TaN: As more and more conflicts and violence spread to all corners of the world, Jesus Christ’s and Mohandas K Gandhi’s messages of non-violence against violence never was more apt and relevant. Several sayings come to mind, (1) Be as the gentle breeze that calms the rough waves; (2) An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth only ends up with everyone being blind and toothless; (3) War does not determine who is right, only who is left; and, (4) It takes two angry people to fight.
One problem with all the increasing violence and conflicts is that more and more people get the crazy idea that desiring and advocating peace and sobriety is a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it take a lot of courage and self-control to resist violence, to accept the blows and violence of others upon onesself while resisting retaliation. It must be recalled that Gandhi was able to force the British out of India through non-violence. When violence is allowed to tire itself out, spending all the energy into violence, eventually it will be defeated. If violent people are permitted to inflict all their violence on peaceful and non-resisting people, they wil eventually lose their taste for violence.
Evil has the tendency to turn on itself. That is the characteristic of evil. In evil is the seed of its own destruction. Let us not participate in the rampant and wanton violence that is spreading. Like a bending bamboo in a wind storm, the storm will eventually spend all its energy and dissipate while the bamboo will simply stand back upright once it is over.
TaN: It is not true that “It’s more fun in the Philippines”; the truth is “It’s ALL fun in the Philippines” – this explain the state of affairs and the economy. One of the principal stumbling blocks to the upliftment of the quality of life of the average Filipino is his “fun” attitude. For him, everything is and has to be fun. And, this is the main impedimemt.
Because of failure to comprehend and appreciate the “gravity” of the situation, the Filipino reduces everything into “fun and simple” things. And, this “making light of everything” and cavalier attitude is a (but not the only) principal cause for his continued and perennial stay at the bottom. The typical Filipino will not hesitate to indulge in whatever pleasures that can be had – especially food. This is why, everywhere you look in public places – especially on the streets – there will always be food stalls and vendors and the basis for the observation that the entire is a series of eating events (from breakfast to mid-morning snack to lunch to merienda/afternoon snack to dinner to snacking before bedtime and, if one is awakened in the middle of sleeping, to the midnight snack). Likewise, this is the basis for the image or tourism campaign of Fiesta Islands. And, this is why we smile, laugh and make fun of even the most tragic incidents – like when receiving relief goods or when staying in evacuation centers. Filipinos will always try to find a reason – no matter how flimsy or inane – to celebrate and to enjoy life.
By not making distinctions between what are serious matters and what are not and by treating everything as something insignificant, Filipinos developed and employed this attitude as a coping mechanism otherwise they will feel overwhelmed by events in their lives that are beyond their control.
However, this survival and coping mechanism has its downside. There is a tendency to rely on it and this reliance has the propensity to trivialize everything which results in holding back our progress and development. It must be remembered that even the Scriptures say (in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, KJV): To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”. It is not all fun and laughter. There is a time to be serious.
Finally, one major offshoot of this trait of making light of everything is the tendency to consider work as some sort of punishment and the irresponsible and immature desire to get work or labor over and done with as soon as possible – never mind other people. A typical case is public utility drivers – but not all – who have already earned enough and decides to get off before the end of the shift, leaving commuters “stranded”. Another case is when a public market vendor cheats on the scales to earn the day’s wages sooner, never mind if others will not be able to buy food to bring home.
TaN: I just learned today (Oct 24, 2012) that a good friend passed away 9 months ago, Monday – Victor Milan. I do not know much about him because we have met only on a few on-and-off occasions, but what I know is that he was an good example of the dichotomy between the heart and the mind of a man. He may have had the mind of a serious environmentalist but that is in his mind. In his heart, he is a child. It is said that (paraphrased) He is happy who still has a child within him (his heart).
Victor is instrumental – if not the principal force – behind the saving, maintenance, preservation, and recognition of the now world-renowned Tubbataha Reef. We went to Batanes and it was quite a memorable mini vacation filled with many interesting things and experiences. He has been into health and nutritional science ever since I knew him and many detractors (usually, those with vested interests, whose source of wealth is threatened, who stand to lose and who put profit and wealth before concern and safety of people and the truth) relentlessly assault, mock, and obfuscate the truth.
Among the more devious and convincing twisting and obscuring of the truth is the argument that…Taking food supplements and mineral and vitamins will not make one live longer. This truth is being used to insinuate that allopathy will make you live longer. The falsehood is the misleading of people to draw wrong conclusions – the insinuation of having a longer life through allopathy.
The truth is that the only way to prove that something can make you live longer is to know the exact date of your death and, if you live beyond that date, then it works. However, since no one knows exactly when s/he will die, the claim of something can extend one’s life is a complete falsehood – there is no way of verifying and confirming the claim. So, never believe anyone or any product that claims – even guarantees – to be able to extend life. It is logically flawed.
Death is a certainty that no one – but the Father – can escape nor predict. We have no choice in the matter. What we have a choice in is how we die. Having the correct lifestyle (and habits) ensures a “good” passing, while an “unnatural” lifestyle – one that results in chronic diseases – guarantees a “difficult” passing.
People I know who had a difficult “passing” had chosen the artificial lifestyle – filled with artificial foods, artificial habits, artificial wants and artificial needs, and artificial happiness. Their “golden or twilight” years are peppered with chronic diseases and discomforts and financial woes. They die of diabetes (or Syndrome X), of hypertension, of obesity, of arthritis, of osteoporosis, of stroke or of MI (myocardial infarction or heart attack or cardiac arrest), of cancer – or, worst of all, the effects (not side effects) of chemical, of radiation, and of pharmaceutical poisoning.
Vic, in his last act, proved the truthfulness of his advocacy, his conviction. He passed on peacefully because he chose the path of a natural lifestyle; he made the wise decision. To you, Sir Vic…explore the new uncharted and greener territory and tell me about it when we meet again. Godspeed my good friend.