Dear You, Dear Me, Dear Us..

Renew our intention today.

Set it, if we don’t have one.

Even as simple as, “I will be better today.”

Then pray…

‘Cause no matter how prepared and determined, our only full power is in our choices.

So choose to strive,

Choose to at least try.

Even if it’s painful, it’s worth it.

Why?

We’re breathing.

Cars are made to be driven.

We are meant to live until we can only sleep.

So fuel up, from our hearts.

Let’s go!

Fighting!

Faith-ing~!

Hahaha

Leggo!

(3/31/2017, a quarter into 2017 already! Wah!)

-G.T.

Cookie Break

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I have no idea, why in the world, I titled this Cookie Break.

The thing came to mind, while I was unfolding this small table and chair that I’m currently sitting in, decorated by Snoopy looking at a bunch of Oreos and thinking “Cookie Break!”

It’s a table and chair meant for my 2-year old nephew, but I think I feel most comfortable writing by using it.

And as I get through typing the lines you’ve just read, I think I quite figured out why I’m being final with calling this entry, “Cookie Break”…

After so much that has happened since my last entry, this is the only time that I can write with my mind entirely focused on what I’m about to share..!

I hope it won’t be so long that it’d bore you, dear Reader. I’m writing this, as most of my entries are, completely impromptu! So for all the rough edges of this piece, I sincerely apologize!

What started out as a quite intense day of activities and a big chunk of necessary out-of-pocket expenses towards a family visit I had fears about, turned out to be quite the healing trip for me.

In all the craziness, that I cannot even began to enumerate here I believe that by listening to the people that invited us over.

Listening to other people’s stories that they have to tell…even by simply, listening- quieting down your own worries that clog your heart and mind, and opening your thoughts-you suddenly get a break from the struggles that feel as if they aren’t going to end.

The lyrics of EXO’s Lucky One “너와 나의 평행선”| “The parallel lines that are you and me” somehow makes a deeper impression to me now.

In our darkest times we feel as if we’re alone and no one can ever understand the pain we’re going through.

But maybe, in all the differences of our stories, there are some common points. Points that make the difference for us to keep going on and/or to be thankful for having gone through what we’ve been through.

Stories that make us go, “wow, he/she went through all that? And he’s/she’s still here? All good? Maybe I can make it too..”

Stories that make us go, “I didn’t know he/she had to endure all that. I didn’t know that he’s/she’s like that. Maybe I’ve been looking at all of this in the wrong way, as well…”

Or maybe stories that are so strikingly similar as our stories of our past, that now, we’re the ones meant to help others get through theirs.

Maybe we’re all not that different. And that we’re like two parallel lines, unique as who we are, but striving towards the same hopes of a better future.

I suddenly remembered this quote from a video I watched many times before:

This world isn’t perfect. This means it isn’t perfectly good: but it isn’t perfectly bad, either.The ease comes with hardship. Shift focus of what you see, and your experience of this life will change.

-Yasmin Mogahed

I guess that quote perfectly sums up my thoughts for this evening.

And from the little I could share here, I hope you find the cookie break you needed and the strength to push forward again. Hope a little rambling from a little tree can become that cookie that energizes someone out there!

 

G.T. (Growing Tree)

Ballpen: A short anecdote| T.O.A.

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“I’m sorry to disturb you. But I hope you understand. I am a father, with children who I send to school. This is the only moral way I know to earn a living. If you could just buy (even one or a few), it would mean a great deal. Thank you!”

 

Those were the few words uttered by the elder man who was obviously roaming the streets earlier today- amidst the sorching heat of the sun and danger of going from jeep to jeep in the middle of heavy traffic. He  basket full of pens in hand and small printed notes that more or less said what he had uttered.

All this, just so he could send his child(ren) to school.

Some may say, it could be another modus operandi, a hoax to get people’s money. It’s a thing so common in the Philippines when you roam the streets and you encounter indigents who ask for alms. There are people who take advantage of the suffering of others…

Others who think that they have no other choice, if they wish to survive.

But dare I say, where is the proof? Would we dare choose to believe the latter whilst knowing that there is an equally high chance that a simple ballpen could mean a child’s future?

But besides all this, I was nearly moved to tears…

I felt guilty…

 

Being still considered a fresh graduate and having earned my license last October, my current job has had me in the ropes. I’ve faced challenges and situations that have me constantly pondering whether I did the right thing, and/or whether the struggles are worth it.

 

But what are my struggles, compared to others who choose to push on? Like that man who had put aside any concern for his health and being for the sake of the future of another?

 

Love.

 

Hope.

 

Selflessness.

 

Goals.

 

Purpose.

 

No matter what our situation is written to be…no matter how grim or trialsome…May we never lose sight of these.

The Year of “Why?”

A definite MUST READ.

adoptingjames

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Welcome to 2016!

This is the year where you will either A) figure out what you want to do with your life, B) continue to push forward toward your goals, or C) reclaim your lost passion and start over.

But there’s one question you need to ask yourself every single day should you decide to act on your passion or goals.

Everyday, when you feel beat up, worn out, tired, depressed, whatever, ask yourself: “WHY?”

WHY do you want to lose weight?

WHY do you want to finish school?

WHY do you want to get your painting in an art gallery?

WHY do you want to be famous?

You see, when you ask this question, it puts your inner-self right back at the beginning. It mentally places you right back in that moment when you decided you wanted to achieve whatever goals you want to have achieved.

And then, when you…

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Year Ender: 7 Fav Songs that Speak Beyond Barriers

How has everyone’s 2015 been?

It surely didn’t go smoothly…

Around the world, there are a lot of things we are still struggling with. Conflicts here and there that have yet to see their resolutions.

Tragedies have struck us to our core…

And there are still more tragedies that continue to unfold…

 

Nonetheless- year after year- the flicker of hope remains in all of us.

This is a post that is intended to bring the message of Hope through one very powerful medium that has always been part of human culture- music.

Many would say that there’s been too many songs that have been released that speak about their themes- of yearning for everyone to look past beyond the barriers of color, for everyone to see the beauty of diversity, for everyone not to be mindlessly following any group that seeks to instill fear and mindless hate in us. Many might say that there’s already so much songs about these, yet we have yet to see change.

Well, have the abundance of romantic songs ever seem to satiate the soul’s longing for that partner? Or been enough to soothe every brokenhearted?

I don’t believe so.

Nevertheless I think I’d like to end my year with songs that remind one to be a light despite things looking so bleak and dark. If anything, it’s the only way we can continue to move forward and live.

1. Michael Jackson’s “Heal The World”: Michael Jackson is a legend in this era’s music industry. And towards the end of his life, his works were geared towards awakening and uplifting the world. He didn’t just release one song that spoke about the issues that have racked our societies. He released more, and I believe he would continue to make more had he been still with us. He was not shy, and was outspoken about them. It is this aspect of him that I respect most in his life as an artist.

Also, at a time were war and conflict seems just right at our doorstep..this could not be even more timely.

2. Sami Yusuf’s “Shine”: Brother Sami Yusuf has been a role model. He has coined the genre, “Spiritique”, one that is ” informed by the belief that the major world religions bespeak a perennially harmonious spiritual and moral message that has the potential to beautify the world and create peace between people.” His latest release, Shine, is one of his best works that represent this message. May this new leaf, the coming days of 2016 be the moment where we all strive to keep shining.

3. Harris J’s “Worth It”: Shifting towards a genre that most of the youth can dig, I chose one of this promising newcomer’s latest releases. I’m glad to be seeing such good work from someone so young. Even as adults, struggles don’t disappear. In fact, struggles will always be there in different shapes and forms. May we continue to struggle for all that is worth our tears, blood, and sweat…no matter how hard it is.

4. Zain Bhikha’s “Someday”: “Salam”, the arabic for , “Peace”. This is the message of this song all the while uplifting the undistorted message of Islam and to add juice to the image of Muslims not commonly flashed on our TV screens. The song “talks about humanity coming together for one purpose, finding peace.” Give it a listen, and probably a share.

5. Zain Bhikha’s “First We Need the Love”  Or if you probably would like something with a “hipper beat” to it, here’s something I’d recommend from the same artist with the participation of his son, Rashid. Also very, very timely.

 

6. EXO’s “History” (Korean version): Suprise! Yes, I do (selectively) listen to song from Kpop. I’d thought it to shift to another genre and part of the world would be a little good too. To give a little story, I didn’t know about this group back in what was maybe late 2012 (beside the fact that they debuted on that same year). I just saw this on TV and like it then. No, not because of the physical traits of the singers, the moves they were making, but the lyric hit home. They had a previous release, “MAMA“, which also talked along the same themes but both the MV and the lyrics are until now quite debated. For those in the know, many would consider the lyrics to speak of the two group’s division and be attempt to attest their unity. But the thing about this song is, even if you don’t know a thing about EXO, once it’s translated its more universal message pulls through.  There’s also a Chinese version to this.

This last day of December will the final page of that will go down as 2015’s history. May it be blessed, may it open doors for all our growth!

7. Raef’s “The Path”: Earlier this year, I made a short post about brother Raef’s “Dream”. I’d still pick that for this post, but I didn’t want to be redundant.

I chose to round-up this post with this song because while it goes back to the type of songs that are like home to me, I think it beautifully narrates the shared struggle we all have within, though each story and depth is uniquely that of ours.

I’ll let the song speak once again. For once again, I am lost for words.As the dawn of another year (in the Gregorian calendar at least) draws near, may the path that we should take be much more clearer to us. Ameen.

And I know that it hurts
When we stop and wonder: “Why?”
Yes I know that it hurts
Maybe time will heal the burns

And maybe you’ve felt the path I seek, and
I know you’ve cared as much as me
Our stories were shared for us to see

Thanks for reading up until here!

Love, truth and peace,

G.T.

 

Selective Justice, Selective Sympathy–> A Honest Reminder How Hypocritical We Can Be 

Social Media has brought people together

It has also brought people apart.

The Internet has taught a lot of good people what our selective media can manipulate into the masses,

It has also become a medium for evil…

But most of all, it brings about the most potent medium wherein we can be the biggest hyprocrites…

If we cry for Paris…

We should cry for the people of Syria, Kenya, Rohingya, Palestine…

The people in our streets that we seem to ignore because of unvalidated fears…

 

But I’ve seen the best of people shine even better through this….And THAT reinforces my Hope.

Surely, it’s these lights that we should focus on.

 

Light your candle. Like the moon, even stars can light the sky if they shine together.

 

Reaction inspired by : Rant

~GrowingTree