Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Move Beyond First Impressions

When I was in college and during my student leader years, I met this fellow student leader. I met her because she’s an organization president just like me then. She has an evenly tanned skin. And her face doesn’t have any pimples. She sports a sort of wash-and-wear type of hair. Once, I watched her in a debating contest (the real debate, not some religious leaders are initiating as a form of “who’s right”). During my undergraduate days at Adamson University, she’s known because she’s a very active and VOCAL organization president (during those times, I am more of an action guy, rather than a talker during my organization days). Man, I can say she’s good. She’s active. In other words, she’s popular. I have to admit; I find her interesting. I subliminally decided not to ask her out or strike even a friendly conversation. Whenever there’s a chance to chat with her, it’s more organization. I admit; I got intimidated by her status. I felt at that time that she’ll not have a conversation with a guy who likes math, crossword, sci-fi, comedy. After all, unlike right now, geeks are cool (thanks to CSI , BONES, Eureka, Criminal Minds, and more recently, the movie Tron Legacy).

Years later, around 6 years later, I got a chance to chat and go out with her. Like typical alumni, we refreshed those times. Then, out of nowhere, I said “you know what? Back then, I’m interested to talk to you, but I don’t want to have a longer conversation with you.” She asked me why. I answered, “I was quite shy and I was kind of intimidated because you’re well-known.” She answered back, “really? The feeling is mutual. I’m also interested but I was also kind of intimidated.” That day ended with laughter and renewed friendship. As of this writing, she’s now in a serious, yet happy relationship…just like me.

6 long years of wrong assumptions. I thought of these things to her and she thought the same things to me. The bottom line: back then, we’re both interested. THE LESSON: MOVE BEYOND FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

Because of that learning experience, I decided to take calculated risks on approaching people and saying what I truly feel. This is also the reason why I’m with Amie right now: I made a calculated of approaching her.

This also applies in meeting new people. We are not omniscient beings. In meeting new people, we have no choice but to take the risks. The Bible only reminded us to be cautious and only avoid if in doubtful situations; the Bible didn’t tell us to be antisocial.

We tend to live and die on first impressions. It’s a natural tendency. Reasons vary why tend to live and die on first impressions. We don’t want to look stupid at the end of the day when it’s proven that the person is a manipulative freak. We judge because of certain behavioral patterns. Some people I know judge because of certain “vibes” (I usually call it “feel factor”). Hence, you’re already shut down before you open your mouth. Other people have previous negative experiences why they don’t want to take the risks. (Note: The reason why these things are not well spoken of is because of the prejudice one will get while saying this.)

This holiday season, why not begin to take calculated risks (allow me to use the word) of interacting? Try to be sociable, friendly, nice, and generous. If you’re not compensated back, let’s face it: God will reward you in some other forms. Again, I hope made sense this holiday season.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Basic Courtesy and Other Stuff for Middle Level to speak (part 2)

(As I have promised, I’ll continue this. Maybe you’ll find it boring, but hey, I’m trying to be a man of my words)

6) Being the middle level manager, you’re not the big boss. Please don’t act like one. Yes, you are given the privilege or you’re promoted. Yes, you may obtained it through hard work (not through nepotism or “whom you know”), but be reminded that there’s someone above you. In fact, even CEOs and Business owners have SOMEONE above them – God.

7) Stick and do your OWN job. Does this mean if you’re a middle level manager, you don’t have any right to call the shots? Yes and No. Yes if the situation in question is not within your jurisdiction. For example, in a private school, if you’re in charge of records, you’ll not meddle with things like marketing, admissions, and the like. Maybe you know the “no” part: you should do you own job. Okay, some disguise meddling as a form of concern, but here’s the meter stick: is your job finished? Let’s go back to the example. If you’re in charge of record keeping, finish your job first before showing your “concern”. One time, there’s a student, who, after one semester, still doesn’t know that her name in school records is different from her actual name. Your head will shake when you found that the one in charge of this matter is meddling with other department’s work, instead of delegating the record keeper’s staff to double check student records. One of the reasons why department heads are put up is because the task is so hard that it takes undivided attention to do the job.

8) Take into consideration the old timers and veterans in your organization. Take their words into consideration. Yes, they can be annoying sometimes because of their, well, advanced age. However, if you want to stay, never mess with the old timers or else, you’ll receive the “sermon and tongue lashing of your life”. Okay, what if these old timers did something wrong? Just stick to your job. If these old timers are of retiring age, and their retirement’s near, just give them a graceful exit, if it’s possible. I think you readers are more intelligent than I do when it comes in handling, well, seniors.

9) Humility is the key…still. Even if you admit it, you didn’t go to that position strictly by yourself. One way or another, people helped you to be there. Why are not we aware of this sometimes? Because the people who helped you don’t keep records.

There you have it. I know you have more things in mind. Still, I hope they have been a good help.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Basic courtesy and other stuff for middle level to speak

I heard the news that a long time middle manager of an organization resigned. The long time middle manager, known for power tripping ways even by department not directly under the person mentioned. That person’s attitude towards fellow coworkers has reached its peak, causing the ire of the ones in top. This person is a college graduate, even entering graduate school from a reputable school.

It really pays to invest on people in simple ways. A basic courtesy of responding to “good morning” will usually make a big difference. No, I’m not an expert on office management or organizational management. After all, even if I am an expert, if a person’s skull is figuratively thick and narrow, this doesn’t matter. Still, I’ll mention it anyway. Basic courtesy (just the basics, not really the “fine dining and diplomatic” courtesy) really matters.

1) Learn to greet back when you’re greeted, EVEN IF YOU DON’T FEEL THE PERSON. This shows not only breeding, but you have basic courtesy. I can still remember Dr. Nilo Rosas, former President of Philippine Normal University. I know in his eyes and in his complexion that he’s red with anger with someone or something. I happened to see him walking. I greeted him “good morning”. He replied with a “good morning” and a nod, despite of his day not being that good. If he can do it, so can we.

2) Never play or trip with power. After all, you’re just a middle level manager; you don’t have that much power…literally. As long as there’s someone higher than you are, you are a middle level manager.

3) Don’t throw your baggage to those under you or supposedly under you. Yes, maybe you’re bullied, tortured, unrecognized, etc, when you were much younger. However, most probably, those under you are not the very same people who treated you unwell. Remember, professionalism doesn’t only mean going to work on time or ahead of time and doing your job the way it is told you. PROFESSIONALISM ALSO MEANS NOT PUTTING YOUR PERSONAL FEELINGS AND PERSONAL BAGGAGE IN THE WAY OF REAL POSITIVE OBJECTIVITY.

4) Get into sports or any physical activities. Doing this releases tension and stress, and even displace those baggage deep within. Don’t believe that working out or going to the gym or playing at least one sport is for vain, narcissistic, and boastful individuals. After all, if you want to displace your anger, it’s better to displace it on things than people.

5) If you happen to work as a human resource head (if you’re not humane, maybe personnel will do he he he he he), be courteous enough if you no longer need the service of a specific person. If a person is working on you as a contractual employee, make sure to inform him/her at least a month ahead. Remember, he/she needs to look for another job; he/she needs time, (especially if the employee happens to be a teacher). If you ever hate the gut of the person, have at least a heart to inform him/her. In addition, give him/her the necessary clearances without hesitation. In that way, you have truly got rid of the person…unless you have pleasure in other people’s misery.

There are more to come…

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

High School back

High school days. Who can ever forget that? One way or another, we will never forget our high school life. For some of you, you’ll never forget the successes that you have either as an athlete, quiz champion, library rat, high school choir or chorale member, etc. For some of you, you’ll never forget how pretty or good looking you are back then. For some of you, you’ll never forget the time you forgot high school life. In our high school days, there are jocks, geeks, and ghost. In my case, I’m a geek. If you are a boastful individual, you don’t want to be labeled in all of the categories I’ve mentioned, so I LABELLED them UNLABELLED ones (please, please, please, don’t be too proud by not wanting to be categorized).

Okay, we’ll not dwell much on these categories. For a working person, high school life is a stage called ‘thing of the past’. Yes it is. Unfortunately, some of us never moved on from their high school life successes or failures. Yes, it’s good to cherish the past memories for us to smile. However, let us remember that we have grown up. Those people who are years junior to you also grew up. This is o longer high school. Welcome to the real world.

This is the very reason why being an alumni officer will be the most uncomfortable thing for me if ever (and I know that, chances are, it will not happen). Why? Universally speaking, we tend to pull down those who are junior or years lower than us. Unless we are broad minded enough, we still think of them as seniors, while these younger ones are juniors worth bullying, ridiculing, etc.

Whatever the case, high school molded us. It gave us learning experience worth learning for, be it good or bad. We may not be the smartest, or the best looking, or the most athletic, but STILL, we have learning experiences worth keeping.

…but today’s the real world. Let’s not use the word “past is past” just because you want someone to shut up; use it in ourselves every time we are tempted to bring back high school attitude. High school may have been rough to you. High school may have been your heydays. I know the feeling. Still, we have to move on. Those who graduated high school years after us have their own lives, just like every one of us. If you happen to see someone junior to you, say something nice; don’t show high school attitude called bullying or that superiority complex you’re itching to do (but never got the chance for one reason or another). We’re grownups; grownups are supposed to be accountable and responsible (or trying to be), and bullying and superiority complex is so lame.

Some people who know me call me childish. I’ll accept that. However, if you’re more mature than I am, you’ll say that these posts really make perfect sense.

To the high school jocks, geeks, beauty queens, hunks, ghosts, and unlabelled ones, may these words don’t sound like a plain angry man (because I’m not). I hope and pray that this will serve as sensible words to each and every one.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Indifferent Audience Effect

We may have seen this a couple of times. No, maybe many times. People acting like intelligent audience and other people are the show. After each of this show, this people, the allegorical audience, will start to mention his or her opinion. It can be praises from these actors and actresses. It can be criticisms, be it constructive or destructive. It can also be superiority effect manifesting by having a sense of indifference towards the proverbial show. Let’s focus on the indifferent metaphorical audience. He watched this figurative show, then after watching, he seemed to mention one thing: I don’t care.

At first glance, you may say that he’s just avoiding rumors, gossips, and just minding his own business. Actually, that angle can be true. After all, it’s not wrong to mind your own business. However, let’s focus a bit on the other side of this coin. There’s a tendency of pride in this type of attitude. Why did we say that? Let’s put it this way: if you are interested with a show, it indirectly means you admire something, or someone, on that show. Since it interests you, you’ll watch the show. An indifferent proverbial audience doesn’t care; he just wanted to watch and see either the protaganist or antagonist manifest his or her flaws.

The ultimate slam? The “i don’t care” look. You know what? It’s better to criticize than to play poker face. Now, putting it on real life situation, if you’re not interested (just a bit) in other people’s life, there’s a chance that you’re not interested to anyone EXCEPT YOURSELF. When that happens, you’re being self centered. And self centeredness is another form of pride. Disinterest and indifference are symptons that you’re implying superiority over others. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you meddle on other people’s life and privacy. I’m just trying to tell that as human beings, it’s normal to be interested on other people and their lives other than yourself. Being interested is an indication that there’s a possibility that you care, but to certain extent.It’s never wrong (on certain extent) to admire actors, be it literal or figurative. It shows that you acknowledge your own imperfections and limitations.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bounce Back

There are times that a Christian is faced one day that his name is marred negatively one way or another. Maybe it’s his fault. He committed sin which was eventually revealed. After all, sin has its way of being revealed, especially those sins that either you are not admitting or you are, well, “taking care of”. Because of this, he will definitely be given a disciplinary action in order to be consistent with the orderliness. On another angle, he might have figured in exaggerated information. These types of information may not be proven or it may be questionable. However, to avoid controversy to spark up, leadership has no choice but to give a disciplinary action to the person involved so that order can be restored. After all, God is the God of order.

The aftermath of certain disciplinary actions is felt by the recipient. However, it is most especially felt by the recipient’s loved ones. “Consequence. Oh, consequence, your life, if left as is, will fall out of sequence.” People who have been the recipient of certain disciplinary actions (especially publicized ones) are having a hard time bouncing back. One of the reasons is the shame it causes to the recipients. Still though, it is part of the consequence one has to experience because he allowed himself to be fooled by none other than Satan (the Biggest LOSER who wanted Christians to be losers). After all, Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden because Satan tricked them. As a result, this type of people typically either not attend the church services or they’ll do so but remain as “background” Christians.

Another consequence is difficulty in going back to ministries that he desires. It can be because he has a sense of pride. After all, your name was marred. It can also be that because of the aftermath, your family and loved ones will discourage you in joining again. This is aggravated when the person wants to go back and be in the ministry. The latter is more difficult than the former. After all, the person formerly given the action wants to go back in his ministries full gear. The spiritual reality is this: despite the understandability of the situation, in Christ’s judgment seat, it is not an excuse that you didn’t serve and follow His will plainly because your loved ones didn’t allow you.

The point? Let us pray dearly to our fellow brethren in Christ who stumbled in certain times of their life, especially those who really wanted to go full gear ahead. If we can be an encouragement, be generous with it. If we can be the person who can drag the “failed ones” to be full gear ahead, let us do so. If we can talk to the failed ones relatives, convince them to finally allowed their “fallen loved one”, LET US DO SO. PROVE TO THEM BY YOUR WORDS AND DEEDS THAT GOING BACK IN GOD’S MINISTRY IS WORTH RETURNING FOR! After all, most of the times in this present generation, God can only prove Himself right through the testimony AND warmth of the brethren. The fact that these believers are still alive proves that God still has purpose on these people. It means He still wants to use these people. Besides, are you certain that you’ll never fail? Failures can happen to anyone.

How about you? Are your testimonies marred and your moral authority lost because of what happened in your life? Are you misunderstood because they don’t know the whole story (it is a rarity when people know the whole story by the way; it’s the reason why as believers we must think first before we judge). Try bouncing back. Keep on serving God! Ministry is never a knock out ball game; it is described Biblically as “THE race that is set before us.” (all caps mine). Yes, it will be hard because after all, we did something wrong. However, it is also wrong to just close your door to God’s vineyard. You accountability never ends with disciplinary actions. In God’s judgment seat, it will never be an excuse that the reason for discontinuing our service is because we failed or your loved ones stopped you to do so.

Maybe some will think of this as retaining certain status symbols or restoring your marred names. It’s not. This is more of the case of “between you and God” alone. Besides, it’s never fashionable and it’s quite immature to blame. In addition, rumor mongers and indifferent ones will just label you BITTER and CHILDISH.

Yes, life must surely go on after our failures, but your life will surely be blessed again if you continue your life serving God.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Douglas McGregor’s Theory and its Affective Relevance to Small Quantity Workplace

I’m more inclined to define organization just as I learned it during the time I was taking my Master’s: a group of people working together towards a common goal. There are people who will disagree with me when I say church can also be considered as an organization. Speaking of which, I wanted to make baseline truth or information to establish my post. The basic elements of organization are there: 1) group of people (human resources), 2) money (financial resources), 3) facility (physical resources), 4) common goal, and 5) certain rulebooks. I’ll not write too much about this; there are many resources discussing about the elements of an Organization.

Let us recall briefly Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Y. To avoid being too academic and lengthy, let us just summarize the difference between these two Theories. In an employees’ perspective, if he’s a Theory X, He’s lazy. He will work when coerced, pushed, and mandated. He will not go beyond what is demanded by his immediate boss. Unless hugely compensated, he’ll not work. Now, if a manager thinks of his employees as a bunch of Theory Xs, he will not trust them. He thinks that employees will only work if coerced, pushed, and mandated. He thinks that employees only work plainly because of money. An employee or an organization member is a Theory Y if he’s self-motivated, ambitious, and able to control himself. If an organization manager thinks of the organization members as Theory Ys, he thinks that each and every member is a valuable. He trusts his employees and assumes that the employees enjoy their work. Again, I’ll not dig into this so much. I just made baseline information. THIS IS THE VERY REASON WHY PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT IS NOW CALLED HUMAN RESOURCE DEPARTMENT. Let’s give credit to Dr. McGregor for that.

Having said this baseline information, let’s move further (not farther). What am I trying to say? HUMAN RESOURCES ARE VALUABLE RESOURCES. Okay, I’m referring to employees and former employees who have sincerely and adequately performed based on clear-headed interpretation of company guidelines (and not the truthfully primaddonas). In small companies, employees must be treated with respect and dignity because whether you like or not, you’ll always cross paths, because the company is quite small. Especially in small companies (let’s say below 120 employees), being courteous enough to contractual employees if their service is no longer needed is a good asset. This means not treating them like commodities. This means doing your best to disregard personal feelings of like or dislike when renewing or not renewing employees (or in case regular employees). Always remember that “feel” factor is never enough. Just because you don’t feel the person doesn’t mean you’ll just throw him or her out. By the way, don’t follow the “I’m just being real” band wagon. Be courteous and professional. Yes, it is the head’s call and prerogative, but the head should always have a heart for employees who did their job well. Give them dignity and respect. Trust in their capacity. Sometimes, giving a certain amount of trust to employees will make wonders to your department. In fact, it will pull down the wall if you give a certain room for trust even to the employee that you don’t like. You don’t have to pretend you like all the employees and your subordinates; all you need is to be professional and courteous enough. Bullying should not have room for a head of department; it will hunt the department, one way or another, no matter how preventive you are.

Yes, Theory Y is just a theory. There are no laws strictly telling you to adhere to this theory (or else it will be called Law Y, not Theory Y). In this day and age when management and administration of various small organizations are marred by complaints and dissatisfaction, it still makes wonders when you treat your employees (be it contractual or regular) with dignity and respect. When you spread that attitude of respect and dignity, respect and dignity will spread very fast. After all, your organization is small.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Organizational Dynamics and its Applicability to Fellowship Settings

In an organization, especially big ones, there is what we call top management. However, most of the times, it doesn’t end there. There are middle management, and, on certain cases, low management. Since I’ve been in three colleges, either as a part time faculty or as a student, let me illustrate this in a tertiary school setting. In a College/University, for example, there is what we call the Board of Regents or Trustees or Directors (depending on the setting of the school). One of the members of the board is the College/University president, and under his/her position is at least 2 Vice Presidents. These are the Top Level management. Then, there goes the Academic Deans and Directors (for non teaching positions. Although there are colleges/universities that use the title “Dean” even in non-academic positions like Student Affairs office). This can be considered as middle level management, depending on what books and references you are reading (and depending on the attitude of people with this position; this is a humor though). Under Academic Deans there are departments. Normally, these departments are programs. For example, there is one Dean of College of Engineering. If the College/University is big, they can have departments like Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Management Engineering, Industrial Engineering, etc. If this is the case, the chairpersons (or heads) assigned in this department are considered Low management. You don’t go directly to the Top Management. For efficiency’s sake, you go to your own department head. If you have problems within your department, it is wise to fix it before it reaches to the next level. This is not cover-up; this is your department chairperson or head DOING HIS JOB WELL.

Sometimes, people go immediately to the top management. To some extent and cases, this is tolerable, especially if what you’ll give to the top management is good news. However, there are people who go straight to the top management as a form of harassment, bullying, and manipulation. I often shook my head when I see and encounter people like this. Honestly, I just hope that this people should never be given any position. If they have one already, I wish they should never have that position in the first place.

Now, let’s move this same principle into another setting: interpersonal relationships inside non-stock, non-profit, non-government organizations. There are problems that can be solved and negotiated internally. No, it’s not compromising. No, it’s not cover up. This is fixing the problems before it can reach the top. It’s sad that there are people who make certain problems soooooo public. Okay, maybe you’ll give Achan as an example. “Achan in the camp” as we put it. Well, Achan’s sin was revealed because God Himself revealed it to Joshua. In addition, the Israelites lost to Ai. No one squealed it.
Recently, I have witnessed a Christian pair broke up their relationship. Guy did something wrong. Guy left the girl. Girl cried. Yes, her unbelieving friends told her to do things like date another guy, get even with the guy, etc. Yes, her unbelieving friends really hate the nerve of the guy. However, girl disagreed. She didn’t do all the things her unbelieving friends strongly advised her to do so. She’s hurt, yet she remained kind. Months later, the guy admitted his faults and asked her forgiveness. No one in her or his circles knows what happened in those previous months. It was fixed. They’re now in each other’s arms again...proverbially.

Yeah, I know. That pair still has a long way to go, but this should still serve as a lesson that we can solve things without going immediately to authority figures. Let’s avoid too much squealing and kissing and telling: if you do just that, you just revealed what character you have as a person. Besides, you’ll just feed the rumor mongers (be it conscious and unconscious rumor mongers) what they wanted; they must never be fed.

We can solve problems without immediately involving authority figures. This is possible only if we have the maturity, the right attitude, and a ready heart to forgive if mistakes were made. Is this cover up? No. This is more of cleaning your house before your neighbors can notice that your house is a mess. Is this bypassing authority figures and not making them “belong”? A big NO! In fact, this is helping authority figures by minimizing their problems by solving your own. Yes, authority figures will be there for you, after all, most of them are fatherly. However, give yourself a sense of dignity and self-respect by trying to solve certain problems yourself first.

Have a good day, my friends and brothers!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

God created us unique

God created us unique from one another. Thus, we can’t strictly compare one person to another, even if they’re identical twins, even if they’re part of a specific family or clan.

On that note, I’ll tell you that I am my own person. Yes, I am similar to my parents or my brother, but I, just like all of us, am unique.

For years, yours truly have struggled to be just like others. Yeah, just like others. In my high school years, I strive to be an athlete, because girls go gaga over athletes. Because of that, I learned how to play basic basketball, but not competitive basketball. After all, I’m an academic guy (not a genius; my IQ’s not even 141). Still though, because of that, I learned the sport. I tried learning the street language…just to be like others (and some Christian students at that time are so proud they know this and that, things like slangs, foul language, etc, looking back, isn’t it humorously sickening). I’m not good in the language and the parliament of the streets, but at least I have learned most of the terminologies. I have tried to blend in. In some extent, I succeeded, but who I am really shows.

Especially during that dark past (2006-2008), I already embraced my uniqueness. Especially during graduate school, I have accepted that I am a geek. This is not boastfulness (as some have put it for years of so-called knowing me); this is acceptance. This is contentment. God made me this way. The wrong things that I’ve done are not justified, but it indicates how I, just like all of us, need God. God gave me the gifts and flaws (physical) that I have right now. I am 5’6”, I am 180 lbs. I am chubby and I have a fat belly. Yes, I can do some gym workout to lose those fats, but for the mean time, this is me. I tend either to stutter or lisp, and so are Rowan Atkinson, Winston Churchill, Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland), Julia Roberts, and Ron Harper. I am hyperactive, and so are Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Bill Cosby, Jim Carrey, and Michael Phelps. My laughter is different; I laugh easily. I felt the ridicule of others on this. I am quite affected by this before, but now? Let me share what I learned: to laugh because someone joked is better than not laugh at all (IT’S AN INSULT TO THE SPEAKER or THE JOKER). To laugh oddly is better than to stab someone’s back and spread gossips and latest inside news (besides, I am a man; I don’t do that). You may outwit me on all of these posts or gave me an indifferent treatment just to prove something, but it’s now irrelevant.

Nope, I’m not lining myself up with the famous people I mentioned. Instead, by accepting my limitations and my weaknesses, I have accepted the other half of me, thus accepting that I am my own person.
If you can’t accept your physical, emotional, and even spiritual limitations, definitely you’ll never accept other people’s limitations. Thus, you will never be an effective teacher. You’ll be a good campaign manager, promoter, but you’ll never be an effective counselor. Worst, you’ll not be a good friend. Why? Rebuke to a friend must be coupled with acceptance. With these statements, I can’t help but think that the more harsh your back stabbings, criticisms are to others’ flaws, the more deep your issues are within yourself (silence is no exception). It’s so deep you want to cover it by talking about others.

My friends and brethren, accept who you are. What you can change, change. If you don’t want it in a hurry, minimize. What you can’t change for now, pray and surrender it to God. If you are eccentric, accept your eccentricities. Accept the geek in you. God made you like that for a reason.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thank God for His Word

Whether we admit or not, we assessed things based on our own personality, preferences, and because of our own selves. For example, if you're a low profile person, your tendency is to proverbially list down things why you don't like talkative people. You will say that people who talk too much are less in actions. You'll say that they're careless. You'll mention quotations like "less talk, less mistake", just to show that being silent IS THE RIGHT THING. Bottom line? You just don't like people who don't talk much, you just found a way to justify your dislike. Yes, when they found a Bible verse to justify their dislike, presto, being talkative per se is wrong. Now, on other side, people hate a silent people because they see it as being hypocrite or having a "nice boy/girl effect". They will add that tongue and the whole mouth was not created just to taste and receive food. When they hear a pastor preaches against either talkativeness or being to silent/shy/timid this, they'll proverbially (or literally) look at the person and say, "that's him/her/them. Either way, isn't it a step or two close to cult-like Biblical interpretation? Isn't it shallow? Worst, we can say that since by doing we didn't go proper inquiry,ISN'T THAT STUPID WHEN WE DO THAT?

These are just few examples that we can truly say that we should thank God for giving us His Word - the Bible. When a person or a group of people or a congregation reads the Bible, everyone is hit! No bullet dodgings. No justifications because of his/her personal background. EVERYONE IS GUILTY (and every good deed is praised, one way or another)...and that is the fun part.

We tend to rebuke a person plainly because we don't like him/her, not because of the context of his/her actions. With God's Word, we are guided. Thus, we should not be dismayed that a preacher we know have not applied his own preaching. It just shows that the Bible is not biased for the preacher preaching that. It is for everyone to hear and read as both rebuke and encouragement.

I hope that I'm making sense, even if this post only took 30 minutes to be conceptualized.

God bless.

I voted

I just voted. It's so good participating in this democratic practice. You saw the news: we are automated. Now, I know you say that the automated system is not good. IBM or "It's better manual" as a veteran professor once said. In my personal experience. I waited for 2-3 hours to vote. I voted for only 3-5 minutes.

Since we gave this automation a try, let's expect that better technologies for elections will come. I just hope that the evil ones don't take advantage of this by making big money out of this. If they do, may God judge take care of them!

Let us consider that this is the first time that the elections will go automated. There are a lots of rooms for improvement. Since the voting places were combined to form ONE voting place, definitely there will be chaos on the first time. Still though, this is no excuse to go disorganized. I do believe that there are people in the COMELEC, and private volunteers who had been proactive prior to this day's election. Still though, good people in the COMELEC are still human beings.

Optimistic? Maybe. Optimism is a good tool in this times pessimistic society.

Let's not blame automation if cheating still takes place. Karen Davila of DZMM and ABS CBN once said that regardless of what system we shall use, if people wanted to cheat, they will find a way to cheat.

Let us watch and be vigilant that our votes be not wasted, regardless of the candidates you voted.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Social, FB y algunas cuestiones vale la pena reflexionar

Facebook es un sitio Web de red SOCIAL. Cada vez que ver y escucha palabras como "social" y "sociedad", se refiere a personas y grupos de personas.

Tengo que ser honesto: facebook es sólo un abridor de tipo. Observación crítica de la presente nota dirá a usted que esto es más que seres sociales (aunque facebook son tocado aquí en algunos puntos).

Ahora, ¿significa por esto que se nos debemos mantener nuestra boca cerrar o poner nuestras manos fuera de los teclados cuando hemos querido expresar la ira, para utilizar códigos a otra persona y examinarlos reír a muerte? Sí y no. Sí, porque como cristianos, nos estamos espera que un epítome de amor, bondad fraterno, cierto grado de tolerancia y si es necesario, el perdón y la capacidad de recuperación. Especialmente si usted es un miembro de una iglesia local, no es una buena vista a porque he aquí cuando ves a hermanos y hermanas que decir palabras, dando códigos (en algunos puntos, es tan gay cuando hacer masculino que, me recuerda de estrella del espectáculo local muestra hahahaha), uno negativo fundas después de un esfuerzo positivo (cínico, verdad?). No, porque el hombre es un ser social, y un ser social HEALTHY mostrará ira (pero en determinadas extensiones sólo) sobre algo en el fin de dar una señal a otro social que él o ella no le gusta ciertas cosas (es equivocada y no saludable si estás nunca enojado; silencio no equiparar bondad y madurez por el camino).

Aún a pesar de que, como cristianos, tenemos que ser un ejemplo de bondad fraterno, en cierta medida de la tolerancia de la personalidad de una persona (e incluso excentricidad o hasta cierto punto sus debilidades), perdón y el optimismo (no encontrar de error). No, no es hipocresía al hacerlo (sinceramente). Es sólo de hipocresía cuando no eres sincero haciendo esas virtudes que he mencionado.

Sí, es difícil hacerlo. Algunas personas son sólo espina en sus lados, incluso si no estás buscando problemas. Algunas personas son stabbers posteriores. Algunas personas simplemente no pueden pasar de sus mal hechos. Algunas personas, debido a sus pasados mal hechos, consideren le no creíble, por tanto, haciendo caso omiso de sus opiniones sobre las cosas. Algunas personas piensan altamente de sí mismos. Algunas personas son tan inconoclastia que hacen a cada persona en un caso de estudio. Al igual que yo, algunas personas simplemente no pueden cerrar arriba (yo soy culpable). A pesar de todas esas cosas, nos recordará que somos cristianos.

No es de extrañar que gran mentes distancian de asociaciones más profundos con la gente cuando se encargó de predicamentos "hacerse cargo" - debido a esto, que sólo arruinará su mente si ponen atención en estas molestias. No es de extrañar William James Sidis, un hombre conocido a tener un coeficiente intelectual de alrededor de 195-200, aislado a sí mismo. Sin embargo, si eres humano, estás social siendo. Ya que usted es un ser social, no tenemos otra opción pero viven a través de esto. Después de todo, si conseguimos a vivir a través de esto, considero decirle, que usted mismo socialmente maduro, independientemente de si eres el tipo silencioso o el tipo hablador. Después de todo, Jesús se fueron a la sinagoga a pesar de saber (es omnisciente) que son el stabbers espaldas y hipócritas allí.

Definitivamente, yo no puedo hacer todo esto (especialmente cuando observó), pero esto espero un abierto recordatorio para todos nosotros (incluido yo mismo). Después de todo, hay una sombra de la verdad del Evangelio en todo esto. Yo soy sólo un hombre guardado por la gracia que no tiene deseo, sino una relación fraternal armoniosa y sincera.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stick to your plan (or similar to that)

Some people are insensitive, inconsiderate, and sometimes manipulative, to the point that they'll mess with other people's schedule so much. Give them a plain, “no, I can't. I'm busy.”, they'll give heart-stumping words, yes, words that will definitely prick your heart. No is such an unacceptable word for them. At the end, who is the end receiver when things go haywire? YOU.

Just a brotherly reminder: not all people who say “no, I can't. I'm busy.” are just making an excuse. Besides, mature people know their priorities, right? In additional, the reason why they're busy is because other people need them or their ability. So please be considerate. Sacrifice, by the way, should be volitional. Pricking someone's heart intentionally is somewhat manipulative.

Yes, it's never wrong to help, to sacrifice, to give things a shot. However, please bear in mind, that at the end, all the consequences of those madness is solely you. For example, if because of your manipulation the person manipulated were fired or caused a gap in significant relationships, do you even have the nerve to defend or even take the cudgels? Most of the time, no. After all,

Even if people who persuaded on decisions will try to defend you out, still, the blame is on you. After all, mature people will and must accept accountability and responsibility for their actions. By the way, I strongly believe that there are only two institutions that I believe need your extra mile effort: family and church. Period. Well, how about government? On certain cases only.

To those who always manipulate people on doing things that at the end will jeopardize their priorities, have a sense of accountability. Don't dodge the bullets when you're blame at. Don't use the “it's your choice. You can leave if you want to” words. You were given a “NO, I'm busy”, yet you didn't accept it anyway. Don't also use the “you still have a choice” words. The fact that you pricked a person's heart wrongly proves that you gave him a choice, but will make him feel guilty, bad, or indifferent (when in fact, it's not).

To those who encountered these situations, please don't judge right away. Consider if you are truly busy or not. When you're truly busy, stick to your schedule. You'll be a good help on a long run when you follow your schedule. When they mess your emotions of thinking that either you're indifferent, bad, etc, let me tell you this: you know yourself better in these situations.

As mature people, we are accountable for our actions. Let's not allow ourselves to be fooled, manipulated, and used by other people to the point that your priorities will be jeopardized. At the end, you'll end up receiving and accpeting the consequences, and those people are scot-free (I admit that sometimes, I just wish they'll receive what is also due them, but we are Christians.) especially if the actions are not for God's glory.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Manipulators and being manipulated part 2

4) Manipulative people will make other people accountable for their own ideas – they will persuade you to do this, give you the guilt if ever you will not do it, and presto, you did it. Then, things went worst, and he or she’s not there to help you. You’ll end up receiving the blame. You’ll end the sole accountable. At the end, you’ll just realize that you did it all wrong. The worst part? The rule book says that you REALLY DID SOMETHING...AND IT IS TRUE. This is the very reason why we should read the fine prints and read between the lines when we’re signing contracts, negotiating, and being advised. Always remember that at the end, you’re responsible for your own actions. Because of that, you must not let other people dictate your own actions. If ever you wanted to take other people’s advices, examine its consequences. There are people who are so good in giving advices that they’re almost dictating you. Still, when you feel that you’re being dictated or the person is trying to manipulate you to take certain actions, JUST LISTEN, but never do it.

5) Manipulative people are good in making you feel or look guilty – They’re good in touching your precious ego. Now, when this happens, DON’T EVER BE GUILTY. People commit mistakes in decision making. By the way, not all seemingly guilty people are truly guilty people. If you feel you’re manipulated to join them in almost all of their gatherings, gives you the unnecessary (especially if it’s not family and church ministry) burden, let me tell you this: you can never save them ALL. What if the person influenced many people to make you look guiltier than the usual? Let them act like mobs and unintelligent beings. After all, they allowed themselves to be fooled. If someone don’t bother to listen to your side, yet they bad mouthed, then they’re plain stupid because listening to both side of the story is one of the BASIC truth seeking tools.

6) When you felt no guilt or not fazed by their antics, manipulative people will do a notch higher. – you are unfazed by his or her antics, until you’re surprised that he or she did something with your stuff or your corporation (if you’re a boss). Even though it’s difficult, always try to be calm when dealing with him. If you wanted to be confrontational, get ready to become the seemingly wrong guy. This is the reason why the term Vox Populi Vox Dei is not all the time right. Besides, you can’t please everybody.

Maybe there are more. Please put your inputs if you have one.

Satan, like I said, is the ultimate manipulator. He had deceived the first human beings, Adam and Eve, in eating the Forbidden fruit. Thus, Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden. Though our ancestors Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden because of their sins, God knows that Satan deceived them. Satan is manipulating people, be it believers and unbelievers, because He is Lake of Fire bound. He is miserable from the time he was kicked out of Heaven, and misery loves company. He is the ultimate loser.

Applying it in human terms, manipulative people are highly insecure people. They needed someone to control because without them, they’re lonely and sad individuals. This is the reason why most of the time, they’re not tough enough to do self-depreciating jokes. They needed a “yes man” or “yes woman”. Never argue with them. Instead, talk to them in the calmest way possible. Look them straight to the eye. Try not to be angry, nervous, and reclusive. Manipulative people love to see people on their toes. Despite their deceptions, their actions will eventually be revealed. Those who were deceived will either apologize to you All of these examples don’t automatically mean that when a person is like number 5 or 6, he is manipulative. It is only an aid. I maybe wrong on certain points.

Hope this one is a good help.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Manipulators and being manipulated part 1

Manipulators. They are everywhere. These types of people are in school, work, politics, and sad to say, church. Being manipulated at some point of your life doesn’t exempt you as a candidate of manipulative character.

How can manipulative people be traced? Is there a fool proof, text book way of knowing who they are? Sad to say, no. After all, manipulative people will try to act as if they’re not in the best way they can. Most of the time, you’ll find it too late that you were manipulated. Sad to say, at the end of the day, you’ll end up being blamed or blaming yourself. After all, manipulative people don’t have a sense of accountability.

What are the signs? Like I said, there’s no fool proof, text book way of knowing. However, personal experience, second person and third person accounts can be of good help. Still though, like I said, this is no textbook, these are just “experiential ideas” (if there’s no term like this, consider this term as invented), and some things to do. This is not fool proof. After all, manipulative people can be reading this and do something to make their crafts better. Still, I hope this is of good help.

(Note: the masculine pronouns that pertain to this topic [manipulative person] don’t indicate that ONLY GUYS ARE MANIPULATIVE. It is collective, manipulative people can be either male or female.)

1) Manipulative people wanted to take charge, one way or another. Yes, they’re usually in charge. No, I’m not talking about being in position. I’m talking about being in charge. Yes, you may have the position, but you will feel their presence. If you happen to be a leader and you have a partner who is dictating your leadership moves, you are being manipulated. Yes, you decided, but the manipulative person who disagrees will make you feel that your actions will cost you dearly. The divide-and-conquer person fits the profile of a manipulative person.

2) Manipulative person usually kindles egos. You are a dedicated Christian guy, and you wanted to stay virgin or abstained from sex until you get married. Here’s manipulative girl. She’ll say to you, “you’re not man enough” or “you’re gay”. She’ll force you to decide what you think is not the best decision (but only best for that manipulative person). If you’re unfazed, you’ll be given a statement that will definitely touch a man’s ego: “you have no bone”/”you’re not man enough” Don’t bite! After all, there are other ways that you can prove that you’re man enough, and doing uncalculated leadership decisions dictated by manipulative woman is not one of them. Women like that know how to get out without her being guilty about this. Sometimes, she can make you shoulder all the blame and receive the punishment (my personal experience is a proof of that). In this situation, at some point you might feel the guilt. Don’t let that guilt bother you very much.

3) Manipulative person will definitely avoid accountabilities. Yes, they are. They’ll make other people accountable for their actions. The hard part is, the person being blamed was also manipulated to do the action. I believe some convicts were just manipulated to do the action. Still though, they’re in jail because they’ve done the deed, and the manipulative person is scot-free.

(To be continued)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ang Ladlad was nodded (part 2)

First my disclaimers:

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not homophobic in the strictest sense of the word (I don’t have an irrational fear for homosexuals or gays). I’ve worked in two schools (aside being a volunteer in a Christian school), one public high school and one college. In that public high school, I have one bisexual coworker in the department that I belonged. In that school, I have 3 other gay co-teachers. In college, I have two gay co-faculty members. They themselves can attest that I have been respectful to them the way I’m respectful with other faculty members and administrators. I’ve always been in good terms with gay people. After all, contrary to the popular belief, not all Baptist churches make fun of LGBTs, especially in their short comedy sketches. In our own church and Christian, it is a no-no to make jokes regarding gay people. No, not because they’re gay, but because they’re human beings. Bluntly, I’m not pro-gay, but I’m pro-God, pro-family, and pro-humanity. In other words, I respect them not for being gay, but because they’re human beings.

Now, let’s continue:

“It stressed that Ang Ladlad has satisfied all legal requirements to qualify as a party-list organization under Republic Act 7941 (Party-list System Act), including ‘proofs of past subordination or discrimination suffered by the group, immutable or distinguishing characteristic, attribute or experience that define them as a discrete group, and present political or economic powerlessness.’”

That’s an excerpt from this article. Now, let’s focus on the words discrete group, political and economic powerlessness.

Discrete group – I do believe that there are LGBTs who are discrete. In graduate school, I know gay graduate professors who dress in a corporate fashion, not in a loud, glam look. Yes, they even excel (one of them is my favorite professor by the way). In fact, I never saw any gay graduate professors in our University who dress loud. This shows their being discrete. Patricia Evangelista in one of her articles implied that the host of “The Explainer” Manolo Quezon is gay. He wore corporate outfits every show. He’s discrete. My point? There are gays that are discrete, there are gays that are not.
Political powerlessness – I don’t know if there’s any study correlating homosexuality and politics (some of you may find it funny), but personally, being gay doesn’t equate political powerlessness.

Economic powerlessness – I disagree. More often than not, you’ll see a working gay, be it in parlors, comedy bars, entertainment, schools, offices. Yes, some may say that they do that because if they don’t have money, they’ll not get guys or gals (in case of female bisexuals and lesbians), but the point is that an unemployed gay is a rarity. Thus, LGBTs are not economically powerless. Okay, let’s make this a notch higher. Maybe some will say that gays have no economic influence on stock markets (I don’t know), now here’s the thing: I am a straight guy, and I don’t have any shares of stocks. This

These are only my opinions. I’m not a lawyer. I’m a mathematician. I’m not a political analysts or political scientists. I’m just a blogger. I do believe that there are stronger opinions than I have. They may even back it up with book smarts. Still though, this is only my opinion. You can attest my political correctness on this one, especially on LGBTs. At the end, we have no choice but to respect the Supreme Court’s decision. However, in the spirit of democracy, I will not vote for Ang Ladlad. I respected them in the way I can, please respect my choice. As a Christian Baptist, my reason is obvious.

Ang Ladlad was nodded (part 1)

I just read the article (late) that ANG LADLAD was given the nod by the supreme court.

Okay...we can't do something about it. When I read the article, it seems the supreme court has a convincing reasons why they gave them the nod.

Okay, we'll give the respect due them.

However, this is freedom of expression. Thus, i will tell you that i am against this decision. Don't get me wrong. I'm not homophobic. Still, we cant do something about it.

Pero for me, they're discrete, but not underrepresented, and they're not economically powerless.
And when i said this, I am not discriminating.

If it does, then i will tell the countless persecutions the early Baptist preachers and even modern day Baptist preachers are getting. Just for the God's Word to be spread.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tolerance and Spiritual Family

If you’re a church goer, definitely you’ll hear the word brother, sister, and brethren. After all, John 1:12 have mentioned that those who received Jesus Christ were given power to become the sons of God (even to them that believe on His name). Since our fellow believers are considered our spiritual brothers/sisters, one will never take away these words: spiritual family. Once a person admitted his sins and repented from them, and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, he became part of the family of God.

Now, let’s focus on the word “family”. Let’s put this in our biological family. Typically, and especially for single guys and gals, our family’s house is also our house (There are single guys and gals who decided to move out, but that’s another story. Let’s not be foolish on that one if you know what I mean. I know you’re better than that if you’re ever planning of doing so). Normally, you’ll not be arrested for trespassing once you entered in your own house. After all, you’re part of that family, so their house is your house.

In a real world, some typical families will have what we call “black sheep”. He’s the one who is giving his family one headache after the other (with varying degrees). However, despite that black sheep’s shortcoming, we’ll accept him with open arms. Yes, we’ll definitely get angry, but we’ll definitely help him to get out of the mess that he made. Love and the “we-have-no-choice” principle will definitely take its place. In spite of our biological brother’s shortcoming, we have no choice but help him bounce back. Oh yes, you may say that there came to a point that you gave up, but the point is the reason why you gave up is because you helped him numerous times BEFORE because BECAUSE HE’S YOUR BROTHER.

A typical family will deal delicate matters privately. When a family member committed something wrong (unwanted pregnancy, drug dependency, alcoholism, etc), either one of two things will happen: either you rebuke or remind that family member, then try to help him get out or solve the mess OR you’ll cover up every bad deed to the point that you’ll talk to the offended party. Since you’re a family member, you’ll do your best to negotiate.

A typical family has a set of rules that, once it’s not followed, will be either warned or be given discipline. The father or mother will impose it on a family that did something wrong. However, a loving father/mother doesn’t desire to spank or “ground” or deprive things from his kid because he did something wrong (like a crazy person). However, because a family member did something wrong, the father or mother has no choice but to do it in order for his children to have a positive direction.


Now, what about spiritual family? Why we’re so sensitive in a brother’s style of jokes or how he led the song in the church while you’re more tolerant with your unbelieving/chosen sets of friends, despite their bad joke? Why so quick the judgment? Haven’t you realized that it’s shallow? Oh yes, we can hide it under the guise of “open rebuke”. We can say that we need to implement things. Still, the bottomline? You plainly don’t like the person. You never treated him as family, though you’re both part of the spiritual family.

Let’s set aside the words “different levels of spiritual maturity” as justification for awhile.

We tend to set the level of tolerance to our spiritual brethren so low, especially if we don’t like the person, but set the level of rules so high to them. We expect too much to our spiritual family. In my personal opinion, if you really treat him as part of the family, yes, there are house rules, but our tolerance must be there.

For Christian single guys and gals, we tend to set so many rules and expectations that, when this was not met, will accuse those Christian guys and gals words like “cheater”, “playboy”, “”two-timer”, “user”. We’ll start to generalize especially Christian guys and begin to think that there are unbelievers who are nicer than them (lame argument). The ironic part is this: more often than not, we never throw those same words to our unbelieving friends. We tend to just let pass our unbelieving friends’ blunders, yet cannot move on when a fellow brother committed sins (worst, you were not directly affected at times).

Many times, we misused the verse “open rebuke is better than secret love” if we wanted to rebuke a fellow church member that we dislike, hiding it under the cloak “open rebuke”. (Note: A person, especially the old timers, should not forget that the sentence construction of that verse is comparative by nature. That verse is never ever applicable if you never love or like that fellow church member in the first place. Thus, the next time you wanted to rebuke a fellow church member that you dislike, think twice before using that Bible verse. Rebuking someone out of dislike or hatred to the person itself and not because you wanted to help IS SO WRONG AND IS WORTHY OF OPEN REBUKE ITSELF).

Yes, there are many opinions, strong answers regarding this one. It may be a strong agreement or a strong disagreement. It may be on a theological standpoint, it may be on the grammatical or textual viewpoint. When this post is either agreed or disagreed, liked or unliked (is there a word, I forgot my grammar or vocabulary), the post’s objective was fulfilled. Reaction or reply is a sign that we still think things through…that we still think.

Still, at the end of the day, I hope that this post will make us think through regarding the words “brother”, “sister”, “brethren”, and “spiritual brother/sister/family”. This is never meant to insist, but is meant to make a fellow brother and sister think through.

Thank you very much for reading.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A truly busy person

Stereotypically, in an office setting, we see a busy person with papers on his desk, left and right. He’s sitting, not talking to anyone, because he is busy. Is it right? Yes AND no. Yes, he can be busy. No, he is just maybe killing his time, making himself look busy for varied reasons. In a school setting, we’ll see a teacher’s desk, grade sheets, class records, forms, students’ project etc. Name it. It’s on his desk. Mr./Ms. Teacher is busy right? Yes and No. Yes, he made himself busy. School nowadays are busier not only for the students (so they say), but also for the teachers. No, he is not truly busy. There are times that teachers avoid being delegated added tasks/chores by his immediate superior (department chairman) or by the principal/dean himself. With due respect, this is usually common with some seasoned teachers. Trust me. I was an elementary and high school teacher and I am a professor right as of this moment.

A truly busy person will take time to clean and organize his desk when there’s a time to do so. Why? Because he knows that if he has a bad desk and a disorganized drawer, it will consume extra time. However, if his drawer and desk is neat, he will have shorter time to look for the things that he need.

A truly busy person is not a fault finder or a perennial critic. Why did we say so? Because He’s busy; he has no time to find faults. After all, he’s preoccupied. Example: try to take a look at the person that you dislike from a distance. You may tell things against him. How many seconds or minutes did you consume? For those self righteous out there, maybe you’ll say, “Hmp. Next topic please”. Don’t you know that you already consumed 1.37 seconds just by saying that? (By the way, it will only take less of a second by greeting someone, “Good morning, sir/ma’am”) Still guilty as hell!

A truly busy person will not say outright, “I AM BUSY!” He’ll only say it when pressed upon. He’ll only say it after looking thoroughly checking his schedule. We know of Christians who, despite of their busy schedule, still has time to serve God in the ministry. Truly busy because for God’s glory...and for men. Usually, when you notice these ministers, they can still manage to smile. They still have time to humor the people they know. He knows that he needs that positive outlook in order to sustain his energy because of a busy week ahead.

A truly busy person definitely has no time for gossips. We find it very funny how teachers/coworkers/employees will gather together when talking about certain issues (worst, other people) that is usually 15-30 minutes (or even more depending on their break time), but is nowhere to be found when the poor Principal/Immediate head/dean will give them the task (who is the end receiver? The kindhearted ones! SHAME ON YOU, RUMOR MONGERS and FAULT FINDERS!). He has no time for gossips. PERIOD. There are times we’ll only say the words, “oh my, we have no time for gossips” because we already heard the gossip or we don’t like the person spreading the gossip or the gossip is all about us. STILL, SHAME ON YOU! A busy person has no time for gossip. Period.

The next time we used the words, “I am busy.”, prove that you’re really busy. Don’t say it just because you’re making an alibi. Don’t say it because you’re merely snubbing a person. Prove that you really are.

These are only opinions. This is not the Bible. This is experiential and testimonial. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Unasked Questions...Unsaid Statements

I have questions in my head. Many. I have statements in my head. Many. The word “many” may not be as many as those smart guys out there, but I do sure it’s not few. I have ideas. I don’t know if it’s crazy or intelligent. Although there are times that they’re nonsense but still, those are ideas.

The problem is how to verbalize this idea. This problem is followed by another problem: I can’t formulate thought provoking questions. It was said that Socrates know this one well. God gave wisdom to Biblical people like Apostles Paul, Peter, John, and of course, who can forget Solomon, dubbed by Bible readers as the wisest who lived on earth (and I agree). Yes, I can ask questions, but only PROVOKING questions (I hope you get the innuendo), not THOUGHT-provoking questions.

There are times that I will withhold the questions in the head. It’s like, “something’s not right. I think it’s...” However, because I don’t want to be an offense especially to the brethren, I will, as the Bible puts it, “hold my peace”. There are times that I have ideas, but because I don’t want to be “accused” (yes, that word) of “weird”, I will not verbally share my ideas.

Because of this practice, as years go by, I find it hard to ask questions and to verbally share ideas (I maybe talkative, but when it comes to ideas, I feel that I am not voicing it out efficiently). Because I find it hard to ask questions, it follows that I can give thought and idea provoking questions. After all, when you often ask questions, you practiced the art of doing it. Once you have a good grasp of questions, you can ask the right set of questions. By asking the right set of questions, the person being asked will find it hard to bluff. In other words, by not practicing the art of questioning and verbally sharing ideas, it made asking and sharing ideas difficult.

Because of this, there are times that I will only find out that the ideas in my head are either right or it makes sense. Normally, I will regret not mentioning the idea or not asking the questions. It’s like, “it’s all in my head, why did I not mention or did ask about it?”

That’s why last year, I started to ask questions, even if it’s nonsense. After all, by doing so, I think that I’m practicing it. About verbalizing my ideas further, I think I should a bit bolder by now.
The point of this post is neither to rebel/question authorities nor rudely supersedes the authority’s ideas. The point of this post is try to ask questions in situations that require it. Give ideas. Ask questions (but please try to ask it politely if possible). What if you ask the wrong questions and said the wrong ideas? It’s just normal. However, that doesn’t mean that we should keep our mouth shut for asking questions and verbally giving ideas just because we committed stupid or not-so-stupid mistakes.

I hope that I’m making sense I?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Two choice, not by necessity

I am holding two jobs, one in the office, and one as a part time faculty in a college. It is tiring. Not only that, there are times the schedules of both are conflicting. I do office on a full time basis, and, like I said, I teach on a part time basis. I teach Statistics and Economics. Not only that, when the school has a major event, I am usually tapped to help them. Being the lone Mathematician, I am assigned as a Statistician on undergraduate theses. Also, when seminars are held, I do the statistics of the survey questions that were being passed after the talks.
I do teaching just to keep me sane. Like Dr. Onofre Pagsanjan of Ateneo once said on national television, “If I don’t teach, I will die.” I do office to keep me in reality check. I do teaching because I wanted to express my opinions and ideas (it’s another story if those opinions and ideas are crazy or intelligent). Because of my schedule, I can no longer do full time teaching. (The very reason why I wanted to finish my doctoral is for me to have a wider selection of schools and schedule in order to have more time with my family, loved ones and church. Graduate students all know that most Graduate professors appear in school only during either weeknights or weekends).

It’s a conscious choice on my part to be busy. I followed my Mom’s advice to have another job in order for me to use this energy, instead of just mere hanging out. It’s a conscious choice to be busy. This is a good way of avoiding any issues. It keeps from indulging in gossips and senseless crab mentalities (although there are people who will say that they don’t need to be busy just to avoid joining in gossips. It’s like implying that they’re that good. I think that THEY ARE TOO PROUD every time they say that!)

During Saturday, Amie, who is from Cavite, and I will have our date. After our date, I will drive Amie to her house in Cavite. I usually come home very late. Because of this schedule, I am usually sleepy when attending the church, especially during the morning service. This is the reason why, despite of occasional added expenses on gas, I went home and sleep for about 30 minutes or an hour. Occasionally, I am assigned to be the song leader, which I also love doing (since it’s one of my first ministries).

Despite of this busy schedule, I can still talk to fellow believers. I can still smile, greet, and briefly chat (even at times long conversation) with both co-members and visitors.

On the other side of the coin, it is quite sad that there are believers that have no time to be warm to fellow believers. They’re too busy? I have told you my schedule. They’re not friendly? Well, I don’t say they must force themselves to be friendly. If they can’t be friendly, they can just be warm and nice. Individual differences? That’s more like it. You may have justified or have opinions why there believers who are like that. I will accept it, but I hope you also accept mine.

Why am I saying these things? Just like normal Christian professionals, I also have a schedule to keep. God may have given me the privilege on certain blessings, but it’s a privilege. We still need the wisdom, strength, and time to manage it. It is by God’s grace why, at the end of the day, the whole week is fine. People who say that I was “born with a silver spoon” (nice one, but it’s a wrong metaphor) and they’re too busy (and they BADLY NEED IT, unlike me allegedly who chose to be busy) to do such stuff are just too proud to admit that they’re wrong on this area.
My point? It is a conscious decision on my part for me to be busy. However, it is also a conscious decision on my part to still be approachable, friendly, and warm. If I look intimadating, you are looking at the wrong direction and with a wrong attitude. It also a conscious decision on my part to take time to listen or have a conversation with a friend/s/co-members. Now, modesty aside (for people who call this boastful), I have proven that one can be busy as a professional, but still be friendly inside the church. Reasons why you’re being a snub are all lame excuses, and having a defender/s is another way of saying, “come on, let’s justify this wrong thing”. Either admit that you’re really a snob and talk only to selected few or admit that you don’t “feel” the person.

God will always give someone the strength to be warm to fellow believers despite the hectic schedule. Why will Paul mention to be kind and tender hearted to fellow believers if we can’t do it in the first place? Why will Paul mention not to forsake the assembling of ourselves (assembly – “a meeting TOGETHER of parts”) together? We can be busy and warm. We can do it not through sheer will power (but it will help), but, most especially, by God’s grace. Just like being filled with the Holy Spirit, it is also our choice if we’ll God to work in our life in this area of Christian living.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Did and Doing My Part

Every time the lights are turned off, people went out. People go down. People talking with people. I watch. I watch them sitting down. I watch them while standing. I gave my smile. I nodded, greeted, even shook their hands. I gave them the humor, without knowing whether it is funny or not. I waited till the last person is out, or almost the last person is out. I missed the times, but still, time will not stop just because I missed the times.

With bluntness (and I don’t know if there’s that kind of word anyway), I wanted to say is this: I have done my part. It will never be my fault after this. After this, I am no longer accountable on this part of my humanity. Nobody can say that the reason I don’t have one is because I never ask one. I have done my part. The boastfulness that was called and hurled upon me is only absurdity and is preposterous (as if both words have very different meaning). After all, only the person who lifts other people’s chair has only the right to say if a person lifts up his own chair.

Still, I will go when the lights are on, sing when the stage is set, go out when the lights are off, try to wait for the last person to go out. I have no choice. To walk out is to admit what I am not. To go out before the lights are off is so not me. It is not meant to be. It should not be. As David at Ziklag. Paul at the prison. Moving out to go and find another stage must not be the first option.

Friends and brethren, it is indeed true that a believer’s labor is not in vain in the Lord. However, it is also true that one should not withhold credit to someone whom you think deserve it. Every brethren deserves a tap on the back, regardless of his situation. We are never blameless for every brethren that fell and went out.

One way or another, we contributed to the ridicule...or indifference...or “snobbishness”... After all, when you’re at home, will you go out? I’m not passing the blame. Just giving you the other side of the coin to think about...if you have time to think.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Church’s men, the loving your own, and the tales

Note: universal concern, not specific

Not to be sexist, but in the church, men has a significant role. After all, when worse comes to worst, it is the men that are held accountable for, especially on the married level. There are a lot of expectations if you happened to be a member of the male gender. Whether feminists will admit this or not, but still this is true: one reason why they wanted equality is partially because men didn’t meet their...expectations ( the “what a man must be” thing). More and more men, they say, are being irresponsible. Just look of numerous men that, when they got a woman pregnant, left the woman pregnant and alone (still though, stories like this must not be automatically believed at ala-“auto pilot”. Proofs must be presented. Both sides must be heard. When you have no time for such investigations, then you should not also take time to assume who did it...but that’s another story).

These angst by the womankind is understandable. However, is it enough to belittle and demasculate men? To be specific, is it enough reason to generalize men and spread the word to other womankind that “men here are like this and that”? With no apology, I will say “NO”. After all, there are women who manipulates to make an event or events happen. There are women who used men for their own gain. There are women who, after you were used, you’ll be blamed in almost everything that is wrong, though those types of women manipulated their men to do so. Still, do we men have all the right to generalize and to say that women are like this and that WITHOUT RECEIVING ANY NEGATIVE and SOMETIMES VIOLENT REACTIONS? No...because we are men. Let us accept the fact that only Mary experienced to have a Child though she’s a virgin. This means, you are here because of one woman AND ONE MAN.

Putting it in the ecclesiastical setting, men have tremendous responsibilities in the church. Sad as it may seem, there are times that men are less appreciated. Not only men are less appreciated, but some women tend to say that men in their church are not good. They accuse that men in their church, single men to be exact, are like this and that. That they are immature. That they are not gentlemen. Worst, that they are bunch of...playboys. Now, here is the danger for thinking that way with men: to add to the injury, when there are newcomers, women are, well “oriented” with how their men “behaves”, “thinks”, and that their men are “no good”. Now, again, let me tell you that we are not tolerating sins. All we are saying is that we must be tolerant enough with our fellow brethren. Give them time to improve. Each of us have different struggles. Telling other people that the male members of your own church are not so good is like destroying your own. At the end, you destroyed your own self. It’s like family. Will you divulge your siblings’ dark secrets? I doubt if you will do, especially if you love them so much. You don’t call your male co-members “brother” for nothing. By the way, let us also remember that by hitting the male species, you are hitting your own father, brother, uncle, and every male species that you cherish and value. There is no “not all” jargon please.

Well, maybe you’ll ask, “how’s your men in the church?” Well, as for my fellow male brethren, I can say personally that most have a sense of maturity in their heads. After all, maturity can be seen on how they handle their ministry and their own jobs. Besides, being mature and being wacky are two different entities not to be inter-twined with each other. Another thing, real saved individuals have a sense of optimism: it also includes optimism that whatever the male species did, they will bounce back if they are truly saved.

By the way, it will be of good help if we stop taking the telenovelas, the love story pocket books too seriously. One way or another, when taken seriously, they give you wrong perspectives on men.

Men that are truly saved and are serving God one way or another are not your enemies. They are not all weaknesses. They are good friends, able to work hand-in-hand. After all, there are so many things needed to be done.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Do rules seem to change when you're in the picture?

Have you felt that at times, the unwritten rules of a situation’s game seem to change when you come into the picture? It’s like the rules are this and that, then, the rules don’t apply to you? It’s quite unfair, isn’t it?
It’s like these situations:

1) You’ve tasted the teeth of those rules, because, well, it needs to be done. It was said that it’s needed to be followed, to restore order, to avoid “further damages”. You nodded your head on approval, despite being painful. It was done quick and clean. Then, suddenly, in some circumstances, that same stuff can’t be done on other circumstances. It’s unfair, isn’t it?

2) You were taught that you’ll get more friends by being careful with your choice of words. When you’re heard speaking foul languages or curses, you’re motivated (nice word) by receiving these words (maybe not exact, but quite similar): “you’ll have lesser friends if you talk that way”. Then, you heard other people use foul languages. Here you are, trying to be as nice and approachable as possible, but Mr./Ms./Mrs. Foul-mouth had all the fun and…friends.

3) You saw someone did this; he/she was understood. You did the very same thing, not only you were not tolerated, but was also to your conscience.

4) You were taught to wear proper “dress code” to be acceptable. Just look at the fashionistas, and tell me who is more cool and acceptable, even in church circles (sometimes).

Yeah right, maybe there are situations much more serious than these, but the point is this: we felt that rules change once you come into picture. Unfair, isn’t it? What makes this more unfair is this: when you mention these words, you’ll be pricked to your ego or hearts. You’ll be preached that it is wrong to think such. You’ll be called sensitive, chicken, cry baby, etc. You can also be IGNORED. After all, to receive apathy is more cruel than being hated. The ultimate words? “there are more people who have bigger problems as you are” OR “SHUT UP!”.

No, it should not be said that this post is to reprove, rebuke, or correct. In fact, the feeling that you’re treated unfairly is normal.

Think deeper. We’re billions. It was said that God deals with us individually. Why? We have individual differences. We are unique. Besides, one way or another, you have benefited from your advantages. What is advantageous to you can be unfair to others. Besides, you don’t know what is going on with that person. It’s like some people always win on a raffle draws (not the gambling one, you know what I mean). Why? Maybe they need these things.

I believe that God has his own equations. Looking it in your VERY OWN experience, you’ll feel that life has been unfair to you. However, looking at the WHOLE PICTURE, you’ll notice that God is still fair. I don’t know the theology on this or if this is acceptable and I hope that that will not sound New Age. Looking at the bigger picture, God has been fair to each and every one of us. We’re just sometimes too selfish and self-centered.

Besides, if we truly believe that each human being is unique, then it’s unwise to compare yourself with others, when it comes to what we receive in life. The next time we felt being treated “unfairly”, let’s just think that God is dealing with each of us in a way not the same from others. Let’s just think that in the bigger picture, God has been fair to mankind. After all, even if we don’t think in this manner, it’s the truth that God is fair. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Corny or Funny? Your pick

Note: all mentioning-of-former-positions here are for factual purposes and the writer’s love for details, not for bragging purposes. Remember, sometimes, the more you think of other people being proud, the more you are becoming proud.
I started doing public speaking as early as 12 years old. I started speaking in front as a youth leader when I was 19. I started preaching at churches (I am with utmost gratitude to God and to the Pastors of these churches for giving me that privilege) when I was around 20 or 21 (and is “at rest” on this since January 1, 2009). I started teaching as a professional teacher when I was 22. I started conducting lectures and talks OUTSIDE school premises and churches when I was 28. All in all, my experience as a public speaker is around 17 years. 17 years? Wow. I’m thankful to God for that. I just realized now that I am a veteran public speaker, although I still have my lapses (lots of them). In my 17 years of experience as public speaker, I believe that a good sense of humor, aside from grabbing the crowd’s attention, has its significant place. Especially in Baptist churches, most, if not all, wanted the guest preacher/pastor or their resident preacher/pastor to throw a joke or two or more in their sermons. Because of this, Pastors will usually say, “I hope you remember the message, not only the jokes”.
In my experience as a public speaker, there are specific groups that I intentionally and unintentionally made laugh. I used to be a youth president in the Adoptive Church (November 2006 – December 2008). One thing I miss there is they laugh in my given jokes almost every time I speak (any normal human being will appreciate that). They appreciate humor very well, even if it’s corny! On the other side, there are crowds that consider my jokes not funny or corny. To add to the injury, they will not only consider it not funny when you deliver it, they will share the same joke to others. When they received a positive response (i.e, laughing), that joke is consider theirs. Good thing jokes are not patented. Sometimes, I can’t help but think that maybe this crowd has been given so many jokes that they started to be numb. In addition, I can’t help but think that maybe there are crowds that I will never click…humor-wise.

When are jokes corny? When they are politically incorrect? When they degrade or insult specific sectors like the elderly, the feminist groups, religious groups, and others? When they discriminate race and sexual orientation? When they insult other people? Honestly, these “guidelines” can be bent when people like you. I hate cuss, curse words, the f-word and the P and I word, and so do most people I know. However, these unwritten rules are bent when you hear people laughing on other people when they hear rapid fire curses. Tragically, when you do the same, well, I don’t know if you’ll live the next day having them still as your “friend” (sic).
When is it funny? In the first place, is there a text book guideline on how to make someone or a group or groups of people laugh at your punch line? Yes…there are books and tips you can find. However, if you follow them by heart, will it guarantee 100% that they will laugh? Surely, the answer is no.

I know there are numerous opinions on this. Opinions shaped by experience. Opinions shaped by the dislike to the person writing this post. Opinions shaped by their appreciation to this writer or this post. Opinions shaped by their own experiences. Opinions shaped by different variables (English majors, is that one redundant?).

Nobody has the monopoly of laughter and the tag “nice joke”. Nobody. There’s a thin line between being corny and being funny, and that line is sometimes crooked and hazy. Sometimes, it’s not even a straight line; it’s dotted. Don’t blame it all to the speakers why they are “corny”. We have nothing to blame but ourselves.

Now, it is safe to say that a joke is funny when you and your crowd have a good chemistry. When the crowd likes you, laughter (or a grin) will pour in. Therefore, as a public speaker, it is really good to talk warmly and sincerely to the crowd before your speaking engagement/lecture proper.

Corny or funny? Take your pick. However, I assure you that it’s not ONLY the humor per se why you consider a joke funny or corny. It depends on who you are.
Have a nice day, my friends.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Are you proud that badmouthed an authority figure?

Just recently, I saw on television how Rosanna Roces made a negative remark on teachers. Actually, it was not a negative remark about teachers themselves. It is on how she badmouthed some of her teachers when she’s still studying.

Okay, let’s be fair enough. Maybe Rosanna Roces did it for the sake of creating a punch line. Maybe she is just trying to level up with another celebrity (Vice Ganda) humor-wise. After all, Vice Ganda is known for his “Filipino comedy bar” type of humor (so far, as for me, he’s still politically correct). Maybe she’s just carried away by her emotion. However, since she’s a public figure and she did it around late morning – early afternoon period (in which shows are expected to be as wholesome as possible [yeah right, wholesome, thanks to classical conditioning, just look at the dancers, but that’s another story]), the ABS-CBN policed their own by doing something about it. Then, MTRCB suspended the show SHOWTIME. Again, it’s another story...and it’s not my topic.

Here’s another angle that yours truly wanted you to ponder (if you care): let’s be introspective on the words BEING PROUD OF BAD DEEDS. For humor’s sake, Rosanna Roces said that she badmouthed some of her teachers for not teaching her well. When I heard those statements, it reminded of something: how some people feel so proud when they did something to the people in authority. Maybe all of you have encountered people that will say, “That celebrity? Hmp. Back in school, we used to bully him/her.” Or “That famous person? He or she is so dumb.” Or “Him/Her? Har har har.” Blah blah blah. Of course, there’s the classic that we (I include myself; I don’t want to be a Pilate) usually do negatively on teachers. Poor teachers who have been victims of these arrogant little infants. They are intelligent, maybe smarter than their teachers. Maybe they’re rich; after all, most teachers are overworked and underpaid. Maybe at that young age knows and are good friends with “powers that be”. However, you know what they lack? Respect. Please, don’t ever give me the “I am against hypocrisy” slogan. Chances are, you may not exactly know what term means and its origins (Example: digging deeper, if a preacher commited something that is not in line with what he preaching, he’s not automatically a hypocrite, it’s called backsliding. There’s a difference between hypocrisy and backsliding).

A friendly and brotherly reminder to every one of us: let’s not be proud that we did something wrong or we bad mouthed someone in authority (like teachers). Let’s not be proud of our bad deeds. It’s not wrong to recall that once or many times in our life that we defy authority figures. One of the reasons why God created our brain is to recall experiences in order for us to learn. However, it is pride when you feel so good doing that. When our own backyard is dirty, you will clean it as much as possible. You throw the garbage. We don’t and must not show our garbage to our neighbors. Garbage is meant to be thrown before your neighbor can see it mounting up. Same thing with bad deeds. We made our mistakes in the past. We may smile and laugh on our own stupidity why did we did it in the first place, but never be proud of it. After all, pride itself is wrong.

Good day. 