The big and small of things

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By Nina S. Custodio

Doc@XXLarge

Saturday, June 28, 2014


THINGS motivate us to try and be someone in this world. There are people who strive for success and power while others want to achieve a level of comfort that equates with the feeling that they have everything. Our personal experiences and daily dealings with life as it unfolds allow us to build our dreams and figure out ways for us to achieve them; hopefully within our lifetime.

The quest of truly determining what makes you happy is a long, serpentine road with its ups and downs, sharp turns and sudden drops that at different points in our lives we may have thought of quitting or felt that it was a fight to the death. Most of us have gone a substantial distance in our journey that we are fully aware of the fact that things and ideas can change depending on how we perceive things to be of importance to us. These realizations shape our personalities and belief systems that we are continuously being molded to be a better (?) version of our old selves.

I remember someone saying that we never step into the same river twice. I think this also applies to our selves. Everyday experiences tweak us every day, whether we are fully aware of the changes or not. Haven't you ever experienced looking back at the past and realizing that you have indeed, changed so much? I find myself in a quandary sometimes, wondering "how the heck did I become this?" The changes may come as a surprise to us when we realize how we have become so different from how we used to be.

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I personally sometimes become a bit dismayed by my 'progression' that I could only shake my head and be genuinely disgusted with what I have become. It is human nature to keep track of our 'progress' but there are times when things fall between the cracks and we only discover the impact of these changes when problems start rearing it's ugly head or worse, when damage has been done! That sucks!!

Haay. I have always believed in being mindful of things that happen to you and around you but I have to stay that in this imperfect world we have to know that things that always work out the way we planned or hoped it would become. Sadly, there are those things that just happen without us noticing and we need to be able to adjust to these surprises as if we had actually expected them to happen!!

That being said, I find myself believing two things:
1. Big things can be overrated.
2. The small things count.

Big things command our attention. Since they take up a lot of space either in our field of vision or in our minds, it will be difficult for these things to go unnoticed. They are a BIG deal and so having the capacity to achieve it or overcome it can mean the world to us. These big things, whatever they are, account for the majority of the affirmation that an individual may need to prove to himself that he is doing well in the land of the rat races. People always want to do things at a grander scale. Ubersuccessful career, grand mansions, expensive cars, lavish lifestyle, even the adoration and admiration of people on a fanatic scale.

Admit it, being able to enjoy these perks can be really, really intoxicating! There are quite a number of people who have achieved it! On a personal note, I don’t really have anything against it but sadly, there are those who lose sight of the more important things that matter, or SHOULD matter. In the quest for acquiring things that give us recognition, power and the awe of the people around us, we forget about the things that make us human and humane. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with aspiring for greatness and in achieving (and acquiring) grander things, but don’t lose sight of its roots (and yours) and remember the lessons you learned along the way!

Small things do not always mean that they are insignificant. Yes, they can go unnoticed at times (or more often than not) but there will always come a point when one actually realizes that these things matter. Most of the time, it comes at a time when its realization drives a lesson one must learn at a very difficult time in your life.

When this happens, it will be quite impossible not to learn from it. At various times of our lives, we are often allowed to discover that simple things, no matter how they seem insignificant to us, will prove its worth when the perfect opportunity comes. We have a tendency to take mundane things for granted but when it is taken away from us, we realize how things can be so much different without it! I guess this is why I am still quite amazed that I am now able to walk up and down a flight of stairs after YEARS of just taking the elevator! These days whenever I can, I prefer to take the stairs and improve my stair-climbing abilities rather than be stuck in the box the goes up and down the floors. Hehe.

The secret to maneuvering our lives between the big and small things lies in our ability to find and develop the balance that will make it easier for us to adjust to them whenever one overpowers the other. Being able to accept too, that as much as we try to prepare for everything that life will throw at us, there are things that we will never have control over. There is no clear formula to life but with practice, we can get better at it. In the end being able to accept things as they come and act accordingly in the way you think would be best will allow us to truly be happy and keep experiencing that happiness most days of our lives.

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 29, 2014.

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