Dandelion in the Spring|Unfrozen| For the New Year

Fear, mistrust and resignation has frozen us from moving towards that warm and bright tomorrow for many years now.

We have, though we insist on the opposite, frozen ourselves. We have easily given our mind and freedoms to thoughts an the demands of people even if we insist on freedom. We have given up the gift of dreaming for the sake of winning the rat race or just simply existing.

We limited our future to a frozen and desolate place of material, forgetting that value is something that cannot be seen.

But just like the Edison and Tesla slaved away to harness the gift the spark to ease our ways of living, dreams and ideals are not impossible. Whilst harnessing the gift of the spark, these two men never gave up despite the trash talking and ridicule, the poverty and isolation. You won’t be reading this if those two gifts to mankind gave up on the “impossible dream” (electricity). I wouldn’t found a much more easier way to put down my thoughts in “writing”.

Maybe we can move free from this frozen existence if we start to believe in what today seems impossible.

Dreams like, world peace- of unity in diversity, a true fair economy, a harmoniously balanced society. Like a global community wherein racism and other forms of senseless hate are fought with fervor. Wherein ideas are welcomed, and discussion is for unraveling of truth rather than elation. Where concern for others are beyond the sake of  “Public  Relations Promotions”.

We need to believe that to dream, is to be more than an idealist. We cannot be frozen any longer in the belief that dreams are just ideas that involve only ourselves. We cannot be frozen any longer that these dreams cannot be achieved in the gladiator’s arena. We cannot be frozen any longer in the belief that we are but a single person whose actions are irrelevant in making this world a better place for everyone.

We have to realize the fact that it is our choice to not believe is what has frozen us away from reaching our dreams. That our choice to let society be is what has led to it being broken as it is.

We have to realize that even gladiators had dreams. They dreamt to break free, and that is why they fought.

We have to realize that the dandelion in the spring that we long to find in a time frozen by pride and prejudice, is already within us.

And may we cultivate it in this coming year of 2015.

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MAY YOU ALL HAVE A BLESSED NEW YEAR!

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FROZEN (part 3)| The Story of Maribeth, “Doctor in Pain”| TOA

[FROZEN PART 2- DREAMS AND HEROES, CLICK HERE. FROZEN PART 1 CLICK HERE]

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Author’s Note: The name “Maria” is an alias for the person whose story I’m about to share. However, I started to think if it was right to give her that name, even as an alias.  I love the name Maria, but I looked up some names and found Maribeth more appropriate. I hope you’ll understand why after reading the rest of this article. I won’t delve into much because of the personal intensity of Maribeth’s story. All names mentioned here are aliases, by the way.

This is going to be a lengthy one, so brace yourselves! 😉 Thank you for all the support!

It’s hard to tell a story of someone you know. The reason this article took so long to write was the weight it carried. Maribeth’s case is one that on the surface, would seem like a success story. But for those who are blessed to get to see a “hidden” side to her  like the lead of a drama on TV, they see (and live with) the side of Maribeth that struggles to find her place.

Maribeth has a younger sister, Messina. Though for a greater part they are opposites,  Messina loves her elder sister dearly. Growing up, she always looked up to the former who she saw like everybody else- tough, intelligent, generous, and  (probably) one of the most diligent women knew. Messina grew up under the care of their mother, Margaret, who worked as a nurse-midwife abroad (another long story).  Maribeth hadn’t. The reunification of the family members would prove just how much the gap between them had grown. Suddenly the diamond strength  that Messina seemed to see enveloping Maribeth began to crack and the tears that her sister shed within, became clear to the her heart’s sight.

—-

“The warrior is a child.” It’s a song but recalling the story, it serves as the most fitting description for Maribeth.

As children, we are all equals. Our hearts and minds yet to be scarred by the challenges of the world, hold one single desire- to find and live true happiness. We harbor no prejudice, no hate, no selfishness, no cynicism. When we dream, it’s because that dream inspires us to be a better person. And somehow when we say a better person, it always is in a manner where we share whatever we have to others. When we have someone that smiles with us as children,  we are filled with glee. When we see that our little deeds brought out even a little amount of goodness in something or someone, we are filled again with that unselfish glee. Psychology, parenting and all other stuff out there proves this. (And if not, please do correct me 😀 )

—-

Maribeth was like any other child. Though Messina had known her sister to just be a “shy lady” at first, she was aware of how that lady felt for her siblings and the rest of the family. Their mother would show Messina the letters her sister had sent the latter over the years, expressing excitement to meet “little Messina” after she was born and a whole lot of other words that expressed emotions she couldn’t remember seeing clearly in her sister. But what made the deepest impact to Messina is the letter where her sister told their mother about her dream…a promise, she once made.

“I’m going to be a very good doctor, so that I’d be able to help all those who are in need of what I can do- especially the poor! I promise you that ma, was what the young dreamer wrote more or less, but with all sincerity. She wasn’t even a small child anymore at that time!

And indeed with all her might, blood, tears and sweat- she strove. Medicine, mind you, is never easy no matter how much you try to reason your way out of it! Getting the license is probably the steepest mountain to climb in college, and improving your depth is even harder. Add on to the chaotic and treacherous jungle environment of the city, and it can be the deadliest course. Well it’s not surprising since after all, you are going to be handling lives!

Today, she is one of the those ranked a very few levels below the top position any doctor can get in her field. And she’s probably the youngest at that. But despite all the rods in the ladder that she’s managed to overcome, her family has yet to see her smiling gleefully at them whenever she got home (which nowadays are said to be very rare due to the “toxic cases” she handles). Her apartment…can be especially less than hygienic…except when Messina and the rest of the family that can visit,  visits for a week or more. There was once when Messina overheard Maribeth on the phone talking to a colleague. The former heard the latter being frustrated with another co-worker who had caused her trouble. But what struck Messina about her sister’s condition is when the latter said, “Tell him (that doctor) not to give me any more problems. He doesn’t know what I’m going through…”

What was Maribeth going through? She had barely spoken to them that week, and even barely than the little amount she had before. The most conversation Messina could get was having small talk which would usually end at Margaret saying that she had already eaten her dinner outside after coming home very late at night. Messina didn’t know how to approach her after that. She didn’t know what to say so that she could at least be there to listen to what had bothered her sister so much.

Margaret  had once voiced her suggestion to Maribeth for her to move back to their hometown which was a “lesser city” so that she could set-up her own clinic. It was reasonable since her kind of services was really needed back home. But Maribeth refused. It wouldn’t work out for her she said, noting the level of practice back home and the scarcity of proper equipment. Besides the fact that the level of income was substantially lower, she voiced out that she might be specializing in another field again. Her relatives would just nod in defeat, wondering when will be the time that they’d see her find her place and be at peace.

 “Sometimes, I want to show her all the letters she had written, and ask about that promise. ‘Cause I haven’t seen it fulfilled in any way,” Margaret  told the younger sibling once.

Messina would scan the books her sister had piled up but barely, if not hadn’t, read. The love for reading was probably one of the few common things she shared with her sister. Messina looked at each book, hoping to see what interested her sister. She noticed that besides being all about Maribeth’s  field in medicine- may they be biographies, fiction, etc.- they shared varied but very connected topics: empowerment, control over one’s life, how to manage oneself, and how to communicate. A book or two, might have probably been for enhancing her holistically at work but having almost the entire bookshelf filled with those type of books kind of spoke to Messina in volumes. Especially the last type, since Messina knew her sister to had been well-trained in that field in the past years. Was her sister still not able to find her place? Was she really not as whole as she tried to place herself to be?

—-

“Is this the product of all the hardwork? Is the result of trying to fight for a dream? In our world today, with all it’s precepts of success, what is a dream’s  true worth? Where has all the care that we had once as a child gone? ” I kept asking myself, as I recalled the story.

I find myself close to Maribeth’s situation. With writing a passion embedded in me, I have managed to channel that due-to-higher-priorites-curbed energy in this blog. But I’m always faced with what Maribeth probably faced as she journeyed into her profession only, mine being business-related.

Normally most of us start to “realize” in high school, that it’s either “do or suffer” in the “real world” that’s beyond the confines of our homes and the “magic of being young”. 

“You can’t be idealistic in the real world,” they say, “You have to be practical. Just go with what’s in the flow if you don’t want to fall into the gutter.” 

And so, we have the corruption that never seems to stop growing. And of all the races on earth, I believe it’s the human race who knows the most what corruption can ever bring. So that led me to respond in my head:

 NO. Ideals can’t just be worthless. Values, morals- they matter now that it ever had been. Things can change for the better is an idea that we all just need to practice.

If only we could just remember that single dream we have as children…

If we could just look to the children of this generation, to our younger loved ones, to those that have a promise to be born (by God’s grace)…

If we could just remember the better of us that shouldn’t have been outgrown of in the first place..

I believe if we can learn from our past, we can make the right decisions in our present, and thus build a brighter future, full of hope.

It is in realizing what our shared roots were intended for when we were placed on earth, that we can realize what and how we could grow and live into. 

Remember the Child in You

(to be continued)

FROZEN (part 2)|Heroes, Dreams|T.O.A.

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DREAMS…DREAMS…HOPES…VALUES…IDEALS…

TRUTH.

In a world where darkness grows, how are the little sparks going to grow?

In times when illusions spread, how will Truth fill the rays of morrow?

(Click here to go to previous article of this series, FROZEN (part 1)| The Dilema...)

The growing tree is frozen in thought; unable to stretch its fragile branches further upward into the uncertain, treacherous and cloud-filled sky.

I refuse to believe that there is no hope. I will always believe…

There is. Hope has always been the key for any species to survive, even for those beings that are labelled to only be “instinctual creatures with no reason”. Like the herds have hope to return to the pride lands after the drought has ended, “instinctively” knowing  believing that the lush green will reawaken. Like the migratory birds, normally fly away for the winter but always expected to return for they know believe that spring will come again.

Like us- human beings. Even for those of us who continuously reject that there is the need for laws and religion to define the goodness within one’s humanity, we all secretly strive to find the right direction that’ll lead us to a harmonious life. We were given the “reason” to deny it, but we know that there must be Hope, just as there must be air, food and means for shelter to survive and grow.

H.O.P.E.- Hope. Some search for it in the declared “idols and stars”of the entertainment industry. And some search for it in the heroic stories that fill our TV and cinema screens…deeply wanting to be a force that could bring some light into the tension-racked times… deeply waiting for that “hero” that would prove us wrong- that sacrifice for the greater good we all dream for, is and will always be worth it. 

 (The Arrow. One of the current and quoted, “most popular hit-hero TV series of all time”. )

But in an increasingly complex world that’s forgetting the true materiality of “those little things and values”, how do we recognize Hope? How do we find it?

Heroes, even for us “grown-ups in denial,” are stars we constantly pine for especially in our times that are ridden by the revolting facts of escalating wars, fears and a famine that encroaches far more deeply than the lining our stomachs.

I am one of those people, and I have come to terms with it. I realized that it never symbolized an immature side of me…of something I thought I understood to be just that, and thus threw it aside. Instead, cherishing those tales of people who stood out and stood up against the storms of their society and made a difference-may they be history or myth- represented a dream, a goal, a value that I must discover in order that I may truly live before my time . Heroes are the reflection of a forgotten  self who is challenging, waking up, and calling out to the child in me that has grown but lost her courage to ask, to question, to learn and to fight for what’s right despite all odds. Heroes had always symbolized an unspoken fire of hope.

As children, the stories of heroes captivate us more than anything when growing up, lighting up the shared spark within each of us that more or less says, “I’m going find out what I love, be good at it and make this world a better place.” It’s as if, the various but singular role of being this vicegerent placed on earth is an inherited trait by all of us, regardless of what country and time.

It sparks when we reach maybe 5 and grows with a fury until elementary. But from there ’til junior high, that fire begins to waver, and by the time we step out from college many of us are drained of all that ardor, just desperate to survive.

Our once dreams then have become a distant fellow we no longer recognize and are welcomed as nothing but immature burdens that should be left on the shelf.

It shouldn’t be that way. It mustn’t be that way…right?

Which reminds me of the story of Maria, someone I know and hold dear…

(to be continued)

FROZEN (part 1)| The Dilemma of Today’s GX| T.O.A

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The growing happy tree, is frozen.

It’s raining. I love it when it does…the sound of the earth being washed. The air slowly smelling fresh. Every noise dying down, except the sound of pouring water. All heat evaporates.

A sadness within someone, is soothed.

“Do you still believe that there is hope for our country?” asked my instructor in class one night, “Do you, still have hope for the future?”

He had a point. The corruption that runs so deep in this country, if not in the entire world of man,  seems unfathomable.

“Super-typhoons and earthquakes in the Philippines. Tornadoes in America. Waterspouts and floods in the Middle East. What’s next?” my closest childhood friend expressed through Facebook.

All I could respond to my friend was, “Pray, internal revolution in each of us…”

“No, there is no hope. There’s no more hope.”

I can still remember my classmates saying those words to each other in whispers as we passed our responses forward and as the class came to an end.

“You should have hope! You are the youth! You have a lot of the opportunities unlike us (elderly)!” called out our instructor as we students left in pairs, in groups or individually.

But even his voice seemed shaken.

Yes, we are the youth. Only by Divine Decree will we reach the end of our journey unless one chooses to unjustly meddle with it. By decree, we still have “all the time in the world to climb up high”.

Generation after generation, through tales and history it is in the youth that you can find the most fervent, strong willed, passionate, searching, and persevering individuals. People who look beyond the borders of pride, prejudice, ignorant fear- always courageous to tread the thorny path just to diminish their ignorance and grow. They are the crop that strive with value for virtue that will soon turn to the trees that give shade to the next seedlings.

But what is my generation now? And the next that follows? What have we become? What are we becoming?

What am I becoming? What should I be really be doing?

I remember being at a university event when someone I knew to be “full of faith and openness” was asked by the MC, “What can you do to help in today’s poverty?”

That person I knew answered, “It’s not my problem”.

You can guess it. I was shocked, if not petrified. I wanted to puke. Just remembering it breaks my heart and boggles my mind…

“No there is no hope. There’s no more hope.” Those words by my peers echo from my mind.

I ask, why?

Why?

I…refuse to believe that.

(PS. TOA- “Thoughts Of an Ahjumma. Thank GOD finally got this part off my chest…)