Luab: Letting go of wistful thinking-A A +A
Saturday, October 12, 2013
AS children, we used to say, “I wish we had a bigger house, I wish I had clothes like the girl next door, etc.” We really wished freely because we never stopped to think that life does not respond to wishful thinking. What is sad today is that some of us still have to get out of this “wish” syndrome.
Only yesterday I overheard someone say, “I wish the interest rate of our money in the bank would rise otherwise I will be delving into my capital.’’
That kind of a wish will not help one’s predicament. One has to move to find out where one can wisely invest one’s capital before it dwindles to zero level.
My neighbor told her helpers to line their yard with festive pink balloons because it was the birthday of her daughter. When she saw the dark clouds hovering an hour before the party, she glanced up and said, “I wish it wouldn’t rain! My tables will be soaking wet.” The grandmother suggested, “Why don’t we transfer the party indoors?” Her daughter answered, “I’m still wishing it won’t rain!” Sad to say, the rains did come suddenly, the balloons got soaked and the tables were dripping wet.
Wishing for things to come about isn’t enough. It is all right to dream, to have ambitions but rarely do they drop out of the sky.
Even hitting the jackpot in a casino requires gamblers to try their luck at slot machines day in and day out often losing thousands and many do not even hit the jackpot! A mother might wish her brood to be close to each other but unless she prepares the groundwork of inculcating values, practicing what she preaches, her siblings will each just go their merry way.
We have muttered often enough: “I wish we had better government officials.” Why then did we choose corrupt leaders? Did we believe that they would change? Now we know that wishing them away won’t work! It was really the fairy tales of old which channeled our way of thinking along the “I wish” lines. Remember the saying, “And they lived happily ever after”? Reality, however, is different.
There is no “happily ever after” in a relationship, if the two people concerned do not work together, or do not strive to keep their relationship strong.
A young wife lamented the fact that her young successful husband traveled so much. She said, “I wish he were home more!” My answer to her was: “Why don’t you learn how to get involved in your husband’s business ventures? Perhaps you can join him in his travels.
There are wives who are successful business partners too!”
One day we all will grow old and we will reach a point where retirement age arrives. By that time we cannot just say, “I wish I had prepared for my old age!” Remember that old age does not come overnight. It creeps slowly on us. That fact should give time for saving a part of our income, for buying insurance or for opening our own business. We cannot just rely on a pension plan which pays only P3,000 or more a month today. This amount cannot be stretched to cover food alone for a month.
So many of us have left our shores for other places because surviving in the Philippines would need extra money. They didn’t just wish for comforts in old age but they sacrificed in order to achieve their goals. I’ve seen widows and widowers having to live with a married son or daughter and being miserable for the rest of their lives because they never thought of a contingency plan.
The Philippines today is a place where both spouses have to find work because they have to. Filipinos now know that to survive in this situation of so much corruption, of so much poverty, one has to work harder sometimes accepting more than just one job.
Children must be trained early enough in life not to waste, not to be idle but to work, to save and not to complain.
Let us no longer just wait for the proverbial guava to full in Juan Tamad’s mouth. This time we not only plant the guava seeds, but we nurture them and then we export guava in many forms. Keeping up with the times means letting go of wistful thinking and doing something!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 13, 2013.