Consoling Thoughts for Self-Appeaseament
By Apolinario Villalobos
Man by nature has the habit of blaming something, somebody, even God for any mishap and disappointment in his life, but never, or if ever, seldom does he blame himself. For a change, perhaps, after a misfortune or unfulfilled expectation, why don’t we compare our situation with that of others who are in a worse predicament, or think of something that can console us?
I have a friend whose right leg was cut off to put a check on the putrefying effect of diabetes in that limb which has been creeping up his body. The tragedy started with a simple wound on his toe. Instead of sulking, he borrowed money and started a small business selling snacks and cigarettes at the tricycle terminal. When I talked to him, he was wearing a big smile and cracked a joke about his situation. Seriously, he told me that he sees himself as luckier than some of our friends who died of stroke and others who became comatose.
During one of my visits to a friend in Baseco Compound , Tondo, I found him peeling a bagful of onions to get rid of their rotting skin. The onions were given to him by a Chinese merchant who was cleaning his warehouse of smuggled vegetables from China. His wife sells the skinned onions in Divisoria by the pile. His youngest kid was sideswept by a car while on his way to a junkshop to sell the collected bottles and plastic materials he collected from the nearby dump, the day before. My friend did not blame the driver or his son. He was just thankful that his son was alive, unlike the son of their neighbor who died outright when ran over by a dump truck.
Another friend who, at the most, earns two hundred pesos, from early morning until late night from peddling cigarettes and candies, never regrets their not having other necessities in life. He tells me that he is lucky for having a loving wife who tenderly takes care of their only daughter. They live in a pushcart whose protection from rain is a tarpaulin salvaged from a dump. He feels luckier than those without even a pushcart – a mobile home, as they got no choice but sleep on the cold sidewalk when darkness falls.
Two close friends who are fighting the dreaded cancer are not blaming anybody, not even God. Both are firmly resolved to enjoy life to their last breath, though one of them calmly waits for his final day in bed, the other makes up for lost days spent to earn in order to help her family. One mentioned his being lucky to have gone this far, unlike others who died in fatal accidents, which did not give them a chance to make amends for mistakes committed. The other is just thankful for the extra days for her to enjoy the company of her family and friends, and of course the big leeway to prepare for her final day.
Meanwhile, I just cannot fathom the dissatisfaction of others who, despite their obvious opulence in life, still consider themselves unfortunate. They are not satisfied with having condo units and a house in an exclusive subdivision, maintaining fleet of cars, jetsetting to Mediterranean resorts and doing shopping sprees in key cities of the world, and worst, having amassed wealth at the expense of others. Being born in this world is already something to be thankful of, unlike developing fetuses in the womb that get expelled down the drain by a single “family planning” pill.
On the other hand, disappointment may be avoided if we remove big expectations from our mind. Unfortunately, this may not apply in the corporate world because of the periodic sales plans, goal and objective setting, etc., achievement of which becomes the gauge for job performance. Living one’s own life based on the righteous and simple rules set by Him is very much different from the corporate life whose goal is based on material gain. My suggestions: in dealing business with others, set a moderate goal, do not get overwhelmed with greed, and if nothing comes out of it despite exhaustive effort, console yourself with the thought, that the deal expanded your business acumen; and in living our other life with others based on righteous rules, we must do our best in avoiding stepping on their toes. With those , we may be able to console ourselves with the thought that we have tried our best….at least, thus, preventing the setting in of regret and disappointment.