get involved. We too must work at it just as others do.

As we now are enjoying the works of those who came before us, so must we work at life so that others in the future may enjoy that life too. We are given our talents, minds, hearts, and able bodies not solely for personal gain.. it's for so much more. And that so much more is to make a big difference. And if you ask me what that is... I'll say it's being the best of who and what you are.

Friday, December 10, 2010


My tree continually evolves changing through every passing of time year after year after year. Sometimes it's so sparse with barely a tinsel hanging on its branches. Tough times but the Christmas spirit kept alive with love all around from everybody near or far. Then again in another year there would be tiny rag dolls the size of a finger in colorful peasant dresses. Yes indeed it was for three little girls who just love dolls. In other years the tree would be laden with very small bells or balls or shimmering ribbons or light cotton angels or butterflies speckled with glitter dust or tiny Santas made out of red yarn. And there was that year when I created miniature gift boxes tied in red and green ribbons. But whatever the theme on the tree, it would never be without Christmas lights.. circling the tree from top to bottom.. twinkling like stars up in the night sky. Sometimes we put one which twinkled in step with its pre-recorded Christmas music.

This year my tree, the same one we've had for some years now, is trimmed with tinsel and decor of past four Christmases --- it holds both the old and the new. For me...

- a Christmas tree is not just a Christmas tree. It doesn't only stand there as another form, one of many, in celebrating the season. Rather it stands tall & proud a witness to dozens of Christmases past, of celebrations with family & friends, of memories of precious love and sharing, of countless blessings. It bears witness to eternal hope, courage, trust, belief, faith, familial love and God. All Christmas trees in homes everywhere, I think, bear that message. I love Christmas trees!


Monday, December 6, 2010


My best friends and I got together for lunch like we always do each month. Oh it's the usual updates and chit-chat ladies do when they come together... family, children, home, and work. Well, one still holds on to a 9-5 job. Sez she's not ready for retirement yet.. at least not for another year or two. Anyway we talk about anything and everything.. people, things, events, the world and life.

Marie, that's not her real name, is the internet freak.. blogs, emails, chats, and does her research work online too. She's got about 300 people on her network list. How she connects with all 300 makes me wonder. But this time she was complaining because some on her friends list have left without even saying bye. They just disappeared. And she's beginning to wonder if it's her fault or something. Then all eyes were suddenly on me. "What??" I said. Gina spoke "Well, you're the one with more history with your blog.." "And so?" I countered. But they looked at me even more intensely. You know when the ladies do that, you just got to give in or eat your chocolate mousse elsewhere.

"Okay. Just because you have 300 or more people on your friends list does not necessarily mean that everybody's your friend... if friends like you and me is what you mean. But it does mean that 300 people like what you're doing with your online page.... your profile, photos, stuff you write. And the interaction that follows it becomes such a joy.

But as much as you may want to keep them forever, you can't. Life won't let you. Because in the same strange ways that life brings people or strangers together... it also can take them apart. Most times not through their own fault or liking but rather because life has other things in store for them.

Life and living is constant movement, motion, change, and journey sparing no one. We might like to be at that one place and time forever as we savor its moment in our lives, but that's not what it's all about. Time moves on and we must move on along with it. Families grow, friendships transform, people and fortunes change, priorities continually shifting, babies are born - old people die, everything happens when it happens.

So the 300 on your friends list will continually be shifting and moving... some towards you and then some away from you. What a wise man once said, in essence it went this way, that....

People come into your life in many different ways....

-- some will come to you, stay for awhile, and leave
-- others will come perhaps stay longer than long
-- then several will simply be passing through
-- and then again several will come, leave, and never return

True, isn't it? Don't despair, It's not about you. They have their reasons. Trust life to hand it out to them. It's the same old story told repeatedly from one person to another, online or in real time. But you know what, nothing can quite compare with it.... people when they come into your life enrich your life. Never mind if it's just for awhile. Enjoy and cherish it while it lasts. It's still a precious gift and is there for a definite reason -- to help you become the person you were meant to be. It often works both ways ... that too is by God's design."

"Okay, anymore questions, ladies??" as I looked at their intent faces poised round the table.

"Yeah. How bout a toast to friends and friendships!!" says Marie. Happily in the midst of laughter coffee cups came together unanimously for the rousing toast. By the way, the chocolate mousse was simply divine!!