Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Watching movies is one of the ways I invest my day offs with my kids. It is becoming a custom after lunch or dinner the family gather together in the living room to watch TV or movie; somehow this habit provides a sort of bonding moment for the whole family. Last week we watched Harrison Ford’s Witness. This is a 1985 American spine-chiller film about a young Amish widow(Kelly McGillis), and her 8-year-old son (Lukas Haas) who inadvertently sees two men atrociously murder a third. This film limelight on a detective (Ford) protecting this young Amish boy who becomes the target of a brutal murderer after he witnesses the killing ,a slashing in the restroom in Philadelphia train station while on their way to visit her aunt. The movie did well at the box office earn eight Academy Award nominations. It depicts a thrilling and heartbreaking love story and choices we make in life and the choices that other people make for us. One thing that really struck my attentiveness is how the movie describes the Amish people. Truthfully speaking, that was the first time I chance upon such a word and I don’t have even the slightest hint which people the word refers to. Puzzled and interested, I googled the word for enlightenment. The Amish are group of Christian church fellowships that began in Switzerland. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and disinclination to embrace many conveniences of modern technology. Amish people are clean living people who value rural life, manual labor and modesty. These people have heavy emphasis on neighbor and family relationships. They believe that being friendly with neighbors and relatives are the greatest roles of the family. The movie describes Amish as anti-individualist. They readiness to submit to their belief is asserted through collective standards and modern innovations can only trigger less reliance on community and will advocate contention and personal egotism. Despite all the times that has passed and the many transformations that have taken place in our humankind these people manage to detach themselves from the things of the world. They believe that materialism can not keep them from being close to God, and can bring up notorieties that could be devastating to their communities and to their way of life. This movie brings me to a question wondering how these people can survive in their supposedly backward ways well in fact, now days everything is about material things. We all live in a dynamic materialistic world imbued by wants. While Amish do not own or operate automobiles, limit electricity, telephones, TV and radios in their homes or even restrict taking photographs we pamper ourselves getting luxurious cars, getting the latest phones, living in the best house, wearing the most expensive clothes and other gratifications. Everyone wants to be right at the top there in term of worldliness. Owning things becomes too important for most of us. We gauge ourselves by our money and what we can buy. I do understand that what is acceptable in one community may not be acceptable in another and I see nothing wrong with wanting nice thing and enjoying life because that is how God intended to be for us. Nobody wants to struggle with poverty or hardship. The problem arises when we idolize and get obsessed with these things, losing our consciousness on the fact that we should be focusing on what we really just need. We all want to be more excelling than the next person so we lose focus on life’s simplicity. Therefore, these things can become an anathema rather than a blessing and we can now understand the animosity that causes people to go into atrocity. People find themselves experiencing astounding feelings due to someone else owning or possessing enticing items that they do not. For example, your next door neighbor just bought Bang & Olufsen — a 3D TV you’ve been obsessed with for months now but you are out of financial means. Emotional pain, self-worthlessness and self-doubt set in. That's what envy is. Envy may negatively influence the closeness and satisfaction of relationships. Amish way of life can be a valuable epitome in restoring family morals, our relationship with our neighbor, and our desire for having strong work philosophies. Their high value on patience, self-control, peace of mind and rejection to pride, conceit and egotism are worth emulating. As I sat watching the finality of the movie, I ponder how little we really need to be happy. I realized that the pursuit for material things has made more people unhappy that happy. Material things can keep people focused only on their self interest rather than on how they can benefit others. I realized too that the key to a happy life is the pursuit for simple pleasure which in today’s day and age is an act of fortitude. It may not thrill our neighbor or the people who knows us but it will make your family feel happier. Indulgence and materialism actually ends up limiting our freedom because we dedicate most of our time and momentum to get hold of them and engrossed ourselves in many negative exploits for its sake. Simple living is satisfaction on what we need rather than what we want. Simple living is living intentionally with freedom, faith and integrity.
Posted by Jessie Landingin at 4:47 AM
Saturday, January 14, 2012
One morning in April 2003, I was given a gift that would change my life evermore. On my way to work I came off with multitude of people scampering and scrambling across the road. I looked around and saw houses enveloped by massive black smoke cleaved by intermittent blaze of flames. For a second, I gaped at the fire trying to take the actuality of the scene. I boarded out the vehicle to make my way through the crowd. I watched as people tried to retrieve pieces of anything that could be saved. I was looking in, contemplating and completely powerless to help. Some were just crying, watching the fruits of their handwork vanished before their eyes. I left the place when I saw firemen retrieved the bodies of two kids charred to death. This scenario taught me some important lessons in life. In an instant, everything can disappear forever. Your love ones can leave you without a final word. All the material things that we thought that are so important can be meaningless and worthless in a matter of seconds.
When I arrived at the office, that blazing scenario and the burnt bodies flashed back in my mind. This cataclysm forced me to take a closer look how I was living my life. My thoughts immediately turned to the people in my life, my kids, my wife. I realized a fire is like any natural calamity (just like Ondoy and Sendong) – it puts you in touch with how quickly life can change and how priceless every moment is. My perception changed and found myself asking some questions. Am I really happy? My work was exasperating. Hours were long and hard. My life felt like one lofty workday after another with very little else in between. I was so dissipated with getting the work done, delighting other people and keeping the boss elated that I never raised my head up from my drawing board enough to see what I was doing to my life. When I get home, I am enervated and just passed out on the couch and the next day it just begins all over again. Most evenings I barely got a good night sleep thinking how I would finish all the projects. I usually found myself overreacting to the slightest mistakes made by my kids and unapproachable when my wife asks me something. Vacations have become rejuvenation periods instead of leisure and recreation with my family. That burning houses became an analogy to me - I was misspending the precious time I had on this planet. I needed to slow down, take a truthful look at my life and what I really wanted. I was starting to see everything, all my time, spirit and vigor was being spent on the needs of others in the expense of my own needs.
The reality is, when I ask myself what I’d do if I lose my job it frightens me to death that I really don’t have the answer. Clearly I realized that a stable job or a prestigious position does not necessarily bring happiness. Instead, it brings a lot of accountability and high level of stress which at times leave your feeling depleted and out of touch with what’s really important in your life. Such feeling can be the reason why I kept myself alone and assiduous. I am so buried with work that I forgot that I have needs too, that my family needs my time. I have lost contact with myself and with those I love. When you are exhausted at the end of the day, fed up with working long hours, never feeling caught up, acknowledged or pleased you simply do not have the zest to spend on yourself or play with your kids or watch TV with your wife. Sometimes it feels beyond the bounds of possibilities to focus on your life when a tough and grievous job is taking up all your time and energy. This is when it’s critical to remember that you are in charge of your life. I am certain and convinced that our fears and discomforts coward us to make the choice for ourselves. Most of us think losing ones job would lead to a lot of psychological and budgetary changes or even trauma. I got caught up with this mentality and I forgot that I am the one running my own show. I forgot to believe in myself, my soul, that my actions are the seeds that grow into destiny .Such dogma take its price and I forgot to believe in myself. I should hear the wisdom of my soul and take action and I should find myself in the path that always leads to my highest good. It really does not matter how much money we have made, the successful careers we have, the education, recognition and all the accolades bequeath to us. Life is too short and our lives are truly made richer by the relationships that we share with each other.
The fire scenario became a metaphor to me. It enables me to realize that the most important part of my life is me. Learning to say No unless it is an absolute YES. A high quality life starts with a high quality me by giving myself the permission to make the quality of my life my top priority. This means putting myself above anything else, choosing to spend my time and energy on things that really brings joy to me and to my family and making decisions based on what is right instead of what just others want me to do. To truly love and respect one self would be the best choice to start a strong foundation of a rich and fulfilling life. Making a decision to change our life starts by making personal choice. Sometimes we have to trade in those unsupportive relationships, criticisms, and those people who put you down for more life enhancing ones and to have a more dignified persona. Honoring ourselves is the greatest gift we can give to our family and to anyone else to end up becoming a better father, mother, husband, wife, and friend.
Posted by Jessie Landingin at 2:05 AM
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I was motivated to scribe this blog after reading Ms. Lyn Juan's wall post , one of my colleagues from Wordbook about falling down and getting back up. I believe that life is not an easy and effortless matter; we cannot live through it without dwindling into frustration and cynicism. Family problem, health in bad situation, debts and bankruptcy, broken relationship, quest for power – these are just some of the reasons resulting to life bitterness and animosity. We think and say that we have everything we need, but then we realize that something is lacking, someone is missing. We then take somebody or try something more promising and end up with even more miserable life. Our resentment becomes greater when we have much and want more. We think we are deprived of life’s basic essentials when we can see clearly less fortunate beings around us. We blame our partners or blame other people and worst, execrate God for our miseries. We always explore to find somebody or something to complete and fulfill us where in fact nobody else can really provide it for us. Tonight, I have just finished reading a story from a Hebrew Bible. I bowled over, I twisted my own arm to get up from bed, turn the PC on to share and write this article for you. The story is about Job an exceptionally righteous man whose life was put to trials and afflictions. Job, certain of his own blamelessness, keeps up that his ordeal is unjustified as he has not transgressed, and that there is no basis for God to scourge him thus. By any means, he does not curse God's name or blame God of iniquity but instead begs an explanation or an account of his wrong doing. The scripture is mainly written in questions. Of the 288 questions on this holy testament many were from the mouth of Job. Suddenly when God eventually speak in the closing chapters, His answer to Job comes in the form of more questions. Out of the 288 questions marks in the Book of Job, 78 of them belongs to God, these are His replies to Job. What can we take from here? When our lives are put to the test we ask so many questions. Questions that leave us defenseless, powerless and impoverished. No one simply not willing to live with questions because most of the time it forces truth that we are unwilling to face, an honesty that may lead to live our lives in failure. But if we will take these life’s questions in a positive perspective we can simply find the answers. Sometimes God answers our questions with questions – questions that leave us meek, amazed, speechless and believing. No matter how discouraged we get, God has not asked us to do the impossible. He just wants us to explore His answers. It doesn’t really matter that we have more questions now than before. What matters is that we discover that the true answer to all our questions is our faith – that we have seen God as the truest answer.
Posted by Jessie Landingin at 1:42 AM
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Last night while preparing food for dinner, an evening show got my attentiveness. Too busy to peep on the boob tube, I just pinned my ears back to the program. The TV host asked the game contestant what he can say to his father .Then I heard the man saying " Itay maraming salamat, sorry dahil ikaw ang gumagawa ng mga bagay na ako dapat ang gumagawa, buhat ng mag-asawa ako ikaw ang nagpapagatas sa mga anak ko.Maraming salamat tay . . . I breathed out. Then I realized the main reason why a father's chore is no less than a mother's the most arduous job in the world is that it never end. The demands are day after day, week after week, month after moth, year after year and even when our children raise their own families... Our children we soon find out are here to hang around at least for a number of years. They don't show up like birds in the spring, then dash away at summers end. In fact as our children get older instead of putting our feet up our task seemingly augments. It's a job that never seems to get easier in spite of all those years of experience. It is a full-time job, with no reprieve, no postponement ,no time off even for sickness and recovery. A father does not stop caring just because we no longer the main providers. It never stops there. It's a father joyful pleasure to care for his children even after they no longer seem to need him. Even so fathers are human, subject to weaknesses, that they too have feet of clay, susceptible to errors just as capable of anyone else committing mistakes or sins against their children. A father must humble himself to admit that he can't be the farthermost and untainted example. He can only serve to emulate an image of a higher model. Although it may be the hardest for father to achieve, the highest examples of virtue a man can demonstrate to his children is to be quick to acknowledge when he has been wrong and seek his children forgiveness and compassion... God has chosen the father of each family to be his emissary in the home. When we became fathers He wants us to encounter a more profound achievement of security, He wants us to become shielded enough to challenge cowardice and apprehension to take the risk and make commitments. The happiest men and most satisfied in the masculine world today are those men who endowed a great deal of time and energy to his children. Fathers are the kind of masterpieces God had in his mind when he created man. When a man did his best to become a good father, God will someday meet him and will look at him to say "Very good, you have done your job well. You are a magnificent creature."
Happy Father's Day!
Happy Father's Day!
Posted by Jessie Landingin at 4:26 PM
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I accept as truth that people need work . . . but I intensely differ to people who deem that work is the most important thing in their lives or the only thing. We work because we must, but we have still the responsibility to love, to feel self-importance in, to venerate ourselves. Never work just for cash or power they wont salvage your soul or help you sleep at night, or fritter away your life in doubts and anxieties or stress and pressures. We may make a living by what we get, but we make a life by being righteous to ourselves and to others. Do not barter the bits and pieces of your life, time, for nothing more than money or authority - That is a rubbish bargain. If anything goes wrong, always be prepared to be more intelligent than the people who hire you. Gen. Joe Stillwell said: "The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
Posted by Jessie Landingin at 6:50 PM
Saturday, September 5, 2009
We thought we are the middle of the cosmos, in fact long before we even gasp our first breath everyone is looking ahead of us. We captured your awareness. When we whimper everyone seems to come dashing. We coo and we chuckle then all of you start smiling. Everyone appreciates us. We are formidable during the time of total vulnerability. We are fussed over, calmed down, provided and every wish is granted. It was a stage of juvenile despotism. But this blissful state is not perpetual and we realized it with amazement. We are expected to learn everything. To walk, talk, tricks, including toilet discipline. As time goes by new demands arise. As we learn one skill we are ask to learn another and more. Then the world begins to be entangled by no-nos. Do'nts resound in the air. What happened to the glorious times when we could do anything we want? When we were constantly adored? Our hands are hit when we stretch them out to touch something forbidden. People frowned or shout at us because we are stubborn. Why? We had this love and adulation then suddenly it was gone and what are left are countless expectations and prohibitions. We need to stop playing because we need to obey. As we grow older, the world becomes scary with no guarantees. We are push onto the juncture of life without having the option to run through the line. The once adoring parents are now fearsome and redoubtable silhouettes after our back. Mom aborted our siblings. Dad becomes irresponsible. We are not even sure how life would supposed to turn out for us. Where have all the fun and bliss gone? The vows of the once indulgent parents? Listen to us. We want to feel significant. We are rejected and suppressed of the universal longing to be heard, to be loved and to be free. To be unbound against poverty,child labor,abuse and ignorance. We thought we are the center of your universe . . . but we are just CHILDREN.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Posted by Jessie Landingin at 12:11 PM