Respect: What Today’s World So Badly Needs

It’s my first time to write something like this but I can’t just help it. What urged me to do so was the recent news that reported about one Law student being shamed by her professor when she came to class wearing shorts.

Her professor reportedly made sexist remarks to the third year female student and asked her to “dress properly.”  The comments made by the professor were indeed uncalled for, over the top, and yes, sexist —  arrogantly putting into question the student’s credibility and character!

Couldn’t he have just waited after class to reprimand his student in private? It would’ve been more respectful of him to do so, and could’ve avoided needless hurt on his student and the rest of the class. He should have comported himself with decorum, in the first place, for it was his perceived “lack of decorum” of his student that he was being angry about, and because he is a professor who should be modeling proper behavior to his students – at all times and circumstances. His profession demands he conducts himself respectfully, politely and with dignity.

Granted he could not wait after his class – shouldn’t he have chosen his words more wisely? Why did he have to go out of the issue anyway — the matter of dress code in his class.

Just because he is male, and an esteemed professor, he perhaps thought he had every right to chastised his student in front of everybody. So he chose to do so, without much discernment, without much thought to his choice of words and act. And according to another report, the professor said in an interview, there was no written dress code for students in NLSIU’s rules currently but he has asked the university administration to issue clarifications about the dress code to the students, especially keeping in mind that “certain decorum” is expected from students attending lectures taken “especially by a senior faculty member”.

certain decorum” is expected from students attending lectures taken “especially by a senior faculty member” — Clearly, the professor’s ego got pricked at seeing his student in shorts. More so, as this happened in a culture that is predominantly conservative, traditional and where a machismo attitude still takes hold of many males. But he could have acted with grace by keeping quiet until the bell rang, and talk with the student in a nice way.

Yes, I feel for the female student – and young as she is, I can just imagine the pain, embarrassment and shame she had to endure. She and her classmates had every right to feel aggrieved and protest this uncivilised act of their professor’s public shaming.

Yet on the other hand — I also wonder about people’s sense of propriety nowadays, not just the young. But older ones too. It seems to me that the very idea of being proper – is no longer observed because what is given more importance today is one’s individual preferences, one’s own comfort, one’s own ways. Individualism is the rage!

Who cares about what others say? But to observe propriety or decorum is still called for because showing respect is never out of place and is never out of fashion. Proper behavior or decorum is still a must in a civilised society. We all should adhere to unspoken rules as well that we give consideration for others, as we would expect them to be considerate of us. Respect for others, for places, for people’s time — this is part of plain good manners and right conduct. Giving others due respect is also respecting ourselves.

Yet many people — men and women, young and old alike — do not think about this, as they think of only themselves and what makes them happy and comfortable.

How would you think if a guest attends your formal wedding rites or that of your offspring, in very casual outfit – slippers and shorts? Would you not also feel upset about that? Or  even inviting your friend to a sit-down dinner at your home – honestly, wouldn’t you have some sort of expectation as to how your friends will be attired, or even you, when you visit other homes?

I’m not blaming the young girl – what I am just saying is, perhaps she, just like so many others – no longer think twice about discomfiting others – with the way they behave and dress in public.

Thus – my point is – whether the professor was right or wrong on being upset with what his student wore to class – he shouldn’t have behaved the way he did. And for the young girl, unless her shorts were of knee-length, such attire in class is improper indeed.

What the world today needs more of is RESPECT – respect for oneself, for one another, for rules of propriety, for whatever it takes to make the world a better, civilized place to live in.

Young and old, all should observe proper decorum. Let’s remember, the world isn’t just about us. We live with others; thus, it shouldn’t always be “live and let live.”

 

Morning Lessons from the Birds

Today, my morning blessing as I watched the dawn break into a beautiful sweet day came through a delightful treat. A flock of birds – doves or pigeons – circled the sky in a choreographed dance. In flight formation, they cut an awesome picture of grace and fluidity, and I realize they have been doing this each morning. How many times I’ve watched them by the window.

by-my-window

The birds glided together forming a wide triangle across the sky when in a split second, the head bird at the tip of the formation winged away on its own into another direction. It swept the sky with more dramatic, graceful motions. Yet the other members of the flock did not seem to mind, as if it were but natural for their guide to move away to oversee them from afar.

Despite the gulf that now lay between them and their head, the courageous birds held on with each other in formation without missing a beat.

How beautiful it is! Their morning ritual. Just like it’s become my morning ritual to gaze by the window.

Back to that bird going solo, and his flock, isn’t that an image of how God manifests His presence in our lives? Times when His presence is so palpable we can feel He is indeed leading the way. But sometimes, He seems to be gone particularly in our most trying times, or when we are overwhelmed with our daily concerns.

Yet, the truth is He is always with us, in us…we need only to trust in His constant presence and care, much like those birds whose confidence in their leader never falters. 

Isn’t it awesome that we can glean many of life’s greatest lessons from the natural world around us?

The Broken Glass: A Reflection

God heals a broken heart, but He has to have all the pieces.

This quote came to mind after I broke a glass by accident, and I was keeping it away intending to wrap it carefully before I’d relegate it to the trash bin.

Despite the damage, a sparkling glean radiated – like a glint of the rising sun – from its sharp, broken edges and the shards scattered at the bottom, transforming the broken glass into a stunning beauty!

Reflection

We are just like that glass ~~  broken, crushed at times. Yet we can appreciate ourselves even more, if we can look at ourselves through God’s eyes. And if despite our weaknesses, our failures, our struggles, we carry on and lift to God our pains and sorrows, we strengthen our character; we strengthen our faith in God and in ourselves.

But we need to trust God, first of all. Trust that He can work His miracle in us if we allow Him to do so. Thus, we need to lift up to Him all our cares, our sufferings — He has to have all the broken pieces” of ourselves to make us whole again, and again, and again…

Times when I do get angry at myself for some reasons, such as not meeting my goals for the day, or when stuck at a certain task, or faced with situations that make me think low of myself. Tears flow, especially when the hurt inside is much like the pain caused by the sharp edges of a broken glass. Yet I remember to pray – sometimes, it’s a real struggle to, still I cry my heart out to Him.

At that point, God’s Peace and Mercy fill my heart to the brim, and I get the confidence to move on. Indeed, I can start to love myself wholly again, for God makes me whole again with His undying Love.

A Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit…replace the tension within us with a holy relaxation.

Replace the turbulence within us with a sacred calm.

Replace the anxiety within us with a quiet confidence.

Replace the fear within us with a strong faith.

Replace the bitterness within us with the sweetness of grace.

Replace the darkness within us with a gentle light.

Replace the coldness within us with a loving warmth.

Replace the night within with Your day.

Replace the winter within us with Your spring.

Straighten our crookedness, Fill our emptiness,

Dull the edge of our pride, Sharpen the edge of our humility,

Light the fires of our love, Quench the flames of our lust.

Let us see ourselves as You see us.

That we may see You as You have promised,

And be fortunate according to Your word:

“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.”

(prayer courtesy of the St. Joseph Convent of Perpetual Adoration, Hemady, Quezon City)

 

(I edited this piece because the glass photos that came with this post could no longer be used since I updated the theme of my blog…)

Finding Contentment

When life gives you lemons, make some lemonade.

Thus the saying goes. And I say, when there’s brownout (power cut-off), take some photos.

So what else is there to do when it’s raining, with a pestering brownout to boot – almost eight-hours long. You take photos, just like I did.  Thus, during yesterday’s heavy afternoon downpour that led to that long power cut-off, I busied myself with my simple phone camera looking for interesting angles, textures and patterns.

And here they are. Be warned though; they’re not pro. These are just snapshots meant to amuse, and let the creative juice flow. Just my way of finding beauty in the mundane – just as in my previous post with the same title– even during a heavy rain.

Looking through the rain-covered window

Finding contentment, seeing beauty even in the most mundane…

reflection in the rain
light and shadow
tangled wires and bamboo leaves freshened by the passing storm

 

a glow in the dark

 

 

BlueMoon Rising

“The moon stays bright

when it doesn’t avoid the night” ~ Rumi

The Moon ~~ that fascinating piece of Nature that has held me spellbound all these years. My alter ego I’d tell my younger self in those days when at times I could be affected by teenage self-insecurities, and I needed to perk up my confidence anew.

Somehow, I feel there’s something that binds me and the Moon.

With the Blue Moon’s recent visit, I was jolted into the realization what a strange coincidence it was when she appeared as well in the early part of my stay in this quiet, secure neighborhood as I was delightfully easing myself into the comfortable ambience of the community and its residents. The Blue Moon was a reassuring, welcoming thumb-up sign from my Creator that everything was well. God knows how drawn I am to the drama, mystique of His creation.

But between then and now, there have been challenges that seem to overwhelm me, and what more, I am about to leave this wonderful place, my pet stray felines whom I’ve grown to love; changes are afoot once more. So while I’m eager for the next phase in my life’s journey, there’s also a certain sadness as I leave.

Yet again, last nite’s Blue Moon was another reassuring message from God all will be well.

And as my little ode to the Blue Moon we just had, here are some of my amateurish attempts to photograph Sister Moon basking in the glow of her Brother Sun.

July Moon Sky - the night before Blue Moon's rising...
MoonGlow

 

MoonLight

 

 

 

It’s not what you look at that matters,

it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

 

Three things cannot be long hidden:

the sun, the moon, and the truth.” ~ Buddha

Taking Selfies is An Art

It’s May, my favorite month of the year! And what an apt theme to go with my favorite month – Photo.

I’m not a pro, I’m not even half as good as the younger ones in my family/clan who are amazing with their photography skills. But taking photos is my passion – and with the coming of the age of Selfies, I’m drawn to it more than anyone else of my age, methinks.

Do you like taking selfies? Why or why not?

I do not find taking selfies bad at all, so I shall disagree with the supposed findings of the American Psychiatric Association that taking of selfies is a mental disorder.

Taking of selfies is an art form, not a mental disorder.

It may not be the best of hobbies – but it is fun, even for a midlifer like me. Nor is it vanity at all, though I must say, self-regulation, especially among the young ones, is of course needed. In which case, the findings of the American Psychiatric Association if this preoccupation with selfies goes overboard, indeed makes sense.

Seen in proper perspective, however, taking selfies is a form of artistic expression, an interesting one at that. I remember growing up with SLR cameras that needed black-and-white films which you had a photographer/shop develop for you. Unless you were a photo buff or expert, where was the fun in taking pictures or posing for one except in the enjoyment of the finished products.

Through taking selfies, one can give vent to her creative inclination just like me. I would love to paint portraits and scenes, including a self-portrait. If only I could. Thus, with selfies and the myriad of photo apps that abound these days, who am I to resist such imaginative yearnings?

Besides, as a grandmother, I do have one simple goal coming from the fun side of me — to collect as many creative selfies as I want – while I’m still bitten by the artistic selfie bug and transform these into interesting collages or dramatic mirages.

Then I shall present them all one day to my grandchildren — “Here is your grandma through the years!” — for sure, just for them I shall be a celebrity, and we’ll share a good laugh.

 

Life is A Garden, Indeed

Leonard Nimoy tweeted, “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”

Sometimes when I see a beautiful flower in full bloom, I am tempted to pick and put it in a vase to enjoy it. Yet flowers stay longer right where they are until their petals close, wilt and fade. Sometimes in the best of moments, we forget to capture it in a photograph — yet perfect moments we experience are sometimes better left untouched, spared by the camera, and kept private.

Can we ever capture enough of the joy or pain, or the happiness or sadness of a moment? Many times, they remain just as beautiful or poignant, or hurtful pressed in the deep recesses of our hearts and minds, much like pressed or dried flowers…

 

 

 

 

Image Source                                                                                       Image Source

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Life is a garden indeed, for the journey we take, with all our experiences, good or bad, is the garden plot in which we sow seeds of growth in a variety of ways —

These are the flowers we cultivate as we nurture the garden of our lives into full bloom – developing ourselves, cultivating our potentials until we reach our full flourishing.So as we dig deeper into the soil, the foundation of our spiritual selves, we weed out, too, what can hinder our personal growth…

 

 

 

Each of our experiences, the people we have and encounter, are unique on their own, and provide for us an enriching life – despite the thorns and prickly bushes —

 

 

 

These are mistakes we make, the hurts we cause or are caused by others, the toxic people we sometimes meet — all these provide us invaluable lessons and insights so we become stronger, better persons…

Our failings do not necessarily mar the beauty and dignity of our persons, just as thorns do not mar the beauty of a rose…And life still remains beautiful!

 

 

Life is a Dash of Spice & Herbs from the Garden

Life is a dash of spice and herbs, so if I could grow a kind of food and be successful, I’d love to grow a spice-and-herbal garden….                                                            Image Source

I love food with spices and herbs; a simple everyday dish, sandwich or soup becomes a gourmet adventure, not to mention their medicinal benefits.                                                            Image Source

I fancy growing a spice-and-herbal garden, fragrant, vibrant and blooming – a feast for the senses, a feast for the soul, and a feast for the tummy with the yummy soups, dishes, and salads I can prepare for my family and friends, with freshly picked spices and herbs from my own home garden: basil, parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, ginger, spring onions, red and green chilli, to name just a few…

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I also imagine my lovely spice-and-herbal garden to turn into a cozy nook where I can read or write in solitude while inhaling the mix of aromatic, tangy, sweet, lemony, spicy, peppery scents wafting from my plants…

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Or a snack corner for my family and guests, so preparing tea would be fun and delectable with the many choice herb leaves to add to our cups…                                                            Image Source

Or into a perfect outdoor dining area, right in its midst, with white-painted trellis in the perimeters, skylight, old style iron-wrought chairs, some soft settee and a long heavy wooden table. Hmmmm…

Spices and herbs are a delight indeed to have to perk up our meals and moments with loved ones, add zest to everyday rituals, and give a bit more life to our surroundings!                                                                   Image Source

 

My Simple Garden

I’m just glad I have this small, unassuming place where some green plants grow alongside one wall. They were just sparse the first time I moved in, yet now they have grown and their thick foliage partly shield my porch from the gate.

Just a simple home greenery

It delights me each morning as I look through my front window, which faces the morning sun, to see the varying shades, shapes and sizes of my home greenery and my sole yellow hibiscus.

My Garden Collage

I love gardens, and how I wish I had one as lovely as this one I photographed on an out of town trip…

In a highland resort south of Manila

Yet the simple garden I keep, including the few potted plants I have at the back of the house, just gives me as much pleasure.  Tending my plants – watering, pruning, propagating and watching them grow, seeing little brown maya birds, even a few butterflies fly about, uplifts my spirit because this affords me a space to commune with nature right in the middle of the city, and a welcome respite from my work-at-home-job and house chores.

For me, gardening is my special form of praying, so I feel one with God’s creation.

Even with such a small garden as mine, gardening is almost like taking care of a child, or a pet….and I realize a creative project as well. It isn’t as simple as it seems, as it takes time, diligence, and love to keep a garden, nurturing it to growth.

Yet the joy it gives is so much more than the sensual pleasure you derive from it – for when you nurture a garden, you also nourish your soul.

My Garden Collage 2

In My Garden Collage 2 are a picture of my citrus plant, in the bigger box above, and of a young “lanzones” fruit tree, as well as the other green plants in my simple yet refreshing garden.

Midlife’s Birthing Pain

Last evening I took enough time to ponder — about my blogging, and other aspects of my current life situation:

  • It upsets me to see I’m lagging behind my daily goals for my blog, (to write each day, follow the prompts…) for one. 
  • Another thing – my blog isn’t attracting enough readers or supporters as I want, even from friends and family to assure me I’m doing just fine – even after all the tweaking I’ve done, for the umpteenth time – and this frustrates me…a lot.
  • And yes, a little angry because no one even dares to tell me how bad my writing is or my topics are…something like this.
  • Lately, I’ve been feeling somehow vulnerable, helpless and weepy – feeling like I’m no longer my usual bubbly, capable self.
  • Times when I feel more like a woman conceiving for the first time…
Midlife's Birthing Pain

      Times when a midlifer’s journey is rough or uncertain…the path ahead not so clear; yet with faith, you move on… – Marichu

Well — it’s not just me alone. If you’re a midlifer like me, at one point, you may have undergone your own midlife crisis..we all do. Midlife is like this – as in any phase of life, you may stumble and fall; you may make a wrong decision or turn; you may feel bad about yourself, and so on.

It’s all part of self-growth…you only need to be able to see the gem of insight behind each mistake you make, then use it to your advantage.

But the term midlife crisis has a negative ring to it, so I’d rather call it midlife’s birthing pain. As in my case, like a woman conceiving, I am about to give birth to my new self, to actualize my new goals and visions in life, that may seem too big for me to handle, but it’s okay. It’s part of my life’s adventure.

Because my new dreams, my new goals are BIG DREAMS, BIG GOALS, so my midlife’s birthing pain is just as big – the anxiety of the unknown borne of an eagerness to see my dreams coming true.

Just like giving birth to a new purpose for my blog and making it grow, I’m hoping Summer’s Third Wind will finally gain readers as I share my stories, insights and thoughts, hoping these can somehow help other midlifers out there.

Thank you for reading this post.