Bracing for the rainy days ahead

IT HAS BEEN one week since the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) declared rainy season this year “open”.

Well and good, it’s long overdue – what with our faucets belching air and our farmlands turning brown.

Rain moderately, we pray. Too much of it could be as disastrous as typhoon Frank, which we commemorated a few days ago. It has been 11 years since that fateful June 18, 2008.

I must confess, that I still get nervous whenever rains pour longer than usual. It’s when I always remember typhoon Frank that devastated Iloilo City with six-foot flood.

It seems only yesterday – more so because there are still victims of that tragedy who remain  homeless and hungry, who have yet to feel the “tender loving care of government” despite the floods of donations that have poured from both government and non-governmental organizations worldwide for that and many other typhoons thereafter.

I hope there would be none of it this year.

I can feel the anguish of losing my expensive camera, books and an old typewriter to Frank.

In the wake of that disaster, I heard one of my nieces, a college student, muttering, “This is our karma for knowingly polluting the environment with garbage that obstructs the free flow of rain to the sea.”

Still, we were better off than those who had worked hard for years to earn the money for a home that was already gone with the wind.

I asked my niece not to yield to depression, reminding her of the famous quotation, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Fires, floods, earthquakes and many other natural disasters that are inappropriately called “acts of God” should be taken as tests to be passed. It’s by passing them that we win the game of life.

I quipped that I had had worse ordeals, as in getting a woman’s “no” for an answer to my love offering. My niece laughed.

To further soothe her sunken spirit, I enthused, “All you need is faith. Remember when Jesus Christ walked on the sea before the unbelieving eyes of his disciples?  That done, he asked Peter to walk likewise. Peter believed him and walked on the sea, too, but later sank when he began doubting.”

I tried to boost her self-confidence by recalling nuggets from inspirational books I had read, stressing that the power to harness the magical forces of the mind is available to everybody. I quoted American book author Napoleon Hill, who wrote, “What the human mind can conceive, the human mind can achieve.”

Thomas Edison, inventor of the phonograph and light bulb, said this quotation famous: “Genius is one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.”

Once there was a man who, desirous of having an easy job, sought the advice of the late American preacher Henry Ward Beecher.

“Young man,” said Beecher, “you cannot be an editor. Do not try the law. Do not think of the ministry; neither manufacturing nor merchandising. Abhor politics. Don’t practice medicine. Don’t be a farmer or a soldier or a sailor. All these require too much study and thinking. My son, you have come into a hard, hard world. There is only one easy place in it and that is the grave.”

Worry is the culprit responsible for toppling the foundation of positivism. So many business empires have crumbled because the big boss spent too much time worrying over problems instead of acting upon them.

My niece listened, no doubt. Cheryl has morphed into a highly-paid accountant in Singapore. ([email protected]/PN)

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