I love to read about amazing people. I am especially thrilled when the story is about a kababayan who steps up to help make life better for others.
Mark Bustos is a hairstylist, born in New York City of Filipino parents. Today, Mark works six days a week in an upscale Manhattan salon, where clients pay up to $150 just to sit in his chair for a haircut.
On Sundays, however, his only day off, Mark can be found on the streets of Manhattan walking among the homeless, talking to them, sharing stories, giving them haircuts and grooming their beards.
Mark got his generous idea when he came to the Philippines a few years ago to visit his Pinoy family. He rented a chair at a local barberya and offered haircuts to underprivileged children, free of charge.
His purpose: to make a difference in their lives in the best way he knows how.
He loves to tell about a homeless New Yorker who, after the haircut and grooming, asked, “Do you know if anyone is hiring today?”
His “new look” had given him a sudden surge of hope.
Mark founded “Be Awesome to Somebody,” a platform for people who want to share their gifts and talents with those who are down on their luck. Bravo!
Mabuhay ka, Mark Bustos!
I heard from an old friend. She wanted to know how to hook up with my son’s concert tour in the States. She wants to bring her friends and family.
“I haven’t felt too well lately. But the doctors say it’s my age. Let’s just say I want to give myself a last hurrah.”
I gave her the information and she was happy. She will probably watch in Las Vegas.
It will be a huge task to plan the logistics for her road trip. She’s excited but expects some opposition from her children. “They’ll say I’m too old! I don’t care!” We laughed.
Her email tried to be upbeat. But it kept me up that night. Her words sounded familiar.
“It’s time to add to the pluses in my life. I want to shorten the list of things I have not done. I want to minimize my regrets. I know that I have carried some of my misgivings for too long. I have grudges against people but don’t even remember why. Doing fun things may get rid of the shadows that have haunted me too long. When my time comes, I want to travel light.”
Some months ago, I read a report on a study made by psychologists about regret and how we dwell on the memories of where and how we’ve missed it.
One writer said, “We can’t go back and pluck up seeds that have been sown, and what we sow will grow.”
Mistakes are real. They are irrevocable. Bad decisions haunt us. But we cannot “un-decide.”
“I know it is painful to accept the reality of whatever it is we regret. But we must acknowledge the truth and stop beating ourselves up for something we cannot undo.”
We cannot go back to that moment before we messed up. It is what it is.
Forgive yourself. I remember hearing this many times while I was going through a very dark phase in my life. Guilt is too heavy a burden to carry for the rest of your life.
The report says, “Forgiving yourself won’t negate the thing you regret, but it will set you free from the power it holds over you.”
How can you make it right? If what you did harmed someone else and you still have time to ask for forgiveness, for heaven’s sake, apologize. Why is it so hard to say “I’m sorry”?
Broken fences may be difficult to rebuild. Some hurts may take longer to heal. But you must give it your all to make amends. “When you feel a sense of peace in your heart, you will know that you have done enough. And then, let it be.”
Stop talking about it. Don’t give that mistake a voice and a life of its own.
We must get rid of the reminder buttons we have foolishly created to bring back the scene of our errors. Stop playing back that sad song-and-dance of long ago.
The present is precious. It is also short and quickly runs out. There is no time for wondering “what if.”
The study advises us to instead “do the opposite of what you regret.” It tells us to “channel your thoughts into what is uplifting. Read something that inspires you. Do something nice for someone. Reach out a benevolent hand. Be kind.”
In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Gina Lopez once said, “Life is beautiful. The greatest thing is the possibility of making a difference.”
Her principles were unwavering; so was her nonnegotiable commitment to integrity and truth.
Tributes about Gina speak eloquently of a life well lived and laud her passionate advocacy for children and the environment. We have lost a champion.
Gina leaves an extraordinary legacy.
I grieve with her mother and her family.
But while in tears we lament such a terrible loss, Gina is free. She has found her wings, at last.