Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Love!


Love...

Perhaps there is no word in the world that best describes the essence of every man than the word LOVE.

Love is first and foremost the very definition of God when we say God is love. And since all of us comes and is created by God, then by Divine Right, none of us are exempted to this great meaning of Love.

Every human person born, whether wanted or not by his parents (unfortunately many children are born to parents who do not want them), are made to be loved and to love in return. In many psychology books I have read, every single person wears an unseen word "Please give me attention" and this unseen words are displayed in various forms of behavior just so other people would notice them especially from people who are significant to them like their parents, siblings, husband, or wife or even in friendly relationships. Sometimes the displayed behavior are done appropriately such as a childing wanting his parents' attention would excel in school, behave accordingly and other kinds of appreciable behavior. Nonetheless, there are those who display these unseen words in a catastrophic manner just as when a child does violent things, engaging into drugs, creation of unhealthy relationships, just so they are able to get the attention of the significant persons in their lives. But in either of these two different patterns of behavior in getting attention, one thing is certain, they are all translated into the need of a person to be loved.

This is because we are designed by God to be nurtured and to nurture in return. If there is anything we must never give up in life, it is LOVE. It is the essence of our existence. No one can live without it. We are made to show love. Whether we are raised abundantly with it from people who has touched our lives or none of it, we are nonetheless always wanting it and must give it.

Other people would probably say, how can I do that, I have never experience being loved in the first place? And how can I give something I do not have.

Well, its simple. Just know how much God loves you. He has created you in His own image and likeness. That truth alone suffices. However, from a psychological point of view, it is not achievable unless the person has underdone into counselling and therapies, and these services are not easily available nowadays and are not even within reach. As such, I suggest that one must get himself involved in communities. It could probably just be the beginning. All of us are wounded in our lifetime, some greatly, some lightly... but we must move forward. And the greatest vehicle of which is FORGIVENESS. Withour forgiveness, we are at loss. We are bound to suffer pain by our own doing. And although forgiveness is a difficult thing to do, one must deliberately choose it. Forgiveness is the only vehicle that can effectively give us love even we are also wounded by the people from whom we expect to be loved. If we are in a community trying to attain a common goal of creating change for the betterment of this world and for the rest of mankind, then little by little, healing comes. And this is what is called the ability of each one of us to become wounded healers for the others.

Apparently, love is a choice. It must be worked out. It is hard. It's really hard. But which is harder to live in suffering? Or to work it out now and eventually reach the fullness of our being, the essence why we are here in this world, why we are born in the first place, why we are where are, why we are doing what we do.

God is love. And so we are love.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On Being Childless


I have been married for more than two years already. It's not a surprise if oftentimes I hear people asking me why don't I have a child yet...

You cannot imagine how to difficult it is to answer such question. Sometimes people assume that my husband and I deliberately refuse to have children. But there are some too who seriously are emphatic on our predicament and even offers prayers helping me and my husband storming the heavens for the gift of a child.

Several times, I have been a principal sponsor to weddings along with my husband and all those whom we sponsored are now raising their infants and kids. I have seen friends who have been married later than us and are now rejoicing in the fact of pregnancy.

Well, at first my husband thinks it was alright for us not to have children. He said he marries me for me and not because of the children I begot. But as time flew by, with all much effort and medical help we sought, and we remain childless, I could somehow sense that he too really wants to have a child pretty soon. And that only the two of us living in our home simply lacks an important person to fill our home: the gift of a child. It doesnt matter to us that we both make ourselves available in service to other people just us both of us are gifted with it. It doesnt really matter of how many people comes to us for help, or how well we find in wisdom in every situation. In all truth, we lack something. And it is not hidden from the people.

Just as I feel genuinely happy for the children born from other mothers, as I consider every child a gift from God, I cannot help but continue to hope and pray that one day,my time to experience in receiving the greatest gift a woman is possesed: that of being a mother, can actually come true.

Somehow, it cannot be denied that the faith in God that I carry inside helps me so much in staying in tranquility and at peace, carrying the truth that God's Omnipotence is greater than anything and that He knows best for all of us. In all these, I choose to keep my faith, hope and love.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Growing Up in Politics...




The world of politics is a thing that I have always abhorred.



You see I was raised by a family who are heavily involved in politics especially on my mother's paternal side where I spent the first 12 years of my life. Majority of the relatives that has created a significant role of my life during childhood are from my mother's side. Way back then, I thought it was a family's role to always lead people, to organize them, and to make them feel part of us. Well, it was none of such a huge political clan but it operates on the level of a barangay, a remote barangay at that, where my grandfather used to rule. But to my young mind, I thought that being looked upon is a natural-given role that the best among my kins should play. Even within our nuclear family, my parents endowed in my hands the chance to discipline my own siblings, being the eldest child; it doesnt matter if I were a girl, at least during the first twelve (12) years of my life. Even when I was already away from home studying in a city only enjoying frequent visits from my parents and younger siblings, my parents continually instill in my younger brothers and sister, respect to my decision. It went on and on and I thought the role is a thing that naturally belongs to me.



Nonetheless, my natural need to always put God in my life, seem to pave a way in molding me on how it is to be a servant leader like Christ. I had that chance to learn them. It was a painstaking endeavor to extract away from myself the thought that leadership is actually not a thing I can demand on others but a thing that I must continually work for. I was introduced to a new concept of leadership. I learned to reach out to others but always and always, it keeps on coming back to me how I was raised. And admittedly, it always show in my demeanor. Most of the time, I tend to speak more fully when I am among good and intelligent men because I could sense that I can relate to them in many things. And I only keep very few female friends. I can count them on my fingers. And this attitude creates a negative impression about me especially within the context of Filipino culture. It is not a normal trend that a woman imbued with delicate features could actually relate in mind towards the male psyche. And for many times I thought that if I didn't possess such a very feminine nature, I would not be subjected to such negative impression. This struggle is a constant experience. And I would always attribute it to the fact, that subconsciously I carry the thought that there's no dileanation between a man and a woman as far as leadership is concerned. I am still a product of how my family raised me despite the various learning I received.



But I find myself in dichotomy at all times because I still carry an antagonism and bias against many people in politics. I do not like the way they behave and think about other people. And most probably because, I do not like most of them heavily engaged in corruption, in lousy public service and in mediocre moral values. Or maybe because I felt that my own kins are also into it. And I did not like them acting like little politicians and not bringing any improvements in their personal lives in many aspects. And I wanted so much to evoke change and bring God's values into their political lives. My kins wanted me to carry the yoke of carrying that aspect of going into the realm of politics. I just turn them down thinking that service is a thing I can better do among people who keeps low profile, people who works even when no one gives them public acclamation, only living in the hidden thought that their service are rewarded when they shall finally be rewarded in Heaven.



That has always been my thought. But on the other hand, I kept asking myself, should I allow evil politicians to dominate in governing the country that I love? I was always looking for an answer because I really have real concern for the country of my birth.



And then I met a man who is heavily engaged into politics who eventually became a well-respected friend. His works are truly marked by exemplar public service, free from corruption and he has the ability to work with the downtrodden just as he gains the respect of many good people in the society. This man somehow created light and new perspective that good people can actually have a way in governing this country. That for so long as there are still many good and selfless people willing to cast their votes for this kind of politician, then this country has still hopes because deep in my heart I still have so much faith in the heart of Filipino people.



Well, in many years, the man I talked about, married me a couple of years ago. And so, I now find myself being part once again in the world of politics, brushing elbows with many of them, some I truly like, some I can never like, some I still try to like.



The politics that I abhorred becomes mine and my hopes are high that this man continues to bring his idealism into the real world. And more than anything else, I pray that his talent should not be attributed mainly as his own, but a gift coming from God, hence, should be put to good use and in the end God's glory shall be manifested in his humble service. And I pray that I would continue to be a woman, a wife, and hopefully a mother, faithful to life of service in whatever form,taking my strength from the One who made us all.


In the end I'd say... I had experience growing up in politics, abhorred it but is now married to a politician. God's way is totally beyond me. And I have no right to find explanation. I just make myself His own and follow every step that comes along the way. It's no easy road, its no easy task, but I must do my share as God directs it. And so must all of us, however God molded us!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Filipino Women Today: How are They?

I find it really an interesting issue to discuss about Filipino women today. Almost two decades ago in one of my English class requirements, I tackled on the issues of Filipino women comparing them from the women of past generation and the generation of women at the time I made that paper. Way back then, internet was still a year way to its operation in the world. Mobile phones and text messages were not yet available. And in the university where I was schooled, at MSU-IIT in Iligan City, in Mindanao, the past time of the students were just the chances of meeting each other in personal social gatherings. Students used to connect to each other in a personal manner. It was also at that time when changes of women's perspective have changed and how Filipino men viewed them.



At that time, I thought I already made a significant impression of the differences in women as I compared them to the past generation, how they behave, how they interact with the opposite sex, how they handle courtships, how they view family and how they value the essence of being a woman. Little did I know that there would be a huge differences in all aspects when the age of internet arrived, a year after I made my paper on Filipino women.




History tells us that women as far as how they are viewed by society varies from culture to culture, from generation to generation, but here in the Philippines, women have relatively evolved depending upon the people that colonizes her country. As stated by most history book writers, before the Spanish Era, Filipino women were made equal to that of men, as maternal and paternal lineage were recognized at that time.And because of this bilateral kinship system, women were given great power in their own clan.




But with the Spaniards' arrival bringing the Catholic faith and introduced them to the Filipinos, it has made women on secondary position. And so women were left mostly in the house, taking care of the household and played no relevant decision in the unfolding of the society.



With the arrival of Americans, doctrines of self-improvement and empowerment have been upheld and that paved a way of making women professionals in various fields acquiring esteem in their own right.




Consequently, it is clear that there is truly an evolution of Filipino women nowadays, especially with the advent of latest technology and gadgets. It changed people's lives, it changed many systems and it also changes some basic psyche of Filipino women.




Nowadays, Filipino women are more exposed to variety of options, whether she lives in rural or urban areas, it doesnt really matter; the technology has gotten into her.




And now you can see Filipino women attaining respect and created niche in various fields. You can see them in the fields of law, medicine, politics (although at a limited extent), business sector,technological advancements, scientific contribution and some helped in the building of communities whether in social service or in their own church's service and there are also women working abroad employed as nurses, doctors, engineers, skilled workers, domestic helpers and some in the field of entertainment in almost all part of the world.




Due to this changes, Filipino women nowadays are generally regarded highly by society caused by the important contribution and impact they have made in their respective families, which up to this day remains the main and basic value of a Filipino women.




Nonetheless, I am also alarmed by the fact that just as women have significantly changed over the years, it has somehow created confusion in the psyche of their male counterpart. They seem at lost on how to treat women and how do they place themselves in the significant Filipino women in their lives.




Just as I value women being given equal dignity in all aspects of life, I am also concerned about the well-being and ability of men to develop their own sense of pride, a natural gift entrusted to them by God as men and I cannot afford seeing them helpless and unable to function in decision- making and I would really like them to keep the dignity they have always carried attributed to their natural ability and talents.




Although I have met many of men I highly admired and regarded with respect, I also found a growing number of men who are utterly confused and who are already comfortable seeing significant women in their lives run things for them.




It would be more pleasing to see women attaining a good sense of dignity and pride for their own gifts and virtues and value but nothing is more pleasing if along this change, men also attain greater pride for having women like them and not to fail in seeing their own contribution too.



At any rate, this is a stage of adjustment to both of them and I am seeing signs that Filipino men can greatly improve in this respect. I am positive, awareness of possibility greatly aids in improvement.