I’ve had this post sitting around “un-done” in my drafts folder for some time. Today I was housecleaning (disk cleaning) and I decided to make something out of it rather than giving it the old heave ho.
It’s my thought that many of you are reading here for many different reasons, but the various reasons can often be lumped into one general category … entertainment. Let me be quick to say there is nothing wrong at all with any of these particular sub-categories, but perhaps giving a little thought to why you are really here can help make the experience a bit better for you and even to get a little more out of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine and the efforts of those who make it happen. I’m including a broad category of things in ‘entertainment’:
- Diversions – Anything that makes you forget the pain of your “little life”. Hmm, to call most people’s like “little” sounds a bit demeaning, but then again, we all of us are pretty much just small cogs on some giant wheels. I myself sometimes get a bit sad with some of the interactions I have with folks who are in the “Interested in the Philippines” group because there are many out there who come across, to me at least, as being very unhappy with their lives and have somehow focused on the Philippines as being the one spark of hope that will someday make them feel happy and fulfilled. Everyone needs to believe in something, but if this is you … something I have learned the hard way in this life we all share … if you are unhappy in country X or country Y, you are very likely to be unhappy here in the Philippines as well. One thing you can definitely do, right now, today at a cost of absolutely nothing, is to start looking for the important things in your life. Changing countries won’t fix what’s wrong, only changing ‘you’ inside will. Don’t let the diversionary thought of “someday” making the move blind you from the fact that personal unhappiness usually climbs right in the box with the rest of your possessions when you move … wherever you go, there you are.
- Distractions – Anything that provides an easy-reason to not deal with what is in front of you. This is the one I certainly identify with very strongly. If I let myself slip into the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” mode there’s no doubt I could have made the move here way sooner in my life and been a lot more settled in already. If you’re just dropping by to pass the time for a while, no problem, glad to have you. But if you think for sure you want to make the move and you aren’t doing something, each and every day to make the move happen, leave now, go directly to your “to do” list (you do have one, right?) and get a couple items crossed off before you come back. Distractions cause more delay and difficulty than any of the commonly stated problems like money, health, family and such ever do.
- Aggravation – Reading news or views that make you mad or get you jacked up (many find this a great pick-me-up in the afternoons at work, I’m told). Some of us seem totally driven by dissatisfaction. If this is you, I can’t really say you are in the wrong place, but then again, please don’t try to drag me into it. In general terms my life is quite satisfactory …has been for years. I really don’t care who is in the White House, or in Malacañang Palace for that matter.
You’d be surprised how in my view, after 60 years of being aware of the news and how the world is being run, things aren’t really all that different.
I clearly remember President Truman address the nation about why we had to fight again in Korea to ‘make the world safe for democracy’ and get those rascally and aggressive North Koreans under control once and for all … good thing we accomplished that goal, eh?
I also clearly remember President Eisenhower making speeches and even radio commercials telling us that “We Auto Buy Now” to pump up a tottering auto industry which couldn’t figure out how to sell cars that Americans would buy. Check that problem off too, we fixed it, didn’t we? … or was that our current leader I saw other night hawking long-term auto warranties backed by the federal government? … naw, that must have been a dream from the past.
My point is, not to discuss current politics, but to try to help you see that the more things change, the more they stay the same. If you are really unhappy about how the world is being run today, or any of its particular countries, instead of getting yourself all wound up, just relax and take a deep breath. Things are going to change, but in the long run, they pretty much all even out. Regardless of how strongly you feel about politics, social injustice, religion or any other “shibboleth” you may be personally attached to, a move to the Philippines is unlikely to make and difference, pro or con.
A week or two ago I read a comment to one of Bob’s articles about stress. The fellow making the comment was in the US and the way he worded his concerns he really made me feel quite sorry for him. He was terribly concerned about “the horrible way the US was being run right now” and how life as we know it was probably in a death spiral … and even sadder he seemed to feel it was his personal responsibility to save us all from the impending crash.
Thank God I don’t have any immense responsibilities like that weighing me down … I’m just a little grain of sand on a gigantic beach myself … only a few other grains of sand even know I am here, and when I’m gone, very few will even know it, much less care.
OK so, that’s a few of the reasons I think some of us are reading (and perhaps writing) about the Philippines. Did I hit any chords that resonated with you? Or am I all wet and crazy as a mad hatter? Anyone care to share why they are here?