Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    It was 22 years ago when I arrived in Canada and chose Calgary, Alberta to be my home.  Leaving my family and friends behind, it was a new adventure for me to be in a new country without knowing anyone.  That was the time I looked for a Filipino community paper and never found any, [...]

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Page added on June 30, 2011

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ESSAYS FOR THE SOUL


By

Rogelio Quinto

___________________________________

NO MAN IS AN ISLAND

___________________________________

My 7-year old nephew was at a loss grappling with the meaning of the phrase “No man is an island”. It was one of those days when his inquisitive mind was working again.

I offered an example to give him an idea. “Imagine yourself without your Mom and Dad; then, think how life would be for them without you.” He smiled.

After pausing as if to gather his thoughts, he turned to me and offered his own example. “What would I be like without my friends, and what would my friends be like without me?”

Exactly.

When my nephew walked away, my mind was still on the subject. I didn’t want to think of similar examples for fear that I might sound unfair. But my mind was persistent.

“What would I be like without the Association that I am happily associated with? Conversely, what would the Association be like without me?” An intriguing question, I guess, but nevertheless it brings my point closer to home.

There is no doubt that the Association and its members depend on each other for a variety of reasons; that something will be amiss without the other.

My point is: An organization is only as good as its members. To keep the organization going, its members must practice the simple rule of give and take. In addition, maintaining an open mind and learning how to make compromises also do wonders, though admittedly, they are easier said than done.

There are many intangible benefits for joining an association. But, like any realities in life, there are duties and responsibilities commensurate with those benefits. There are personal inconveniences too. However, one should never question whether those inconveniences outweigh the benefits.

The maxim “Ask not what the Association can do for you but what you can do for the Association” may sound trite, but its message rings loud and clear.

___________________________________

ON BEING GRATEFUL

___________________________________

Whenever the topic of being grateful is brought up in any conversations, the following people and events come to mind.

-          A soul mate who cares, loves, and understands me;

-          Children who I can be proud of;

-          Friends who I can count on, friends with whom I can share my laughter and sorrow;

-          God who has given me the faculty to think, to rationalize, to appreciate beauty, to find meanings in many of the things around me;

-          My parents for conditioning me intellectually, morally, and spiritually;

-          My employer for believing in me and for giving me the opportunity to professionally grow in my chosen field;

-          Canada for opening its doors to all of us who have dreams and ambitions;

-          The medical practitioners who are helping me maintain a clean bill of health;

-          The thinkers and builders of modern technology for giving us comfortable living through their amazing technological inventions.

The list goes on and on.

Further, on the subject of being grateful: The one most important thing that we Filipinos can be proud of is our genuine concern for our parents. We are always grateful to our parents for their gift of life and love. Believing that education is their greatest investment for our future, they will do everything in their power to ensure that we finished our university education even if it may mean mortgaging the house or selling the family heirloom.

Most of our parents in the Philippines do not have old age pension or retirement income. When they can no longer support themselves financially in their latter years, they count on our generosity to tide them over. We, their investments, have to pay them dividends in due time.

This business-like approach of inferring gratitude to our parents may not sound right but it is only one of the many ways to reciprocate them for everything they have done for us.

***

Just a few days ago, a news feature in the Calgary Herald caught my attention: “Court orders offspring to pay parental support”.

Excuse me! This is almost like mandating the child to love his parents. I hope this child’s ingratitude is just an isolated aberration and not indicative of the real Canadian family value.

___________________________________









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