Your mantra for the week: “I AM a miracle worker creating miracles in my life and in other people’s lives.”
This is the last day of the year and I want to end it with a call to Understanding—understanding the people around us and those in other parts of the world who have varied cultures and belief systems and, therefore, may be quite different from us. Thus, there is a need to understand all this variance, so that one day, our dream of World Peace can become a reality.
In IAMISM, we believe that World Peace can start with the acceptance that God is within every human being regardless of color, race, religion and tradition. What makes us one is the Presence of God within each person.
However, psychology propounds that the practice of understanding those close to us is a must, in order to bring about harmony from that small circle and, through a ripple effect, expand it to include others until it covers the world.
It proposes to use the following to make it easier to accept and comprehend the psychological roots of the behavior of those around us:
1) The chronically judgmental person is one who has lived in an atmosphere where criticism is a way of life and, therefore, they must be praised and complimented often.
2) There are those who often take a fighting stance because they grow up surrounded by hostility of all kinds and, therefore, are ready to go to battle at the slightest instigation. It is imperative to show them what kindness can do.
3) We have met people who are constantly apprehensive, filling their consciousness with lots of “what ifs,” (baka, eh kung…) that are mostly negative. They must be reminded to always expect the best. Because when they do, they will attract the best.
4) Those who feel sorry for themselves have been cajoled to pity others, instead of being encouraged to comfort and to console.
5.) There are many of our countrymen whose weakness is shyness after being told that it is a virtue, when it is not. Most likely, they have become reticent and sheepish because they were often ridiculed or made fun of. It is important that their good qualities be highlighted.
6) Those who envy easily have been exposed to a lot of begrudging. Our generosity is the antidote to their behavior.
7) And the guilt-ridden are the ones who have been shamed repeatedly and, therefore, must be cheered on, applauded for their achievements and victories.
I have proclaimed 2018 as a Year of Miracles. With the aforementioned starters, rest assured that it will be so for you.
The society circle that I partly cover in this column is really quite fun, just like the old times, in 1972, when the Conde de Makati openly made fun of social climbing.
Two decades prior, with the Philippine population at only 22 million, Manila’s social register was as made up of the members of Manila’s original “old families”: Abad Santos, Aguinaldo (the general’s family), Aguinaldo (the businessman’s), De las Alas, Albert, Aquino, Araneta, Benitez, Buencamino, Cojuangco, Feria, Fernandez, Fortich, Gabaldon, Gonzalez, Guerrero, Hontiveros, Jacinto (of steel and banking), Kalaw, Katigbak, Lacson, Laurel, Ledesma, Legarda, De Leon, Lichauco, Lopez, Lovina, Madrigal, Magalona, Marquez, Montelibano, Moreno, Nakpil, Osmeña, Padilla (of Rizal), Pardo, Paterno, Prieto, Puyat, Quezon, Quirino, Recto, Roces, Rodriguez (of Rizal), Romualdez, Romulo, Del Rosario, Roxas, Rufino, De los Santos, Sevilla, Singson-Encarnacion, Sison (of Pangasinan), Sunico, Syquia, Tuason, Valdez, Ysmael and Yulo.
Then, when the Conde came of age, and the population was 37 million, social climbing became the pastime of those who wanted to hobnob with Manila’s original 400, but which was interrupted by martial law.
In 1977, Ferdinand Marcos was busy cementing his new society composed of his cronies and Blue Ladies, along with imports of foreign socialites like Cristina Ford, Doris Duke, George Hamilton, et al. with, of course, the Beautiful One who even made it to the list of the Richest Women of the World, but now claims,
“I am poor and I only wear jewelry from 680.”
Metro Manila’s 400 can be seen on Facebook showing off their “branded” clothes, fabulous homes, the fancy restaurants they go to with delectable menus here and abroad.
By the way, there are hundreds who are on their way to making it to the 400. That is why I have come up with my prayer list for 2018, trusting that they would be taken into consideration by today’s so-called “High Society”:
1) That those who desire to social climb learn that showing off is not the way to be in, and that conspicuous consumption should make it to the top of the “bad taste” list. Also, that dressing to impress is really the least impressive.
2) That party ladies take heed of what National Artist for Fashion Design Ramon Valera had to say about what the Best Dressed Women are all about: “No se viste como nada se dejo mas en el banco,” referring to wearing all the jewelry they have with nothing left in the bank.
3) That socialites who wear their religion on their sleeves to prove that they are no longer “as wild as they were” only make people remember more of their colorful past—which, in my opinion, really made them more authentic and interesting. Now, they flaunt their newfound chastity which is simply a result of their hormones gone to rest, or there might just be no more interested parties.
4) That the social-lights concerned find out that landing in the society pages incessantly does not prove you “belong” but shows, instead, their overeagerness to display their fitness to be in.
5) That High Society does not mean you can get high on drugs without its dire consequences while exclaiming confidently, “Let it snow, let it snow,” whatever the weather.
6) That owning a Birkin or a Kelly is, indeed, a status symbol, but it remains a mere symbol until you acquire a demeanor like Princess Grace.
I do admit, however, that it would take a miracle for these prayers to be answered.
E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org