Thursday, May 16, 2013

"A man who can take anything will find most things unsatisfying."
-Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

Have you ever hankered for something so bad, you had a number of sleepless nights just musing about it? I could still vividly remember, when I was in sixth grade, it was one of those times in my life when I was struggling to control myself from craving too much, not just for food but for material possessions. From over-the-top gadgets to brand new shoes and costly outfits, I would drool over them until reality pitches in and reminds me of the cruel truth of life's inequality. In other words, there was no way on earth, no road to take, no transportation to ride on, no genie from a bottle, no glistening fairy, to make those selfish and mundane wishes to come true.

Initially, I viewed those moments of the past as nothing but a bucket full of hard kicks and punches. The more I thought about my incapacity to get whatever I wanted, the more bruises I had to endure. A lot of people believe that the lessons they learned from their experiences in life are just a tool to prepare them for the future struggles that await. However, I believe that the wisdom we pick up from a hard won battle against a havoc-causing predicament could also be life's explanation towards an experience in the past that we misinterpreted or just negatively painted by the emotions we felt during that time.

For instance, all I thought when I was a child, that the reason behind my feeling of emptiness caused by not being able to get everything that I wanted was simply God's punishment because he either saw me many times not eating my vegetables or he caught me red handed throwing the veggies in the trash can. I had no idea how to look at my situation in a different and a more positive way. I had always believed that life could be cruel sometimes and it just liked to be cruel whenever it wanted to. 

I thought life was plainly and stupidly unreasonable. 

However, just recently, I finished Mitch Albom's book entitled The Time Keeper. It's a great book by the way, I suggest you give it a go when you get the chance. It definitely is a must-read. Anyway, there was a statement there that says "A man who can take anything will find most things unsatisfying.

After passing by that line, I read it again and decided to write it down. I looked away from what I was reading and thought really hard about what I just read. Then after a few minutes of contemplation, I had come to a realization that this quote that I stumbled upon is the best explanation towards not being able to get everything that I always wanted. 

I realized that the reason why I wasn't able to get everything that I always longed to get my hands on was because they wouldn't really give me the happiness that I thought they would provide. Temporary happiness perhaps but what can temporary happiness really do to one's life? After a few seconds of using your newly bought IPad, after wearing your Armani clothing in a party, after getting envious stares from other people, what comes after???


You put your Armani clothes back to your closet, you put your IPad down, and you go through the motions of your life. Sooner or later, the new stuff that you have now would be buried to the grave of unforgotten things because new ones are starting to replace them under the lime light. You will now go back to your bad habit of craving for new things and sometimes feel bad about other people getting them and you can't.

I'm not against people dreaming to get these kinds of stuff, in fact, I myself is guilty of wanting to own even just one of the those things I mentioned but there's a difference between wanting and obsessing. It's not alright to surround your definition of happiness around stuff that could only supply temporary pleasure. It's not fine to feel jealous and bad about our life when we see other people gain stuff that we just can't. Just like what the quote says, there's no satisfaction in having everything. You don't have to get everything to be happy. Sometimes, to have a little of everything is already enough to live a blissful life.

Go on. Still strive to get that gadget that you've always wanted, that shirt you always pass by the mall and that cellphone you always see on tv. There's no crime about desiring to have them. However, when you find out that you can't have that shirt, that gadget or even that cellphone because your money is not cut out for it, just please don't act as if you lost your job or your house just got burned down. 

They're just objects for crying out loud. 

Don't aim to get everything but aim to get happiness instead. 

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

When people change for the worst

Do you know someone so much you know him from his preference in music to the food he likes to eat? From his taste in clothes to his favorite television shows? For years, you were able to survive petty fights and arguments caused by either your stubbornness or his selfishness. From cold and physical wars to comical role plays  and toy voice-overs, looking back you see all of them as comedy gold. Who knew the hunger games already existed at the time of your child hood? You try to race for the television remote and whoever gets a hand on it first has the authority to watch whatever he wants to. You realized, it doesn't matter who victors at the end, because he likes what you like. So you would force yourself to deviate from the usual, you would try to watch something different, if not irritate him at least to keep him away then cold war officially begins.

Remember those late nights when you would talk about your dreams and what you wanted to become when you grow up. Those rainy nights when the thud of the thunder would send you hugging each other. You could taste each other's fears but you could also feel strength because you both know you're there for each other.  When you look back at those vivid moments, you suddenly ask yourself, where did he go by? Where is that person you used to listen to the same radio tunes with? Where is that person you used to share your rants with? Where is that person who used to watch the Tom and Jerry Show with you? 

When you look at him today, you see a completely different person. You try to bring him back but he has grown stubborn as a rock. It's not the kind of stubbornness that he used to display when he was a child;it's the adult kind and it's the most irritating one. It's alright when people change because that's what life do to us. However, when people change for the worst, that's when things become unacceptable. The worst part of it all is the fact that there's nothing you can do anymore to change him. You see him come and go, party all night, and be the person he probably always wanted to be. I remember when he used to share what he had always wanted to be. He wanted to be a teacher then a doctor but I don't know what he wants to be now. 

Those childhood conversations could never exist between us today. We're both grown ups and life has treated us differently. There is now a gigantic wall of brick separating the two of us. We no longer see each other eye to eye. I don't even know if he even looks back at those times, when life was nothing but a huge playground. Now, he says his in love and I knew he was a fool when he said that. He doesn't know love and that's because he doesn't know how to love himself. He doesn't know to love the people who stayed with him all throughout his ups and downs.

Now, he believes his independent. Going home late was a normal routine for him. He no longer cares what we think but only what his lover thinks or what his so called "friends" think. I just don't understand how he grew up differently when we faced life under the same strict rules. We faced the same humiliation when people stared us down. We faced the same hardship when injustice gripped us by the neck. It's just puzzling whenever I think about it. When people said, he was a black-sheep. I tried the best I could not to believe them. I didn't see him that way. I guess I was being stupid back then. Now I know why people said those things. 

I don't feel no bitterness, a pure and numbing desolation perhaps. While carrying that weary feeling with me I realized something. I realized that change comes when we invite it to come, but it doesn't mean it has its own mind to decide for us. What change would do to us is only the product of our own free will. With that thought in mind, I knew that he wanted to be who he is today. Probably because of thirst for freedom and independence. I have no idea why he chose to be the person that he is know and I just don't want to care anymore. There's only one thing I'm sure of and I'm holding on to these words. I'm not close to being angry, probably a little annoyed but when life isn't being nice to you and if nobody around you does, you know that there's still someone like me, who still know how to be one.  

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