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    Belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  If you look around us, there’s a lot to be thankful for.  Aside from being thankful we should also learn to be content with who we are and what we have in our life.  It’s not bad to aim a goal we want to reach but not to the extend [...]

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Page added on July 31, 2012

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Pinoy Insights – What is your motto in life?

By Romeo Montoya Jr.

Remember back in elementary and high school when most girls and some boys owned this usually colorful and expensive-looking notebook called “slumbook”? I felt so honored then every time a classmate would ask me to fill out her (his) slumbook.  It meant you are valued both as a classmate and as a friend. For sure we remember as well most of the questions that we had to answer with “Who is your crush?” topping the list. Other intriguing questions would be “Who is your best friend?” – and someone would get very disappointed because he or she wasn’t declared as the best friend.  My most favorite question though was “What is your motto?” I remember how I took time writing down my favorite motto. Always, I had to sound intellectual and make sure not to pick the most common ones, like “The Golden Rule” or “Aim high, and hit the mark.” Honestly, I cannot remember any of the slumbook mottos I had, but I did realize how I sounded ridiculous in publishing them. Obviously, more than half of them, I did not understand by heart. I just thought of highfalutin words used so choosing them would boost my image to my friends and classmates. Gladly in college, I had a realization to take these mottos seriously; and yes, I got a little more serious because during my entire college life I carried in my heart these Mahatma Gandhi words – “There is a limit to the development of the intellect, but none to that of the heart.” Way too serious, but you see, up to now I can perfectly remember each word of this Gandhi line. I still consider it is one of the most beautiful quotes that a person can use as a motto in life.

Now that I’m already a family man, I still continue using mottos to express my guiding principles in life. I realized though that as I get older, I tend to choose the simple and short ones – which I usually ignored in my younger years. Let me share with you these mottos of mine.

  1. 1. Choose your friends.

Even when I was younger, I’ve never been afraid of not having too many friends. I may not have realized it before, but I’ve always been picky with the person I’m associating with. People would always find me shy because I’m unusually quiet during the first few meetings. It’s not about being afraid to show my true personality. I just make sure that I reveal my true self only to people I like. I always believe of sharing key pieces of myself only to my friends other than my family. Today’s famous line, “I don’t judge” will never work for me because I do judge. It takes a while for me to decide if I’m going to be friends with a particular person, but it takes me only a few meetings to say that I’m not going to be friends with this person. That doesn’t mean though that this person is going to be my enemy.

  1. 2. Your most loyal one.

Akin to choosing your friends, being loyal plays a crucial role in my life. Admittedly, I’ve been betrayed countless times. Obviously, this painful experience was caused by people you’ve trusted – friends, and in many cases, family or relatives. If it’s just a random person, it’s not betrayal after all. Because your trust has been devalued, you tend to value loyalty more. You become more cautious in your dealings and may sometimes withdraw from a social gathering, but ultimately you just know where to place your loyalty. You just know why you want keep your loyalty to a particular person. Because I choose my friends, I get very few friends, so I have big pieces of loyalty that I can share with my friends. My friends could attest how I support them in their battles, or even at times fight their own battles. In return, it amazes me how these friends of mine back me up when life gets tough for me.

  1. 3. Patience is a virtue.

Indeed, patience is a virtue. It’s one of the most difficult things to do. Just to patiently wait for your bus when you know very well that it takes 10 minutes for the bus to arrive is already a big challenge in going to work everyday. I could say that I am a very patient person, which I think I learned from my mother. A long queue in a bank wouldn’t make Mommy mad even if it would take her more than an hour of waiting. I’ve seen her doing physical housework without a trace of disgust or discomfort on her face. She wouldn’t even bother reprimanding twice a househelp who did not thoroughly cleaned or washed her children’s nice clothes. As what I’ve witnessed from my mother, it is enormously helpful that you start getting patient with the little discomfort in life. That way, you learn to even stretch your patience more when you encounter the bigger worries in life. It pays to be patient no matter how challenging life may become because truly in the end something good or even better comes out.

A lot more mottos serve as my guiding principles in life with many of them I’ve taken from Japanese and American TV series I follow. Basically though, I am reminded of these three mottos as I live a life away from home. No matter how long I stay here in Canada, I will always consider myself a foreigner. No matter how familiar I get with the way of life here, I will always look back to my life in the Philippines. Hence, no matter how I find life here different to what I used to have, I will always hold on to these mottos. It is because these mottos tell who I am; and I am what I am wherever I go. I want true though few friends. I am a ridiculously loyal person. I am patient.









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