13 11 / 2011
I called one right after I stepped out of grandma’s house. It wasn’t an ordinary sunny day as I felt the sun’s rays entering my pores then through my veins. It was the very reason why I took the ride. I’m a walker as much as I’m a hot day hater.
I stepped inside and told the driver to bring me to the Jeepney stop. He was talking about a lot of things, about the vehicle not having an air condition unit or an MP3 player,etc. But he didn’t have that “I give up” face. Instead, he was smiling and just enjoyed the “fresh” air. It then came to a halt. I reached my destination.
I counted three one-peso coins and one ten peso coin inside my wallet. I gave him the ten-peso coin. He reached for his pocket and I was surprised when he gave me a paper. I read what was written on it and said
“Unsa diay ni, Sir? (Sir, what’s this?)”.
He told me,
“Naa na sa purtahan ganina buntag, ma’am. Lisod man gyud basahon. Pa tabang unta ko.” (It was at the door this morning. I’m having a hard time reading it. I hope you can help me, ma’am.)
“Beh, naka sulat sir kay Pls. bring a Christmas Parol tomorrow. I also hope you can help the prisoners by buying their product (3 parols = 100php). Thank You. Mag dala daw mo ug Christmas nga kanang star, sir ug mag visit mo sa mga piniriso para unta maka tabang”, I said as I was reading
“Ah. mao diay. Salamat, ma’am” (So that’s it. Thank you, ma’am), he said
I wasn’t sure if that was really his because it looked like it was for someone who’s in grade school. But that thought faded instantly. I was amazed at his eagerness for learning to read or to at least understand. He wanted to learn how to read; it was written all over his face. After his words, he gave me a five peso coin and I humbly told him to keep the change.
I called for the Jeepney and stepped in smiling. I was the only passenger. I liked it. The driver then told me,
“Smiling kay ka, ma’am” (You’re so smiling, ma’am)
“Dapat diay gyud ko ma teacher, sir” (I really should be a teacher), I said
“Angayan biya ka, ma’am. Ma teacher gyud unta ka” (You’re fit for a teacher. I hope someday you’ll be.
I smiled then looked outside. A child was selling a pack of cigarettes.
15 10 / 2011
Not only is life hard, it can unexpectedly become harder. One day we might be comfortably cruising along, and then suddenly it seems like everything is going wrong: Your marriage is in a shambles, or you’ve just discovered that you’re not as financially stable as you thought, or you suddenly lose a lover, friend, or family member. The world has changed. Everything seems ominous and uncertain
That’s when you can fall into the trap of pessimism and negativity. It may seem like the natural thing to do given what you’re going through. How can we work on building a healthy and optimistic way of living when we’re overcome with pain, anxiety, and fear? But no matter how hard things become, there are ways to approach your situation that can make it less burdensome.
Here are four ways to stay positive when life gets you down:
Express Gratitude. Be mindful about what you do have, whether it’s a fantastic friend or a wonderful partner. Try making a list of things you’re grateful for every night for two weeks. It can be even more powerful to express gratitude to someone who you feel truly thankful for. Write them a letter telling them how they have helped you. Additionally, try to cultivate a sense of gratitude in everyday life for things both major and minor. Thank that stranger who goes a little out of his way to hold the door open for you. Appreciating the good in the world can change the way you look at life.
Volunteer. Take your awareness outside of yourself and focus it on the wellbeing of others. This may not be possible if you’re in crisis mode, but it can be very helpful if you’re increasingly preoccupied by your own negative thoughts. Many studies have shown that community service and philanthropy are more satisfying over the long term than focusing on your problems. Try volunteering at your local library, homeless shelter or hospital. You can become less focused on the bad stuff you’ve been dealing with—and even form a connection with others in the process.
Notice the Good. It might seem nearly impossible to find the silver lining in a burdensome situation, but it can be helpful. Maybe you’ve gone through some personal growth and change because of what’s happened, or you’ve become closer to someone.
Change Negative Self-Talk. It’s way too easy to think the same negative thoughts over and over again. However, you can learn to change this by doing some cognitive-behavioral therapy on yourself. When you notice yourself having a negative thought about yourself, replace it with a positive one. If you find yourself thinking “It’s all my fault” or “I’m not good enough,” stop and remind yourself of how well you’ve been coping and how others appreciate you.
The bottom line on becoming and remaining optimistic: We can’t change what happens to us or to loved ones, but we can change how we react to it. And though that process may take some time, it’s worth it because of the joy and peace of mind optimism can bring.
07 10 / 2011
04 10 / 2011