An Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude is an attitude that comes out of habitual thanksgiving.

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An Attitude of GratitudeIt’s the time of the year again when gifts come pouring into our lap, bills and coins go into circulation and people tend to be more emotional than any time of the year. Merry Christmas folks! Welcome to the season of gifts and Yuletide cheers!

But more than receiving gifts, this is the season when we need to embrace the attitude of gratitude more tightly. This is the season when we are highly gullible to think we deserve more. We expect, we assume, and if we don’t get what we want – we might end up sulking.

When I delivered a message on gratitude last Sunday for the Salt and Light Sundays Christmas party, I shared this story:

Two old friends met each other on the street one day.  One looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears.  His friend asked, “What has the world done to you, my old friend?”

The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you:  three weeks ago, my uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars.”

“That’s a lot of money.”

“But you see, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand dollars, free and clear.”

“Sounds to me that you’ve been very blessed.”

“You don’t understand!” he interrupted.  “Last week my great-aunt passed away.  I inherited almost a quarter of a million from her.”

Now the man’s friend was really confused.  “Then, why do you look so glum?”

“This week . . . nothing!

Source: http://caryschmidt.com/2009/11/a-funny-reminder-to-be-thankful/

Gift vs Entitlement

A gift is something we receive gratuitously, without any condition on our part. That is why the word “free gift” to me is redundant. If it is not free, if it comes with a condition, it is not a gift.

Receiving gifts on a regular basis makes us more expectant, to the point that we feel entitled for it. And when the regularity ceased, we feel robbed, hurt and even angry.

Receiving gifts on a regular basis makes us more expectant, to the point that we feel entitled for it. And when the regularity ceased, we feel robbed, hurt and even angry. The feeling of being entitled to receive something elevates us into a position of importance.

As children of God we are recipients of His daily grace – daily gifts from God. His grace offers us with a lot of things we can never provide for ourselves. These include our day to day provisions of food we set on our table, the money we use to buy our daily needs and all other material things we enjoy. It even extends to the things we seldom thank Him for – the air we breathe, the water we drink, our sanity, our ability to see, hear, listen and touch. These are gifts from God most of us enjoy regularly, until we almost feel entitled for it. We expect to receive these good things; take it away from us and we get upset.

Gratefulness over Thankfulness

Instead of sulking over the gifts we fail to receive, we should be thankful for the countless gifts we have already received in the past.

Yet again, more than being thankful for the gifts we receive, it is way better to cultivate an attitude of gratitude – that even if we fail to receive anything, even if circumstances fall short of our expectations, we are grateful.

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. Psalms 9:1

Gratitude is an attitude that comes out of habitual thanksgiving. More often our thanksgiving are based and prompted by the good things we receive, but gratitude is evidenced both in good times and the bad. Like King David who expresses his gratefulness in whatever circumstance he is into, the more we meditate on God’s goodness and practice our thanksgivings even when the tides turn against us, gratefulness will naturally flow out of from us.

Be Thankful
~ Author Unknown ~

Thanks for not having
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Thanks for lacking knowledge
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Thanks for difficult times
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Thanks for limitations
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Thanks for challenges
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Thanks for mistakes made
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Thanks for exhaustion
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made the effort.

Thanks for setbacks
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.

Thanks for troubles
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

Anyway, the phenomenal Maine Mendoza posted her thanksgiving on her Instagram account.

View this post on Instagram

Philippians 1:3 #ALDUB5thMonthsary

A post shared by Maine Mendoza (@mainedcm) on

And this video has given me enough reasons to be grateful for what I enjoy in life. While I can still find time to complain over things I am not able to get, these children has shown the world what it means to be grateful and overwhelmingly joyful over things we usually consider normal and simple.

This Christmas, we got a lot of things to be thankful for. And let us start expressing our thanks until it becomes a habit, cultivating in us an attitude of gratitude.

Merry Christmas!

Dumating na ang Tamang Panahon nila. Yung atin kaya?

Dumating na pala ang tamang panahon para sa kanila. Yung atin kaya?

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(c) screen grab from Eat Bulaga FB Page

Ilang makabuluhang buwan na rin pala ang lumipas sa tambalang hindi natin inakala. Ilang makabuluhang buwan na sinubaybayan natin ang istoryang inaasahan natin na magkakatotoo sa darating na panahon. Makabuluhan, kasi marami-rami naman talaga silang naibahaging aral at katotohanan pagdating sa pamilya, pag-ibig, at sa paghihintay ng tamang panahon.

At ngayong dumating na nga ang tamang panahon para sa kanila, masaya pa rin tayong nakasubaybay sa anumang kaganapan sa kinahumalingan nating tambalan. Ngunit ang tamang panahon kaya para sa atin, kailan kaya darating?

Kung isa ka sa mga taong matagal nang naghihintay sa iyong version ng “Tamang Panahon”, marahil nakaramdam ka na rin ng pagkainip, pagdududa at kawalan ng pag-asa kung ito’y darating pa nga ba.

Sabi ni kuya Joshua Harris, “the right love at the wrong time is a wrong thing”. Bukod sa paghihintay sa tamang panahon, may ilang mga bagay pa rin tayong kailangang hintayin at matutunan.

Tamang Emosyon

Kilig. Ito ang pakiramdam na parang lahat ng mga cells sa katawan mo ay nagpa-party kapag nakikita mo ang crush mo sa hallway ng school o sa pantry sa office. Higit pa ito sa excitement. Sa tuwing kinikilig ka, nakakalimutan mo na tao rin pala yung hinahampas mo at hindi sila manhid. Pero tinitiis nila ang mga hampas mo dahil alam din nila ang hindi maipaliwanag na pakiramdam na nararamdaman mo.

Pero hindi lang kilig ang main ingredient ng tunay na pag-ibig. Dahil ang kilig ay depende lang sa superficial, hindi continuous at hindi consistent. Kinikilig ka kasi maganda, gwapo o athletic, pero kung mukha na siyang tinapay o nag-amoy nang moth balls, ang kilig ay mapapalitan na ba ng disappointment? True love goes beyond superficial features of the opposite sex. It includes commitment to love and to hold no matter what happens, lalo na physically. Ang tamang emosyon ay hindi lang dapat kilig, though significant part din naman talaga ito. Ang tamang emosyon ay pag-ibig na kahit walang kilig, nangangakong hindi magbabago dahil ang pag-ibig ay isang commitment.

Tamang Inspirasyon

Bakit ka nga ba papasok sa isang relasyon? Para isang libangan? Dahil sa pressure ng mga kaibigan? O naiiisip mo na napag-iiwanan ka na ng lahat ng mga ka-batch mo ng highschool? Ang isang relationship na may selfish motives ay siguradong hindi magpo-prosper, dahil in the first place, ang isang relationship ay nangangailangan ng mutual dependence at vulnerability. Ibig sabihin, handa kang magbigay ng tulong at alalay sa panahong nanghihina ang isa, at handa ka ring tumanggap ng tulong kung nanghihina ka. Maraming maaaring maging dahilan sa pagpasok mo sa isang relasyon, pero wala pa ring tatalo kung ito ay tama at di nakakasira, prompted by genuine, sincere, unconditional love.

Papasok ka sa relationship hindi dahil pakiramdam mo ay gusto mong may pumuno sa pagkatao mo. You are already complete as you are. Kung sa tingin mo ay kulang ka without someone, isipin mo na lang na ang pagkakaroon ng relationship ay pagkakaroon ng partner – you help each other, you complement one another. Take away your partner, you are still the same, and your whole system still functions the same.

Tamang Preparasyon

Hindi ka papasok sa isang relasyon nang hindi ka handa, gaya ng pagsabak sa isang laban na wala kang armas. At sa pag-ibig, ang dapat na hinahanda ay ang sarili. Handa ka na bang magsakripisyo ng oras, ng resources, handa ka na ba sa mga “healthy” compromises (dahil may mga unhealthy compromises na hindi dapat ine-entertain sa relationship), at higit sa lahat sa pagiging selfless? Mahalagang maging handa sa maaaring dumating na mga pagsubok na siyang susukat sa depths at sincerity ng iyong mga pangako. Words of affection are good, however unless it is backed-up with actions that prove its sincerity, it remains empty promises.

Maging handa personally – emotionally, socially, spiritually at wag laging hindi mapakali. Entering into a relationship is the same as sharing your life to your chosen partner, so better be ready. Otherwise, chose not to enter a relationship.

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(c) screen grab from Eat Bulaga FB Page

Maghihintay tayo ng tamang panahon, pero sa ating paghihintay, dapat ang oras ay nananatiling makabuluhan. Occupy til’ I come (Luke 19:13), ika nga sa Biblia. Pero maaari rin nating gamitin ito sa larangan ng pag-ibig: occupy ‘til I come. At sa pagdating ng tamang panahon para sa atin, hindi lang tama ang ating emosyon, tayo ay may tamang inspirasyon din at dumaan sa tamang preparasyon.

AlDub: A Breath of Fresh Air

The fad will surely cease sometime, but even when that day comes, we will always be grateful for the opportunity that we have had a breath of fresh air and a source of pure inspiration and emotional bliss.

Fan boy mode activate.

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And now the social media world has been flooded with posts and tweets on the newest love team sensation. Who could have imagined an accidental split screen experiment will turn out to be one of the most loved, most talked-about love team in the history of Philippine media?

For over two months, AlDub’s fame has reached heights no one has ever expected. Day in and out, men and women, both young and old, unites together to bring AlDub-related hashtags at the pinnacle of the world’s attention (at least in Twitter). As a result of their fame, the newest love team received two TVC offers, and is expected to receive more in the coming days.

This is the power of media, and I reckon, social media. It unites people into a common cause. And in the case of Alden and Maine, it is overwhelming that Filipinos all over the world has stirred the internet in this new “fan-nomenon”. Clearly, this reveals two things: First, we are a nation who loves to be entertained, and second, we value relationships highly. It is a huge bonus that both are present in our beloved KalyeSerye.

In today’s society where relationships can be instant, it is very notable how KalyeSerye teaches us to wait for the right time and perfect moment, sa tamang panahon as they put it. Somehow, KalyeSerye redeems us to be a society who patiently waits for the right time, especially when it comes to romantic relationships.

I happen to read about one snide remark that says million tweets and ratings are not important, what’s important is ‘good vibes’. Whatever ‘good vibes’ mean, I believe the massive support KalyeSerye is gaining right now is more than an indication of ‘good vibes’ it brings to people. But more than that, I am overwhelmed by the values and the lessons the KalyeSerye is inculcating in the minds of its audiences, particularly the younger ones.

In today’s society where relationships can be instant, it is very notable how KalyeSerye teaches us to wait for the right time and perfect moment, sa tamang panahon as they put it. Somehow, KalyeSerye redeems us to be a society who patiently waits for the right time, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. It teaches us to respect, to listen and obey to instructions, to forgive, and to love unconditionally, all within the context of laughter mixed with tears and giggles. Even the very act of pagmamano is being encouraged by the show! Indeed, this is a breath of fresh air!

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Now on their second monthsary, this loveteam continues to soar, and from the looks of it, it seems to be no longer just a loveteam for reel but for real! First time in the history of Philippine noontime show will an accidental loveteam become a true-to-life couple, with all its fandom rallying behind them showering them with support and encouragement. But we can only wish. Ever since its popularity surfaced, AlDub has stirred creativity, wit and talents from people who admire them. How much more when they are already out of their respective characters and just be true with their feelings?

Our beloved KalyeSerye and the characters behind, particularly Alden and Maine, will continue to dominate social media in the next few weeks, or months. The fad will surely cease sometime, but even when that day comes, we will always be grateful for the opportunity that we have had a breath of fresh air and a source of pure inspiration and emotional bliss.