Love them now

*First appeared in my column, INSPIRE AND EQUIP! (Tempo/Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp.), Oct. 30, 2016

How can I forget the fuming woman with kids who had to wait for an available shopping mall stroller for the elderly? She said in a loud voice, “Sumama-sama pa kasi! Ipapasyal ko lang naman ang mga ito! Umuwi na tayo!”  I wondered if she was referring to her own parent, or an in-law. Whatever the answer, I am sure of one thing – her kids will become (Heaven forbid) just like her!

How do you treat or label old people, including your own parents – especially when nobody is looking?

I have seen and heard of people who sacrificed almost everything for their children – only to be told (verbally, nonverbally, or both) when they are old, sickly, clumsy, and penniless – that they have become such a burden. What could be more heartbreaking than the fact that many of them have chosen to live like nomads or paupers even if they have families capable of caring for them?

According to reports, there is an increasing number of Filipino elderly who are forced to stay in homes for the aged. Foreign media have exposed the cruelties committed by a few employees of nursing homes abroad. You have also probably heard of similar stories from Filipino caregivers working in other countries. Even if such stories are “isolated” and unknown to the majority of old people, I can not see how Filipinos who lived practically for their families can even imagine themselves being “thrown” in such institutions. In our culture, senior citizens are valued and respected. Have the times changed?

For people who can not boast of anything but their children and grandchildren… for people in their twilight years, I think the mere idea of living in a home for the aged is a nightmare. Maybe they think protesting is useless, but their silence does not mean they agree to it.

Are you pressured, irritable, and tired due to the rising demands of caring for your children and your aging parents? Look for trustworthy relievers so you can have some time for yourself. Ask your relatives to do their share. Financial support is important and is appreciated, but it is not enough.

The Lord is pleased when He sees that you care about the elderly. No one else can take of your parents the way loving relatives do.  They need you now. Remember, they never gave up on loving you. Love them now!

These are lines from a poem by Ali Ben Abu Tabb: “Love me now while I am living/Do not wait ‘til I am gone; and then chisel it in marble – warm love words on ice-cold stone”!

(Marilyn Arayata: inspirational author and speaker, your partner in preventing bullying, depression, and suicide. E-mail inspire.equip@gmail.com. Like and share this column. Like the Hope Boosters Facebook Page, too!)

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Inspirational Speaker – Philippines

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Anti-Bullying, Depression and Suicide Speaker, Author and Columnist

inspirational-speaker-author-and-columnist-philippines-marilyn-arayata_anti-bullying-depression-and-suicide-speakerInspire and Equip! (Tempo) columnist Miss Marilyn Arayata addresses the students of San Sebastian College Recoletos de Cavite (Basic Education Department) in the recently held suicide prevention and awareness seminar. Marilyn is the author of the book “Hope Boosters for Fired up Souls”. For many years, she served as faculty member of the Languages and Literature Department of De La Salle University-Dasmariñas (DLSU-D) in Cavite. Marilyn started giving inspirational seminars at the age of 23.

Preventing depression

 First appeared in my column, “Inspire and Equip!” (Tempo/Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp.) Oct. 11, 2015

Who would have thought that behind his smiles and his awesome dance movements, Gab Valenciano was, at one point, depressed and even suicidal (according to a Facebook post that was shared so many times)?

The thing with depression, it does not choose its victims – rich or poor, famous or unknown, young or old, employed or jobless. Most of the time, those who suffer from it choose to do so in silence, so without proper management and support, the suffering is prolonged and aggravated. In many cases, it even leads to suicide.

Here are some tips to help prevent depression.

  1. Get rid of negative thoughts. Just as a computer’s anti-virus program scans and separates infected files to prevent them from harming your computer, “scan” your thoughts and separate the negative to prevent them from harming your health and your well-being.
  2. Learn to accept things as they are. It is hard to cope when our ideal is shattered or when our expectations are not met by other people. We have no choice but to accept that life is not perfect and not everybody is perfect. Resisting this reality will lead to severe loneliness and may complicate matters.
  3. Do something relaxing or productive instead of worrying about the future. If we’ll rely on our limited strength, we will be disappointed, but if we’ll entrust our future in the hands of our all-powerful and all-knowing Creator, things will become bearable.
  4. Increase your social interaction. Isolating yourself when you are lonely will only make you lonelier! Take time to enjoy conversations with people who radiate positive energy.
  5. Focus on something that makes you happy – a hobby, a show, a mission, or a project. Devote more time in a meaningful activity so you won’t have time and energy for depressing concerns anymore.
  6. Eat nuts, fruits and vegetables – peanut, cashew, corn, mango, banana, and broccoli that help increase the neurotransmitter called serotonin, “a naturally occurring chemical that can influence mood and appetite” (livestrong.com).
  7. Make physical activities like playing, swimming, exercising, biking, or dancing a part of your daily routine. These activities give endorphins, the happy hormone.
  8. Let go of the things you lost and the relationships that have ended. You already had them and enjoyed them. Nothing is permanent. Show the world a brave, new you and be open to new things.

There will always be disappointments, worries, stressors, and heartaches. Do everything in your power to cope.

Although it is possible to recover from depression, strive to prevent it. Also, make it a habit to scatter seeds of encouragement. Who knows if the person next to you is just like Gab in the past who appeared happy, successful, and rich but hiding depression and suicidal thoughts!

Like and share this article to help happy-looking people who suffer in silence.

Find more tips on preventing depression. Get a copy of my book, “Hope Boosters for Fired up Souls”, available at selected branches of National Book Store and Pandayan Bookshop.

Email inspire.equip@gmail.com

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Dealing with rejection by Marilyn Arayata – Inspirational Speaker, Author/Columnist

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Of course, rejection hurts, and a series of rejections hurts even more – rejection of a job or loan application, business or wedding proposal, a solution to a problem, or even a simple invitation! Can you identify? There is always pain whenever somebody experiences rejection, but it does not mean a death sentence!

Wise people take every rejection just as a scratch. “Ouch!” Then they move on to the next plan or option. They know that rejections do not diminish their worth as persons and their abilities to accomplish great things. Rejections do not always mean their ideas are not okay. It is just that sometimes people have other priorities.

Did you know that the founders of the Reader’s Digest, one of the most widely-read magazines in the world, were rejected by several publishers? Did you know that Jack Ma, one of the richest Chinese men, was rejected by KFC? They did not dwell on the pain. They did not give up. Why should you?

The safest way to be is to “just be” – to stop saying or doing anything productive and meaningful… to avoid setting bigger goals and expanding one’s horizon. But life, as one philosopher once said, is “never just a being”. It is “a becoming, a relentless flowing on”.

For those who believe that life must never be stagnant, for people who refuse to accept complacence as a way of life, rejections are inevitable. They do not keep a record of rejections… no flashback, so they do not feel the pain anymore, just the excitement of working on the next option.

Do not be onion-skinned when people say “No” or when you don’t hear from them. Remember  Jack Ma and the founders of the Reader’s Digest. Life is a series of options! Possibilities are endless.

Like and share this column if you agree.

(Marilyn Arayata: hope and enthusiasm advocate/inspirational author and speaker. E-mail inspire.equip@gmail.com)

*First appeared in my column, Inspire and Equip! (Tempo, Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp.) Sept. 18, 2016

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No part of this work may be reproduced, photocopied, stored in a retrieval system, broadcast, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

 

 

Inspire and Equip! Quote #1

Whatever your struggles, know that you have options. People who see options find hope. -Marilyn Arayata, Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Tempo, September 11, 2016

(Like the Hope Boosters page for posts that inspire and equip!Marilyn Arayata: your partner in preventing bullying, depression, and suicide. Email inspire.equip@gmail.com)

Read more at http://tempo.com.ph/2016/09/11/suicide-awareness-and-prevention/#qL1PVATP6hXPzUQh.99

“Know your worth… your life matters!”

Inspirational author and columnist Miss Marilyn Arayata (Miss Hope Booster) was the resource speaker in this pro-active approach to preventing suicide. The event was organized by the Student Development and Placement Center of San Sebastian College – Recoletos de Cavite (Basic Education Department).

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Are you being bullied?

(First appeared in my column, Inspire and Equip!, Tempo/Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp., August 21, 2016)

Not all of them hurt their targets physically. Many of them use other means to show power over their victims: name-calling (using hurting/unfair labels and terms in order to make other people feel/look inferior and unacceptable. There are also those who take or hide other people’s personal things, including food and money. Bullies also exclude their victims in activities and conversations to make them feel lost and alone.

Have you experienced any of these? Adults employ such unfair means. What is even more alarming is that more and more children are reportedly bullying neighbors, classmates, and schoolmates. Physical absence is never a hindrance. Bullies also use the internet to make other people feel powerless and hopeless.

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Psychologists say that bullies were also victims of bullying themselves. (The trouble with not seeking proper counseling is that wounds do not get healed even many years after the bullying incident, so beware!) They relish the fact that another individual is hurt, inconvenienced, and afraid due to their actions. In making another person feel powerless, they feel powerful. How pathetic!

What physical or emotional wounds were inflicted upon you by a bully? Have you at least talked about it?

If you know where the other person is coming from, it will be easy for you to understand his/her behavior. However, this should not stop you from protecting yourself and asserting your rights as an individual. The support of your family, your friends, and concerned authorities is very much needed. Seek help from trained counselors, too. Join a support group.

Be strong and confident. If people are intentionally trying to hurt you and pester you, they are only exposing their true color. Their words and actions tell the world that they are actually the ones who have a problem.  Sometimes you do not need to react to them. Choose your battles.

Keep calm. All of us will be held accountable for our words and actions.

You are here to accomplish great things. Focus your time and your energy on things that will make you better, not bitter.

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No part of this work may be reproduced, photocopied, stored in a retrieval system, broadcast, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

 

Don’t let anger control you

 

(First published in my column, “Inspire and Equip!”, Tempo/Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp., Aug. 16, 2015)

“Speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”

Do you agree with Ambrose Bierce?

When I heard of the old nut rage involving an airline executive, I had only one word to describe her response to cabin crew for serving macadamia nuts in a bag instead of on a plate – exaggerated!

According to thenationalpost.com, a Seoul court found the executive “guilty of forcing a flight to change its route, obstructing the flight’s captain in the performance of his duties, forcing a crew member off a plane and assaulting a crew member”.

Yes, the executive’s response was indeed exaggerated (in fact, unbelievable), but come to think of it, didn’t we, at any point, also respond in an exaggerated manner when we were angry or displeased?

It’s hard to think clearly and say the right things when we are angry, so it’s important to control ourselves before anger controls us. The following questions will help us learn about our own fits of anger.

  1. Identify the top three things that make you angry. What were the regrettable things you said or did? Was it worth it?
  2. What are the worst things you might say when these things happen again? How about the worst things you are capable of doing when the same things happen again? What will be the consequences? Is it worth it?
  3. Can’t you respond in a relaxed and peaceful manner – explaining your side and asserting your right in a polite, civilized manner?

Answering all these questions truthfully will help you respond to a provocative situation with wisdom and self control. In case you are provoked to anger, seek to learn from similar situations and avoid any exaggerated or emotionally charged response.

Sometimes we are easily angered because we are highly stressed, so the simplest things already irritate us. If this is your case, you need a break, maybe at least two days away from the source of stress, just to enjoy life and do some soul searching without mobile gadgets and internet connection.

What can we learn from the story of the airline executive? There was too much fuss over something trivial. The punishment was not commensurate to the offense, if serving macadamia nuts in a bag instead of on a plate were an offense.

Anger is said to be “an ill wind that blows out the lamp of reason and good judgment”. Never speak, act, or decide when you are angry. It’s better to “freeze” for a few seconds when angry, and strive to keep your composure than to lose your self control and say or do something you will surely regret. If you really need to express your displeasure and assert your right, you can always do so in a polite, civilized manner. Keep calm and enjoy the benefits!

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Effective Writing for Students (A Seminar-Workshop)

Your motivational speaker/hope booster is also a teacher and writer!Poster_Effective Writing