Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘kindness’

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.

Perfection From Imperfection

Imperfection irritates most of us. I’m sure, all of us have come to a point wondering why we’re imperfect, wishing we got the qualities that others have. But I believe there is a purpose to our imperfection.

It has been said that there are dangers to being perfect. It can make us arrogant, as if don’t need God and man. I’m sure you’d expect me to say that we are made imperfect so we would depend on God. Yes, that’s true. But more than that, I believe that in our imperfection, we are also taught to love others, as well.

I learned this in our prayer group, whom I always stay with every weekends. It’s not a perfect group, each of us have qualities that the other wouldn’t like. There are times that we would be offended to one another. But together we grew, and through each other, there are some qualities in our characters that have been sharpened or filled. When one needs help, like a prayer request or advice, the other would share a piece of wisdom that may be of help. Sometimes, a constructive criticism or rebuke can awaken us from flaws that we have. A word of encouragement brightens a part of ourselves that could be wearied. It’s like that some of us have a missing puzzle piece that only that other can fill.

I have heard of church fights and church splits so many times and the reason that I could hear is due to out of offense of their leaders or other churchmates. There are no perfect churches. Each of us is a broken jar. When we cast aside our bitterness and pride, we can see the value of each other and help mending the character of each other. Though we may be right at one point and the party that offended us are wrong, rebellion is a sign of pride. Instead of reacting in bitterness, why not pray for that person’s welfare? I believe, each of us needs to be covered in prayer, and it can uphold the character of the person we pray for and molds us to love others dispite of the offense done to us.

Never question God why we are made imperfect. In everything, there is a reason that only He understands. In time, we will know how this imperfection molds us to become better in love, humility, and righteousness.

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Still Standing

Two things fell from my hands today: my laptop and myself. If you would ask which is devastating, I guess both are, except in varied effects.

Isolating myself from the pool of reporters due to an allergy attack, I sat in the other room while listening to the press briefing’s live streaming. As I sat on the couch, I plugged my laptop opposite to me. People passing by were careful not to trip on the wire until one accidentally did. In effect, my laptop flew from my hands and crashed on the floor.

It horrified me and the people around me. My notes were gone. The screen turned black. My broadband stick was bent. But adjusting the battery and turning it on again, I was surprised.

It’s still working.

Later at a coverage, I was pressured. Going to the other side of the waiting area to plug my laptop, I left my other bag and other things. But when I returned to the place where I had been, I was deceived at the floor, which I thought was flat. Loosing my footing on the lower step, my feet gave way, hit my right knee, and my body fell to the floor as I gave a scream.

Again, it horrified me and the people around me. My poise was gone. All eyes were pitiful at me. I was shaking when the presidential guards were picking me up. My knee was badly hurt. I sat on another chair as the other people were helping me at my things. But later within the day, I am thankful.

I’m still standing.

These things are enough reasons for me to grumble. I can moan and blame anybody for my laptop’s injury. I can even blame myself for making an embarrassing scene at the coverage. But there’s no time for that. All I have to do is to overcome.

And that’s amazing.

We overcome when we don’t dwell in the tragedy. We overcome when we see dark things in the positive. We overcome when we are thankful in every circumstance.

I am surprised that I did not complain. Instead, I just smiled, said “It’s ok”, thanked the people who helped me (especially to the presidential guards who were quick to pick me up), and continued my work.

So, I realized this is just a small testing. I remember how I prayed that I will overcome when I come through trials and testing. God’s grace is amazing. He never fails to listen to your small request. And I saw how He answered it.

I’m anticipating a purple, bruised knee tomorrow. I wouldn’t mind. As long as I am still standing — especially on the Rock. 🙂

Where's the bruised knee? Still standing and walking around after a fall. :)

Where’s the bruised knee? Still standing and walking around after a fall. 🙂

Life for Death, Creation for Destruction

Smash my bones
I offer you mercy

Rip off my skin
I hand over forgiveness

Gouge my eyes
I lay down kindness

Break my heart
I give you love

All I am is a seed sacrifice
Burying me in this dying earth costs much

From my blood shall come flowers
Hope and faith that destroys death

New life springs out of barren ground
To give breath to dry bones worthy of grace and love

Everything I give to see you break forth
To have you forever, my dream, my creation

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