Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘train’

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.

Rush to Comfort

Fridays. They’re always action packed. In order to get a bus ride home, I am forced to become a Lara Croft running around EDSA. If it is not as freaky as that, then it’s not a Friday.

IMG_0829[1] I would have this theory that it goes this way because people can’t wait to go home. My other theory is mall sale, which usually does not happen occasionally. So, I’d stick with my first theory. Every Friday, especially in rush hour, commuters fill the roadsides, even the no loading/unloading areas. A lot of those cars and buses move side by side slowly on the road. In Manila, commuters are willing to crowd and stand in a bus for two hours.

People are always in a rush. I wonder what causes us to race against one IMG_0832[1]another to get to a bus. A good seat? A ride home? I’m one of those guilty. I remember how I recalled a zombie scene in Resident Evil 4 when the ladies flocked and almost stuck themselves at the door of an MRT train that paused to give a ride. That was when there was no queue system yet. It was freaky. Like zombies, we can’t wait to rush in and gobble that good seat.

Come to think of it, what are we running after? After all, all of us will get a chance to ride or to sit. If our goal is to go home, we will go home. There are buses until late at night. A lot of reasons maybe, like not wasting time. We’re excited, I understand. But competing with another just for that ride is even more freaky. We’re too impatient to get a good ride. We have lost this sense of patience.

My mom, the calmest person in the world, would always tell me  to wait. This irritates me. But when we do, we still get to our destination. No reason to rush, she would remind me, unless it’s really urgent. Let me rephrase it, if there’s no urgent reason to go, then don’t rush.

We all get to where we need to go. Rush and impatience had been in our system for a long time. Can we blame the lagging system of transportation for this? I don’t think so. I guess, we all need to relearn how to be patient again. Besides, it keeps us away from road dangers. In the end, we all go home.

 

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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