Saturday, September 18, 2010

Just a Little Smile

another email just came in and it's so good. such stories should be shared with everyone.

Just a Little Smile

John W. Schlatter

Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles. Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked Mark discovered the boy's name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history, and that he was having lots of trouble with his other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend.

They arrived at Bill's home first and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to watch some television. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some shared small talk, then Mark went home. They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally the long awaited senior year came and three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.

Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. "Did you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?" asked Bill. "You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn't want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mother's sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see, Mark, when you picked up those books that day, you did a lot more. You saved my life."

Just Five More Minutes

I received this story via email from a friend. I was really touched by the story and I thought this was worth reposting.

Just Five More Minutes

Author Unknown, Source Unknown

While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground. “That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.

"He’s a fine looking boy” the man said. “That’s my daughter on the bike in the white dress.” Then, looking at his watch, he called to his daughter. “What do you say we go, Melissa?”

Melissa pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.”

The man nodded and Melissa continued to ride her bike to her heart’s content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his daughter. “Time to go now?” Again Melissa pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.”

The man smiled and said, “OK.”

“My, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman responded.

The man smiled and then said, “Her older brother Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I’d give anything for just five more minutes with him. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Melissa. She thinks she has five more minutes to ride her bike. The truth is, I get five more minutes to watch her play.”

Life is all about making priorities, what are your priorities? Give someone you love 5 more minutes of your time today!

Friday, September 17, 2010

One year after Ondoy, have we really learned our lessons?

Almost a year has passed since the tragic and traumatic events of September 26, 2009 - the day Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) ravaged Luzon and brought devastating effects to the lives of millions of Filipinos. With the images of a year before, have we really learned our lesson in disaster preparedness?

I was listening to RockEd Radio last night, and the discussion revolved around Ondoy. A lot of listeners joined in on the conversation, and, surprisingly, many have declared that Filipinos seemed not to learn from Ondoy. Here are some points raised during the 2-hour radio program:

  • Filipinos are still undisciplined with regards to their trash. Also last night, GMA-7 news program 24 Oras aired a report stating that almost 200 Pinoys were apprehended by MMDA "Environmental Police" for littering the streets with candy wrappers, cigarette butts, and even their own spits! Flashback to the images of last year's deluge - the raging floodwaters were full of trash! When trash accumulates, it has the "power" to clog drainage channels, thus can result in floods when strong rains pour down.
  • Filipinos still take storm warnings for granted. Despite the fact that weather bureau, PAGASA, is ill-equipped, its meteorologists have not failed to give us warnings on what to do when a storm comes. The following lines are always broadcast on TV and radio: "We advise our fellow citizens to start stocking up on goods." "People living in coastal areas should be vigilant on sudden storm surges; we advise them to seek higher ground." "The waters are already dangerous, especially for small watercraft." However such warnings are taken for granted by many. "Malayo pa naman ang bagyo." and other excuses are commonplace. Then when the storm hits, they blame everything on PAGASA. The failure to make a proactive action and instead rely on reactive measures oftentimes yields undesirable results.
  • There is minimal action (at best) with regards to the woes of the nation's chief weather bureau. Since time immemorial, PAGASA has been asking for a modernization on their equipment, but until now everything is either just vocal or in paper. At best, minimal action has been undertaken - such as the installation of several Doppler radars, of which only one is fully operational.
  • The important science of meteorology is largely ignored. The Philippines is part of the Pacific typhoon belt, and annual typhoons are a fact of life. The science that understands such weather disturbances is meteorology, and it is sad to note that this science is not promoted in the country.
  • We Filipinos still has a lot to learn in taking care of the environment. As pointed out in the first bullet, littering is very much commonplace. Also, logging (mostly illegal) 'flourishes' in the mountains, leading to the destruction of our forests and watersheds. Pollution is all over the place. In this time and age, we should all do our part to minimize the effects of climate change.

While it is true that Ondoy brought out the best in each Filipino, it also brought out the worst in us. But it is not yet late. Though damage to property and infrastructure may be inevitable during a strong typhoon, loss of lives are preventable, or at least can be minimized. If we act now, who knows? Maybe the next storm that will ravage the Filipinos may result to 'zero-casualty'.

Start to be proactive.

Only me. Geo.