The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hindi Ka Ba Nauubusan ng Isusulat?


[published in my cultures & lifestyles column, "Sa Madaling Salita," in the January 2009 issue #1 of Filipino Journal, the leading Filipino-owned newspaper in Manitoba, Canada]

by aLfie vera mella

Hindi Ka Ba Nauubusan ng Isusulat?
or, Don’t You Run Out of Ideas to Write About?

A friend asked me. I said, rarely.

Sa dinami-dami ba naman ng aking nakakasalamuha sa araw-araw at nao-obserbahang pangyayari saan man ako naroroon, e sangkaterbang kuwento, aral, at kaalaman ang palaging nakokolekta ng aking isipan—mga ideyang tinatahi ko para makabuo ng mga artikulong maibabahagi sa mga tulad kong mahilig magbasa.

O sige, bibigyan kita ng halimbawa, sabi ko sa kanya. Mula sa mga kuwento ng ilang taong nakausap ko kahapon sa Riverview Health Centre, kung saan ako nagtatrabaho, e makabubuo ako ng isang artikulo.

Reaping in Old Age What Was Sown in Youth
I was assigned to work at the Palliative Care—the unit for patients with life-threatening illnesses whose primary care needs include the alleviation of symptoms and the improvement of the quality of life. Considering the medical conditions of these patients, one is inclined to think that everyone in such a unit has a very bleak disposition. To encounter cantankerous and withdrawn patients is commonplace and understandable. After all, who would be happy being fated in such a debilitating condition? So you can imagine my surprise when one particular patient, instead of exuding depression, was radiating with exuberance.

“Good morning, Mrs. Smith. That’s a nice smile for a bright morning!” I said as I put her breakfast tray on the side table.

“I’m in a jolly mood because my daughter is visiting in the afternoon, and she’s bringing along the kids,” Mrs. Smith said.

I said that she was lucky for having a thoughtful daughter. She said she was glad that she had been a good mother and grandmother, having raised her family in a household where the younger ones could reason out and express their thoughts so long as they spoke out in a respectful manner. Because of this she was able to foster a mutually loving relationship in her family. She said that openness is very important. In Mrs. Smith’s story, we realize that one reaps in old age what one has sown in one’s youth.

To Stand by One’s Belief Is Pride; To Claim It to Be Better than Others’ Is Folly
I was at the cafeteria, having lunch, when a female visitor approached me and said if she could join me. I said, of course. That would be a pleasure, another opportunity to get an insight or two.

“Are you a vegetarian?” she asked.

My lunch was rice and steak, so perhaps she was not paying attention to what I was eating.

Hmm, no,” I replied.

Anyway, she began telling me about vegetarianism and gave me a handful of pamphlets about it. I was just listening—not because I didn’t know much about the practice but simply because a 30-minute lunch break was short for such a discourse. Break time was up; I had to go.

She uttered her parting words: “Give vegetarianism a try. You’ll see, you’ll become healthier.”

I have nothing against vegans, vegetarians, fructarians, pescetarians, or practitioners of any other kind of dietary practices. It’s their choice, and I respect it. However, what I don’t buy is when someone claims that her dietary practice, or any belief for that matter, is better than those of others. In Miss Vegetarian’s story, we realize that to stand by one’s belief is pride, but to claim this to be better than those of others is folly.

There! Two insightful stories weaved out of my conversations with two persons I randomly met during that Sunday work at Riverview Health Centre. All I needed was listen and pay attention to what they had to say and then sieve whatever lessons I could learn from such stories.

A good conversationalist does not only talk but also listen, pay attention, and give importance to what other people have to say.

Sa Madaling Salita
Ang tunay na alagad ng pluma ay hindi nauubusan ng mga kuwentong isusulat dahil palaging bukás ang kanyang diwa sa mga nangyayari sa kanyang paligid at lagi niyang binibigyan ng pansin at halaga ang mga sinasabi ng bawat taong kanyang nakakasalamuha.

Or, in Simple Words
A true progeny of the pen never runs out of ideas and stories to write about because he is conscious, perceptive, observant, and analytical of the things and occurrences around him. He also listens, pays attention, and gives importance to what other people have to say.


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