Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘respect’

The Wrong Gift

My eyebrows were twitching with horror as I glared at the huge box before me. By the looks of it, it did not contain the book I had asked for in my Christmas wish list. The moment I ripped open the green, Christmas wrapper around it, I was even more horrified.

I had received a pair of sandals in our office Kriskringle.

“WHAT’S THIS?!” I cried in dismay, my voice ringing around the office. “I DID NOT ASK FOR A PAIR OF SANDALS THIS CHRISTMAS!”

I realized my embarrassment when a bespectacled guy approached me. He was the one who had picked my name. He explained he could not find the one I was wishing for so he looked for anything that’s connected to my interest. He thought the sandals would be good for my hiking trips, but I am sorry they could not help my feet maintain balance on assaults. I’d rather have highly-expensive shoes to ensure footing on such trips.

He offered to replace the gift since I did not like it. 

I meekly and guiltily returned the box to him. Such was the episode of receiving the wrong gift.

But that was not the first time I had received disappointments on such occasions.

For the past two consecutive Christmas parties at another company, I had never – as in, never – had the privilege of receiving any of the three gifts I had listed on our Kriskingle wish list. The guy who had picked up my name gave me disappointing gifts. He explained he had lost the list…and lost it again the next year because he was the same guy who had picked up my name. He seems to be at the habit of losing wish lists.

My friend warned me that men usually don’t take the time and effort to look for what was listed in the wish list of their monito or monita. But I am careful not to do that to keep from ruining the Christmas spirit of my monito or monita.

I took so much time and effort to find what my monita really wanted. It was harrowing and stressful, especially copies of the book she wanted were sold out in the midst of panic buyers. I was ready to give up and resolve to another gift until a text message came to me at the last minute, reserving the book she wanted under my name. 

Praise God for the timing. I guess this is the reason I was not buying another gift or asking an accomplice if she wanted another book of the same author. When she unwrapped the present, she was bursting with glee and she ran away with the most perfect Christmas present she had received in her life.

She was total stranger to me. But deep inside I was glad to make her happy by fulfilling her wish (but hey, I’m no genie). Somehow, that’s my mission. And I want to ensure that the receiver would not be disappointed. 

Somehow, I believe some people would give just anything because tradition obligates them to do so. But giving gifts is not an obligation. It is an act of appreciation, friendship, love, and respect. 

It’s fulfilling when the person receiving your gift smiles because all your effort and sacrifice searching for it has been paid. I would never forget when my monito, a seious guy who would occasionally give charming half smiles, brightened up when he received the pair of boxers he wanted. That smile made me forget the great embarrassment of going to the men’s section to buy a pair of boxers (where I asked my mom to accompany me on buying such a pair because I had no idea about boxers). As much as possible, I follow what’s in a person’s wish list because it’s also an act of valuing that person. In turn, receiving the gift I really wanted gives me the impression that the giver values me well. 

All my disappointment had washed away when my closest friends gave me the most wonderful gifts later that day. I saw they were all attributed to my personality and needs. By what I had received, I could see their effort and the love they had poured into their sleepless search across every mall and specialty store. It’s fun receiving them but it was even more fulfilling to know how much I am loved.

I just hope my Secret Santa next year would value me just as I value my monito or monita. And before this year ends, I’ll make a follow up on my not-so-secret Santa about the right and perfect gift I had been waiting for all my life…

Good-mannered Surprise Visits

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One of my goddaughters came to our house recently. There was no occasion for the visit, she said she just wanted to hang around. I would have gladly received her, but her visit was unnanounced. Worst yet, it was an unholy hour for a ten-year old girl to come a long way from her house.

Her visit bothered me (and my chores). First of all, she came without adult supervision. Second, she did not knock at the door but tried to get in as if it was her own house. She had this rude sense of familiarity to others. Lastly, she had a little friend that was a complete stranger to me. They came without a purpose. All she did was talk a lot and poke around my unfinished projects. My mom guessed that she just wanted to brag her pretty godmother to her friend. My guess was that she just wanted to catch the attention of some people by bothering them. In the end, we shooed them away nicely.

It’s good to have visitors in the house. But there has been this sense of over familiarity with others that we have lost courtesy to them. So, instead of being welcomed, visitors tend to become bothersome.

Maybe a few of my good-mannered lessons in life can keep one from being labeled as an unwelcomed guest:

1. Have a winsome purpose in dropping-by.
Usually, an occassion (like a birthday or a wedding) is enough reason for visiting a friend or a relative. But if you are to ask for favors, please don’t drop by again and again just to ask for a brush, a stereo, and to borrow money and borrow money again. What would touch the host’s heart is that you would visit to just to see them because you love them.

One of my mother’s former students has been a regular visitor at home. But he is always treated as a welcomed guest even if he would just see how she’s doing or he would be simply asking for advice. He has never been a nuisance because he has always shown courtesy, which leads me to my second point.

2. Show courtesy. Knocking the host’s door is one. Another would be giving your host a heads up by texting or calling them before arriving at their door. I’m not against surprise visits, but it would be an embarrassment for the guest when the host is not at home.

I also mentioned about familiarity. Please, don’t poke around the house (and the fridge) as if it’s your own. Only high-leveled, close buddies can do that. Try to be courteous by not touching anything (except for coffee table books and magazines) when you’re in. If things in the host’s house are interesting, you can talk about it. But if you find it irrisistably interesting, you should ask permission before you can touch (or poke) it.

3. Bring a little blessing to your host. My mom taught me to bring something whenever we visit a friend or a relative. You might think it will cost you much but doesn’t necessarily be a smogasboard to please your host. I guarantee you that generosity can bring happiness. An old friend I gave surprise visits before was happy with the take-out meal or small pastries I gave her. Bringing something to the host can be an expression of love. Visitors should show their appreciation by giving a little something to their hosts.

The next time you give somebody a surprise visit, be sure to be called a welcomed guest. Although guests should be treated highly, the guest should also show their appreciation to the host by being well-mannered.

Where Are the Real Men?

I’m being led to the belief that no gentleman ever exists in a public transportation. It’s rare to see a man giving a seat to a lady, more so to old people or pregnant women. It’s irritating to see big burly men pretending to sleep while their earphones are stuck in their ears.

Somehow, I could say that most women are more respectable than a lot of men today. I remember an incident back in 2007 when I was going home from my night shift duty in a BPO company. The bus was so full that morning because people are flocking back to their provinces for the Holy Week vacation. In my observation, 90 percent were occupied by men. Just then, a petite mother carrying a toddler came in. She stood among the standing passengers for all the seats were full. There was no one with her. She looked tired because of the heavy luggages she had. I waited, expected that one good man would offer her a seat. Good heavens, there was no one. In my sympathy, I offered her mine. All throughout that bus ride, I stood up despite being tired from an all night’s work. I gave my usual sharp look at the men around me, but they tried to avoid my eyes (or they were just stupid enough not to know these signals).

It’s a shame that we’re loosing real men these days. I have heard of similar stories from friends. I wouldn’t mind that I won’t be given a seat because I’m young and capable. What makes me angry is when they don’t give a seat to others like this poor mother. I’ve seen how on most occasions, it is the women who give their seats to elderly ladies or pregnant women. Sometimes, when a seat becomes vacant, the men near it would not offer it to the nearest lady. He instead would race for it like an impatient, little kid.

It’s a shame how it is us women who seem to act more gentlemanly than these men. I wonder if this society has lost their respect on women. Somehow, I observed that most men today thought that just because women today are capable of doing a man’s job, they won’t give the respect and rights that women deserve. Most men today have lost their sense of authority, thus losing their responsibility to protect the women in society.

This culture of urban comfort has poisoned our identity and position. By observing the pretentious sleepers, I was thinking that these kind of men are the first to back out when war arises. Where’s the sense of courage? We need to regain them back. We have to break out from our sense of complacency. With this, we have to deal with the weakened character in us.

We have to understand our roles in society and the rights and privileges of each individual. Women deserve respect and honor, while men should stand as responsible stewards of women as they are the ones in authority. By that kind of culture observed in buses and public transportation, it’s a hint that only a few men understood the value of women, more so their role as men.

Bus Ride Irony

I live in a very competitive world. For the sake of social survival I go with the flow of the crowd. I go along the same road, I ride in the same bus, I embrace the same routine along with thousands of others who leave the comforts of their homes just to work.

My usual bus ride in the morning. If your destination is quite too far, you have to have strong knees for an hour of travel…

I can’t deny that we still have this competitive mindset even if by just riding a bus or a train. We try to outwit one another by getting a good seat first, but the person we compete with will actually ride the same bus with us. I don’t understand why the rush if we still have a lot of time to get to the office without being late. As a crowd in competition, I observe how we are unconsciously losing our considerate culture. Old folks are left standing for an hour of travel, expectant mothers are suffer along the way, the most able men and women get the most comfortable seat. The irony of competition made us numb. For the sake of survival we have become selfish. But who are we to focus only on ourselves? We live with a crowd so as not to live for ourselves alone.

With such a mindset, it reflects how we vie for a good position and name in our career. The madness of our jobs made us numb to push one another to get to the top. Most in this young generation today is taught how to survive life by getting the best of your job and the best of your salary. But we were not trained to be compasionate to one another. Society tells us to push harder but not love harder. But in the moment we have become old and gray, we ask ourselves, “What have we reaped?” Having a good position and name may give us a good medal that lasts for thirty years; but a umcompassionate and loveless character may leave us with nothing before we die.

We live for the moment. We ride a bus to work for the moment. But it is at such a moment that puts us to the test of having an eternal gift of love.

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