Thursday, August 23, 2007

[Essay] People

Last March 25, 2007 I received a forwarded SMS message from my mom and it reads:

“In life you’ll realize that the people you meet have a purpose. Some are put there to test you, some would use you, some would teach you and some would bring out the better if not the best in you. Some may even cause you pain and heartache but one must learn to move on. So let go of the people who can’t treat you right and hold on to those who love you back and see your worth.”

And I find this to be true. You learn more about yourself through the friends you have and they also learn from you.

Yes, I have met and lost a friend back in high school who used me and therefore taught me not to take advantage of a person’s kindness or generosity and to at least say thank you for the small, thoughtful things they did for you. I also learned from my high school best friend the value of patience and tolerance for unwanted attention and that true friendships stands the test of time and circumstances. From my college best friends, one brings out the best in me every time we see each other and the other taught me to be more spontaneous and not to dwell on irritation brought about by scheduled activities that didn’t go according to plan because plans aren’t set on stone but instead plans are just there as guides on what activities or tasks to do and so forth.

That is not all. In my young life of 25 years, I have met the one man (for now) who challenges all of my moral and karmic beliefs and tests the strength of my character, of my will, of my sense of right and wrong, of my resolve to stand for what is fair and of my resolve not to give in to the temptation no matter what. I have also met new friends and one of them taught me that there is a time and place for everything and that some people are really meant for you as friends and nothing more if that would make them stay longer with you.

“Friends come and go throughout our lifetime. Some of them stay with us while others leave us behind. Don’t be sad when friends leave you because it only means that you have learned from them whatever it is you needed to learn in life.” - Anonymous

Aside from the above quotes, I would like to share with you this email which was forwarded to me by an officemate entitled “Reason, Season and Lifetime.” Here it goes:

“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on. Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season. LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.” – Author Unknown

With all that I’ve learned and still learning from the people I meet and still keep, I think it is best to forget the reasons why some friendships turned sour but keep the lessons close to your heart and learn from those mistakes and move on. Life is a beautiful journey. It can take us wherever we want to go with enough room to discover what lies ahead or to retrace our steps by looking at our mistakes objectively and learning from it and we could either travel alone or with a bunch of best friends. Either way, we’re not really alone in this journey for every single day we are blessed to meet new people or to discover something new in the people we already know.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

[Essay] What Is Important To You?

Another thought from last Sunday’s homily stuck in my head and made me think and look back to what was important to me since childhood until now and if I do still think they’re important to me.

Have you ever noticed how when you were a baby, it is more important for you to be fully fed when you cry out, to be entertained when you’re awake, to be kept dry at all times, and to be comfortable 24/7? Did you notice that at this stage of your life, everything was, is, and will always be about you? What about during your childhood years, didn’t you notice you’ve learned what sharing means, the joys of having playmates, discovering the world around you and letting your imagination soar high above the clouds and beyond? Have you ever noticed that during your adolescent and teen years, the things that are more important to you are the things that are tangible and had the latest technology and something worth bragging about? Yes, you still value non-tangible things like friendships because who are you going to brag to if not to friends, right?

As I looked back on my life, I answered yes to all the questions above and thinking about what is important to me, now that I’ve reached quarter life, I still think it’s important for me to have the basic necessities plus a few extras that technology and life has to offer. But on a deeper level, I feel that faith, friendship, honesty, and most especially, the love and support of family, friends and love ones are just as equally important and probably a little bit more on the scale. Maybe I’m getting sentimental but think about it, when you’re sad and downright blue and you’ve unwittingly isolated yourself from your family and friends or you’re stuck on a deserted island all by yourself and your gadgets, can your gadgets lend you comfort or a shoulder to cry on or give you sound advice to a love problem you’re experiencing? I don’t think so. Yes, you can call someone up but that is, if you’ve got a network signal on the island but if it’s dead, I still don’t think so. Plus, don’t you think it’s so much better to be hugging someone and be hugged back when you’re tired from work, when you’re sad, and when you’re crying your heart out? I do think all these gadgets are important in a way that it helps keep your relationships alive but of course, if you just live nearby, it would be infinitely better to be physically there to cheer up a friend, comfort a sibling, hug a parent, and hold hands with your special someone.

Now that I’ve fully thought about what’s more important to me, all those material possessions that I have and still dreamed to have one day are more like goals to achieve, something to look forward and work hard for. Although a lot would say I’m too young to think like this – as if I’m someone either with a death wish or someone suffering from a terminal illness – I believe that life is short and that we should spend more time with the people who are important to us because we’ll never know who goes first to the afterlife; people who are fun to be with and who makes us laugh, inspires us to be who we are or can be because life is about living in the moment and dreaming of the future; keep happy memories and bury the sad ones but keep the lessons you’ve learned from those sad events to help you change yourself into a better person and so as not for the past or the disastrous result to repeat itself in the present.

What about you, what is important to you these days?