Thursday, July 28, 2011


"Pass it on! Kindness is like a snowball that's rolling down a hill. Each unselfish act or word is another snowflake that greets others... creating something much larger in the process. Whether it's a big deed or a little one, just do! Each day find the opportunities to do something kind that will make a difference in the world around you." ------ Mac Anderson

I'm looking for kindness everywhere I go. And it's not the big acts of goodness that I'm searching for. It's the little ones that oftentimes go unnoticed. It's because these little gems tell more about a person than the big flashing ones do.

Now you ask me.. why this interest or unusual pursuit? I'm going to write about them. It needs to be put out there for the world to see.... both the giver and the act.

I'm sick and tired of the kind of news that's making the headlines on TV, the radio, or the daily papers. They make it seem that we have a dearth of good people around us. That good does not matter. That this is such an evil society with people killing each other for the silliest of reasons.. and smart people are smart with bad motives.. the exploitation of the deprived and underprivileged... that bad are packaged to look good and good made to look bad that you can't tell one from the other anymore.

To this my best friend quips --- 'That's our world today. Can you imagine what it will be like tomorrow?"

Okay, that's quite a ton of pessimism she's heaped on me. But, my dear friend, this is a big wide world and gazillions of people inhabiting it. Different people of varying education, upbringing, orientation, culture, religion, breeding, character, and other things more which make them quite different from one another. That's a lot of bad people to contend with, you know, if you would consider them all bad. You might want to say -- "Stop the world -- and let me OUT!!"

Anyway, I'm putting one tiny word on today's agenda ---- KINDNESS. It's a small big word. Often taken for granted, ignored both in high and low places, many times dealt with in utter suspicion, and sadly not given its space to shine.

Kindness is out there and it needs to be recognized. And don't think that it always has to be a huge grand show of generosity or goodness. Not always. Usually it's just like this teeny-weeny buds of a wild plant which blossoms and beautifies the meadows and plains... just as the bigger gorgeous flowers do. And by the way, while we're at it.... kindness begins with you and me and so with many others more. And we need to pass it on. Now! Help me tell my friend that she is wrong. Because she is wrong because I believe this still is a beautiful world!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


A good friend online sent this to my inbox. Glad that he did because it is one of the most powerful though simple piece of writing I have ever come across.

To quote........

"But where to start?
The world is vast. I shall start with the country I know best, my own.
But my country is very large; I had better start with my town.
But my town, too, is very large.
I had better start with my own street.
No, my home.
No, my family
Never mind, I shall start with myself."

(Elie Wiesel)


It's as simple as that... 'start with myself'. But sadly we don't. Well, not often as we should or must. Funny but we seem to get so much thrill in pointing the task or blame on others. We say ...... It's they who should change, they should do the dirty work, they should stop their bad habits, they should be praying more, they should do the noble and higher goal. It's always --- he, she, they or them.

But where are we in the bigger picture of things? Have we made ourselves part of the change? Are we there where things are happening and not under the cover or safety of our comfortable shells? Are we willing to take risks for a better life for self and the family, home, street, town, country? Do we bite our tongues rather than speak out when we should? Do we crumble at the merest pressure? Do we hesitate in writing down our thoughts on something controversial yet which we believe is true? Do we turn the other way when we see crooked practices from men and women of religion, position, and uniform? Do we simply look with distance and disinterest at cruel and unfair practices of man towards man... or man towards animals... or man towards the environment?

You want a better world, country, town, street? --- Start with self. A good person creates a good family and home, is a good influence to the neighborhood on the street where he lives. This in turn makes for a good community. A good community creates a good town. Many good towns create a good country. And hopefully many good countries create a better world.

Isn't this what we really .. really want? To get that -- we, as somebody once said before, need to be the change we want to see in our world.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


My good neighbor across the street has trees in her yard... but this one stands out being so close to the fence and road. It's a lovely mango tree lush and green. And strong branches heavy with leaves and fruit.. and then some branches sticking out like wayward children. Wayward that this morning my neighbor decided to hire someone to trim off those unwanted branches. It was becoming a risk and threat to the safety of nearby neighbors being so dangerously close to the power lines hanging between light posts.

So this morning I woke up to the sound of someone fiercely hacking on wood with an axe or some sharp tool I guess. I looked out the window and there it was.. branches falling down from the sky or so it seemed. I felt sorry for the tree cos it must have hurt but on the other hand there was an apparent reason for the cutting and the bigger picture it hoped to achieve. Mother nature would understand that too.

So much like life and some people, don't you think? People who are so uncontrollably wired up inside and can't get a good hold of things thereby creating chaos within and without. People with habits and attitudes that brush across others in an abrasive and unpleasant way. People who think that the world owes them everything and live in that bubble of illusion. And many other irregularities of mind, spirit, and character.

And just like that mango tree they need to be clipped too. They need to be trimmed of faulty attitudes or behavior which serve no purpose other than make life miserable for those around them... and ultimately for self. And if they can't do it themselves to change, somebody or something or GOD might come along and put him back on track again or force the needed change to serve the better and greater good. It will hurt of course but sometimes to get to the good part one must peel off unnecessary layers to do that. Pain can be a good thing sometimes. Unwelcome but necessary. It happens to all of us.

Looking back to the activity outside my window I now see a tall handsome nicely trimmed mango tree and a happier safe neighborhood on my street. The trimming indeed served the greater and better good ---- the bigger tapestry of life on the street where I live.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


"Quality is never an accident:
It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives." ---- William A. Foster

Some people think that it's impossible to churn out quality in everyday life. I'll say that depends on -- you. You alone will decide what you want your day or life to be. Quality, I have once read in a nice piece written by someone (now I'm forgetting the name Lols...), starts from the heart. And I certainly agree with that. If the heart's intent is to serve honestly and well... or please with the best intention in mind... or seek what is not just good but better or best... or live intelligently for the bigger picture of life.... that in any language I know will tell you what quality is all about.

Quality engages both the mind and the heart and then tumbles out as visible expressions of it to the outer world.

Here's a story of two mothers...

Maria is a full-time wife and mother tending to her family and doing the usual chores to keep the house turning with clockwork precision. Clothes are washed, meals are cooked, children are sent off to school, house is cleaned, dog is fed, and the wifely duties of a wife to her spouse. At a gathering of friends one day, she was asked by one just how does she manage with all that. And she replied .... 'It's a job. That's what wives and mothers do.'

Sarah, a wife and mother, also is a work-from-home employee as an English tutor to foreign students via the internet. She also does the laundry, cooks her family's meals, takes her kids to kindergarten school every morning, cleans the house, feeds her golden retriever and Persian cat, and gives her wifely attention to her spouse. When friends ask her on their usual monthly lunch date how she manages with everything.... She replied --- 'I try to make the home a place they would feel happy, cared for, loved, nurtured. This way I hope to prepare them well to cope with the challenges of the world outside. My family is important to me.... as I too am to myself.'

I guess you know whose star shines brighter. :-)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


"Excellence is...
caring more than others think is wise;
Risking more than others think is safe;
Dreaming more than others think is practical.
Expecting more than others think is possible."
--- Winston Churchill

More often we tend to shy away from -- caring more, risking more, dreaming more, and expecting more....... and would rather stay where it's considered simply -- wise, safe, practical, and possible.

So then maybe it's time to understand that it's the little extra put into something which makes it very special. It's going the extra mile.... believing a wee bit more than the fella next to you dreaming the same dreams.... creating masterpieces out of the mediocre... or doing ordinary things extraordinarily.

A good friend once told me that all these are easier said than done. Well, I told him that excellence also takes practice. You must challenge yourself everyday, pushing yourself farther forward each time towards that dream. You don't stop even if others have. And it is well to understand that even a small conscientious step will certainly create the big moves you aspire for and definitely take you there. It matters.

Excellence is what you do best with the best you can be. Everyday.

(With special thanks to a good friend who sent me the abovementioned quote.)

Monday, July 18, 2011


A cute 5 yr old girl came up to her mom, who was busy chatting with a visiting friend, and unceremoniously yet proudly placed a piece of paper on her mother's lap. On the paper was a drawing of a smiling little girl in pigtails which was named ME... and her tiny chubby little hands held those of an older woman named MAMA. In the background was a drawing of a smiley sun.. a blue bird, and a tree laden with red apples. The little girl happily raised up the drawing to her mother's face and said 'Mama, for you!". One brief silence... and then the mother told her daughter to 'Go and wash your hands... it's dirty!'

A young woman sat on a bench, one of other solitary benches at the park that afternoon. A slight wind blew and softly brushed her hair. Tiny birds flew up in the air and some flitted here and there on the ground and the pavement near her chirping merrily. She looked down, opened her bag and took out something to tie her hair with. That done she stood up and walked away from the bench and out of the park without looking back.

Little moments. Those ordinary oftentimes considered trivial moments that touch our days and lives but mean more than you could or would ever imagine. Taken for granted things which we often give no attention to because we never really understood.

Life's genuine treasures pass us by because we fail to understand that wonderful things don't always come in dramatic ways and means. Or that not everything is wrapped with glossy paper or colorful trimmings. We pay no heed to the little gestures of kindness.. gifts of joy... proud achievement... familial love and bonding... genuine gestures of friendship... unsolicited respect and admiration... courtesy and honesty.... thoughtfulness and consideration... awe for the beauty of mother nature... unabashed gratitude... quiet times of calm and peace... gems of faith... simple pleasures..... and many more. These fill up our little moments which definitively give so much more meaning to our ordinary lives. These little moments tie up our mundane lives in a beautiful package filled up with treasures beyond compare. These too lead us to discover self --- our long forgotten capabilities to become better individuals where it matters most.

It's the little moments that make life big.... and you bigger.

Hope this makes for a wonderful Monday to start the week with. Be blessed.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Somebody posed a question and this was the answer he received from someone too. Probably a quote making its way from one hand to another but it certainly made its point very clear.

"Do you know why a Car's WINDSHIELD is so large & the REAR VIEW MIRROR is so small? ------ Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. Look Ahead and Move on."

I like that answer. The past has done its job. We've learned and have been made wiser by it. Those parts which broke our heart have no part in the present nor in the future. There is no need in wanting to live the pain and hurt over and over again. No need to break your heart repeatedly by your own pitiful thoughts... and certainly no need for it to be brought along into the future; it will only clip your wings if your aim is to fly.

There is more to life than what you can conceive in your mind. The dreams of your heart are there to move you forward. And that is the only direction we are supposed to take.

Move on. Forward.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


What's on your mind? That's a question I often hear. Not that the person really cared. But it drives me crazy whenever it's asked of me. Well, sometimes it's because I don't really want to tell. But that question does serve a purpose by making us think. Though occasionally some among us would say that people tend to 'overthink' or 'underthink'. Oh I don't mind that, it's their opinion. Different folks, different strokes. But with my two-cents worth.. I think that's better than a 'no think' person. :-)

Minds are made for thinking, whether in mediocrity or brilliance it does not matter, for each has its use which God may know of. Now then that pricks my mind to nudge brain cells to some bit of action this morning. :-)

A good old cousin once told me that -- '..we can never have what we want and what we need at the same time...' Impossible, he insisted. Fine! Maybe he is right... and yet again maybe not.

You see, there was this one afternoon in that wonderful family vacation in Boracay a year ago and which I remember so well ... I was sitting on the beach looking out to the cool blue waters. Just enjoying the moment mindless of the people around me. Pretty soon the sunset in taking its leave made a wonderful show of it floating away down the horizon. In farewell it painted the skies in glorious scarlet and yellow ... filling my senses to overdrive. Gorgeous, simply magnificent. What can you say!! It just leaves you speechless.

But it certainly made me think. It was just what I needed to ease my weary soul... and it did a wonderful job of it. Moreover, it was just what I wanted --- a gorgeous sunset. I love sunsets!! Give me one anywhere and you'll have my full attention.

So to you, dear cousin, I believe that we can have what we want and what we need at the same time..... with the heart. A silent wish which God saw fit to grant.

Have a good day, people. May that silent wish in your heart come true.

Friday, July 8, 2011


What's on my mind today..... so asks a friend, not that he cares. :-) But I do care to tell or write about it. Because somebody out there might need to hear it. He or she might need to hear what a day is like in the life of one of God's creation. And after hearing maybe just maybe it would light up the spark kindling in the heart that never was given the chance to shine out to the world brightly. There's plenty of us who live very quiet lives holding that spark within quietly. So thus here are my thoughts today...........

-- I can let any of my daughters choose the movie they want to see or pick the dish on the menu in a posh restaurant without having to ask of mine own choices if that puts huge smiles on their faces. Because I can.

-- I can shelve my precious free time to listen to my best friend when she calls on the phone with her miseries and woes. Because I can.

-- I can write of things which may not be popular to a greater number of people because it could be something about the harsh truths of life which they don't really want to know. Because I can.

-- I can stop by a display window at the mall gazing at gorgeous fashion and accessories of jewels shoes and bags without batting an eyelash and messing up my wallet. Because I can.

-- I can speak my mind honestly when necessary if the goal was to shake some sense into another person confused and unsure in his hour of darkness. Because I can.

-- I can cry in the privacy of my room, kneel down and pray when things get so tough and tougher. Because I can.

-- I can do a lot more other than what I have been born with as I acknowledge the power of God within me. Because I can.

It's a CHOICE. A choice to do what is good, what is necessary, what is essential, what is kind or noble or meek or generous or compassionate, and what is simply called --- 'doing my job'. A humbling of self so that others could have their joys. An honest acknowledgment of what we should really be doing here with our lives. You see, we have a job .. but our boss is HE who sits on the throne up there in the great halls of heaven.

And what, you may ask, is that JOB? It's simply this..... to be the best we can be to ourselves and to others with who we are-what we have and aim for the greater glory and praise of a wonderful God and Father. He who loves us beyond measure -- constantly, unfailingly... whether we deserve it or not.

Make the right choices.. and do your job. You were created to do far more than you ever dreamed you could as a person and as a child of God. We cannot do anything less or lesser than that. Shine as you are right there where God has placed you. And make it your goal to make God smile. Everyday.

Hope you all have a lovely and blessed weekend up ahead. Bless you!
(Picture above was taken by my daughter on our Boracay Island family vacation.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Doesn't that picture there tell you something? A still pool of water on one side and the unease of rolling waves on the other side. Aside from being so breathtakingly beautiful, does it not remind you of life?

Calm and turbulence sitting side by side in the same frame. That's just about what life is about. I won't get into the turbulent aspect of life and living because we know that. And neither would I say anything about the calm and serenity of a life stable and balanced. We know that too.

But I do have a question for you.......

Which of the two sides do you have your gaze on?? The turbulence ...or... the calm? Life as you live it everyday will nudge you in many ways to the answer and that answer will reveal just how you are coping with life. Anxiety or calm.... the presence of faith -- or the absence of it.

Remember to bring your umbrellas; looking like rain later today. God bless.

(Much thanks to a good friend who sent me this wonderful picture.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



This is for a young kid I know .............

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” --- John Jakes


There can never be anyone else like you on this planet. Or if there be other civilizations out there in the universe, I'm pretty sure you would have no copies out there too. Whoever you are, whatever you are ... crazy, funky, opinionated, brusque, rough, goofy, sweet, gentle, brilliant, stupid, lazy, or other types and names we humans are prone to call ourselves with, good or bad --- you the total package is still an original and unique.

So I don't get it why some people have to play this 'wish I were somebody else' game. Pretending to be somebody else is not cute. Not liking where we are or who we are won't help us in any way. We may not have perfect lives, perfect looks... but that's still okay. Perfection is a journey we all take as we travel in the direction of our final home. But we may or may not achieve it on this planet or in this lifetime. I have yet to see or hear about someone genuinely being the epitome of perfection right here right now. So meantime in-between the lessons and peeling off of unwanted layers (the bad we have gathered through the years), we must deal with our flaws and weaknesses ... live it from day to day.

And to be real with that we must be true to ourselves. We are who we are .. warts and all. But we do our best with what's there in us. We change where we should. Like what is to like. Grow up, mature, progress, develop, change for better. Live the best way we can with all that. Hang on to the hope that one day at the end of the journey we will become perfection in its shining form -- so magnificent that we will not wish to be anyone else ever at all.
Blessings to you and your loved ones.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Allow me to quote this.....

"The fear of being wrong, different, or socially unaccepted or unpopular is one of the biggest inhibitors to one's creative juices. When a person can do things without worrying what people will think of him, then a person can use their creativity with no limits, and take their work to places they probably would never of imagined going. One of the biggest rules to being creative is to first disregard everyone's opinion. The creativity you have is what makes your work your own, and changing it to fit into someone else's mold would defeat the purpose of it all." - (Author Unknown)

We each have our unique individual talent but it's not given us for keeping or for our sole consumption. Although in its initial stages of discovery and growth we become fascinated and delighted and proud of it.... very pleased to have its ownership. But we must learn to stop when pride takes over lest we ourselves cause our own destruction. But let's leave that for another post.

Creativity is a gift given us to serve as tool to bring forth and grow talent. Its purpose is to nourish - nurture - develop talent. Its strength is powered by courage and fearlessness... unafraid to face its own potential and possibilities for great and greater work. Unafraid of small minds who by their numbers can whittle you down to pieces... or by big minds who by their snobbery can clip your wings and keep you from soaring high and wide.

Do not let these deter you from being the person you were specially made for --- you are God's masterpiece who in turn will create other masterpieces within your realm of creativity. Create with your mind, with your heart, with your hands, with your fullest potential.,,, and turn ordinary things into extraordinary beauty or meaning. Transform an ugly world into a world of great wonder and promise... one after God's heart.

It's never too late. Creativity is not subject to age or aging. It's never lost. It's right there inside you just waiting to be roused and commanded to do its work. So what are you waiting for? The world is waiting.

It's a rainy Friday today but I hope it does not stop you from planning a wonderful weekend with your family, rain or shine. God bless!