Friday, November 27, 2009


I heard this exchange from a young couple sitting a table away at my favorite coffee bar at the mall. They appeared to be arguing bout something.

Husband says ‘You don’t get my point’.

Wife retorts ‘You’re not listening to what I’m trying to tell you, this is how it should be done’.

This time the temptation is great to write about marriage and couples and how the twain never meets ever -- Except for some. But we won’t go there because somebody else somewhere is better at it than me.

When a person says ‘you don’t get my point’ – it’s true. And when the other replies that ‘you don’t see what I’m trying to tell you’ --- that too is true. Both are so much the same and yet so much different too. Maybe that would be considered weird or foolish. But fact is, both are simply stating the same simple fact and truth only from two opposing views.

You see the world according to you. I see it according to me. We come from different backgrounds, upbringing, experience, and learning. We separately perceive the world according to how we each understand it in the way we each have learned or been taught to do. You have formed your own perception, insight and opinion on most anything referring to people, theories, events, life, and living. Consequently you judge, censure, evaluate, condemn, appraise from your own individual standpoint.

So do I. I am everything that you are, been there in the travel from nothingness to something, was shaped and molded by my own growing and learning which has formed the character, personality, and attitude you perceive in me now. In our differences we still are basically the same. And that is true.

Yet we need not argue or fight over who is right or wrong, better or worse, smarter or stupid, brilliant or foolish. What is correct is when we can listen to each other in spite of our differing opinions. What is right is when we can look at each other with true understanding and respect. What is beautiful is when we can agree to disagree and be happy with that. And that brings us to a genuine unadulterated authentic communication.

"To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others." -- Tony Robbins

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Scared of fouling up, making a mistake, bungling up, and committing bloopers and blunders? Are you? But hey who isn’t. Any normal regular average guy and gal hate to make mistakes. “It’s embarrassing” – “OMG What a shame” – “I could go invisible right now” – “Oh brother, did I do that?” – “I feel like disappearing into the wall”…. Does that sound all too familiar to you?

Well, mistakes take all forms shapes and kinds -- there are small mistakes and big mistakes - And petty slip-ups and life changing oversights. What does it do really? Well, it can ruin a person’s life or make him an overnight celebrity (which isn’t a good reason to be famous for). Some may try to repair, redo, alter, camouflage, ignore, rationalize, overlook, or even find somebody who would (with a little persuasion) take the fall (politicians do that). And so all the frantic effort to save face, space, and grace going to all extent to achieve just that.

But really what else can one do?

Oh there is one and it’s not a popular thing to do. I don’t see many people do it. In fact, in consensus it seems to make them feel far worse than the boo-boo itself. Because it exposes their mortality, frailty, ignorance, imperfection – something nobody is comfortable with nor ready to admit.

I remember as a teenager (and that’s centuries ago) I would always be at loggerheads with my kid brother. So much that when a boo-boo occurs, his or mine (it didn’t matter), I would easily point the finger at him with “He did it!” He did that to me too, much to the consternation of our mom. So one day when we fouled up something in the kitchen, and as two separate fingers pointed at one another, Mom with eyes blazing said …. “Now see here, you two, own up to your mistake or you’ll be washing dishes for a month!”

‘Own up to your mistake’ – have always remembered that.

So that’s the first step and easily the rest will follow. It’s no crime to admit you’ve been wrong. There are zillions of people out there who have been wrong too. But you can make the big difference by owning up to your mistake and from there move on to better things, to healing wounded hearts and souls, to get your self-esteem back, to pick yourself up and say ‘Okay, I’ve learned my lesson’ and become a wiser and smarter person than you were before.

Our mistakes do not define us; it’s what we do afterwards that does.


Sat in the garage and watched my eldest daughter working the washing machine on the laundry. Not much on the pile but she insisted to do it even if I told her to wait for the wash lady. The wash lady comes to the house once or twice a week to do the dirty clothes. Anyway, back to my daughter. She then placed all the whites in first and as the machine did its job she moved over to the colored ones to sort out those that needed to be washed separately. You know, some colors stain while others hold on good.

Well, I shifted my watch back to the washing machine which was now gleefully tossing and turning clothes around in a big crazy whirlpool. Boring? Yeah after awhile, who says it wouldn’t be?! But I wasn’t there to be bored, far from it. Something else was on my mind.

The thing about washing machines, aside from its apparent use and purpose in our homes, is that it reminds me of ‘troubles’. You know those unwanted disliked hated treacherous and mind-boggling bits and pieces which cause so much misery and strain to our lives. Troubles which in a huge way and manner halt our progress wherever we had planned to go, create so much unnecessary friction and resistance, and sometimes manage to push us over the cliff. Heaven forbid! It doesn’t care if we get hurt in the process; in fact it’s there to hurt us --- albeit a common perception.

But honestly although troubles seem to appear as the big villain in our small usually ordinary lives, it’s not really what it’s commonly perceived to be. Yes, it does shake us to the core, uproot us from comfort zones, toss and turn us around in frenzy, hammer us to the ground, beat us till we’re black and blue. And that’s not even all.

Yet have you noticed what comes after? What becomes of you particularly? Let’s see ….

- A pledge to fiercely beat the odds at all cost given another chance
- Anger translated into positive resolve and action
- A sudden burst of new hope and optimism
- Willingness to change after the hurt and pain of failure
- Seeing life with better clarity and vision
- Nudged to tackle anew challenges with fresh tenacity
- Wiser and smarter after having learned from the experience
- Kindled the almost dying flame of faith and conviction
- Enlightened and strengthened relationships

And many more added to that list. You know them in your heart. So then…..

“Troubles are like washing machines -- They twist, turn & knock us around, but in the end we come out brighter than before.” - Anon.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Many think that by working on a fast or faster pace one gets there quicker whatever it is one is doing or wherever it is one is going. Well, not all the time. Faster doesn’t always mean it’s done or that it’s good or that it’s worthy. Besides we know that quantity is not entirely synonymous with quality except when automated or mechanized. That’s a whole different story.

There was this young person I remember a couple of years back. He was smart, ambitious, an achiever, limitless energy, and aiming for the stars like all young people his age. Everybody expected him to one day join the ranks of the brightest stars in the corporate firmament.

A dream he chased and couldn’t wait to get there pronto. So he did all that was required and more – took on projects here and there although deadlines came close and tight. Neither did he refuse more assignments not wanting to risk his superior’s displeasure. That virtually didn’t help with the quality of his work in the long run. To make a long story short, all that hurry and haste cost him a heavy price – he got sick. Including the fact that he almost lost the people he loved dearly in his life with neglect. The rest of the story is everybody’s good guess.

That’s sad, isn’t it? --All that work gone to waste and the man himself – wasted.

Well, there’s a better way to get there where you want to go. Try slowing down. It can’t hurt you if slowing down means getting the chance to review, alter, or change plans, recharge or energize, evaluate progress or its absence, rethink strategies, get rid of an obstruction or irritant, or simply to breathe. It’s not a crime to do all that.

In fact --- “Sometimes to gain ground, you have to slow down.”

Saturday, November 21, 2009


We often hear talk about somebody else’s bloopers, blunders, faults, bad fortune, inadequacies, failures, or bad luck. But why call attention to what others cannot do, failed to do, and are unable to do? It’s bad enough for that person to know that he has failed but to be reminded of it so often really sucks. Gossip and gossiping is a killer. It can hurt. It destroys with just one spoken nasty unkind word, just as easy as that. Well, what’s said about another person may be true or untrue but that’s not our problem. The whole point is why need or bother to talk about it? If it‘s not going to help the other person, just be quiet.

But do speak up about anything and everything which is GOOD, TRUE, NOBLE, WORTHY, and PRECIOUS. For instance -----

-The girl next door who comes home with her pay check with groceries in tow and with her mom’s favorite dish for dinner in her hand. In the rat race of modern pursuits, sometimes those simple endearing homespun values may be pushed far back or even get lost.

-That nondescript guy in his cubicle at the far end of the hall helping you photocopy fifty pages of your boss’s monthly report without your asking him to. Such unselfish and thoughtful gesture is a rare treasure to find in a corporate jungle.

-A friend who volunteered to stay with your sick child in the hospital to have you come home and rest. A friend who doesn’t mind getting involved in your family cares and woes is the real friend we all truly need.

-The vendor who helped push your car stalled in the center of busy traffic onto the safe side of the road. That’s the kind of person who unwittingly restores our trust and faith in the basic goodness of man.

-Or that 70 year old man who nobly lives a life alone and lonely but doesn’t complain; in fact, he is the cheeriest old man in your neighborhood. He puts us to shame with our pointless grumbling and complaining over the difficulties of life and living.

These and many more are what we should look out for, admire, praise, encourage, and extol. Shout it from the roof tops -- Tell everybody how wonderful this or that person is; how he or she made your life comfortable, pleasant, cheery, funny; or how you were encouraged, strengthened, inspired in your darkest moments; or how he made you feel human and worthy when everybody else gave up on you.

Truly we can make a difference in other people’s lives. Not harp on something that breaks up their world and shatters it to pieces. Rather with one that builds up courage, esteem, hope, joy, and faith.

KINDNESS -- that is all it takes to make them look good and feel good. It’s just a simple show of kindness but, believe me, it means the whole world to that person.

(This post I dedicate to all the kind people in my blog life in my blog world – for all the kindness I’ve received in thought, word, and deed. The sketch above is inspired by you. I pray God continue to pour out blessings upon you and your loved ones.)

Friday, November 20, 2009


This time allow me to quote Lucille, a dear friend (not her real name). We got to chatting on the phone one afternoon and talked about the latest events in our respective lives and stuff that would delight any woman’s heart. Then the chat shifted to a monologue. It seemed that she was talking more to herself than she was talking to me but it was okay. I think she needed that moment. I’m bringing Lucille’s monologue here in the blog because I felt that there's so much in it we could learn from. Oh don’t worry because she gave permission but of course not with her real name.



“Whenever I look back to a certain point in my life, I see how Time had figured in my journey. Honestly, even if time were mine it seemed to belong to somebody else -- somebody who dictated how I should spend it or not spend it. Things happened but which didn’t come from my hand or mind or heart. How that came to be I don’t know. It was just there like somebody turning the pages of my book on a fast and faster clip. I felt that I had no control -- simply lost it. But as a dutiful girl would I went through everything that needed to be done, not because I wanted to but because it had to be done. Because If I didn’t, who would?

Then it stopped. Maybe God was saying ‘Enough!’ and restored to me what was and should be entirely mine. Precious time may have been lost but certainly not everything. If I may be allowed to say so, bad times made me who I am today..along with the good times no matter how few they may have been. Have learned my lessons and I hope well enough to have come out so much better than when I started. And if that’s any indication, that can only mean that Life has taught me well. Thank God.

Now I’ve got Time back in my own hands and I’m working it according to ME. I do what I love ----

-sit and gaze at the sunset for hours until it disappears in the horizon,

-or pick my own friends no matter if they dress crazy or talk stupid yet have such good hearts,

-or wake up late and, if still inclined, go back and snuggle in bed lazily,

-or firmly say ‘no’ when I honestly feel that I should - without the guilt,

-or speak my mind when my feelings are hurt and expect to be listened to,

-or make mistakes without the fear of somebody else's displeasure.

I am finally ME and not someone others want me to be… and my time is mine. I’ll spend it the way I want it spent and won’t let anyone spend it for me. Not for any reason at all. No more, not ever. Thank God!”

"Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have,and only you can determine how it will be spent.Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you." -- Carl Sandburg