Harmonizing Life with Time…by Virtue of Discipline

Harmonizing Life with Time

…by virtue of Discipline

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

We cannot control time, much more, go against its ticking hands. But we can live in harmony with it by virtue of discipline. We cannot turn back the hands of time, as the song says, so we have to synchronize our life with it for our own advantage.

 

Synchronizing with time and the degree that calls for it differs according to culture and environment. In Spain, siesta time after lunch till early afternoon is an integral part of the people’s culture. Their “nighttime” is also long, lasting till the wee hours of the morning. Meanwhile, in other countries, the people are not conscious of time.

 

In a well- disciplined country like Japan, time is treated with respect. And, so is in the United States, where time is followed to the last second, in which at the strike of five in a workplace, everything is dropped. In European countries, the same treatment of time is observed – with strictness, hinged on discipline.

 

The standard work period is eight hours. But to date, because of the many factors that affect the daily lives of the people, especially, traffic, “broken time”  or “flexible or flexi time” is applied by some companies, for as long as the eight-hour period is completed. Adjustment is made on the work period of employees in consideration of the traffic and distance that needs to be covered by commuting from their home.

 

On the other hand, regardless of whether we are in a workplace, at home or just anywhere, time is very much part of our activity…our life. Practically, since the first day that life is developed in the womb of the mother, time element is already involved, such as the number of days until the fetus finally breaths the fresh air as it comes out into the world. And, the development of the growing child is reckoned by phases of time– physically, mentally, and emotionally.

 

In wrapping up, the best thing to do, if we do not want to be hassled then, is by being always ahead of time. Whatever time is “earned” can always be used for some other things that we need to make our life comfortable. We should, however, remember always, that living in harmony with time should be tempered with discipline.

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Living in the Midst of Various Faiths and Ethics

LIVING IN THE MIDST OF VARIOUS FAITHS AND ETHICS

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Personally, I believe that there can be harmony in diversity for as long as the relationship is founded on tolerance, understanding and compassion. One manifestation of this harmony is the celebration of Christmas even by non-Christians, and I have observed this in the Islamic Center in Quiapo (Manila) where many Muslim homes display Christmas tree during December. When I was in high school, many non-Christians students were proudly sporting the school uniform of our parochial Catholic school.

 

Tolerance begets respect and understanding. Such attitude is devoid of selfishness and egoism. A feeling of superiority is also not harbored in the heart. With tolerance, members of the community do not pay attention to which church their neighbors go on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Respect, though, should be shown to the utmost, especially, on the aspect of diet, so that in a culturally and religiously diversified community, restaurant owners take the pain of gluing on conspicuous space of the wall a notice about their food being “halal”.

 

A former classmate based in our province intoned during our cellphone conversation about his having a “personal God” which he claims does not drive him away from the faith of his birth. It is just that, by maintaining this kind of belief, he can be more tolerant about others’ faith. It is like saying, “leave me alone with my God and I will leave you with yours”. According to him, what spoils religions and sects is their being “institutionalized” which makes each of them competitive, as they vie for expanded membership. Along that line, it cannot be avoided that religions and sects would be compared with each other, so that prospective members can “choose” which is “better” or “best”…..and that is when trouble develops. An unsolicited advice is for these groups not to be too loud about their faith and just show their best “angle” by being tolerant and being nice to others.

 

On the other hand, if the government is not too conscious of the issue on separation between the State and the Church, somehow, there will be harmony. It is true that it is provided in the Law of the Land, the Constitution, but why not give a chance to the “unwritten rules” dictated by the heart and common sense?  For instance, as the various religious communities have more viability as regards morality which goes with spirituality, their strength can prop up the effort of the government in building up the welfare of the Filipino youth.

 

As regards the youth, there are many “homes” administered by the religious groups and most of them are in dire need of financial and material support. Meanwhile, the social workers who work in the government facilities are limited on what they learned from books. If molding of the youth is the issue, there is a need to inject a spiritual element in this effort and the lay social workers cannot do that, but only the religious people. The youth cannot be considered successfully developed if their spiritual foundation which has got to do with morality is weak and crumbling that may eventually result to their becoming disgraceful citizens of the nation.

 

There was a time when the miserable situation of the young detainees in a local government rehabilitation facility was exposed. Such disclosure was underscored by the misuse of budget as it was found out that the detainees were not fed properly. In this regard, lay administrators do not give a damn if they are found to be irresponsible as they have ways to avoid prosecution of the earthly court. On the other hand, the religious people may think twice before misbehaving as part of their guidance is about suffering in hell if they exploit their fellow creatures!

Harmony in Diversity Breeds Respect and Love…with Mindanao (Philippines) as a typical case

Harmony in Diversity Breeds Respect and Love

…with Mindanao (Philippines) as a typical case

By Apolinario Villalobos

In the Bible, the Israelites failed their God when they did not follow His instruction to the letter. Instead of annihilating all members of the pagan tribes whose cities they have overran, in some, they allowed the inhabitants to live side by the side with them. Some Israelites even took their women as wives. There was harmony, somehow, although not pleasing in the eyes of their God.

When the Arab and Chinese traders came to the Sulu Archipelago to ply their wares thousands of years ago, they intermarried with the native women, so today, some Tausugs have Chinese and Arab names and the fused cultures are obviously manifested in their physical features. There was harmony, then, for the sake of commerce, but which developed into respect and love that became the foundation of the Sulu Sultanate.

“Conquest” of kingdoms can also be accomplished through intermarriages, such as what happened in Egypt, the Iberian region and Europe. Despite the differences in culture, harmony was developed and bred respect among their royalties, thus, kingdoms were expanded. Still today, some business tycoons, especially, in Asia, have the habit of merging their wealth through marriage. In time, the human “instruments” for the worldly end, somehow develop love for each other.

In Mindanao, Philippines, particularly the Muslim central and southern portions of the island, the migrants from Luzon and Visayas, and the indigenous Muslims live harmoniously in communities as neighbors. Unfortunately, due to politics instigated by greedy desire of the few, animosities developed. Nevertheless, those who are really advocating peace persist in maintaining their warm neighborly relationship founded on love, respect, and lately, tolerance.

There is a story of a couple in which, the wife is from a royal Muslim family, while the husband is an ordinary hardworking Christian. They underwent three marriages – Islamic, Christian and Civil, with the consent of their parents. Their children were not baptized days or weeks after birth, the Christian way, but when they were old enough to choose which faith they preferred. In time, the couple began to raise Christian and Muslim children, but they do not feel any “difference” at all. Today, each of them observes the chosen faith with utmost sincerity in a home that permeates with love.

Lately, the son of a Muslim couple decided to become a Catholic priest. Instead of ostracizing him, the parents prayed over him to strengthen his chosen faith.

Clearly now, the problem in Mindanao is not the difference in faith as despite the diversity, the Mindanaoans are united by love and respect for each other, founded on harmonious relationship. What is happening in Mindanao are the doings of greedy politicians, but hope is not gone from the heart of Mindanaoans who had been longing for autonomy…with God’s help!

Harmonizing Life with Time…by virtue of Discipline

Harmonizing Life with Time
…by virtue of Discipline
By Apolinario Villalobos

We cannot control time, much more, go against its ticking hands. But we can live in harmony with it by virtue of discipline. We cannot turn back the hands of time, as the song says, so we have to synchronize our life with it for our own advantage.

Synchronizing with time and the degree that calls for it differs according to culture and environment. In Spain, siesta time after lunch till early afternoon is a very part of its people’s culture. Their “nighttime” is also long, lasting till the wee hours of the morning. Meanwhile, in other countries, the people are not conscious of time.

In a well- disciplined country like Japan, time is treated with respect. And, so is in the United States, where time is followed to the last second, in which at the strike of five, everything is dropped. In European countries, the same treatment of time is observed – with strictness, hinged on discipline.

The standard work period is eight hours. But to date, because of the many factors that affect the day to day lives of the people, especially, traffic, “broken time” is applied by some companies, for as long as the eight-hour period is completed. Adjustment is made on the work period of employees in consideration of the traffic and distance that needs to be covered by commuting from their home.

On the other hand, regardless of whether we are in a workplace, at home or just anywhere, time is very much part of our activity…our life. Practically, since the first day that life is developed in the womb of the mother, time element is already involved, such as the number of days until the fetus finally breaths the fresh air as it comes out into the world. And, the development of the growing child is reckoned by phases of time– physically, mentally, and emotionally.

In wrapping up, the besting thing to do, if we do not want to be hassled then, is by being always ahead of time. Whatever time is “earned” can always be used for some other things that we need to make our life comfortable. We should, however, remember always, that living in harmony with time should be tempered with discipline so that we can use it to live a comfortable life.

Why Do I Write ?

Why Do I Write?
By Apolinario Villalobos

…because,
I want to please myself, as well as, others, too;
The pent up emotions and thoughts I must let go –
So overpowering, so overwhelming, my person they engulf –
I can’t be just like a balloon that anytime can helplessly burst.

In letting go of my thoughts, I feel relieved, refreshed;
The comfort of lightness gives me such ecstatic buoyancy –
A fulfillment that one gets from a drop of water for his thirst
Or a speck of shade for his solace from the sun’s searing heat.

It is God’s will for me to write, as singing is for singers;
His plan is for everyone to have a distinctive role to play –
In a serene world, where dwells a contented bunch of humanity
As each one is foiled to fit a space to ensure a lasting harmony.