The Extinction of I

“Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why should you be envious because I am generous?” ~ Matthew 20:15

I guess it is only human nature that the laborers expected more for the hours they have put into working the vineyard and very often, the measurement of our worth is quantitative in nature. We do keep scores in most aspects of our lives – career and relationships.

When push comes to shove, it’s every man for himself and it then becomes me, myself, and I.

With the dawn of the internet and social medias, the world seemed to have taken a more narcissistic approach to life. We seek to impress upon others how well to do we are and in some cases, wish to become the reason for others to be envious of us. And for some of us, we become depress when comparing ourselves to what we perceive of others as successful and happy.

There are times when I asked myself if the world will be interested in me and what I “post” online. And if not, why? And do people around me really am interested in me, my thoughts/opinions, and my actions.

Often times, microblogging (on social networking sites) took the role of sounding board for my thoughts and ideas. There are of course hits and misses and the reason why I continue doing it is because expressing myself through writing, I have learned and discovered myself. I usually throw my thoughts out into the open through status updates that can sometimes be offensive to certain group of audiences.

I wonder if being vocal and passionate about certain subjects can be a good thing or otherwise. Should I or should I not click the “post” button? And what are the implications for thinking out loud?

At some point, I too wonder what good would it be if we live in the confines of what others expect of us – what individuality and uniqueness will we possess? I do not think we ought to live life confined by a standard mold when even our fingerprints are different.

It does not really matter if the world is interested in us or we try too hard to live in such a way that we need to make ourselves interesting to others. We need not make ourselves an exotic exhibit in a zoo to seek attention but we really should live our lives as unique individuals by being ourselves. And in order to do that, we need to let our inner self speak up.

The reality is, unlike the animal kingdom where a species gets wiped out, each and every one of us is endangered and we are threatened by extinction. And in fact, when we die, we become extinct because there really is one of us alive.

This is by no means that we should be selfish people. Contrary to that, we must strive to be better not only for ourselves but also for others. But first, we need to discover ourselves and in order to do that, we first need to know ourselves better – by knowing our likes and dislikes.

Therefore, if you look from a different perspective, instead of being envious of a friend who seemed to be globetrotting around the world, just pause for a moment and understand that sometimes, these posts on his or her social networking account really is not to impress but to discover him or herself.

And as for the wage you earn compared to those you perceived as higher, that is just your mind playing tricks on you. Everything in this world comes with a price and there is a reason for everything.

Just accept the fact that somewhere along the way, someone is being very generous in sharing their blessings.

And will you be generous enough to share your good and unique ideas, thoughts, talents, and other forms of blessings just so that someone can feel loved, appreciated, and life is worth living!

Have a good blessed day!

Silver Lining

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-21)

How often do we find ourselves saying “everything happens for a reason” and “there is something to learn in this situation”?

Often times, forgiveness seemed to happen when we start looking at situations from different perspectives.

Throughout the past week, I was faced by a few difficult situations and most are totally out of my control. In the end, I found the reasons to be grateful in all these situations.

The first unfortunate event happened to a friend I have known for over 20 years. Out of a sudden, she seemed to have vanished totally from social media and attempts to reach her through the phone were unsuccessful. We drove to her home and found out that she had since changed her phone number and throughout the conversation, we could hear she seemed surprised that we had obtained her new number and sounded very fearful. Apparently her new boyfriend is unhappy with the message exchanges we had in the past. At first, I was offended and thought that was really convenient for him or her to put me in the spot and be blamed for all the insecurities. Her statement was malicious in nature and could plant a seed of distrust between by wife and I.

It then became clear to us that she had found herself a psycho for a boyfriend and we agreed to stay clear of it. Our worst fears was confirmed when we started ticking off more than one of the telling signs from this article we found regarding abusive relationship.

The question my wife and I asked ourselves were “What Can We Do?”.

The problem with such situation is that no one can do anything unless the person involved becomes aware of his or her situation and have the desire to get out of it.

But we did try to analyze why our dear friend has allowed herself to get into such a tight spot and we can truly understand because it is a no-brainer. After going through a divorce and being left with two young children can be an extremely overwhelming and daunting task for any single mother to cope. In those few years, we had seen her changed from a very determined young lady into one who has lost all hope. I am sure that at some point of her life, she has given up.

And in such vulnerable situation, I do not blame her if she have had many self-doubt moments – “beggars can’t be choosers”, “what do I have to bargain?”, “I am not getting any younger”, could be some of the statements that might have went through her mind.

I am not surprised that this guy became her “last hope” and she made the decision to give up the past totally just so that she could make the future with him work. Even if it means that he can be abusive and violent towards her – these can be taken as how much she meant to him and to justify his “possessive/aggressive” behavior.

It is easier said than done but if I could give a piece of advice to any single person out there thinking that their biological clock is ticking and desperately looking for a mate, it will be “DO NOT SETTLE FOR LESS, THE BEST IS YET TO COME”.

The second situation that I have witnessed happened this morning in church. A group of children had raised some funds to help a fellow classmate’s struggling mother. She had lost her husband in an accident when the child was still a baby. The priest came to know about her situation when he helped present some gift vouchers on the children’s behalf.

In both situations, they got me thinking about how fortunate and blessed I am. How often I have taken so many things for granted and fret over the most trivial of things. I thought to myself that there is a reason why I am made aware of such situations and there is a silver lining in all of them.

There is something for me to learn here and that is GRATEFULNESS.

And through these lessons, I learned not to just take difficult situations at face value and I ought to be quick to forgive not only others but also myself for passing judgements and jumping to conclusions a little too quickly.

I thank God today for all the blessings and graces He has and continues to bestow upon me and my beautiful family.

And God bless you too!