Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Pain of Becoming

This is Chapter 1 of "The Pearl Principle" book.

Filipinos are known for being “matiisin” which is mistaken for resiliency by most of us. Resilience is supposed to be a manifestation of strength of character--- the courage to bounce back, the ability to move on, and the persistence to move forward.

The misconception that resilience is the same as "pagtitiis” or “matiisin” is not good. We have to learn to distinguish these two concepts from each other, otherwise we shall remain just standing in place” or worse, we could be stepping backwards and repeat the same mistakes.

Too much of “pagtitiis” can be the cause of one’s downfall. It breeds self-doubt and erodes self-worth. We must elevate our “pagtitiis” to a higher level--- and that is “pagkilos.” We must do something to get out of a crisis situation and overcome.

We must, therefore, redefine ‘resilience.’

Resilience is the act of overcoming crisis by doing something about it. Ang ating pagdurusa ay hindi mapapatid kung hindi natin babaguhin ang ating pananaw.

Hindi maaaring taun-taon na lamang ay mananatili tayo sa ating kinasasadlakan. Hindi maaaring sa bawat taong dumaraan, sa pagdating man ng krisis o pananalanta ng kalamidad, ay pabalik-balik tayo sa parehong kalagayan.

Hindi ito nararapat. Huwag tayong maglakad ng paluhod. Dapat tayong maglakad na nakatayo nang sa gayon, tayo ay makatakbo at makatalon, upang maiangat natin ang ating mga sarili mula sa kasalukuyang mundong kinasasadlakan.

The journey from the state of “pagtitiis” to “pag-kilos” will demand the need for change. We begin by changing our paradigm, our mental construct that dictates who we are and who we shall become. This must be guided by the core values of enlightened discernment rooted in the transformation of our personal adversities into a gem of a life.

Introspection is the key to unlock the right core values that will guide our quest for change.

And change can only happen if we have a true understanding of ourselves which is a prerequisite before anything else can happen.

We must always look at the big picture. But, we must act on what is within our reach and within our volition, that is, effecting positive and peaceful change within our sphere of influence!

An oyster is a very good example of this kind of change. The oyster, invaded and irritated by deadly micro-organisms could just opt not to do anything and die. However, the oyster chose to create something out of its predicament. A gem. A pearl.

*In the deep blue sea a mystery grew…From an oyster which didn’t know what to do.
A Teredo got through the crevice of its shell,Oh, the pain was like hell!

While it seemed so tranquil down there,This oyster was screaming,But help was nowhere.Did the poor oyster blame the seafor its predicament…the deplorable statethat could have been its fate?Oh, no.

Oysters are so plain,But this one refused to die in vain.

“What do I have to fight off a Teredo?”The poor oyster thought,“I don’t have anything butI know how to secrete nacre though!”

The oyster with all its might,secreted as much nacre as it couldand coated the foe…until the foe became a beautiful shiny beadwhich we now know…as the pearl.

*The Creation of a PEARL(Anonymous)

You see, nature is the best teacher! God intended for nature to be our model. People oftentimes react to adversity by destroying oneself, not because it is our nature to destroy, but because we are afraid. The oyster acted to convert an irritation into an opportunity to create something beautiful.

It is a natural act for any creature especially for people to reinvent and improve themselves at will. But, this could only be possible if we look beyond, and see beauty and opportunity, rather than wallow in self- pity and remain a victim of our circumstances.

This is ‘The Pearl Principle.’ Initiating change from within and from within one’s sphere of influence by converting a state of hopelessness into a state of optimism, where opportunities are created as in the creation of a pearl.

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