Social Media: Status Update?

If you’ve been following this or one or two of my other blogs, you’ll know that I’ve been off the social media for quite sometime now. Well, I didn’t delete my account actually, but I just went offline for a few days. I was on my way to my second month without Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I just had to login last week cause I had to get a file from someone who’s not yet my FB friend. So while I was online, I accepted some pending invites, too.

Here’s what I’ve realized so far: social media is neither good or evil; it is just as it is-neutral. How we make use of it makes it bad or good.

So, my personal decision to go off line is something I won’t advise other people to do. It may be working for me, but I really don’t know if it will work for you. It’s you who should assess that.

If being on social media depresses you, which happened to me a lot of times before, then you may better be offline. But if you are someone, like most people who find connection with friends and love ones being rekindled because of social media, well and good, continue to do so, but in a more controlled manner.

Francis Kong once said that Facebook [or social media, i can’t remember exactly] is a billboard, it is not a diary. It makes sense, right? It is curated. We only see what other people wanted us to see. So measuring ourselves up with what other people are sharing is actually unhealthy.

I love social media. It was my source of information, my extra pair of eyes to see the world, the tie that binds me to people long gone and forgotten as well as to new connections and friends. But for now, I’ll rather keep it in my arsenal of tools that I can use when needed. It has controlled me for quite some time, now, I’m taking control.

Categories: life's journey

On Time, Strengths, and Other Late Night Thoughts

Everyone, I think, would agree that time is the most precious and limited resource that we have. Yet despite that knowledge we’ve been fools over and over again in the way we’re using it.

On time. A couple of days ago as I was leaving for work, my left arm suddenly got very painful that I couldn’t move it. i thought it was tearing apart. From my shoulder all the way to the tip of my thumb. I wasn’t sure if I twisted it badly or what. Anyway, I got terribly scared I thought I was having a stroke. Luckily, I realized there’s no pain on my chest, so I’d be fine. But that realization came after my thoughts of being ill or dead. My thought exactly was, “I’m not ready.” I can’t leave my wife and kids yet. At that moment, I realized how precious life is and how we’ve been wasting each single moment of opportunity we spend with the people we love. I just wanted to stay at home. But I can’t afford to let Mrs H feel my fear and have her worried. A few minutes later and it’s over, so the day proceeded as usual. It still hurts a bit ’till now.

But it’s not the pain that worried me. It’s the thought that I may have not invested enough time with my family.

Amazing how a simple incident like that could make you realize what life and living really means; that it’s not permanent, it’s too fragile, too uncertain, and that it got to be treasured.

On strengths. I’m glad there are companies that continue to invest in their people’s development. I’m happy to be in one. So there’s this training about harnessing your individual “talents” or strengths to become effective in your career and as a leader. But I believe it can apply to one’s personal life as well. Part of the training is you will answer set of questions that will help you identify your individual talents. It’s kind of a self-awareness (or self-validation on how you see yourself). It’s great because it can give you insights on how your talents can work for you in its mature form or against you in its raw form; which kind of validate what Mrs H used to say:

“Your greatest gift is also your worst curse.”

Now, the more I look at my talents the more I get to know more of myself and how I behave under certain circumstances. Things like, why do I feel good learning new things, talking to and debating with myself, buying books on various topics, thinking how things came about or why people behave in such and such ways, why do I hate conflicts and confrontations, etc.

The more I get to know and understand myself, the more I am convinced of pursuing things I’ve always wanted – be an academician (is there such a thing? Wait, there is!).

On generation gaps and millennials. People should be more forgiving and less harsh towards millennials, especially those at the workforce. It’s often said that they are the most disengaged, difficult to handle, easily bored, unstable, etc., employees today. But the thing is, maybe, just maybe, they didn’t choose to be that way. They could have been molded that way, without them asking for it. We have to remember that who we are or what we are as a person are the sum of a lot of factors, but basically nature and nurture.

People who complain a lot about these millennials are the same generation that raises them up. Significant part of what they are is how generations before them have raised them.

It is not fair to think that the millennials are the problem themselves. People should also ask themselves how they have contributed to this way of thinking. YOLO, self-entitlement, freedom to choose, following one’s passion, etc. Who invented these concepts anyway? These were not invented by this generation, but by the ones before them.This is not about passing the blame, but about being fair and a call for more meaningful introspection.

Social media hiatus. Sometimes, we really have to get disconnected to be more connected.

Yes, in many ways I am now becoming “uninformed”, but I will choose it any time, any day, than being “misinformed.”

On each passing time. Again, time passes by so quickly. One quarter of the year is now about to end. Left unchecked, we’ll be too old to do the things we must do- talk to people that matter to us while they’re still here, pursue our passions and life long yearnings, visit the places we’ve always wanted to visit, love more and love more deeply, connect more, and live more.

Earlier, I was lying in bed and I just realized that our bed is getting smaller and smaller each night for the four of us.

The kids are growing up so fast. I wonder where have all the days gone. Days are short. Our lives are finite. We need to create more memories instead of accumulating more things. I wish I could be much wiser to “do” the things I must, than just “know” what must be done.

On relationships, family stewardship, etc. Get a book by Dr. James Dobson, Jr. and then thank me later. ūüėČ

Categories: life's journey

Catching up

No matter how busy we are, no matter how much we try to drown life with activities, life always finds a way to catch up. It just shows up on your doorsteps, always a surprise.

Time flies. And boy, no matter how good you are at procrastinating, you won’t beat life at the end line. It’s always ahead of you. There’s no Mr. Optimistic when reality hits you. And it hits really, really hard. If you are young and you think “adulting” is tough; well, here’s the news: it ain’t the whole part of living. It’s just a fraction of it.

When every cell of your body started shouting at you to start living- and i mean living the life you should- man, hard is not even close a word to define it.

“Well”, you might say, “it’s just a passing phase of confusion at a certain point in life.” Perhaps. So, what are you going to do about it? Just let it slide?

When you started wearing too many hats, trying to be at your best in every one of it, all at the same time, it’s not gonna help. Good news is, you are not the first or the only one to be in that situation. Bad news is, it’s only you who can handle your own balancing act. But still, not a reason to despair. Many have found their way of getting the best out of it.

Of course, there will come a time when your cross feels heavier than it used to. There will be times when prayers don’t seem to work anymore. There will be times when the people around you, even the ones you love and trust, wouldn’t seem to understand or care. There will be times when the days are longer and more tiring and the nights are darker and colder. There will be times you would doubt your own self. But never, even in the most trying and confusing times, should you give up.

Many have been through it and emerged even more victorious. There’s always a way out of it. There has to be. There must be. Find it.

When life caught you by surprise, roll with it. Every waking moment is a moment for the unexpected lemons that life would throw at you; so you must always have that squeezer ready to make the best lemonades.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stoics and Me

October 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Hello again!

It’s been a while, huh? A haitus from writing for some time to focus on some other things is really good for ones’ self, I suppose; so I don’t think this one post would mean breaking that silence for good. Been through of a lot these past couple of years… fatherhood and all. ¬†Well, fatherhood times two. ¬†But I won’t bore you with those things for now. ¬†Let’s catch up again, should we have the time.

Anyway, been trying to get more familiar lately to Stoicsm – and i just want to let you know about it. ¬†It’s a¬†philosophy that started in Greece around 2,300 years ago. ¬†It flourished not only in Greece but also reached Rome and had a cult of followers including one of Rome’s emperors, Marcus Aurelius, said to be a philosopher-emperor and author of the celeberated book “Meditations”.

Stoicsm, basically, is an ancient Greek philosophy (developed by Zeno of Citium around 300 B.C. as a refinement of Cynicism) which teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions. It does not seek to extinguish emotions completely, but rather seeks to transform them by a resolute Asceticism (a voluntary abstinence from worldly pleasures), which enables a person to develop clear judgment, inner calm, and freedom from suffering (which it considers the ultimate goal).

So, yeah, that portion there that states “development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions” is what really got me interested. ¬†I don’t know how much things would change but I am hoping for the best. ¬†Oh, wait, there is one passage in the Seneca’s Letter from a Stoic that actually states (quoting another Stoic philosopher, Hecato, I think) “cease to hope and you will cease to fear”. ¬†I wish I could share with you now my thoughts about it, but I have to restrain myself; so, not this time.

Anyway, there’s so much to learn and much to explore. Let’s just live one day at a time. ¬†Before I go, let me leave this quote to you:

“I am writing this not for the eyes of the many, but for yours alone: for each of us is audience enough for the other” (Seneca, quoting Epicurus in Letter VII of Letters from a Stoic).


God Hears Our Prayers

November 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Many of us are wondering if God really hears our prayers. And I want to believe that He does. There may be times in our lives when all our questions remain unanswered – no matter how much we prayed and asked God for the answers.

Many times, God remains silent to our questions, our petitions, our prayers. There were times when He just keep mum in the midst of all our doubts, fears, and pains.

Or is He? What if God speaks to us in ways so familiar to us, so common, so natural, that we fail to recognize it. We expect God’s answers to be like that of the ancient time when thunder roars, lightning strikes and bushes are consumed by fire.

What if God speaks to you through the gentle breeze, the singing of the birds, the scent of a rose, the hug of a friend, the smile of a child, the kiss of a lover? We will never know unless we open our hearts and take the time to listen.

Most of the time, we expect direct, loud and thunderous voice from the heaven to tell us what to do and give us the answers we longed to hear. But God is the God of the gentle things too. Listen to your heart. Listen to the soft whispers to your soul. God may be talking to you right now but because you speak too loud, you can’t hear Him. Take time to stop talking, stop asking and stop begging. God may have already given you the answers you’ve been waiting for so long but because all you think about is yourself, you failed to hear it.

Let the stillness of the night, the silence of the most boring part of the day, be a moment of listening to God’s voice. A moment of silence may be all that you need to find the answers you’ve been asking God all your life.

Categories: life's journey
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