How I take responsibility for my actions

In the film The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, there was a dialogue that stuck in me when Bilbo Baggins saw Smaug about to fly off to Laketown. He said, “What have we done?

I remembered this line because it talks about accepting one’s fault even though a one did not intended the consequences of one’s actions. For example, acting in good faith. I may have the best-est of all intentions but if I end up messing up, as a cliché says, the end does not justify the means.

While I was playing a video game, I remembered my recent interactions with some subordinates. I think I’ve done something wrong and they hinted it through a passive-aggresive remark and until now I am still wondering what exactly I did wrong. When I assume leadership, I admit I sometimes tend to overlook some people in the group particularly those who seem to be so sensitive. I never intend to do so but whenever I do overlook some people, I see now the pattern how these people react. And four out of four of them happened to have some father issues.

Maybe a family problem? Probably transference? Seeing me as their father figure? Am I too intimidating? Or maybe I’m just overthinking or rationalizing. I have to stop seeking the fault outside myself now.

I have to remind myself again that what’s done is done; I can’t bring back the time; I am not fail-proof; I am failure-prone; I cannot do it all; I cannot control the results. And sometimes even if it’s not my fault, I cannot make everything feel alright. It’s out of my reach. Or maybe it’s because I’m just a people pleaser. But I’m bound to fail because I can’t please everybody. And as the lyrics of a song goes, I did my best but I guess my best wasn’t good enough.

This is were humility comes. I now let St. Catherine of Siena to remind me that I am not who I think I am. I may have done something wrong, so mea culpa. So I now let it go and let the Lord do His work. I’ll try again next time and let tomorrow worry about itself.

And this is how an introverted and intuitive thinker perceives his interactions with others when he sees something’s wrong and he thinks he’s the problem though he’s not (or maybe he really is the problem).


Should I be scared to travel alone?

Dear Lord,

This fast few months, I’ve been preparing myself for my transfer to a new community and ministry. I am in the midst of processing my papers for travelling outside the country. Thus, I would be leaving my first apostolate (after MAPAC) which is teaching here in Notre Dame of Cotabato. I’ve been teaching now for three straight years and I don’t know how what to feel once I stop teaching and start learning a new language and be a student once again.

Though I was briefed what’s about to happen, of course I have my own what ifs and other reservations. Like what I said to a fellow brother, I don’t know what will I do there specifically so I’ll just stick to what I know: live as a brother in common life, pray, and even work while studying the language of that country. I know I will travel alone outside the Philippines but there are brothers anticipating my arrival there in my new community.

I admit there is a part in me that doesn’t want to leave asking, “What’s going to happen to me there?”. The prophet Jonah’s travel to Nineveh comes to mind. But unlike him, I feel no hate towards the people I will encounter. I don’t feel like turning back and take a ship going the opposite direction. It’s just that I don’t feel like going out of the Philippines for a long time. I am anxious but I’ll still go and follow what I am told to.

What I am experiencing now humbles me. To some extent, I can influence what I can do in this future apostolate but of course I don’t have the total control of what will happen to me and my future community. It’s a risk I’m willing to take and I entrust my future to my superiors who decided on this.

It’s a different kind of advent for me.

I don’t know where I am going to but in faith, I surrender.

Let Your will be done, not mine.

And let this be my prayer.


Begin Again

My school ministry is like a basketball game.

I’m still in the same school but now I was told it’s my final year here.

Last year was the first half. Maybe I went down hard, got turnovers, missed some shots, and even had some highlight plays to be proud of. And this year, it’s my second half where I need to do a lot of catching up in terms of scoring points for my team. But I know I am not a star player nor a starter. I am a rookie; a role player to be quite honest.

I know what I can do and what I cannot do. I am happy to be benched if I know I did what I can do in the court. But now I am a sophomore, I have to step up my game when my time comes for me to enter the court.

Though I had my lapses in judgements, some hesitations in doing actions and making decisions, I think I had also done some daring and circus stunts which only a rookie like me can do.

But yeah, I think I know I could have done better last year and I know what it takes so I can contribute more.

Though being young have its disadvantages, I will count more its advantages.

Inexperience can be an opportunity for me to learn more; youthfulness means more energy.

But do I have what it takes to perform better? I believe I do. And if not? Then I guess I just have to admit my inexperience and ask for help from those whom I know can mentor me.

Knowing myself, I know it takes a lot for me to admit my own ignorance. But if it’s the way for me to learn, then I will shallow my pride and be humble to learn and be ignorant.

Wisdoms and Workshops

I’m supposed to go home now back to Cotabato but I stayed here in GenSan so just I can hitch a ride back with some new Brothers to be assigned in our community there. So I am here in Lagao community, without even booking beforehand, to connect to the internet, listen to radio, and update my Windows because of the Ransomware roaming around worldwide. So before wisdom heard is forgotten, let me type it down here:

  1. If you cannot clean a comfort room, you cannot clean the whole campus, said Br. Willy. This is the first statement I can remember from our one-week training in OND Mission Center on Marist Administrators Formation Program. This reminds me of the scripture passage which says, “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones” (Luke 16:10, NAB).
  2. Saint Marcellin Champagnat is a gift to the Church. This is something I took for granted. His life inspired me to enter the Marist Brothers. He is not only our Founder or our patron saint; he belongs to the whole Church.
  3. Simplicity is being grounded. It boils down on how you make choices every day from the way you relate with people, your dress, or how you purchase things. Simplicity is synonymous to humility, a word which is slowly fading away from people’s vocabulary. Humility comes from the root word humus which means ground. The more simple we are, the more human we become.
  4. Challenges makes you stronger. While making a symbol for the value of simplicity, we chose a plant. And this plant has falling leaves called challenges. Though these falling leaves give us a hard time, as time goes by, we will realize how these falling leaves would make us stronger because it turns into fertilizers later. And like falling leaves, challenges can give us life lessons which brings me to my final lesson.
  5. Don’t be afraid to commit mistakes. There were workshops in the program where we either don’t know how to do but we’re trying or we thought we know already what to do. Either way, we just let ourselves trust the process and let ourselves err from time to time. That’s part of learning; it is sometimes painful. But if we are open, we might find gems of wisdom. Besides, we don’t know it all.

That’s all folks. I need to take a power nap.

And by the way, Happy Mothers’ Day to all you readers!

If I’m just humble enough, it’s not that hard

It’s hard if people don’t recognize
On where I am and why I’m here
But the question is: Do they need to know?

It’s hard if people don’t understand
On what I am and why I’m like this
But it’s only hard because I’m too proud