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"God calls us to love the unlovable."
The first time I heard this, I reflected on how many people I became friends with. I asked myself why I offered my friendship to them, why they deserved it, and why I still commit myself to these people in spite of others telling me to do otherwise and in spite of what my conscience is telling me. Was this all God's plan?
I found myself belonging to a group of friends in my high school years. I committed my time bonding with them by offering my house to be our meeting place every weekend. My house was just minutes away from our school and I had stuff to share with my friends - my guitar, my playstation, my chess set, and my comfortable space in the living room.
Looking back, I remember I was hoping that none of my friends would be a bad influence to the group. I was blessed to have an awesome set of friends. Yet, as I see my friends reveal a part of themselves throughout the passage of time, my conscience wanted me to step back and reflect upon what makes a good friend and what makes a strong relationship with friends. Eventually, I started to appreciate them. I like the fact that each of us are different with different attitudes, different approaches to life and different ideas and principles to share. Although there comes a time when I had arguments and fights with some of them, my loyalty to them didn't really fade away.
But I remembered someone telling me to change, and I even felt unappreciated for my actions and deeds. All I can say is that I did my best to change for my friends - and although I insisted them to listen to what I have to say, in the end I didn't bother myself to ask my friends to change for me.
Now how is this related to loving the unlovable? Some of the friends I bonded with were criticized for their personalities and even I had those moments prejudging them.
But I was able to think of it this way... I myself was also criticized and prejudged by other people. So I could be just as undeserving as others to be loved and to be befriended.
Yet God kept on blessing me with friends. He kept on making me learn about humanity through my friendships. He taught me to love even those who don't deserve it.
And that, I think, is God's message to me when He calls us to "Love the Unlovable".
I've been reading the Bible and found some really good excerpts on "friendship". This one is from the Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus):
"If you are polite and courteous, you will enjoy the friendship of many people. Exchange greetings with many, but take advice from only one person out of a thousand. When you make friends, don't be too quick to trust them; make sure that they have proved themselves. Some people will be your friends only when it is convenient for them, but they won't stand by you in trouble. Others will fall out with you over some argument, and then embarrass you by letting everyone know about it. Others will sit at your table as long as things are going well; they will stick to you like your shadow and give orders to your servants, but they will not stand by you in trouble. If your situation takes a turn for the worse, they will turn against you, and you won't be able to find them anywhere.
"Stay away from your enemies and be on guard against your friends. A loyal friend is like a safe shelter; find one, and you have found a treasure. Nothing else is as valuable; there is no way of putting a price on it. A loyal friend is like a medicine that keeps you in good health. Only those who fear the Lord can find such a friend. A person who fears the Lord can make real friendships because he will treat his friends as he does himself." Sirach 6:5-17
I sure wonder how much of the excerpt did I embody in my life. Politeness, courtesy, trust, commitment, adherence & loyalty (I know faith in God is something that can be worked out among friends), these are among the most important aspects a person might want to learn and have in their friendships.
We learn politeness and courtesy from our parents and from institutions who teach us how to show a diplomatic and decent approach in communicating and interacting with people. Trust is an amazing thing to attain but it is very hard to take it back once it is breached. Through trust, we learn to commit our time to our friendship, adhere to what is understood between friends, and become loyal.
The value of life becomes exponential with great memories, unforgettable accomplishments and most of all, how friendships become a large part of it.
It's been a long hiatus!
I wasn't able to write here on my blog for such a long time because I've been busy experiencing life.
Friends for sure are very important towards a person's growth and maturity. It's kinda sad that they come and then they go as if it's like watching a movie or reading a book - you start to appreciate the people you know and grow even closer to them when all of a sudden the story ends and you feel like wanting more.
I have bonded with lots of friends in life and although it's sad that we had to part ways one way or another, the memories and inspiration still lives within me. I always keep on recalling the things that my friends would tell me or the stories that we would share with each other.
But after spending much time with a special friend, I suddenly opened my mind to the idea of promising myself a lot of things for my own sake and for the sake of my friendships. Maybe I should enumerate them here:
1. Do not undervalue self - It's quite normal for people to be a bit self-deprecating in order to show humility and modesty towards other people. But when self-deprecation becomes too extreme, we then show our inferiority rather than just mere humility. So undervaluing one's self has to be done in a way where you show that you're a human being rather than someone who deserves all the scorn in this world.
2. Get an e-book reader - I love books! Yet I'm aware that I'm a big addict of the paperback and by collecting them, my room is becoming less spacious. I'm currently cleaning my room as I'm typing this.
3. Do not just assume... Communicate! - I guess when it comes to friendships, we sometimes assume that our friends understand and can provide for our needs. But we fail to recognize that this is not the case. And by not communicating, there could be a sense of discomfort among friends. That's why communication is important. Talking about each other's likes and dislikes, as well as strengths and weaknesses become beneficial to understanding each other's needs and wants. We may not be able to provide for everything our friends need but thoughtfulness can also be a good virtue.
There could be more in mind, but these are the most important things I learned in my hiatus.
I have grown a bit and I sure hope that I will become the person I deserve to be.
There's a story in everything that we achieve in life... They are stories of struggles, risks, shortcomings, difficulties, disparagement, desperation, regret and anguish that eventually turn into triumphs, victories, maturity, greatness and contentment. From moments of uncertainty and benightedness to moments of insightedness, enlightenment and awareness. These are all elements we can find in a story that is being told by our family, our friends, people we don't know but are inspirational to our lives, celebrities and public figures.
It feels complete as a human being to have stories bringing wisdom and knowledge that can be shared to others.
As we close 2009, let us remember all those the wisdom and knowledge that we have collected throughout the year. Let us look once more at our family and friends. Let us remember those we hurt and those we cared for. When we burn our bridges, let us ask ourselves if it's worth it not just once but millions of times.
Just a couple of days ago, I downloaded the two seasons of Monsoon House from iTunes. When the family goes wild with all the arguing, it's not hard to believe that it's still intact and we see every member still care for each other. I wonder if that's the same to our second family - our schoolmates, our workmates, our friends, our best friends. Lesson # 1, Never burn your bridges.
I was ranting earlier about my job and how tough it is. Maybe it's because someone was trying to stop me from moving on. Maybe it's me who's all incapacitated with meeting the qualifications of getting a better job. Knowing that I love writing, reading, and collecting wisdom, how could I not be qualified for anything that requires someone who can use his brain? Lesson # 2, Stop thinking about yourself and do what you're supposed to do, thinking will only breed fear.
I could only be motivated to do things when I see significant changes in my life. Lesson # 3, Your efforts also contribute to the significant changes in your life, don't just pray for luck.
I hope you guys were able to get something out of this journal of mine today.
Let us pray for each other, let us care for each other, let us share wisdom with each other, let us make the new year a more lovely year than last year.
Wishing everyone a Happy, Prosperous and Blessed New Year!
First off, I would like to greet everyone a Merry Christmas and I hope everyone is having a great holiday at this time. I'd like to give everyone a piece of wisdom about what this occasion is all about.
Recently, I got really hyped with learning more about my faith in God and what it means to be a Catholic - that discloses the fact that I have a religion that I follow yet it is still to my best interest to learn about everything in this world. One of the most important things that is being taught to us by God and His Son Jesus Christ is the application of prayer in our lives. I learned that it we are supposed to pray for each other and not just for ourselves. If it's okay to ask for prayers from your friends, we should be allowed to ask for prayers from our brothers and sisters and why is it that we don't venerate Mary who is all pure and sinless and is given the honour to give birth to the Messiah?
I would like to celebrate this season with honouring Mother Mary.
Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? (Luke 1:42-43)
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed. (Luke 1:48)
My main message for this Christmas Day is to not forget about praying for each other. If we pray for peace on earth, keep in mind that it's not just for your own peace but for everyone's peace. Be kind, generous, loving, caring and giving and take care of each other as a family, as a group of friends, as a community, as a nation, as God's followers.
I guess there have been a lot of things I indulged myself with during my school days. Maybe it would be a great idea if I lay them out so that I know why I got hooked into them and whether I'm still interested in pursuing all or any of these hobbies.
I remembered the time of my childhood before I started going to pre-school. Comics used to be rented rather than bought back in the province. Mostly, it's the grown-ups who take advantage of it. I was so curious with the whole mystery that is concealed between those pages yet my mom and I think even my uncle stopped me from renting one. I never asked them why they stopped me but looking back, I could only assume that those comics I was intending to rent probably had some adult themes in it.
Later, into my elementary years, I finally found out what comics are all about. Back then, probably I was in 1st grade, I would see volumes and volumes of Archie comics that my classmates bring in school and read on their spare time. My mind was opened to the whole concept of story telling through visual means, opposite of course of the pages of text we always have to read and comprehend in class. But I guess one big reason why I never really got hooked with any of the Archie comics series (that includes Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Sabrina, etc) was because I was assuming that the story has a beginning and I realized that it is a series that has been running for a long time already. So there would be a lot of catching up with getting background knowledge of the characters, the setting and the grand plot. Eventually I also learned about the existence of Batman, Superman, Spiderman, X-men and Street Fighter comics yet I still treated them like the Archie comics... Volume 1 please!
I think it was in my 4th grade when I read for the first time an adult themed comic from a magazine that was just lying around my dentist's office. At that time, I was going to have my braces. I can't remember the title of the magazine that I picked up anymore but I did see a scene where a lady was all naked on the bed, talking to what seemed to be her partner - dunno if they're married or not but I was definitely paying close attention to the whole comic and how it probably changed my entire perspective about what a comic can contain. It seemed like a usual romantic conversation between the two but then I guess I just got distracted so much by the images that I don't think I even read through the text balloons anymore.
In my high school years, I was able to get the "Pugad Baboy" and "Pupung" series. Filipinos are most familiar of these. I find myself enchanted with the former, while I do get so much laughs out of the latter. I was introduced to strip comics which presents comedy and the idea of punchlines and other funny and catchy lines to satisfy a short visual commentary about politics, the environment, the society, the family, etc.
Also at this time, Japanese anime and manga were already making a large impact not just to me but also to some of my friends and classmates. TV stations were dubbing episodes of various anime series and specialty comic stores are also starting to display a lot of their manga collection on stock.
It was when my family and I immigrated in Canada that I finally get a hand on complete volumes of Japanese manga. Since I didn't study Japanese back then, I was just buying English translated manga. I was overwhelmed that many manga series do last - 25 volumes, 10 volumes, 2 volumes, and there were even stand alone comics. I found myself liking the whole finiteness of every manga series I read, something that Archie and Superhero comics never did for me.
Eventually, I appreciated fully every comic that goes out there - whether the reason for its publication is for money, for education, for fun, etc. Whether it would last for a few volumes/issues or last as long as there are artists who would be willing to continue the tradition comics brought about to its readers throughout the years.
It came to the point when I was reading indie comics and webcomics. I also got a hand of "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi which is an Iranian comic first published in French.
I have forgotten throughout my depressing life lately this endeavour for one reason: it was a distraction to my studies. Yet I was studying Japanese and this led me to buying manga "In Japanese". I have come to write about it and start reflecting upon these questions: Do I still like comics? Do I want to read comics? Do I want to share the great lines provided by every character I learn about in comics? Is this more plausible for me to do rather than reading novels and books filled only with text? Do I want to make my own as well? When can I start? What do I do next? Do I need to read the comics that fits my way of thinking? Where can I find the best comicbook/series for me? Where is the success of this endeavour going to lead me into? Am I polluting my mind already these last couple of years to the point that reading comics could only be the way to purify it and straighten and clarify once again my principles and ideals in life? You decide lolz!
In the last paragraph, I was just blasting out whatever questions I have collected before and whether this is enough to satisfy my frustrations in life which I wanted once and for all to recede. I'd like to once again have that drive to live a better life and it is possible that the endeavour of collecting and reading comics will bring me there.
Before the whole internet, cellphone and email craze, there was snail mail. It was through this slow process of sending messages between friends that brought about the whole notion that friends don't last forever; as people move on in life back then, whatever is left couldn't be attained again due to its cost - time, money and resources.
These days, it's so easy to connect with my old friends, friends from my elementary years, to my high school years when I found myself in a group of friends who in spite of our differences still care for each other. The quick transmission of text from one computer to the next is as if we are all close to one another once again. Sure there are times when we had to be on our own and deal with our personal circumstances but it definitely gave me the whole meaning of friendship - that it prevents us from burning bridges the time when we move on.
I'm thankful that I am involved with such circumstance where I have long distance friends whom I can connect with anytime with a social networking site like Facebook.