I get irritated easily when the internet connection is too slow and does not satisfy my expectation. I get annoyed when things are not done quickly. It’s really difficult to slow down nowadays because things tend to test our patience. Being caught in a massive and heavy traffic in the city every day, for instance, is a ‘patience-cracking’ scenario. It puts pressure on your endurance to face this kind of reality even though you don’t deserve it. I assure you, It takes a liter of sweat to bear and withstand the traffic which really distressing and irritating. Although some technological initiatives are already done to lessen the traffic, it’s still stays like a never-ending dilemma.
Why am I saying this? Because I thought life will be more simple and convenient when things are done instantaneously and promptly. Thanks to the influx of technological advancement in this generation because to live life to the fullest is possible which what advancement would like to offer us. But, as time goes by, as everything changes so rapidly, it seems that life is not so simple and convenient anymore contradicting the promises of the advance technology. Everything is becoming fast and it complicates everything about life. Impatience affects our values and we don’t know how to slow down. For us Slowing down kills advancement, innovation, and progress. But, isn’t in slowing down that we built our dreams and aspirations in life? Isn’t in slowing down that we foresee the wonders and the awe-inspiring ideals in our lives? Now, why labeling ‘slowing down’ as a 3000 year-old maxim about life? Hence, we really never learn about the beauty of the ordinary, the less-valued, and the less-appreciated things on and about life. We really complicates what is simple. We choose to ignore the things we think are not relevant, but in reality, are things that truly matter, manageable and handy to teach us the wisdom of life.
One afternoon, Barnie and his friend Boggart were walking around the Pagudpud Beach in Ilocos Norte while talking about their lives. Barnie said, “you know Boggart I am sick and tired of living this kind of life. Monotonous, stress-filled, irritating, and exhausting. I hate to live this life that I have. I envy you Boggart, because even if we have the same experience you still manage to be optimistic and calm. What’s the secret?” Suddenly, a beautiful and breath-taking sunset mesmerized the eyes of two friends and stunned them, made them stop from walking and watch the captivating scenery of the sunset in the beach. Then, Boggart exhorts, “you know Barnie life is too short. I also see my life as a waste when it gets rough. But, from that I realized, complaining about the discouraging events in our lives will not help us to see the beauty of our lives just like the breath-taking sunset we appreciate today by our own naked eyes. From the breath-taking sunset that appreciate today, I just realized now that life is a grace to be appreciated and valued. And, I am so thankful that through this experience I love my life.” The two friends were so happy and blessed to witness the captivating scenery of the sunset hovering the beautiful Pagudpud Beach.
In a classroom filled with 30 students a teacher asked them to make a big circle for an activity. Afterwards, the teacher put 30 items on the table; some were attractively good, some were seemingly good, and others were not so good. Then the teacher gave them an instruction, “okay class our activity is just simple. Each of you will get one item that you like here on this table. After you get the item of your choice, wait for my instruction, enjoy it, and hold it well. So let’s begin and we will start counter-clockwise”. Some students took the attractively good and seemingly good items. Unfortunately, others who were last ones to get the items acquire the poor ones. Those who were the last ones really hoped that they may be given a chance to acquire those attractively good or just those seemingly good items like with their classmates. When all of the items had been took, the teacher gave another instructions, “okay class, here’s the best part of our activity. Please sacrifice and share the items that you have to your classmate who wants it.” Everybody jeered, chortled, and hesitant. No one dared to let go and share their items.
Does this story make sense to you? Maybe you asked yourself while reading story, what is this story all about? Actually, It’s all about sacrifice which we are afraid or hesitant to talk about today. Apparently, the value of sacrifice is now diminishing its sense and significance to our day to day living. Facing our world today with the influx of “instants” occurring to our settings and lifestyles degrades our understanding and appreciation about the value of sacrifice which the very foundation of our lives. Why are we afraid of sacrifice? Because it’s painful, it tests our patience, it loses our own wants, and it challenges our desires. Forget about these! I would like to assure something that will make you recognize the value of sacrifice; there will be no true relationship without sacrifice. Every good and true relationship that is deeply rooted in love demands sacrifice. Hence, the most important thing in life is not all about your wants and desires, but it’s all about how you relate or involve yourself to the people that we tend to neglect and ignore but more valuable and precious than who we think. All these will be possible unless you value sacrifice because it’s not all about you, but it’s all about US.
We easily give in to what we desire and crave for. To give in, shall I say is somehow the fragile aspect of our existence as human with intellect and will. To give in is an uncontrollable phenomenon. When we want something new and trending we give in to our self. When it’s attracting and tempting, we cannot but give in despite the patience and self-control. Sad to say, we no longer understand and appreciate the virtue of waiting, endurance and delayed gratification. We tend to get things abrupt and instant. This realization opened up my awareness that our tendency to give in to our self is something for us to be evaluated and re-evaluated seriously. Just like in building a love-relationship, rushing too much and giving in to our own emotions doesn’t mean will lead us into a happy love-relationship. For me, a happy and firm relationship takes a deeper sense of faith and sacrifices. When we love, we must be always ready and prepared to face the reality of life, hence waiting for the right timing and patience are one of the most important thing to avoid unnecessary failures and unhappy relationships.
An old man is silently dying to his hospital bed, but the weird thing about him is he smiles whenever he feels the pain. his attending nurse noticed it and asked him; “why are you so silent in your suffering? Are you not afraid of dying?” The old man answered with a smile on his face; “when I was a child, whenever I fall down and my knees get wounded, I groan and cry a lot. When I was a teenager, whenever I experienced failures in exams, broken-relationships, being reprimanded, bullying, and unfair decisions for my life, I complain. When I reached adulthood, whenever I feel like a loser, inferior and worthless I rebel, grumble, and hid grudges. Now I am old and dying does I still need to complain? Absolutely not! From all those experiences I realized the value of suffering in silence. It is in silence that I feel the presence of God, and that’s the greatest joy that I found in my sufferings. Thus, God is with me and through this pain I feel his love for me despite the many shortcomings and failures that I have in my life. So, I am prepared to die because God is with me and I am happy about it. Hence, suffering is inevitable, but the love of God in the midst of our agony will always be the same forever and ever.”
A great traveler was asked by a curious young man who also aspires to travel the world, “Sir, you’re such an inspiration for me. You’ve been traveling the different wonderful parts of the world, and I am really amaze every time I read your post on your blog and articles, or watch your documentaries on TV”. “Oh thanks! Nice to hear that. ”, the accomplished man retorted. The curious young man continued, “But is there a place that you haven’t been to?” “Oh a tough question”, the traveler responded with a smile on his face. “You know in my entire escapades, there are two places that is difficult to visit” “What is that sir”, the young man replied. “Its heart and the mind”, the traveler said with a smile. The young man responded, “What do you mean, sir?” The experienced man explained “For almost a decade of travelling around the world, lately I realized that the farthest journey in life is the travel between the heart and the mind. When we look upon our physical build-up the distance between the heart and the mind is just near, right? But when we speak about life and love and when we engage ourselves on its incredible journey it’s really challenging and demanding. I have been to the places people called ‘paradise’, but it never satisfy my soul to see the ‘paradise’ that is intended and planned for my life. However, when I started to engage myself traveling towards my heart and mind, I realized that there’s more to life which it can give than my journey to the beautiful places. From that experience, I saw and become in touch with the greatest fulfillment in my life which I never encounter from seeing the world. Yes, it’s really hard to engage yourself in the travel within the heart and mind because it’s too far, tiring, arduous, tough, and difficult. But that travel satisfies my deepest longings in life, such as LOVE, UNDERSTANDING, HEALING, and ACCEPTANCE about myself.”
A well-known public attorney was fond of framing his failures during his elementary days, high school days, and even when he took up law in college, like failed test papers, low-grades, low quizzes, and his failed 1st attempt to bar exam, and posting it on the wall of his office. Suddenly, a client noticed them all and asked him; “Sir, why do you need to display your failures from the past? It’s absurd and ridiculous! Are you belittling yourself sir? “No, I am proud of it”, the attorney responded that made his client puzzled. The attorney noticed his reaction so he added, “Actually, these failures posted on my wall reminds me of three words; NEVER GIVE UP! I have so many failures in life as you can see on the wall but it is just a representation of the whole picture of my failures in life. But, those failures did not hinder me to move on. Failures are inescapable realities in life. However, I believe they serve as bridges and ladders for success. Now, I am successful because of my failures. But, do you know one of the lessons that I have learned from these failures and the many failures that I encountered and experienced in life?” What’s that? His client responded. “Its humility my dear! The more I experience failures in life, the more it reminds me to humble myself, and the more it helps me to go on towards success. So, never disregard your failures in life. Never remorse your failures, but make it as your means to embrace fulfilment and success in life.” His client was inspired and amazed on what the attorney have said to him about the failures on the wall.