Letter from Dad: Dare to take risks
Dearest Lynette, Ly Anne, Macel, Marc and Ordy,
I’m writing to you at this time in the hope that by now you’ve settled down from the hustle and bustle of gift giving and home decorating during the holidays.
And while the season is long over, the pervasive message of birth, of renewal, of rededication to the values and philosophies is what we must continue to hold sacred in life.
In that one peaceful moment, we have been afforded the opportunity to reflect on our past activities and their effects on our lives and the lives of those close to us.
And in some measure, we can, if we are able to maintain a well-balanced and objective view of the pluses and minuses that created an impact in our lives, evolve a better and clearer understanding of who we really are and what else we can still do.
Consider then the thoughts that may alleviate the pain from the jagged edges in life: Foremost, we must respect the universal concept of a finite existence. We must then confront forcefully the uncertainties of living.
Being aware of these, we must celebrate the simple joys that life provides.
We must love, care and dream with our hearts.
We must plan, formulate and execute our varied strategies with our minds—all to be done with commitment, resolve and duration.
Remember that dynamic forces play big roles in our lives, especially genetics and environment, and even fortuitous circumstances.
Harnessing these forces is the greatest challenge.
Recognizing their influence is the greatest wisdom.
Utilizing them to succeed is the greatest achievement.
Life will go on. That is the providential fiat. We should not dwell on what might have been.
Perhaps, we can linger a little, to serve the need for introspection.
Everything in life has an upside and a downside. Take curiosity, for example. It is a major pathway to knowledge, but it also killed the cat and banished Adam and Eve from paradise.
We have to be pragmatists without being cynical to respond effectively to the needs of the present. We have to have a working knowledge of what we can accomplish, never leaving it to chance. And then take the steps, even painful steps to arrive there.
Let us focus our vision on a bigger picture, but let us remain grounded on the nuances of the smaller picture. In this regard, we cannot get lost in our self-importance.
Forget the 15 minutes of fame for that, too, is fleeting. In some small measure, leave a positive impact on those you deal with. That is what will be remembered and appreciated. In any human interaction, what matters most is that you matter.
Each passing day, on several occasions, we are required to make choices and decisions. Some are brilliant. Other times, foolish. And at some point painful. But choose and decide we must.
Consider unrealized expectations as a setback, not a failure. A setback allows you to recover your bearing and redeem yourself. A failure is a final resting place where your self-worth is buried.
Let’s be conscious of the fact that there is no goal so lofty that it cannot be achieved, a problem so complex that it cannot be solved, a hurt so deep that it cannot be healed.
As we use our five senses to behold and savor the things around us, let us tack on two more: the unparalleled soothing effect of a sense of humor and the practical solution to so many dilemmas—common sense.
Finally, dare to take the risks.
It will define us. It will assure us of our respective identities.
Like the fresh breath of spring, it will keep us alive and energized.
This is life with all its complexities. Breaking them down to manageable pieces is the formidable test of our maturity and character.
Forgive me again for the delay in sending you this message. I wanted to make sure that you’ve gotten past your holiday hangover. Now it has afforded you the time to read and perhaps ponder the steps that can make your life more meaningful.
Anthony B. Ordoñez, 74, has long retired from his accounting work in New York where he stayed for 15 years with wife Lydia, a nurse. Before he left for the United States, he was executive assistant at the Office of the Press Secretary during the first Aquino administration. His days since his and his wife’s return to the country in July 2004 are now spent with family—especially his seven grandchildren—and friends, and playing competitive tennis. During a spring cleaning of his home in Marikina for last year’s holidays, he found a copy of this letter that he wrote to his children when he was in the United States. It was meant to be a Christmas greeting but its message went beyond that, he says.
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