Winning 001: An unusual giving will always result to an unusual receiving


The past weeks, Filipinos in Luzon have witnessed another flooding on an unprecedented magnitude, affecting vast areas of Central Luzon and Metro Manila.  What was thought to be a once-in-a-century blip of nature repeated itself within three years (in reference to Typhoon Ondoy in 2009). This time around, during the week starting August 6, it was monsoon rains that flooded the streets.

What we had experienced was a sign that we actually breached a new normal, telling us we can no longer do things that we are used to.  Ondoy in 2009 already told us that a lot of adjustments in life had to be made.  Hardly some tried to do these adjustments; when such disposition is the attitude, everyone else fails.

How do we deal with this new normal? How do we really adjust to something new?  Life adjustments are not one-time events.  They need careful understanding and complete mental, emotional, physical and financial processing. They have to get into our way of doing things.  As our title of today’s commentary suggests, life adjustments are about giving something up unusually. This adjustment will not be in vain as the return will come up in some other areas of our lives, albeit, unusually too.

Giving something can also be done unconsciously as generosity had become part of our culture.  Some things need to be undone, and this has to be done consciously.  We have given too much of what we do not want to society and it found its way back to us.  We have treated all the warnings about nature, environment and the likes as just part of life.  Ultimately, all these problems will solve themselves.  Unfortunately, nature has taken so much from us that it can no longer adjust by itself.

The burden of adjustment has now shifted to us.

To adjust our lives to the new normal, we need to give unusually. In my opinion, we Filipinos have a penchant of collecting things.  We have china cabinets in our house that contain plates and glasses for visitors who rarely come.  For the modern world, we too have adjusted by having two or more cellular phones, television sets, radios, DVD players and the like.  We have treaded on the road of excesses and these are what we need to give up.

The simplest test is to look at our closet and look for things that you have not touched or worn during the last six months. You may no longer need those things. Giving out things we do not need anymore starts individually, but this can also be done by families.  The best is to have a semestral garage sale of things that we do not need.  Schedule this every start of the year and stick to it.  My family had done this ritual for the last six years, and it has helped us understand that things are not forever.  It also helped taught my children to value only the things that matter the most.  Leftovers from garage sales are easily handed over to other charities, as well as to relatives and friends.

It has become easy to give to other because of this adjustment that our family has made.  It is not impossible, we have seen other families and friends try and succeed. In the end, except to receive things in an unusual manner —and in many forms and many ways. We have received new friends, new ways of thinking, and new things that we need in this cycle of giving and receiving. Isn’t that a great bargain for a winning lifestyle?  God bless.

About Alvin P. Ang

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