The Sunset

I was in the Candaba Swamps in the afternoon of February 6, 2012. I was there to watch the migratory birds, but I got an added bonus: I was able to watch the sun as it was about to set.

Sunset at the Candaba Swamps February 2006

It was a most beautiful sight to see – a picture of tranquility, solitude and peacefulness.  I looked around to check  if the other people I saw working the fields earlier  were watching the sunset.  They were not. They were either walking  or  pedaling their bikes towards their homes.

Just like in Manila, I thought. We have a most beautiful sight of the Manila Bay sunset, but only a few people care to watch it. At the time the sun is setting, most  Manilenos are still at work;  are already on the way home from work; or, doesn't care about the sunset at all!

Manila Bay Sunset 2006

The sunset is not the only natural phenomenon suffering the same fate. The plants and the flowers in the forests are in the same boat. They grow, they die and they rot without anybody seeing them. The birds in the forests sing beautiful songs with no man being able to listen to their tunes.

So the next time you did something which you thought was outstanding but nobody praised you for it or even called your attention to it,  just remember the sunset and the plants,  the flowers and the birds in the forests.

Beautiful things and outstanding deeds are sometimes left unnoticed. But even then, they remain beautiful and outstanding. 

 

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The Candle

Here is a story of a rich businessman who wants to retire and has to choose from among his three sons the one who will take over his business.  He decided to give it to the one with the best business acumen.

He called all three and gave each of  them a thousand pesos. He instructed them them to buy something that will fill up all the corners of his office. 

The first son bought a tree full of branches and leaves. He had it cut down and brought everything to his father's office. It filled up half of the room.

The second son hired a  laborer to cut as much grasses and bring it to his father's office. It filled up more than half of the father's office.

The third, bought a candle, went to his father's office, turned off the lights and then lighted the candle.

And the whole room was filled with light.

 

 

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To the Graduates of 2012

 

 

A friend of mine sent this piece via email and suggested that I post it in in my blog. He claimed it contains excellent advice for the young graduates of 2012.   It turns out that this material was the famous essay written in the late 1997 by Mary Schmich, a columnist of  the Chicago Tribune.  In 1999,  Baz Luhrmann released a song called Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)  in which Schmich's column is read word for word. Today, such song has various MTV versions on You Tube. 

The essay provides a discursive advice for living without regret.  This may not make sense to most young graduates now.   But as a they will grow older, they will start to appreciate its message.   And yes, it is as relevant in 2012 as it was in 1997 when it was first written.

Here  is Mary Schmich's column published in the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 1997:

 

Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who'd rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there's no reason we can't entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.

I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 1997.

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are  reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

 

And here is one of the versions of the various music videos. It is 6 minutes long but I am sure you will enjoy watching and/or listening to it.

Now, please me what you think of this piece.

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From my Inbox – Lessons About the Way We Treat People

Five Lessons About How To Treat PeopleThis has been going around the email for quite a while and in fact, I have received several versions all of which is encouraging me to pass it forward.The original author of this inspirational essay is unknown. In fact it appears to be like a compilation of five different stories. But together, they make an excellent inspirational reading.

It speaks about simple truths in the way we treat other people, namely:

  • all the people you meet in your life are significant and they all deserve your attention and care
  • dont forget to  help other people, even if they are strangers
  • remember those who serve you
  • there is an opportunity behind every obstacle in life
  • give when it counts and until it hurts


 

 

I am reproducing below the full text of the essay.


Five Lessons About How To Treat People

(author unknown)

1. First Important Lesson – “Know The Cleaning Lady”

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”

I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

 

 

2. Second Important Lesson – “Pickup In The Rain”

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.

A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home.

A special note was attached. It read:

“Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.”

Sincerely,

Mrs. Nat King Cole.

 

 

3. Third Important Lesson – “Remember Those Who Serve”

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked. “50¢,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

“Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. “35¢!” she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.

When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

 

 

4. Fourth Important Lesson – “The Obstacles In Our Path”

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand – “Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.”

 

 

5. Fifth Important Lesson – “Giving When It Counts”

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”.

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.


 

How about you?  Have you had a  personal encounter similar to any of the five stories above?  Which of the stories above can you relate the most?

 

 

nota bene: With the help of the Zemanta plug-in, I also found out that the same essay are postedin the following blogs:

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That Lucky Pig

I got this from a Facebook status of a kababayan, Ella K, who also reposted this from her friend Susan’s FB status . I thought this is an appropriate material to lighten up this week’s Valentine’s Day celebration. Read on.

picture courtesy of Wikipedia

A pig’s orgasm lasts 30 minutes. (O.M.G.!!!)

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death. (Creepy. I’m still not over the pig.)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male’s head off. (Honey, I’m home . What the…?)

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It’s like a human jumping the length of a football field. (30 minutes. Lucky pig! Can you imagine?)

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds. (What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day. (I still can’t believe that pig …quality over quantity.)

Butterflies taste with their feet. (Something I always wanted to know.)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump. (Okay, so that would be a good thing.)

A cat’s urine glows under a black light. (I wonder how much the government paid to figure that out.)

An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain. (I know some people like that.)

Starfish have no brains. (I know some people like that, too.) Polar bears are left-handed.(Talk about a southpaw.)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure. (What about that pig? Do the dolphins know about the pig?)

Now that you’ve smiled at least once, it’s your turn to spread these crazy facts. (and God, love that lucky pig)

 

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From My Inbox – Keep your Dream


 

 “Success comes to those who believe in the in the beauty of their dreams the most, the fiercest, the longest – those who don’t give up even if the others let go”

                                                                               – Henry Ford,Founder of Ford Motors

 

To have a dream is one of the most important thing any person should have.  It provides one with an image of what he wants to achieve in life – “anong gusto mong maging..” as they would say it in Filipino.  It helps define the direction you want your life to go, and gives you the challenge to put your mind, heart and energy to achieving your dream.

Dream Big. Work for It. Achieve It!

 

There are many stories about people who dream big, worked hard for it, and achieved it. Here is a beautiful story about a boy who dreamed big and did not let any disparaging comments discourage him from working  towards achieving his dream. I pulled this out from my email inbox and I am sharing this with you below…

I have a friend named Monty Roberts who owns a horse ranch in San Ysidro. He has let me use his house to put on fund-raising events to raise money for youth at risk programs.

The last time I was there he introduced me by saying, “I want to tell you why I let Jack use my horse. It all goes back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.

“That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200-acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch.

“He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it in to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, `See me after class.’

“The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, `Why did I receive an F?’

“The teacher said, `This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.’ Then the teacher added, `If you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.’

“The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, `Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very important decision for you.’ “Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all.

He stated, “You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.”

Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000-square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.” He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same schoolteacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week.” When the teacher was leaving, he said, “Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had enough gumption not to give up on yours.”

“Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what.”

– Author Unknown

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