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Posts Tagged ‘unselfishness’

The Coat is a children’s story that depicts a young boy giving selflessly to another child in need.

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Photograph by Reddie J.

This morning I read in the news that the husband of an old lady that has been missing was finally found. The old lady put a paper sign on her clothes, front and back, with the photo of her beloved missing husband and sat for many days around the area where he was last found, hoping someone would recognize him. I was moved by the gesture and thought it was such an adorable way to show how much she really loves him. Someone posted that photo on a popular network site and somehow paved the way for them to find each other again. I’m glad they are back together in each other’s arms. They deserve to be happy.

Similarly, on my drive to work, I always see a homeless man sitting or sometimes lying down on the pavement of a certain street of a posh subdivision. He seems like a tall guy to me with a good posture. I know that some people driving by give him food and clothing, and today it made me smile to see him wearing a decent haircut!! Such a wonderful way to show love and kindness towards a fellow human being. This time I could see his face and I had to take a second look to view it. May the generous person who did it for him be abundantly blessed.


While waiting for my daughter to arrive for our movie date on Monday, I asked my son how his day was. He said nothing much happened in school. Same old, same old. Then I asked if he had done any good to anyone that day. He paused. I guess he was surprised that I deviated from the drill—and I suppose I was surprised too. But it got me thinking.


It’s a shame that sometimes a day passes by and we miss the chance to do something good to anybody. Sometimes we get too caught up with our own world and activities that we forget there are people around us whom we can serve in many little ways. Yet I know that it is when we go outside our comfort zones and make others happy that we experience true happiness.


May we open up our hearts and hands to those who need some type of comfort or help. May we learn to give more of our time, talents, and resources liberally that we may experience the real meaning of being happy.


Have a great week everybody! Let’s try reaching out to others and experience the joy and happiness that it brings! 🙂

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(Photograph by Melanie Gapiz)

After three years of planning, preparation, and thousands of cumulative hours of participant rehearsals, the Jubilee celebration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has finally come!!! 🙂


As I sat on the edge of my seat watching the festivity and cheering the other participants, I was extremely grateful and my heart was overcome with emotions for having had the privilege of being part of the momentous occasion! 🙂


Throughout the course of the rehearsals, I witnessed how the opposition worked his way through various means, using different people and their weaknesses, to try to stop this effort from progressing.  I have seen many frustrated faces, and people quitting in the midst of all the preparations due to disappointments and discouragement. Some left simply because they got exhausted and did not see the grand outcome that was meant to be. Many cynics doubted and some begrudgingly supported the event.


Yet a great majority withstood the test and endured to the very end. These are the ones who enjoyed their journey and learned the sweetness of its value as they looked forward to their destination. These are they who, despite their mortal differences, learned to exercise the virtue of patience, long-suffering, forgiveness, and humility. They are the ones who experienced the joy of service, unconditional love, and found among themselves new and lasting friendships.  


At the end of the celebration, I realized that all the grand preparations made were befitting the occasion. It was a token of gratitude from the Filipino people to our God and King, for all the blessings we received on this land since the preaching of the gospel 50 years ago. It was worth all the hard work putting everything together—our talents, our time—to come up with the best that we could offer Him. Hence, I was moved and most grateful to hear, by the mouth of one of His servants, that our offerings had been accepted.


I think that life in general will be like this Jubilee celebration. The preparations will not be easy for the glorious end. Many will fall and lose their way. Yet those who will endure to the end will receive their sweetest reward—much more than they have ever imagined.

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People all around the world were moved by the recent catastrophe that hit Japan. I watched in the news a rescued man speaking about his survival experience and although he spoke in Japanese, I could feel and understand the sadness and trauma that he underwent after his ordeal. An old woman clung to a tree the entire evening for dear life and was rescued the following day. Buildings and homes were destroyed beyond anything anyone has ever imagined. The wrath and power of nature was only to be endured with utmost acquiescence and without question.


Through my years of existence, I learned that no matter what race we come from, whatever language we speak, whosoever we worship, we have similar innate characteristics that prove to me that we all come from the same source and are undeniably all connected as an entire human race.


In the midst of this calamity, tensions had been set aside for a moment among countries. Nations sent all they could to support and assist Japan in their current needs. The resilience of people was remarkable and it was touching to see the overflow of human kindness during this time of grief and loss.


Yet no matter how negative this experience was for many people, a lot of us also learned numerous positive things that will remain in our hearts for a long time. This experience taught me that even strong nations and seemingly independent, affluent countries still appreciate offers of assistance coming from their neighbors in times of trials and adversity. Similarly, our fellowmen who seem strong and independent will appreciate our support and encouragement in times of trials in their lives.


It was also admirable to see how the Japanese people remained calm and focused in spite of the overwhelming devastation that gripped their country. Collectively, they had the determination to rebuild their homes and individually extended help to those who needed it. Survivors orderly lined up and waited for whatever basic relief commodities were distributed to them. A spirit of unity was prevalent across the land.


In our times of trial, we can learn from their example by being still and enduring the tribulation with patience and faith and being grateful for the moral support of our friends and family and the Divine help that is always extended to those who seek it.


It may take a few months or a few years before Japan can get its nation back to where it was before the earthquake, but the lessons we’ve learned should very well not be forgotten.

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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)

On our way home from Church on Sunday, our conversation drifted from one topic to another. We passed by some colleges and it made me ask my 14-yr-old son the traditional question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I guess I was expecting to hear a response on what career he would like to pursue; more in the line of doctor, engineer, pilot, computer wiz, or even a fireman! Instead I heard him say: “I want to be rich.”


It made me chuckle, but I followed up with a question: “And how are you planning to do that?” He replied: “I’m going to be famous through my music.”


He then enumerated the things he’d like to do in order to make it happen. I was impressed that at his tender age he already had a plan!


How many of us have planned to become rich in this life? It’s very common for people to aim for the best and that includes being financially comfortable. It is a fact of life. I think that there is nothing wrong with wanting to elevate ourselves in a position where we would have the means and resources to purchase what we need, but more importantly we have to want it in order for us to be in the position to help lighten the burden of our less fortunate fellowmen and not just for our own selfish motives.


It is written in the scriptures that: “…before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted” (Jacob 2:18-19).


As we all know, it is nice to have money, but it is not the most important thing. We can’t bring it with us where we are all going. It isn’t wise to accumulate too much if we lose our souls in the process. I think it’s good to have enough of it for our needs and a little more for a rainy day and to help other people. It is very temporary and a lot of the things that really matter cannot be bought by it—not health, not friendship, not happiness, not peace, and as the Beatles say, not love.


So let us strive to keep our perspective in focus. Let us work hard for the riches of this world, but keep in mind to work harder for the wealth that really lasts—the riches of eternity. 


Have a fabulous week everybody!!! 🙂

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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)


My sister and I were making fun of my cooking skills yesterday during one of our many just-catching-up phone conversations. We had a good laugh when I told her that my son was able to tell what for dinner was after four guesses by enumerating what I usually cooked from my limited menu. She suggested that we attend a culinary class in order to enhance our cooking prowess and broaden our carte du jour. However, I told her that based on my many, many, (yes!) many years of experience trying to cook delicious meals and not being successful in most of them, I finally realized that cooking is a talent. I find it hilarious how sometimes people cannot tell what kind of cuisine I am serving by merely looking at the dish in front of them! Nyahaha! 🙂


But I am most definitely NOT discouraged! 🙂 I have two of the most avid and supportive kitchen fans in the whole wide world!!! 🙂 I think it’s thoughtful and loving of them to acknowledge my sometimes “creative” cuisines and even have the admirable courage to eat them!!! Hahaha!!! 🙂


How grateful I am for such supportive family members!! I know that the greatest joy we can find is within the walls of our own homes. It is where we learn to love unconditionally, forgive whole-heartedly, serve unselfishly, and be accepted unequivocally.


Once I was talking to a friend who just sent her daughter off to college. She said her daughter called and was feeling homesick on her first week away from home. She was a little worried about her daughter, but I told her that she should look at it as a good indication that she did a great job in providing a loving home for her daughter—enough for her to miss their home when she went away.


I think we should all strive to create a loving and comfortable home environment enough that we would miss it if we ever went away. Let us make our homes a bit of heaven on the earth; and despite the occasional burnt chicken in the oven and the bland beef stew from time to time, let us love and support our family members enough that we may all look forward to the day when we can be with them forever!! 🙂


Take care, everybody! Try to spend more time with your family this week!! And PLEASE watch that chicken in the oven!!! 🙂

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

I don’t watch a lot of TV so I was oblivious to the heartbreaking tragedy that took many innocent lives on Monday until a co-worker pointed it out to me when I arrived at work later that day.  Just a couple of weeks prior to the incident, I was at the exact location where the hostage-taking unfolded, sight seeing and touring the area with a foreign friend. 

In retrospect, I thought how desperate a measure it was that the man took hostages in an attempt to bring back whatever dignity was left of him. I wonder if he had a chance to ponder about the serious repercussions of his plan. Was he able to think about the numerous lives that might have been lost? The many hearts that will be broken? I wonder if he had a chance to get down on his knees to pray for guidance and comfort. I wonder if he received enough support from his family and friends before he committed his fatal act. Clearly, he wasn’t in his proper frame of mind when he did what he did. It was an unfortunate tragedy that left many people saddened, angry, and some scarred for a lifetime.   


In a similar scenario this week, I witnessed how an act of unselfish service blessed the lives of two women who had been through a recent traumatic shooting incident themselves involving loved ones and friends. Someone in a position to help quietly went out of their way to offer comfort and lift the trauma off these women’s distressed minds. I witnessed the real meaning of charity come to life and was deeply touched by what I saw. It was the gospel in action. I wish the hostage-taker had someone like this person reach out to him during his contemplative moments so he didn’t end up doing what he did. But then now it’s too late.        


I sympathize with the families of those whose lives have been lost in such a senseless manner. I wish that those who have passed on have already lived their lives to the fullest and have already accomplished what they came here on earth to do.


In the darkest moments of our lives, it is good to remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. That we will not be given anything we won’t be able to bear. That there is help if we but seek it. Heavenly Father is there for us. He is the Father of our spirits and He loves us beyond our comprehension. He will help us when all else fails and we’ve done all that we could. Despite our many challenges and trials, our lives don’t have to end in any kind of tragedy. We can rise above the blues. Our Father wants us to succeed in all aspects of our lives. And He is there watching…and waiting. We just have to reach out to Him.  

  

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