The gift of acceptanceBy Thelma Sioson San Juan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
I thought the staff was sick and tired of doing the Christmas wish list. Apparently, except for one or two, they’re not. It is, as one of them chuckled—joking, get that clear—that time of the year “we can be self-serving,” and it’s “our aspiration to leave a legacy.” (Now you know why sometimes it’s good not to take them that seriously.)
Since 1997, Lifestyle has been running, every Christmas issue, its wish list. While it consists of individual and personal wishes of the staff, the list, we hope, somehow reflects the wishes of many people and carries some relevance to their daily lives.
I wish that:
Things would work. Calls don’t drop. There are no dead spots. Motorcycles on the road would be regulated—seriously—so that they don’t come flitting in from every direction, and make Metro Manila driving really risky business.
While things are looking up for the Philippines, we all know that ours isn’t exactly the most efficient country. Nothing seems to run on time. It will really be a true upgrade if we become known for efficiency and drive for excellence.
What President Aquino said during Bulong Pulungan last week struck me—his desire to have thorough performance appraisal in government agencies, so that the bureaucracy will be performance-oriented.
That will be the day.
Today, politicians have their faces still plastered everywhere—hype or self-promotion is the way to go. This, even if we have a president who uses an ordinary car plate and who has said time and again that he doesn’t want his face on tarps and government signages.
The day that a strong work ethic and a drive for excellence become ingrained in our culture, and the day that bureaucracy functions efficiently and everything in the country runs on time and well, that’s when we really become the bright spot in Asia.
We would have the gift of acceptance. The Libran in me has always strove for balance, parity and fairness—in almost everything. That’s courting heartache and frustration. Truth is, imbalance is more the norm in the universe. Inequality exists and can rule your day, even your family.
Being able to accept the unfortunate turn of events—or stuff you can’t change, no matter how hard you’ve tried—is truly a gift.
With that gift, we wish that we could have cognition of our blessings in our daily lives, and learnings. If we don’t, it’s really a rotten feeling—a poverty of spirit.
We would have moments of prayer and pause. Our friend Lia Bernardo told us that time is really coming and going at a dizzying pace—and that’s not only because of innovations in technology. Christmas is here even as we still have to clear away last year’s holiday clutter.
Time is zipping by not only because we’re busy and always on-the-go, but also because, Lia says, time—as an entity in the universe—is actually getting faster and faster. (I think I’ll have to watch a sci-fi movie to understand this.)
In this whirl, we wish for moments of prayer, pause, away from the noise.
We wish we could get off the speeding train once in a rare while, and take the time to look inward.