Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘discipline’

Breathing Adventure: Lost In Hong Kong (The Lessons and Insights Gained)

One invaluable treasure I would always take home from my travels (aside from all the ref magnets I’ve accumulated) would be the insights about the culture the locals are living in. Just as I’ve expected in any first-world country, Hong Kong exemplifies discipline and innovation. These traits are just some of the things I would like to bring home and share to my own people and country.

The transportation system and the MTR Hong Kong’s transportation system is impressively neat. From the airport to the very edges of this country, the trains, buses and trams all depart and arrive on time. I just could not associate the reality that drivers here drive on the left-hand side of the road since vehicles in the Philippines are driven on the right-hand side.

The most efficient mode of transportation for me here would be the MTR (Mass Transit Railway). It’s fast, reliable and safe compared to Manila’s MRT (Mass Rail Transit), where endless, monster queues and horror stories abound in a daily basis. MTR has ten rail lines and transferring to another line is easy because all connecting lines are literally adjacent to one another. The glass railings themselves are a plus for me because they ensure that no one would fall into the rails.

All transportation system in Hong Kong are also tourist-friendly because they are all clear and are all written in both Chinese and English texts.

I’m sure it would be very unlikely for foreign tourists to get lost because all road signs are clearly written in the same manner.

The High Level of Trust

I have already mentioned about the unusual level of trust in my last blog about Hong Kong’s night life. Imagine leaving your valuables under a bag rack beneath the table without getting paranoid with the other customers in the restaurant. I guess having an immense diet of news about scheming thieves in Manila made me suspicious about the people around me most of the time. That’s why it amazes me that people in Hong Kong have this high level of trust towards others.

The MTR itself is proof of this kind of trust. There are no guards around to check everybody’s bags and luggages. Even their malls and their airport do not need one. I think tourists, especially the sensible ones, would not dare to horse around despite having these measures in public places.

People also don’t need anyone to remind them that they should only walk on the left-hand lane towards their destination, especially in the MTR. I’ve noticed that the locals are just being mindful of themselves while ensuring they do not bother anyone.

Strict Work Ethic Most people are aware that East Asians have a strict sense of discipline, especially at work. My friend working in a call center has told me that their Hong Kong bosses think that Filipino workers are just playing around during the work shift because they would take a breather by talking to other workmates, at least once in a while.

Observing a few humble workers in Hong Kong, I got to understand why they think Filipinos seem to be more lax compared to them. Staff at food stores served food speedily without making any small talk with fellow cashiers or servers. That’s what I call fast food. Some cashiers in most Pinoy restaurants and fast food chains cannot help but gossip in front of their customers. I believe having this kind of talk in front of customers is very unethical, even though customers don’t know what or who the staff is talking about. I have observed that Hong Kong restaurant staff are just focused on delivering to their customers, the reason I have enjoyed and appreciated simple dishes like this one.

Despite preserving their own culture and traditions, I appreciate Hong Kong for its continuous improvement. I believe their discipline is a factor for innovation as they strive to reach their long-term goals, particularly in infrastructure and business. I just hope and pray my own countrymen would have the same level of discipline to themselves and not satisfy their egos with short-term assignments. A first-world country could only become as such if the people would shake off the poverty mindset and move forward in breaking forth wider horizons for the next generation.

Train Up A Child In the Way He Should Go…

Little Judah was already tired. He’s just three years old and he had this long, unwavering patience not found in most children. Lans had to tag the little boy with us because she was his babysitter for the day.

“Ban-og ka (Are you tired)?” she asked Judah in Ilocano.

The little boy shook his head a wee bit as we were trudging along an inclined path. Still, she lovingly gave him a piggyback ride on her back.

I was impressed with this little boy. He has been with us in an event full of adults, an almost childless place where he could have the right to be bored and display social tantrums. But I did not hear him whimper a sigh of complaint. I have noticed that this has been the personality of most Igorot people – they are not pushy and they are very kind. I wonder how well they were raised as children. I could see that Lans and with the other adults around him are raising him well.

Most parents today, especially those who the Igorot people would label as lowlanders, are quite confused with the thin line of discipline and cruelty, as well as kindness and spoiling children. I find some parents not being aware that their way of discipline is actually destroying them.

I had observed how some parents would berate and try to embarrass their children in public by calling them “stupid”, “fool”, or “useless”. A former colleague felt sorry for a three or two-year-old who was berated by his father by blurting out a curse just because the child accidentally spills his drink inside the jeepney. Parents who would scold like that would never discipline a child because they are just declaring who their children might be when they grow older. They usurp their authority as a parent because they don’t realize there is power when they are declaring names over their children.

I must admit I don’t like children who do not regard their elders around them. There was a five-year-old girl who did not give me a mano (the Tagalog tradition of children placing their elder’s hands on their forehead as a sign of respect), despite her mother nearly screaming at her to do it. In return, I could not help but glare at her threateningly to set down her utensils because she was already waving them before our faces (despite her mother screaming at her again). Most of the times, screaming and shouting is not the way to discipline them. I guess children are tired of their parents’ screams so they would taunt them by closing their ears. A sincere heart-to-heart talk is all they need because they need to understand the consequences of their actions.

Let me go back to little Judah. Now, Judah has an elder sister named Blessie. At one time, Blessie made drawings on the wall and Judah imitated her. You know how messy a clean wall can become when scribbled by a playful kid. Lans, in her patient nature, set aside Blessie and talked with her gently.

“Did you see the drawing on the wall?”

The little girl nodded.

“Did you see what Judah did after you wrote on the wall?”

No long sermon needed. By the sound of her question, Blessie understood her mistake. She nodded without a word.

“Do you see it’s wrong to draw on the wall?”

Blessie nodded.

“That’s right. You should be a good example to your little brothers because you are their ate (elder sister). So be careful with what you do. Ok?”

No raising of voice. Words were just spoken calmly like the morning waves of the sea. But it deeply strikes the conscience like an arrow. Blessie did not leave any marks on the wall anymore.

It’s tragic when our lighthearted culture dictates it looks cute when small children display tantrums around elders because they look funny. But tolerating that would only tolerate rebelliousness. That’s why when parents correct bad habits by the time children are older, these kids snap out of it and slap it back on their parents’ faces.

Much needed to correct in the way we correct our children. Somehow, most parents in my generation are not used to be disciplined because they belong to a generation waning away from the strict authoritarian rule exuded by our much older Spanish ancestors. They have created their own way of discipline. There is a need for parents to be aware how to discipline their children well without removing love out of their system. There is a greater need for parents to learn how to pass down good traits to their own children in a well-mannered and disciplined way.

I have this sense that our culture has a big factor in the way we react to correction and discipline. Truly Proverbs is already advising us to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” If we instil into them the wisdom to do what’s right at an early age, they will embrace it as they grow up. When we discipline them in the correct way, they will grow up as good-mannered citizens. With this, we can be proud of ourselves and with them, because we are adding up another history maker in this generation that needs deeper understanding on what is right or wrong.

Spoiling the Left Overs

I love food. I’m the type of person who would have a hard time to resist good food, especially when you’re talking the cheesy and creamy ones. But on the moment I was diagnosed with chronic eczema, I have to stay away from them.
Although I’m getting better, until now, I have to stay away from them. The more painful thing is, the Lord is teaching me something during these days.
Fasting is the one thing I’ve been convicted of. But everytime I try, I break it. I can’t stay away from cheesy, chicken pastas or creamy choco desserts. I want to fast but I always break it. Now, I have to go the hard way. I was given a reason to stay away from my weaknesses.
It’s really true that when you give in to the seemingly good things of this world, consequences will follow. As a Filipino expression goes, “Lahat ng bawal, masarap” (Everything forbidden is tasty…hope I get my translation right :P). But eating too much of these tasty foods can bring negative results…aside from gaining weight.
But haing a skin disease is painful (for both body and pocket). But it’s not only fasting that the Lord is teaching me, He’s also teaching me how to live a positive mindset, and a how to discipline myself from anything tempting and sumptuous.
It’s not because He’s torturing me. It’s because He cares for me.
Many things in this world is so deceiving that even the nicest meal can be poison into our natural digestive system. They can bring satisfaction, but may fail to give us health. It’s a hard lesson, but I have to learn from it.
And so, I’m still in the learning process. But in the end, I have to get used to the result of this lesson. :))

Tag Cloud