Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Environment and I

My environment, physical that is, is an extension of myself. Matter-of-factly, it forms an integral part of my whole being. In sociology, we have learned that the environment plays an unimpeachable role in the development of an individual. Thus we aptly say, we are a reflection of the environment where we grow up. We cannot desert ourselves from our environment. To put simply, it is inalienable.

Sadly, if we look around us our environment has drastically changed.

Our forests are wantonly depleted. Our supply of potable water has increasingly become limited. Our air has become a worldwide carrier of innumerable pollutants. Our land, year after year, seemingly becomes smaller in size. Temperature has gone extreme. If it’s daytime, it’s literally hot. If at dawn, the cold seems unbearable.

There adverse changes in the environment are quite alarming that they need immediate solutions. At the moment, I cannot just play being blind in the middle of all these unscrupulous destruction. Knowing for a fact that the growth and development of the future generation also depends on the quality of the environment that they live, I’d say, the time to save the environment is now.

The status quo reveals a lot of realities that must be acted urgently. It must turn a regular Filipino into a Filipino environmental advocate. And the key is to be aware! That way, we will realize that the way of the Earth is towards annihilation. Could it be that we will now build the modern Noah’s Ark. God forbid!

Few months ago, I empathized to families with family members who mercilessly passed away and the thousands of survivors who are still in pain on their road to recovery caused by the typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng. Most were all caught unaware. No one was prepared. We thought it would not create a really massive destruction. We were all surprised when water seemed to rise unceasingly. The last thing we knew. Houses were swallowed by the hungry water. Lives were taken. Properties were destroyed.

The other side of the story however knocked all our heads to boldly face the offshoots of our being unconcerned. It made me realize how over the past years, we have unrelentingly altered the beautiful creation of God. It made me aware that our environment unknowingly turned to a wasteland because of our apathy and indifference. It made me think that indeed, not only humans are vulnerable, so does the environment. From the perspective of the insurance companies, these are acts of God, but the truth is, these are acts of man, traceable to his insatiable greed. Our environment should matter and that battle cry should be carried in everyone’s sleeve. Now, that our environment, from being stable to being vulnerable; everyone must be counted to help bring back the equilibrium of our sustainable ecosystem.

The environment at the moment is in dire state. It cries for help. It longs for a hand that cares. It needs you!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Love Language

This is not just about romantic love. This is about expressing and receiving love in a general viewpoint. I mean relationship of all sorts. Romance. Work. Friendship. Family.

For the intense love of toastmasters, which I refer to as addiction in my previous articles, three constipated human psyche convened to share their common interest. Discussing things, over a cup of coffee. Table topics with sense and a little nonsense to be more accurate. The topic? Our common denominator! Oh well, we piled up a truckload of common sentiments but at least we have not gone sentimental over the issue.

Along the highway of a kilometric conversation, we met in a three-way-crossroad. Emmylou, Jabez, and myself share the love of books and the passion for reading. And off sprouted the dogged idea of putting up a book club in Bacolod. Eagerness filled us all. The moment can be described as magnanimously magnificent.

The first book, Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow, unfortunately is not available in bookstores. We acquiesced that this is beyond our scope so we let go of the first book. So it seemed a not-so-nice jump-off. We settled for the second suggestion, The Five Love Languages of Love for Singles by Gary Chapman. Though at this point, we have not yet met to discuss the book, I am now writing my thoughts.

According to the author, Dr. Gary Chapman, there are 5 love languages. These are Words of affirmation, Quality time, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Worth noting though is that, one person may be bilingual, meaning to say, he speaks/shows two of the aforementioned languages.

I already have some inkling that my love language is words of affirmation. And yes it is after reading and confirmed after taking the profile test at the end. It really did not catch me by surprise. Ever since I knew that for me, “The tongue has the power of life and death”.

For an unknown reason, I take words so seriously. Written or Spoken. It will take me sometime to get over the hurts that are derived from the poignant words cast to me. Most of my friends say, don’t mind. But I don’t have the power not to. Unsurprisingly, it takes ten positive words to forget one negative word, according to a study.

I have a need for people to affirm to me. They say the greatest criticism is the lack of reaction. Moreover, they say, if you don’t have anything nice to say, shut up. But this is not what I mean. Words can be played skilfully like keys in the piano to make it sound better and suit our hungry ego. It’s not the words! It’s the manner of saying it! This is a daunting task, if I may appeal, as it takes a lot of introspection and a lot of practice too. I am not spared, I admit. More often than not, the dictates of our heart prevails over the mind. As such many relationships falter.

Thus, I have learned that being a social being in the midst of other social beings, being nice does not hurt.

As I leaf through the last page of this book, may I always be reminded that everything in this world is fleeting except for one – how well I have established relationships with people around me.