Archive for July, 2010

(Photograph by Franco Advincula)

I’ve been regularly communicating professionally for the past seven months with this complete stranger through various means of modern technology: emails, phone calls, Communicator. Despite the apparent distance (we are located in different parts of the world) and anonymity (except for voice recognition), we managed to virtually accomplish things together and achieve corporate goals set within the confines of our mutual environment.

As days turned into months, respect was slowly earned through small acts of constancy, dependability, and willingness to lend a hand whenever necessary. I felt that being my professional mentor, this person took my growth to heart and sincerely did things to help me progress in that aspect of life.

Many personal battles have also been won during these times and in each case I felt that the professional line that stood between us was carefully treaded to offer comforting support beyond what was called for. By and by, this person became not only a professional colleague, but a virtual friend in every sense of the word.  

Then came the pleasant surprise. We had a chance to meet in person for the first time after all these months of knowing each other only virtually. I was a bit nervous on how it would turn out. I wondered if this person would be the same face-to-face as the person I had been communicating with online.

And it turned out very well.

From the moment that we’ve said hello, I felt very comfortable around this person like we’ve known each other for so long. As we spent time together that day, I realized that our differences in upbringing, race, language, and even our perspective in many ways are bridged by our humanity. That although we were brought up separately and differently, our longings as human beings are the same. That what we consider important in life are similar. That our values and aspirations are alike.

How grateful I am for the grand design of our existence. No matter where we are in the world, we are indeed brothers and sisters who belong to an enormous eternal family. I am grateful for the knowledge that life doesn’t end here, and that our associations here are some of the finest things we can bring with us beyond the veil. And although we hardly recognize each other here on the earth now, I know without a shadow of doubt that none of us are strangers after all.

Enjoy the rest of your week everybody!!! And try to say hi to some of the strangers you come across this day. 🙂


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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

Yesterday I watched while the hospital aides wheeled and transferred a very good friend of mine onto her hospital bed as she lay unconscious from the recovery room. I stood in awe thinking how things can change in a snap of a finger in this, our temporary earthly existence.

Not too long ago, this friend supported me in a crucial way during one of my lowest moments and had figuratively become my crutches until I was able to get back up on my feet again. Now, she was lying helpless and numb fighting her own earthly battle, while I quietly stared feeling powerless and completely dependent on the only Being who could bless her with the healing that she needs.

We exchanged text messages the previous day and she expressed how hopeful she was until she found out more about her illness. I told her to have faith in Him and reminded her that everyone will be called “home” at some point and that if she is ever called home now, then I think she is in the best position as she has tried to live up to her potential and is serving Him the best way she can. 

As I waited for her to regain consciousness, I recalled many fond memories of our friendship as well as instances when we overcame misunderstandings that made our friendship even stronger. In most cases, we tried to follow the counsel given in the scriptures to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). Being the more mature and sensible individual, perhaps (okay fine, I am sure) she did a lot more of the understanding and loving while I worked on my idiosyncrasies—which, by the way, is still a work in progress. 🙂

I guess the point I’m driving at is that we have a whole lifetime to perform wondrous things and improve ourselves in many ways; and although we don’t start out as shining, polished gems that we were meant to be, we can do all we can so that when the time comes that we are lying helpless and numb, or when we are called to return back home, then we could look back and declare to the Master as Paul did: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). 

Have a wonderful day everybody! 🙂 Let us all try to do something good in the world today! 🙂


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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)

No man is an island.  Most of the great and meaningful things we accomplish in this world entail collaborative efforts with people around us.  Whether it be in the home, at work, or in the community.  People simply need each other.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been swamped with planning and running a project that involves coordination of over 200 people working at the same time.  I put on a calm front, but deep inside I was a bit overwhelmed with some of the technical details that I wasn’t an expert on.  During a frantic moment of the project the other day, I was communicating online with one of the technical experts and he said something so basic and yet so powerful that his words calmed me down.  He simply said, “It’s teamwork.”

And he was right.

I needed to trust that the people I worked with would step up to the plate, perform their individual tasks, and lend their various expert opinions when the need arises.  I had to lean on them for support in order to reach our project’s common goals.  I had to have faith that each would do their best to accomplish the things they were responsible for.  

So much so with life.  What do we live for if it’s not to make life less difficult for each other?

In Marjorie Pay Hinckley’s book Small and Simple Things, she wrote: “We all have a responsibility—a responsibility to make a difference, to be an influence, to lift someone. We are all in this together to work out our salvation, to reach our potential, and to be our brother’s keeper—to help each other.”

“How simple it is, really, to extend a kindness when we see the need.  Jesus set the example on many occasions.  He led the blind man out of the town.  Just a small kindness, but a powerful example.  God helps us to recognize the opportunities we have every day to touch lives in small and simple ways”  (Marjorie Pay Hinckley, Small and Simple Things, 54, 98).

In my life I’ve been blessed many times with people who are selfless and kind, and who try to make a difference by living their lives according to what they know are true and right.  I am most grateful for my association with these people and I hope to be able to pay forward by doing the same.

I echo the words of Marjorie: “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Have a fabulous week everybody! 🙂


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