The Right Attitude Toward Interruptions

August 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Some people just love to talk. Although there are possible passive-aggressive ways to handle these people, such are easier said than done. Thus, in practice, there’s not much we can do about it; it’s innately their attitude towards talking that can’t be changed. And so, if you can’t stop people from talking, then you might as well find a way to take advantage of such.

I particularly still loathe it when I’m interrupted. This happens around people who have something to say and just can’t wait for the person currently speaking to end what he’s saying. There’s an element of impatience on the individual who can’t wait for his turn to speak. And if I didn’t know any better, there’s also an element of arrogance because this person feels like what he has to say is more important and so he just has to go ahead and interrupt; this might actually be true, but it doesn’t diminish the conceit in the matter.

To the best of our ability, I think we should try to be patient, or at least to not be too offended, when someone interrupts us. We can use this as an opportunity to learn more about that person, and in particular what’s on his mind; this knowledge is still worth something. It’s easier said than done, but you can’t control the other person, only how you deal with his nature.

I think patience, and a certain amount of understanding, is the right attitude when you get interrupted. There’s still no excuse for the bad behavior. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop being charitable.

We can only hope that that when someone interrupts us, his idea is either more important and / or more interesting than what we were saying. Sometimes, this is actually the case, and so it makes his interruption worth it. Otherwise, the person is just rambling (and potentially rambling things bordering on nonsense), and my opinion of him being disrespectful and arrogant will only strengthen. If the latter is the case, then it’s his fault for exposing himself as a fool.

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Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

The Fleeting Crush

August 13, 2017 Leave a comment

A “fleeting crush” can be described, among many ways, thusly: “I know your name. You know I exist. As far as I’m concerned, that’s good enough for me. I’ll take what I can get; I’ll receive what can be given. I’m not expecting anything, thus to receive even what little notice you can spare is an underserved generous plenty. And even if the gift isn’t much – it’s actually nothing at all – I’ll still be immensely grateful for the blessing that is you. I’m content just admiring you from a distance, for I want nothing more than just that. Thank you for your presence in my life, if only for just this fleeting moment.”

Categories: Personal

Possibility of Escape From the Boss-Zone

August 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Being at a high place in the corporate ladder has its perils and then some, with such risks also evident when it comes to love. The loneliness of command is real, and some leaders feel it more than others. A position too high up the hierarchy can be a detriment in the pursuit of love. It puts you in an “awkward” if not “unreachable” place. To put it simply: You find yourself getting “Boss-Zoned.” In my musings today, I wondered if there was a way to escape this particular zone; perhaps there are a few ways, but none are easy.

A relationship should be a “meeting of equals.” At a minimum, you need to ensure that there’s no reporting relationship. Make no mistake: This is a foundational requirement. When there’s a reporting relationship, there’s some power play that can influence the balance of the dynamics between two people. Never mind for a moment that such won’t be a good thing for other people in the office to see; this imbalance can and will cloud decisions when it comes to assignments, performance management, salary administration, and the like. Things that happen outside the office shouldn’t unduly influence or impact things that happen inside the office, and vice-versa.

The other action that I think needs to happen would be to wait for the other person to catch-up to you in the ladder. That can mean waiting for her to eventually become your peer. That can mean staying at your level for a while longer until such time that she’s able to move up to your level, too. That can mean a combination of both. But this approach comes with its own risks: This involves a lot of waiting, and a lot of things can and will happen while waiting. There’s a good chance to lose her if (when) she chooses to be with someone else who is her peer. And sacrificing your own benefit for a relationship that literally isn’t promised or “secured” is foolish; you’re waiting for nothing. You owe it to yourself to pursue and enjoy what you rightly deserve, too.

It’s worth calling out the nuance in the latter action. It involves waiting for the other person to be your peer. If you’re able to influence or directly push for that to happen then the imbalance in the relationship is still there. In other words the situation is such that it’s not a “meeting of equals,” the foundational requirement doesn’t exist. It’s a misuse / abuse of one’s authority to unfairly give another person an advantage. Once more, never mind for a moment that it won’t look good; it’s important that she’s able to achieve things on her own, that she shouldn’t owe you anything. Undue influence with what can happen inside the office is something you don’t need in the relationship since such only breeds a particular form of anxiety that both of you don’t need.

Again, be warned: Waiting, especially waiting too long, is a dangerous thing to do. If you want something to happen, if you want to get who you want, then it’s crucial for you to act immediately. You need to be in a place where there isn’t anything you can do that will have any sway in what happens in the relationship as far as work is concerned, and vice-versa. And the sooner that you can make this happen (whatever the hell that might be if it’s not these two actions), the better.

For what it’s worth, the lady that catches your eye in the office isn’t the only option in your life. As they say, there are many other fish in the sea. Sometimes it’s just best to avoid the problem of getting “Boss-Zoned” altogether by just considering others outside your current employment. In such case, both of you are free to grow and prosper in your respective fields and endeavors. There’s no need to deal with the potential influence of power plays, office politics, competition, etc. in a relationship as a result of one’s position and what-not, because such simply won’t exist; it won’t be a thing to mitigate.

Love is a “many-splendored” thing, as it’s often said. But nobody ever said love would be an easy thing. Love is one of the messiest, if not the messiest, thing you can ever get yourself involved in. Perhaps it’s best to just avoid it for good? Now, that’s another option altogether, one not meant for everyone.

Before I forget, a personal relationship is meant to be private. Therefore, exercise discretion in whatever you choose to do. Now, how to be discrete is another story for another day.

Categories: Personal

Too Many E-mails, Too Many Meetings

July 29, 2017 1 comment

Find time for your team, even if it’s at least being available to them online once in a while.  If you’re always busy and your calendar is always booked with back-to-back appointments, then you become USELESS to them.  Even worse is if they no longer bother to reach out to you (or even try), for whatever reason. – Advice I gave some years ago

In my opinion, the evils that come with too many e-mails and too many meetings are mutually inclusive.

Sometimes e-mail is useless because the recipient doesn’t respond in a timely manner, if at all. That’s usually because the recipient’s Inbox is overloaded with too much e-mail. Frustration at a lack of response eventually leads to just meeting that person to talk about it – assuming you’re successful in scheduling something with him.

Life is often too fully booked these days. Too many meetings are a waste of time because it’s time spent not doing any deliverable needed. If the only thing you do is attend meetings the whole day, then you’re “not doing anything.” I’ve even been to a couple of pre-meeting meetings just to prepare for a meeting – imagine the time spent just doing that; what’s sad in this example was that there was a real need to do just that! Out of frustration at trying to talk to people who aren’t available, the last resort would be to just send them an e-mail – and hope against hope for a timely response from the person (good luck with that), since this would be one more e-mail in his large pile that could likely be ignored.

Too many e-mails left without a response breed nagging follow-ups through meetings. Too many meetings deprive the person of time that could have otherwise been spent doing actual work, or at the very least, responding to e-mails. It’s a vicious cycle, which as far as I can tell has no end in sight in this day and age.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Dare to be Courageous

July 23, 2017 1 comment

It’s said that the test of man is not how far he will go to win, but how far he will go when he has already lost. There’s something admirable about keeping one’s commitment to a cause, even if such is a lost one. Unfortunately that doesn’t change the fact that all time and effort is still wasted on a lost cause.

That being said, sometimes, when you already assume and expect the worst, you no longer have anything to lose. It’s when you have nothing left to lose that you can, you should, and you might as well be bold as you can in all of your actions to reach your goal.

Dare to be courageous when you have nothing left to lose. Go ahead and do something stupid when you already lost the battle, for at this point nothing you could do will make the situation any worse than it already is. Find out how much further you can go even when it looks like you could go no further. And be pleasantly surprised to see what more a little bit of courage can do for you; it’s only impossible when you stop and think about it.

Go ahead and dare to want some more.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Weekend Hyped Happiness

May 7, 2017 Leave a comment

It has occurred to me that there’s a lot of hype about how happy weekends are because, generally-speaking, there’s no work. That’s true. But I think because we tend to think that weekends are that great, that makes the other five days of the week “lousy” (unless there’s a holiday). The eventual end of the weekend signals the end of happiness, and this thought can be quite depressing. Speaking for myself, it’s no wonder I get psyched the wrong way. In other words, weekend fun ironically leads to stress.

I think rather than hype weekends for how great they are, even if they are such, a possibly helpful mind-hack would be to think that weekends are just like the other days of the week. Strictly speaking, weekends are just like weekdays anyway. But you can think of weekends as also “work days,” except that there are no meetings scheduled, and the time you have is whatever “work” you want to do instead of what the company wants you to do.

The key idea here is that every single day of the week, whether it’s a weekday or a weekend, is a day that can and should be fulfilling. It’s fulfilling if you have a sense of purpose for what you want to do that day. And because you have a sense of purpose, this is the reason to be happy on that day.

You can and should have a reason to be happy every day of the week and not just on weekends. It can be challenging at times, but it’s not impossible.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Martyrs for Jesus the Christ: Keep the Faith

April 14, 2017 1 comment

I watched some parts of a movie entitled “Silence.” It’s about Portuguese missionaries attempting to spread and sustain the Christian faith in Japan in the 1600s, at a time when the faith was outlawed and persecution was rampant. One missionary was killed, but eventually another one, the main character, was forced to apostatize (renounce the faith) to literally save the lives of Japanese faithful (and those who previously apostatized) from torture and death.  There’s an underlying theme of God’s silence throughout such hardship, which has lead the main character, a priest, to the edge of despair. Eventually the priest was forced to apostatize and renew his renunciation every so often until the end of his life.

The Church will continue to be persecuted for the simple fact that we’re a counter-cultural force in the world. In my opinion, I’d go so far as to say that if the Church isn’t being criticized or attacked for something, then we’ve failed to live out our duty to Christ. In these modern times the Church and even non-Catholic Christians suffer from one form of persecution or another. You’re lucky if you live in a country where the Church is just being criticized and ridiculed. What’s sad is sometimes the criticism comes from fellow Catholics and Christians; instead of trying to understand each other, we end up dividing each other instead. And there are still some nations where it’s illegal to practice the faith, and so you do so in secret under pain of literal death.

Martyrdom

The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will… even if that center is right smack in the middle of chaos. – one of my friends, Jade S.

The blood of martyrs seeded the faith of the early Church. In one form or another, such has continued to happen throughout the centuries, and still continues to happen in this day and age. This movie got me thinking about how far one would actually be willing to go to keep the faith.

It’s a lot to ask to be a martyr for Jesus the Christ. The experience in Japan, as depicted in this movie anyway, got me thinking that there’s an “easy way” and there’s a “hard way” to be a martyr. Both still involve horrendous pain, but the approach to inflict it can be “very involved.” The “easy way” is you’re subjected to torment. If it’s just you involved, then it makes the decision to die for Jesus relatively easier, because the worst that could happen is that you lose your life – it’s just you, and no one else. The “hard way” is if other people are held hostage: Give up the faith, otherwise other people will die. There’s an element of psychological torment in this latter approach because you somehow become responsible for the life and death of others – you have the power to do something to change that, but it will involve a cost too great to bear.

When it comes to the “hard way” of martyrdom, you lose with whatever decision you make. Strictly speaking, it’s still a grave sin to renounce your faith, even if by doing so you get to save the lives of others. It’s still a sin to not do anything, when you have the power to do something, to save the lives of other people, if you decide to keep your faith instead; in effect here, you’re not just deciding to be a martyr, but you’re also deciding for other people that they will also be martyrs when perhaps such is far from their minds.  Choosing between the lesser evil is, ultimately, still choosing evil.

Obviously, the “hard way” of martyrdom isn’t fair at all, and it’s not surprising to find yourself questioning God’s sense of justice in this scenario. I think it’s worth remembering that Jesus is the Just Judge – He’s NOT the sadistic judge! His sense of justice is still present; I won’t pretend to know and I won’t speculate how He will make the call in this scenario. But what I do know, in faith, is that Jesus’ sense of compassion is also always present, and more than likely so in this particular situation. At the end of the day, what’s important for God is that you do what you do out of great love for Him and the people He loves.

For what it’s worth, although it’s still a sin to give up the faith, the greater evil and hence the greater sin is with the one that subjects you to a situation where you’re forced to sin. Greater accountability rests with those who create unjust social structures that force people to do evil because doing what’s good is condemned.

It’s better to be condemned by the world for doing the right thing and being yourself, even if that means being very different and at odds with the culture to the point of suffering for it, than to be celebrated for doing evil and conforming to worldly standards and expectations. At the end of the day, the only thing that will really matter is God’s judgment on your actions, because whatever you do or fail to do in this world is between Him and you.

God’s Silence

I believe in the sun even if it isn’t shining. I believe in love even when I am alone. I believe in God even when He is silent. – Anonymous World War II refugee

The most distressing thing you can hear is to not hear anything at all from God when you’re right in the middle of Hell.

It’s easy to say that you’re never alone because God is always with us, but in practice it’s utterly difficult to believe that when you need Him to intervene with an evil that’s happening – and especially if it’s happening to you – but you don’t see Him do anything to stop it. Feeling all alone and abandoned, it’s easier to cry out at the top of your lungs that “God is nowhere!”

Despite the seeming silence, God is still with us up to this day and age because He wants to be intimately involved in our lives, if we let Him. Because He is God, He literally has the power to stop evil in this world. If He doesn’t then it doesn’t mean it’s His fault. Remember that His ways our not our ways; He has a purpose in allowing bad things to happen that will ultimately work out to our best interest. Besides, He finds ways to give us good things also, sometimes despite ourselves.

In the midst of evil, God is facing the trials and tragedies of life by our side. In moments of despair it does feel like we’re all alone, but that’s not true. He will never leave us, most especially in the lowest points and saddest moments of our lives. Some good will come out of this, even if we never find out or really understand it during our lifetime. And, really, He doesn’t even expect us to understand His will; it’s enough to know that whatever trials He allows will be for our good, in time.

No student is greater than his Teacher. If we think God is so quiet in the company of so much evil, then we’re not alone: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Even Jesus, in His humanity, experienced this same thing (Matthew 27:46). But He had to die because love is sacrificial in nature. Dying for us was the best proof that the Father could show us how much He loved us, even if there was an easier way for Him to do so. Compared to previous times, the Father stayed silent when Jesus cried out to Him to show that He wouldn’t intervene in what had to happen, because out of love for us, He knows His Son’s death for the atonement of our sins had to happen. If there’s ever any doubt that good can somehow come out of this, then look no further than Jesus’ Passion and death on the Cross.

Even in our darkest hours, and most especially during such, He’s actually still there. Being a follower of Christ doesn’t necessarily mean that we will escape all the pain in this world, for such isn’t necessarily part of His plan. However what being a follower means is we’re not facing the trials of life alone. And with all the faith we can muster, we can cry out in a loud voice that, instead of saying “God is nowhere!” we say instead “God is now-HERE!”

On a side-note: We cannot expect God to be selectively “noisy.” We can’t expect Him to intervene when someone is doing evil but then stay out of our way when we ourselves are doing something evil. Ultimately this matter also goes down to God’s continuing respect for His gift of free will to us. And God was, is, and will always be consistent.

Man of Weak Faith

I can most relate to that one character in the movie that keeps on going to Confession, because, like all of us, he has a favorite sin. All throughout the movie, he confesses the same sin. This man’s sin in particular was renouncing his faith whenever his life was in peril; he doesn’t need to be forced to do so.

The fact that he keeps on repeating the same sin again and again is not the point. The point is he acknowledges how much he needs Jesus in his life, and despite his weakness, always makes the effort to try and come back. I’m not disappointed that he kept on committing the same sin; I actually admire that he kept on coming back and was genuinely sincere in all his attempts to reform his life. If I can appreciate that, then for sure God appreciates that, too (Luke 15:7). Each time he came back, it became a testimony of God’s infinite mercy and love for His children.

I’m a man of weak faith. I’d like to think that I’ve taken steps over the years to try and grow my trust and confidence in our Lord; I constantly pray for the grace to do so. My faith is not tested with my life, which is a good thing of course, but it’s tested everyday by how much effort I’m willing to exert to be obedient to God’s commands of love. In this day and age, this is the opportunity for people like me to shine as martyrs for Jesus.

But should the terrible day come when I need to pay for my faith with my life, or if absolutely necessary, also with the lives of other people, I honestly don’t know if I can do it. By my own power, for sure nothing will happen. And so on that day, I will look to God, and despite His seeming silence, and with what little faith I can muster, put my hope and trust in Him that He will give me the grace to do what He wants me to do. I hope it never does, but should the terrible day come, I know that this is what He’ll want me to do.

Jesus, I trust in You!

[Editorial note: I also incorporated what I learned from a few Homilies. One of the priests of my parish talked about God being “nowhere” when he eventually realized that He is always “now-here.” A guest priest that celebrated Mass in another parish talked about the Father’s silence during the Passion as an example of why He didn’t intervene. I’m grateful I actually paid attention to what the priests were saying since such have also informed my insights on the matter.]

Categories: Religion