Gems from an Umbrella Experience

I was walking home one rainy Thursday afternoon in the month of June.

It wasn’t raining that hard but the rain would be enough to wet you down, and perhaps, could cause you to catch cold and make you stay in bed for a couple of days.

I walked to the side so as not to disrupt the free-flowing pedestrians to get my umbrella out of my bag.

As I pulled up the zipper, I saw nothing but the pad at the bottom of the bag. The umbrella is not in my bag and thought I left it at the pad.

I then decided to take a cab. I pulled out my wallet, “Bad! I got no cash.”

I went to the closest automated teller machine to get some cash, purposefully, to pay the taxi driver as I would be taking one.

I pulled out my card, keyed in some digits, and waited for the cash. No cash was dispensed. I was upset.

I pulled out my other card, keyed in some digits, and waited for the cash. No cash was dispensed. I was more upset.

Still upset, I went out of the ATM booth, raised my palms to cover my head, and went to the walkway straight ahead.

I ran down through the underpass, stepped out of the escalator going up, and stood still just beside the guard.

I said to myself, “I’ll wait till the rain stops.”

Several minutes have passed, but the rain was still pouring hard.

I decided to take something out from my bag to cover my head and continue walking home straight.

I then opened my bag, not the main pocket that I already checked out, but now, the smaller one in front.

As I opened my bag, I was surprised and I think, I went mad. My umbrella was in the other pocket of my bag.

It’s a foolish thing, right?

Sadly, this happens most of the time in our lives – not exactly resembling the umbrella thing – but in the instances wherein we have the needed tools to get things done but we miss to recognize them that they are close at hand.

There are three points that I want to highlight in this foolish yet tickling-to-the-mind umbrella experience:

First, we tend jump into conclusion just by looking the issue at a single point of view.

Just like what I did – I opened the main pocket, the umbrella’s not there, and I concluded that it is nowhere.

People often miss to consider other points of view. People often miss to see the issues in different perspectives. People often miss to consider the things needed to be looked into for them to find a sound decision to jump to.

As a result, they make a faulty conclusion and then they take a faulty action.

Second, we tend to get upset in a given situation which when analyzed, is even a blessing, not bane.

They indeed should be thankful rather than be upset and wrathful.

In my rainy afternoon experience, I was upset when no cash was dispensed. I didn’t realize that with that event, I would be able to save a penny which may be enough to buy a burger at Mi-ki-dee or maybe a cup of tea from Chinatown’s specialty.

The other thing is being upset doesn’t even bring any good. It will just destroy your day. As the Law of Attraction would say, you will attract more things to upset you, more things to damage you, more things to kill you.

Lastly, we tend to look outside before looking within.

People tend to see what other people have and envy them. As a result, when they go out, they tend to go and try to bring them down or maybe get intimidated by them and feel down.

These three – jumping into a conclusion, getting upset in any given situation, and envying others rather than appreciating what’s within – all result to damaging effects in our lives.

We, then, are challenged to do otherwise.

That is to see all issues in all possible perspectives before drawing a conclusion; to look into the positive side of every given situation; and to look into what’s within, recognize those precious gems, develop them, and get out exuding.

The Three Sweet Sweats

Nothing beats being in the game.

This line came into my mind as I relearned three benefits of being in the game. This game may be a game in sports, a game at work, or any game in life.

Relating a recent encounter to a childhood experience gave me a fresh realization, a clear perspective, and a new learning.

When I was a child, my townspeople would usually organize games for the children during fiestas and Christmas. A lot of children would be participating in those games not only to enjoy the game itself but also to receive prizes and gifts. Every time a game is on, the other kids would run in a hurry toward the playground. I, on the other hand, just stood still, walked to the side, and sat on my butt.

I was a mere spectator then.

Last month, our firm had the PAlarong Pinoy wherein games like patintero and kadang-kadang were played. Together with some of my officemates, I sat on the side and watched the first game being played. When the next game was on, I jumped out of the bench and dashed toward the playground. I joined the patintero and played the dodge ball. I did some jumping on the left and shooting on the right.

I smiled, I laughed, and I shouted!

Truly, nothing beats being in the game.

I, hereto, humbly share the three benefits of being in the game, which I call “The Three Sweet Sweats.”

First, we learn new things as we do the real thing.

According to the Cone of Learning, developed and revised by Bruce Hyland from the material by Edgar Dale, we tend to remember our level of involvement – we learn 90% of what we say and do. It may be doing a dramatic presentation, simulating the real experience, or (on top of the list) doing the real thing.

Being in the game exposes us to the real thing. We face real situations, we solve real problems, and we achieve real results.

Second, we are made to belong into this social world as we are made part of a team.

We, people, are social beings. We need that sense of belongingness. We long for it. It is made part of human nature to seek for a group and live with it.

As they say, no man is an island, no man lives alone; or no woman is an island, no woman lives alone.

Being in the game make us part of a team – a member of a social group. As we play games side by side, we interact with the men and women of our land, and we get to belong in this social world of ours.

Third, we are made capable of sharing the experience as we face the real thing.

With the premise that we cannot share what we do not have, we then can say that we can share because we have. As we get into a situation, we submerge ourselves into the ocean of real life learning. When we have this experience, we are able to share it to the world with passionate enthusiasm, with exuding power, and (towards the end) with a sense of fulfillment.

These three sweet sweats of being in the game satisfy the needs of men and women to learn, to belong, and (towards the end) to share.

Nothing beats being in the game, indeed. If we want to learn, to belong, and to share, we need to be in the game. Again, this game may be a game in sports, a game at work, or any game in life.

So… will you be in the game?

Jumbled Episodes

Sometimes, it’s good to remember; other times, it’s good to forget.

One Saturday, we went to Wawa Dam in Rizal for the outreach program organized by the group “People Helping People.”

As I stepped out of the car, I was brought back to the past.

The green hills on the sides and the children gathered on the ground brought me to my childhood days, back to my hometown in the mountains of Benguet.

I recalled the days as I played with the other kids in the neighborhood. We chased each other like the natives would chase the pigs in their backyard.

We played war-games while unstoppably running around and untiringly shouting – Bang! Bang! Bang!

We played from the rising to the setting of the sun.

As the sun goes to hide its rays in the West, I would walk back home as my young body was embraced with terribly cool sweats.

I recalled the days when we were called to go to the rice fields, either to harvest rice or to till the soil for the next cropping.

When the sun is up, we would put on that hats made of vine; and when the rain comes, we would put on that plastic with a slit on the side as our rain coat to finish the tough job.

I recalled the days when we were summoned to pound rice with that indigenous mortar and pestle, like the tools of the Tabon Man. Though I was lazy to do so, I needed to. Not pounding rice would mean no rice on the pot, no rice on the plate.

I recalled the days when we climbed towering mountains and trekked through mossy forests.

One wrong step on the side means getting you killed. Slow moving pace means gathering a lot of leeches on your feet.

In spite of these leeches and perilous trails, nonetheless, is setting foot on the top of the mountain, casting your eyes to the magnificent beauty of nature, embracing the refreshing breeze blowing from the rivers below, hearing the rippling cascades of the waterfalls afar, and raising your hands like Moses over those enthusing grandeur gifts from Above.

Lastly, I recalled as I would imagine how busy the people were as they prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, while my mother was about to deliver a child at the very tick of the clock at four of Christmas dawn.

Yes, it was. While most people were busy wrapping their gifts for their loved ones, my mother wrapped me, too, with her loving arms.

That was the first time I felt the warmth of the world in the midst of the chilling December breeze.

A lot of recalling can be done. Reminiscing the past can be invigorating, especially when you recall the day you were born. You shall realize that you are here for a reason.

As I remember these chapters of my past, I was reminded to move forward.

These jumbled episodes I had that Saturday in the mountains empowered me to go on – to go on holding onto my dreams, to go on climbing the hills and mountains of life, and to go on living the gift of life I have.

Thanks for those kids running around and the green mountains on the sides for bringing me to the past.

It is my hope that as I share these jumbled episodes of my life, may you be able to recall also your past and get into the future with refreshed and rejuvenated power.

As one character said – sometimes, it’s good to remember; other times, it’s good to forget.

Hence, there’s no need to remember all the things that came into your life, especially the bad ones. Just learn your lesson from those bad experiences, and leave them to the past.

Remember the good things of the past, gather strength from those jumbled episodes of your life, and move forward!