Happy Easter and Happy 48th Birthday!

Issa Bacsa

Happy Easter! Today, I feel blessed to be 48. Yes, today is also my birthday. I just feel happy about it. It’s the year of the Fire Rooster and it’s my Chinese zodiac, too. Lucky year for me, I wish.

Years ago, I wrote down on my old blog that age is just a number and listed down the things I’ve learned so far. This time, I decided to list down quotes that shaped my philosophies and thinking while growing up. Some of them were in my initial list and you might have read about them before.

  • If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin. This has been my mission statement. In fact, I reworded it this way: “Benjamin Franklin said that ‘If you would not be forgotten as soon as you’re dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.’ And I decided to do both.” So far, I’m trying to do these two together slowly, steady, but surely.
  • I expect to pass through this world but once, any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature; let me do it now, let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. – Stephen Grellet. This quote has put me on the ground and on the here and now. There’s no way this quote could go wrong: its universal message is clear.
  • The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. – Thomas Paine. This quote had made me see religion and Christianity in a different light.  With all the different religions and sects around us, isn’t it better to think of the world like this? Which brings me to…
  • How absurd to try to make two men think alike on matters of religion, when I cannot make two timepieces agree! – King Charles V.  There are two things I don’t want to join in a debate if I could help it: politics and religion. Not only it will take too long to come up with a compromise, but also it will not reach a compromise.  In short, discussing these two will be endless and futile. It will surely start a fight, and yes, historically speaking, it even started wars.
  • Thy will be done, O Blessed Lord, whatever it may be, to Thee I pray, each night and day, make Thy will known to me. – C.L. Shields. I always start my day to say this prayer, a sort of a mantra. Then, more often than not, I followed it with…
  • Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. – St. Francis of Assisi. Having been in a Franciscan school since elementary until high school, this famous first line has been a mantra as well.
  • Pray as if everything depended upon God and work as if everything depended upon man. – Francis Cardinal Spellman. Ora et labora. Pray and work. Although this phrase has been associated with monastic principles, it somehow made sense to me that everything boils down to work, work, and work, powered by prayer.
  • God helps those who help themselves. – Benjamin Franklin. I associate this quote whenever I think of helping others. For me, it’s okay to give others a helping hand, but I won’t let them take my whole arm. If I don’t see that they’re not helping themselves, they don’t deserve any help from anybody else.
  • “God will provide…,” said Abraham in Genesis 22:8. The story of Abraham and Isaac reminds us about trusting God.
  • Luck never gives; it only lends. – Swedish proverb. I never depend on luck. That’s the reason why I don’t bet or play lottery. It’s easy money; easy come, easy go.  Remember ora et labora.
  • Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. – Vernon Sanders Law. Need I explain this?
  • I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. – William Ernest Henley. People used to dictate me of what to do until I discovered how to know my own mind and acted upon it.
  • What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. – Napoleon Hill. Anyone can achieve any idea, be it trivial or grand, as long as you make it as your goal and act upon it.
  • Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build. – Robert Collier. The previous two and this one are related. For me, if you believe you’re the master of your fate, you can visualize and achieve the goals. I visualize and dream. I keep photographs of my dreams and keep them. This way, I keep on visualizing them to reality. The more I think and pray about it, the more likely it will happen. And you don’t need to worry about achieving them because…
  • Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Everything moves in this Universe. God created the Universe, not just the Milky Way galaxy. So there must be something else out there. Ideas can be powerful enough to create “universes”. But first, remember that you should…
  • Never hold on to the things that weigh you down. – Unknown. Get away from the forces that pull you down, be it a person, a place, an event, even if it calls you to leave everything behind. Once I knew my mind, I knew these negative forces that pulled me down and left them.  And speaking of forces…
  • Life proceeds according to the great Law of Compensation. The more you give of what you have, the more comes back to you — and it comes back greatly multiplied. – Napoleon Hill. Remember the Law of Equilibrium, karma, or the yin and yang. It all boils down to balance when God created the Universe.
  • In Filipino, “Huwag kang magsalita ng tapos.” Don’t declare things with finality that you’ll end up eating those words in the future. I guess that’s the closest thing I could translate this Filipino quote. I can cite two incidents in my life that this quote became applicable. Yet, those incidents became helpful and molded me into what I am today.
  • Every adversity has within it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit. – Napoleon Hill. There is such a thing called blessing in disguise. And speaking of blessings…
  • The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. – Eric Hoffer. I think it’s the recognition of these blessings that makes the counting hard. But as always, once I recognize the blessing, I say “Thank you, Lord.”
  • Take life on life’s terms – one day at a time. And have fun while you’re doing it. – Joe Perry. “Carpe diem!” Seize the day. Today is today, tomorrow is another day. So why worry?
  • Try your best at whatever comes your way. There is no harm in trying. Once in a while, I tell myself to try something that I haven’t tried before. Hmm… I’m slow in this one.
  • Be open to new possibilities and let go of your concepts of how things should work out. – Jefroy Hanson.  The previous quote and this one are related. I am open to all possibilities and I mean “open” and “all”. Some ideas may be weird for your taste, but I try to accept them as is because I believe in…
  • Behind every idea is an iota of truth. Even the concepts of Superman and Star Wars have an iota of truth about it and everything could be possible in the future. Try reading more about technology and you’ll see what I mean.
  • Let your imagination release your imprisoned possibilities. – Robert H Schuller. I let my imagination run with child-like innocence. This is one aspect that we have lost since we became adults and it hampers creativity. I always remind myself of this whenever I’m stumped at something.
  • A mind grows by what it feeds on. – J G Holland. I don’t remember the exact quote or dialogue, but I remember Sherlock Holmes told Dr. Watson that he only reads what he needs to read to feed his mind. Since I started embracing peace of mind, I don’t read newspapers that much. I select what articles to read and videos or TV shows to watch.
  • True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and – exercise of the body; the two are ever united. – Wilhelm von Humboldt. Exercise is not just for the body but also for the brain. I walk for an hour in the early morning. I play computer games or answer puzzles that train my brain once in a while.
  • Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others. – Benjamin Franklin. I know what I eat. It could be unhealthy at times, but it’s my own decision. I have to think of comfort when dressing up to suit my mood and I don’t keep a style. But I try to be presentable and appropriately dressed up on occasions.
  • Simplicity is beauty. I’ve read in an article about the concept of putting a number of points in every piece of clothing and accessories. If the total number of points exceeds 10, a person is over-dressed. Since then, I always go for the minimalist style.
  • Share and you have a marriage; avoid sharing and you might as well be living alone. – Napoleon Hill. This quote was added to my list since I got married. The concept of conjugal property and knowing how much each of us earn, spend, and save have made our marriage work.

The next quotes remind me of anger management. As an Aries, I used to flare up easily but reminding me of these quotes help me become more diplomatic, had turned me into pacifist, but worked with me to where I am now in managing people.

  • No matter how upset we get, be wise, breathe, and walk away. Never say anything to hurt another, do not become your own worst enemy. – Unknown.
  • Be slow to speak, and only after having first listened quietly, so that you may understand the meaning, leanings, and wishes of those who do speak. Thus you will better know when to speak and when to be silent. – Saint Ignatius.
  • When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred. – Thomas Jefferson.
  • Nothing will bring you greater peace than minding your own business. – Unknown. Being sociable doesn’t mean I have the right to poke into other’s lives or business. After getting to the level of “Need to know” is enough and will only get deeper if, and only if, needed.
  • Letting go seems like it’s the hardest thing to do but in the end for your peace of mind it’s the best thing to do. – Unknown. You might even sing Frozen‘s theme song, but go ahead… move on. And I’m already known in the workplace to say “Next!”
  • When you point your finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you. – Anonymous. It’s easy to put blame on someone or on anything without knowing this.
  • Never burn bridges – You never know who you will need help from in the future. – Unknown. Someone told me about this when I was still young and employed in a corporate jungle. And I thank him for explaining this concept to me at that point in time… which leads me to…
  • You can start right where you stand and apply the habit of going the extra mile by rendering more service and better service than you are now being paid for. – Napoleon Hill. I try to go an extra mile because I believe that there is something in my struggles that when I reach the point of giving up, and decide to go on further for one last time, something great happens.

The following quotes refer to my passion in writing.

  • Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. – Swami Sivananda. If you love what you’re doing, putting your heart, mind, and soul into it is easy.
  • You write it down because finally, when it’s written down you do get it out of your system somewhat. – Leo Ornstein. Nowadays, I write (or type) everything down. Also, I keep a pad of Post-it and pen in my bag. Not that I don’t trust my memory, I just don’t want it to escape from my memory.
  • Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish. – John Jakes. Pure and simple. That’s what I used to describe my self: natural down to the core.
  • Perhaps it is the language that chooses the writers it needs, making use of them so that each might express a tiny part of what it is. – Jose Saramago. As a writer, it follows that when writing, respect of the language goes with it — whatever language, be it English or Filipino, or even the dialects. Therefore, spelling and correct grammar use is a must.

The next quotes deal with humility. These quotes remind me to put humility in writing and in everything I do.

  • Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. – John Wooden.
  • The greatest courage you can have is the courage to admit your mistakes. Everyone commits mistakes, who doesn’t? It just so happens that once everything is said and done, damage has been done as well. That’s the reason why I slow down when angry, never point a finger to anyone, and not burn bridges.
  • I think any artist that’s going to become anything in this world faces humility: with great humility comes great success. – Yelawolf.

Lastly, since I’m talking about birthday…

  • Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. – Mark Twain and
  • A birthday is just another day where you go to work and people give you love. Age is just a state of mind, and you are as old as you think you are. You have to count your blessings and be happy. – Abhishek Bachchan. As I’ve said before, age is just a number and I’m trying to age gracefully. I hope to see myself beautiful and better at 50, two years from now.

Again, Happy Easter and cheers!

 

 


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