Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Empty Handed

Our random Tao Te Ching quote for the day:

Understand your masculine side,
Protect your female side.
Be the world's valley.
-Lao Tzu

Huh? Sorry no breakfast yet, the synapses aren't firing. Get a sugary meal! That's right! Stuff yourself horrendously and try to see if you can shed all that weight! Hahahaha!

It's been a while since I put in some spontaneous thoughts and some news on what's happening, so I'll get these things down immediately ---

Almost a month has passed since our Area contest for TMI came up and I was slated to speak for two contests - the International Speech Contest and the Evaluation Contest. We were in the middle of some heavy project (what's new) and naturally I came to the contest unprepared.

It wasn't a brilliant performance, and naturally I wasn't even cited among the six contestants. Even third-best would have been sufficient. The first impulse that I got was: you didn't prepare well, aye? thee gets what thee deserves.

Later on, in one post-mortem conversation I had with my boss (who joined the Humorous Speech contest, and he came up empty too), and he mentioned that some cultural standards came to play in the judging of the contest. Indians were the primary judges in the contest, and some of our linguistic tricks and expressions were lost on them, we Filipinos being too "Westernized" and more American than British. And so on and so forth.

I prefer the first interpretation. We simply weren't good enough that day, and the better men took home the prizes. I did, of course, kept second-guessing myself that I went overtime in one of my speeches. Hmm, perhaps.

So I came out empty-handed. No big deal. Little mice could starve on the enormity of scale of other problems compared to mine.

The stand-off in Jericho has ended. One thing I am sure of: this conflict in the Middle East won't ever end if the decision-makers keep on thinking with their penises. These guys need to take a chill pill, perhaps a dozen, on a daily basis, stop and smell the flowers once in a while, and most importantly, start thinking that across the negotiation table there is another person who has to worry about the wife and kids, who bleeds and breathes and dies just the same, and, once in a while, has to keep his crack from chewing up his underwear, thus giving him a self-inflicted wedgie.

Really, now. I have the admire the stones on these guys - at least they are willing to shed blood for the sake of their nation and their beliefs, unlike some people I know back home in the Philippines (where have all the heroes gone, one wonders). No one doubts their courage - but it's a different kind of courage to dare to think PEACE.

It takes a different kind of courage to TRUST (No, not the condom! Get your brain out of the gutter, buddy!).

It takes a different kind of courage to believe. It's so much more convenient to put your belief behind the whoop-ass power of bombs and guns.

It takes a different kind of courage to admit defeat, to come home empty-handed. That empty hand, once opened, is the hand that could shake another's to acknowledge his or her presence.

It's a hand that could help another person through difficulty, to pull another person from a ditch or to help him or her up.

Most importantly, it's a hand that conveys the most basic of emotional support - a squeeze on the shoulder, or a soothing pat on the back.

There's no courage in simply having no fear of death. There's more courage in wanting to see others live and making the decision to help them.

See? That random quote is really useful these times. If this were a speech, I'd insert that quote right here. Heck, if I gave a speech like this one, I probably would have won that darned contest!

Petty bitterness can be somewhat of a drag, isn't it?

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