Just Random Thoughts on Changes

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Way back before there were cellphones, computers, iPods, compact discs, home theaters and social media, people like me had some kind of order in our lives. When I say I’m going to meet somebody at a particular time, day and place, I confirm that date to at least a day before via a landline phone. Then, I watched movies in movie houses or movie theaters, and looked forward to trailers before the main screening. When we wanted to listen to music we had a record player for our vinyl records. We had a stereo if we wanted our music to sound better. We then had a deck tape as well which we used to record our music of choice if we wanted to. Then came the tape reorder which had either the 8-track or cassette tape, still for recording our music. When we wanted to say something to our friends , we talked to them either personally, by phone or by snail mail. I remember that we had fancy stationeries then, some of which were even scented. Or, if we wanted to say something about a public figure, we did it through the newspaper or magazine. We’d be lucky if our opinions ever get enough attention to get published. What all these amounted to was in those days, for things to happen it took time. But no matter because then it helped build character. It also instilled self-control/discipline. Further, there’s this attitude not only for me but practically almost all people during my time, that we anticipate the effects of our actions, somehow having a plan b, or even a plan c if things didn’t go the way we thought they would or wanted to happen.

What is this all leading to? Well, I think a generation ago when things such as the above gadgets, appliances or mode of interpersonal relationships via i.e. Facebook and Twitter, weren’t invented yet, people were more considerate and more patient about almost everything. There weren’t any earphones stuck in our ears and so we didn’t bump into each other when walking the streets. We didn’t have cellphones that distracted our driving. There was much appreciation of movies like a standing ovation and applause when Rocky Balboa finally beat Apollo in Rocky 2. Also, we tried not to make the inane and mundane rule our lives. These were just some kind of stress reliever. However, now there seems to be much attention given for example with a TV personality who got robbed and talked much about or even written about. Almost everybody and their sister had to say her piece about this in Twitter, and there’s all sorts of real time reactions from people from all places. Quite amazing, really. I guess our world then individually was too small and that we concerned ourselves with our and not others’present life and how it could affect our future. There was always this exercise in schools like, “When I grow up, I like to be…”. There was that focus and determination and most of all hope that our future would be better; that we would live our dreams, plans.

Yes, that did happen for me at least. However, as I’ve said the gadgets really made a big difference. Things are a lot t easier, supposedly. You just hit the keys on your smartphone, iPad or computer and you can express your ideas either publicly or privately depending on your preferences. I seldom watch movies in the movie theaters anymore. I just wait a few months and I can watch the movies in the comfort of my home. But I really miss substantial reading materials – those that I can leaf through page by page, not on a computer but an actual book.

Gone were the days when students have to extend their school hours to go to the library and do some actual research, leafing through reading materials. Those were the days. Now classmates meet, divide themselves into groups, divide the research into chapters and do their research via Google and other search engines. That’s one modern method I particularly know. Easier, yes, it seems. Substantial? Well, I have to qualify that…

Probably the most thought-provoking practice I’m observing is this very reactive responses to almost any news item that comes up. News travels fast these days via social media mostly, and it is always accompanied by comments and replies to comments. If you have sensitive feelings, you will react to these reactions you received; thus, a cycle has begun. Vicious? It depends.

When a politician says his government would be aligning with communist countries and cut ties with the former champion of democracy, this issue got a lot of reactions worldwide. I can’t blame everyone though as it seemed a little drastic. Commenting on this – no reply necessary though, let’s give this leader a chance to prove himself. He’s newly installed and not yet half a year in his elective position. I was told that a year is too short a time to adjust to changes – that’s nationally. Give it perhaps 2 years and allow the leader to carry out the reforms he promised his people. We may react but let’s be proactive rather than reactive. Let’s see if he can move his country forward in the next year or two with his promised commitments and changes.

Going back to that TV reality show actress who got robbed in her apartment abroad and had all her precious jewelry taken at gunpoint. That also got much reaction. What’s up with that? There are more pressing issues than this one. The damage brought on by the typhoon Matthew needs some attention. People in Haiti need help … let’s react so they can recover. The irredenta problem in Asia where Vietnam, Japan, Philippines and Malaysia versus China over the scattered islands in the South China Sea is another issue to talk about and to try to resolve.

But of course, people are more concerned about the latest gadgets, the coolest places to be seen, who are exchanging heated words in Twitter, who’s got the most number of views in YouTube. Tell me… are we escaping from something that we prefer trivial to significant matters. I guess that needs to be qualified.

Now I wonder what the future would be like. Sure hope I could still cope with it.

A Daily Routine

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Every dawn I arise
a yawn and a sigh
I get up and stretch my arms high
To embrace a new day ahead lies
As the sun creeps in the east side.

With thanks for this gift
Of another beginning,
My spirit You uplift
A soul worthwhile, redeeming,
Rectifying as You see fit.

Your grace leads me
To care for others, of so little I know.
To inspire, to guide, to let them see
The work of love You sowed.
And carry this on prayerfully.

Time and again myself I offer,
And to Your will I surrender
Armed with blessings sent
To make each day my moment
To shine for my Bestower.

Amen.

Forward to 2017

The countdown to the new year has started; and to think I just had my birthday.

It has been a challenging year for me.  I quit my job at the start of the year and started a new one which I’m enjoying because it’s much easier and I have more time on my hands.  The only thing is, like every other job there are some things hazardous to one’s health.  My job calls for excellent listening skills, good English language skills, knowledge in medical terminology and of course, typing skills.  However, doing this since 2002, I’ve changed my specs four times, been taking higher doses of vitamin B complex and have asked people to say stuff to me not only twice, up to four times as I can’t really catch what they’re saying.  Oh, well.  I guess it’s not only the job really… probably due to age as well.

I’ve also started a new part-time work.  As I said I have more time on my hands and now I’m able to do what I’ve always wanted to – that of baking bread.  I took a comprehensive bread making course early this year to complement the free cooking lessons I took some years back.  I’ve been able to sell some bread to my neighbors and so far I’ve had no complaints of any stomach ache, or anything of the sort.  I’m hoping that before the year ends, I could open up my brick and mortar bread store – keeping my fingers crossed on this.  It would be a very good transition from my current job to my “retirement”.  But of course, here’s wishing… and more learning – the process really doesn’t stop, just like the days of the year, it goes on and on, never going back, just forward.

This year has also been a reunion of sorts for my mother’s side of the family.  It seems that the older one gets, the more sentimental one becomes about members who have moved away, who have been “called home” and those who have opted to stay away, never heard from anymore.  Thanks to Facebook, Viber, and the like we got reunited, sharing pictures, stories and quotes relevant to family and relationships.

Now speaking of the new 2017, I have below some print reproduction of my dear sister’s paintings.  A budding artist who,  when she was in preparatory school won a national art contest sponsored by Caltex.  She has finally gotten the time to hone this artistic talent through her paintings.  I wish to advertise her paintings and so I have come up with 2017 calendars – A4 size, a one pager and a set of three which has four months of the year per page.  The one pager costs $3.00, while the set costs $8.00.  I have also come up with gift tags, 25 cents each.  In case you opt for her paintings, do indicate in your comments and I can forward this to her directly.  I will ever be so grateful if you could at least give this form of exposure for my sister’s works as I am really very proud of her.  Here they are:

The following are the one pager.  I could remove the “Your company logo here.”  if it’s for your personal use.

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Below is a sample for the 3-piece set.  Again, I’ll remove “Your logo here” if it’s for your personal use.

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And, here are the gift tags:

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Thank you!  It’s been awesome!