Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


new ways

Posted on July 06, 2005 by jimparedes

Once again, we are on the deep end as a nation. As painful and anguish-filled as it may be, I believe that GMA has no real option now but to resign. If she stays, how can she address anyone–the youth PMA, or anybody and talk about values, etc. when people believe she cheated? Historically, we’ve always had a ‘lesser evil” approach to choice. Here is one chance we can show ourselves that we can make the ‘more moral’ one. If we refuse to correct this, let’s throw away all pretensions at democracy, elections and all that.

The clowns in the opposition who want an extra-judicial take over, and our vice-President ascending to power give me no comfort either. But between the opposition and Noli, I will abide by the constitutional process and go for Noli. We collectively chose him and so we have to go by this.

I also worry that the VAT will not be implemented. As difficult as that may be, the truth is we really have to face up to our addiction to borrowing. To keep doing so is unsustainable. Tama na. Let’s bite the bullet now because it becomes harder everytime we delay the inevitable. Sure, there are the crooks who will steal our taxes. That’s another problem that we must face. But that should not be an excuse. No more buck-passing and blaming others. We gotta do it.

These are dangerous transitions we are going through as a nation. Almost every institution is broken and needs major repair and rethinking. Aside from the government, all the other institutions such as the church, big business, military, media, etc. have been major disappointments as well.

When we are ready for a future that is different from the past, we will need to drop our existing mental models to see things differently. Otherwise, we will keep on coming out with the same solutions.

For every crisis, we can almost predict how the sectors in our society will act (or react), starting with the government which will defend its policies, the opposition which will condemn government, the media which will bleed the story dry but will not really inform, the NGOs and the church which will show shock, disdain, and condemnation and offer the same old ‘solutions’ to the crisis.

The book Presence gives a very good idea of how change in South Africa and many places happened and is happening. Biases, paradigms, knee jerk reactions had to come crashing down. The writers of the book saw how the old way of knowing–a) gather information, b) follow due diligence procedures, c) decide what you want to do, d) make decisions and enrol people in the decision, e) and follow through monitoring and adjusting as you go, was not sufficient anymore.

The new way of learning goes like this: a) sensing—observe, become one with the world, b) presencing–retreat and reflect, allow inner knowing to emerge, c) realizing, act swiftly, with a natural flow. It involves a lot internal work.

I am not a political scientist, or even anywhere close. I am just an artist. But as one, I can tell you that in my field, this works. I ‘marinate’ myself in the topic or emotion and when ready, I write it in 5 minutes. When I want a difficult time, I become logical with preconcieved ideas and judge my work even before it is finished and most of the time, it comes out so-so!

What if we begin to look at things differently? What if instead of looking at the problem ‘objectively’ or ‘out there’ as if it was external to us, (e.g. ‘they’ are ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘sinful’ and we are different) begin to look at it from the inside? We ARE after all really inside this society. We must become present to it, in it and with it. We are it! We must heal ourselves not just politically, but wholistically. The solutions lie with us and not some external knight in shining armor who will save us. Let’s look for new leaders and solutions beyond the usual suspects and old formulas we have been used to.

An isolated cell that stops working in consonance with the rest of the body mutates into cancer. We must work with our leaders and vice-versa. Otherwise, they become unanswerable to anyone and can become antagonistic to their constituents.

Just thought I’d share some wild and incoherent thoughts! We all seem to be stuck anyway. If you think this is a crazy thought, please don’t send me a thought I have already heard. Send a crazier one.

Forgive me. I told myself I would not write about things directly political on this blog but I thought I’d break my own rule since these topics have far-reaching repercussions. Kawawa naman ang Pilipinas. How much more self-inflicted pain can we bear before we totally break down as a nation. Is that what is required before decide to wake up to our greatness? What a high price to pay.

* * *

You gotta hand it to Live 8. What a show and what a great way to spread the word. They recieved 27 million texts of support, plus a viewership of billions all over the world. We really must be living in a new era. The people who see the really important problems of the world are not the politicians but unlikely people, e.g. rockstars like Bono and Bob Geldof and the rest. I found it quite funny that Bob Geldof sent a letter to the Pope soliciting his support for the campaign for G8 to save Africa and the Pope responds by sending Bob his picture!! I saw him on BBC say, ‘I don’t want your picture. I want your support!” Can you imagine these old Italian priets who opened the letter and probably had never heard of Bob Geldof automaticaly just putting the Pope’s picture on an envelope and sending it like fan mail Bizarre!

* * *

This will be my last post for about a week. I will be checking into a hospital for an operation on my thyroid tomorrow. There is a mass connected to it and it is encroaching on my trachea. It’s nothing new. In fact it’s been there for the past 30 years except that it suddenly got bigger recently. No, there is no cancer nor anything toxic. This is a simple operation that will relieve the pressure on my trachea.

I will be in the hospital for about 3 to 4 days and will be back in the classroom by Tuesday of next week. No internet. Only books. I just don’t know if it will be too painful to move about for awhile so in all probability, I may catch up on sleep. ha ha!

* * *

37 to “new ways”

  1. girlie says:

    i’ll offer you & your surgical team my prayers for a successful operation. you’ll be fine…..

  2. DarkBlak says:

    good luck on your operation :)

  3. balikbayan_box says:

    ill say special prayer for you neyburhud!

    God bless and ingats po :)

  4. bu says:

    my prayers that all will go well on your surgery, mr jim.

    bless you forever.

  5. BabyPink says:

    oh! i pray that your operation goes smoothly and that you may get on your feet the soonest possible time.:)

    **The new way of learning goes like this: a) sensing—observe, become one with the world, b) presencing–retreat and reflect, allow inner knowing to emerge, c) realizing, act swiftly, with a natural flow. It involves a lot internal work.**
    –how very taoist. i like that.:)

    your blog really inspires… thank you, sir jim!:)

  6. ~C4Chaos says:

    thanks for sharing your political thoughts Jim, and for being there and “doing something” when swift action was required.

    there were times when i lose hope about the situation in our country. but every time i step back far enough, i still appreciate its potential and feel grateful for the values it etched in my psyche.

    get well soon.

    ~rommel

  7. ang says:

    politics-wise–> i worry about the Philippines, even if I am a natural born US citizen. I just hope everything gets better. Trying times are to be experienced in the days, weeks, months, maybe years, ahead.

    good luck with your operation! get well soon =D

  8. EdMyles says:

    You’ll be fine Mr. APO Jim. I’ll pray for your surgical team and your quick recovery so I can read your next article.

  9. gabriela says:

    Subjectively speaking, books such as the Presence are great semantics or theoretical handbook for idealist pragmatist. They contain great philosophical ideas, metaphors with endless meanings and diverse answers. It provides great tool on reflections on an individual for holistic health, but not on a collective basis.

    Objectively speaking, it may provide some tacit understanding of the need for clear delineations of roles hence the need for separation of powers between church and state – and emancipation powers of the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The bedrocks of a true democratic nation — where we blur the distinctions and continue to get trap in the web of deceit (Filipino’s new intrinsic culture?) created by the legacies of previous corrupt and exculpated leaderships. Simply put, a foundation made of sand will surely shift and crumble at the slightest provocation. The foundation of great nations is based on the rule of law that is consistently and equally enforceable.

    In the same breath, our tendency to attribute current national issues (i.e., graft and corruption, foreign debt, economic perils and leadership’s lapse of judgment) only to the current administration is not only short sighted. It is also grossly and unjustly disproportionate!! If we need to seek GMA’s resignation, we also should seek legal remedies on the alleged crimes committed by the Marcoses, Danding Conjuangco, Ping Lacson, Angara, and numerous others. Afterall, the cauldron draws its boiling waters from many spigots!! Worst off, to overlook past injustices will continue to perpetuate current and future behaviors of misconduct hence now. Let’s not also forget the invincible hands that have hidden agendas.

    Ultimately, yes, if you wish to promote world peace – go home and love your family. But, don’t forget the caveat of what the future lies before your children – and descendants should you choose to keep quiet.

    Our silence equals consent/death/disaster. Take your pick — but, the vicious cycle needs to stop and evolve now!

    Godspeed on your quick recovery!

  10. gabriela says:

    Please excuse the typos (i.e. agendas/agenda) and hint of personal reproof.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi,Mr.Jim,

    “Kawawa naman ang Pilipinas”…You can say that again.As I watch the news thru my cable,I still can`t believe to what`s happening out there.I dunno how to weigh the accusations of the people to GMA…

    As you said,we Are really part of the society.We must be present to it,in it and with it.Someday,I wanna spend the rest of my life in the Phil..now?Doubts and freights are chasing me…I wish for the better…

    BTW,goodluck po to your operation and get well soon coz we`re waiting to your tour here in Japan.(keep my fingers crossed)…Yes,maybe now`s your chance to take more sleep and relax
    ..Happy reading..Books,right?

    salamat po,
    ame.sweet

  12. spongemom says:

    Hi Mr.Paredes, my name is Grace Gonzales, a licensed dentist here in Manila and I was wondering if I could link you up in my blog. Your articles are very insightful.

    P.S.
    How did you make/get your template? It looks super. I hope you could tell me how. Thanks again!

  13. jey says:

    most of my friends from the medical field (MDs, RNs, RMTs) choose to seek solace (and greener pastures) from other countries instead of staying here. most of those i’ve talked has this reason: our political leaders are either cheaters or they don’t have the bones to get their acts together, and no one else suffers the consequences except us.

    if we can no longer trust the people who are supposed to lead us, who else can we trust?

    and as your recent post, we need more prayers. and the conviction that we want changes, permanent changes.

    and the LIVE8 showed world leaders that there is a world beyond their own, and we should be ONE for this cause. there’s a call for a candle vigil between july 6 and 8 in time for the G8 summit. and yes, i’m fervently praying that something big will happen afterwards.

    and sir, goodluck on your operations. my prayers goes to you too.

    God bless.

  14. c says:

    yes, i agree that indeed it is time we need entirely new ways of thinking and doing–ways that are unselfish, conscientious, and with foresight. of course, easier said than done, but we have no other option–bec otherwise we’re stuck with the usual non-solutions.

    but let me say that in the face of all this, i remain hopeful.

    best wishes on your operation.

    c

  15. Anonymous says:

    i agree with your comments about the state with the nation, and i wish for your speedy recovery on your operation. when you get back, you might want to check out my blog as well. hopefully, blog by blog we can rebuild this nation.

    joseandres.blogspot.com

    – Jose Andres (no relation to Jose Pidal nor Jose Velarde). :)

  16. Jose Andres says:

    i agree with your comments about the state with the nation, and i wish for your speedy recovery on your operation. when you get back, you might want to check out my blog as well. hopefully, blog by blog we can rebuild this nation.

    joseandres.blogspot.com

    – Jose Andres (no relation to Jose Pidal nor Jose Velarde). :)

  17. JULIA says:

    Dear Jim,
    Just to let you know that you are in our thoughts and prayers for a safe and smooth surgery. May it be an uneventful one and that you will soon be able to share your talent and creativity. Yes, catch up on your sleep, you are in good hands, HE will take care of you and guide those who will do the surgery on you and take care of you on to full recovery.
    God Bless You, Jim…
    :) Jun & Julie

  18. Diego says:

    To Gabriela:

    I apologize that I didn’t quite comprehend what you meant. But I understood this:
    “Our silence equals consent/death/disaster. Take your pick — but, the vicious cycle needs to stop and evolve now!”

    Can you show us how?

  19. snst_blvd says:

    can the g8 help us too? hehe.. root for debt relief! haha!

    live8 rocks!

  20. Gabriela says:

    To Diego,

    Your question is baffling but understandable as you can’t possibly be Diego Silang. lol

    Here’s a clincher:

    Would you allow quietly allow thieves (jackals in sheep’s wool) to run your own home and have free access to your bank account? If not, what would you do?

  21. Gabriela says:

    Addendum to Diego:

    Let me clarify that cryptic question, but along that lines/metaphors. Considering the situation of thieves in your home, etc. — would you approach it with the proven ways (rule of law) or the new ways (sensing, observing, etc.)

    No pun intended.

    God bless

  22. gabriela says:

    To show you how..

    Here are the World Bank’s web sites on Anti-corruption and Good governance.

    http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/
    governance/data.html

    http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/
    governance/briefs.html

    http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/
    governance/

  23. Teena says:

    I pray for a successful operation and your swift recovery. Have a restful break, Tito Jim!

  24. Hazel says:

    Philippine Politics is getting more and more pathetic and depressing… no matter how much my husband and i said before that we don’t want to live overseas.. we’re now thinking about it..

    Live 8.. i don’t think the Philippines is aware of it as much as the other countries are.. again.. sad. yes we are one of those who might need some help but we are also those who can greatly help with our knowledge and service.. not necessarily money.

    Good luck on your operation! :) God Bless!

  25. isay says:

    Godspeed!

  26. gabriela says:

    Role of Youth in Fighting Corruption

    Here are some new ways/suggestions (from the World Bank) of what youth can do to fight corruption:

    1. Refuse to pay bribes and/or report requests for bribes from public officials;

    2. Send articles on corruption to the media or start a newsletter by youth;

    3. Form anti-corruption clubs in schools/colleges that organize social events, stimulate group discussions, request that courses on anti-corruption, good governance and ethics be included in the school curriculum, publicly declare schools a “corruption-free zone,” and monitor and report any violations.

    4. Research and disseminate information on government procedures and entitlements to the citizenry.

    Also, the Youth could start their own NGO and submit their plan during the WB’s Development Marketplace, to turn their ideas into action and, hopefully, win free funding from the World Bank. Three Filipino start up NGOs won this year alone.

    Google Development Marketplace, World Bank for more information.

    I apologize for being overzealous about this subject matter, but as a matter of urgency to change the course of our nation small constructive and pragmatic steps that we endeavour esp with the youth could make all the difference.

    The future belongs to the Youth. But, we all share the burden of our country.

    Emigrating abroad is not the only answer. I have been away 21 years now but I wish everyday to be back home in my country. There truly is no place like home.

    God bless the Philippines.

  27. dancing in the rain says:

    “Kawawa naman ang Pilipinas,” you said. I couldn’t agree more.

    By the way, I told Kuya Teddybear (Nyoy) what you said. Thank you daw sobra. It means a lot to him that you loved what he did…and he hopes to see you sometime. =)

    I’ll be praying for your operation. You’ll be fine though; knowing you, kayang-kaya yan! :)

    Take care…hope to hear from ya soon! =)

  28. DarkBlak says:

    sor jim if you have time kindly visit this http://pinoyteachersnetwork.blog-city.com/

    thanks :)

  29. DarkBlak says:

    *sir

  30. hustlah_B says:

    hi mr. paredes,

    i am bianca desales a 20 yr old young mom.im writing a book about young parents.this book will be a collectionof stories and experiences of different people and i have asked your daughter erica to share her story, and she said yes. the purpose of this book is to be able to give the readers a full view of how it is to be a young parent. it’s ups and its downs. i also want the parents of these young parents to share their stories about their child’s experience being a parent at a young age so that we could see it from your point of view. if i may ask that you too share your story about your experience during your daughters pregnancy and entry to parenthood i’d greatly appreciate it. pls email me at im_biankita@yahoo.com whether or not youre interested in reading. i hope im not asking much. i want this book to be a support network for those young parents who are suffering alone. also, if you knwo any other parents of young parents or friends who had kids at a y0ung age and are old now who wish to share their stories please kindly refer me to them and let me know. thank you so much! i’ll be waiting for your reply. :)

    bianca

  31. jed says:

    me and my friends are seriously considering the, “destroy to create as a solution.” its a bit messianic and utopic but who knows maybe thats the final solution. the “all you need is love is no longer working.”

  32. Shey says:

    Hope you’re healing nicely!

  33. BabyPink says:

    hi sir jim.:)

    i hope you’re okay now. i went to the com. studio last tuesday pero hindi pa kayo nakabalik.:)

    see yu po.:)

  34. Anonymous says:

    hello mr. jim p!

    i prayed for you last night. hope my prayer helped. :)

    N

  35. Anonymous says:

    Just want to comment on the Live8 part – the Pinoy version, I saw a click ad for the Pinoy version (done in the same line as the live8 click ad) kaya lang, yung pinoy version nagmukhang roll call ng who’s who. and after half of the narration they weren’t even doing the “click” anymore, it didn’t make the same impact as of that continuously “clicking” as when Liam Neeson was narrating (i.e. there it is *click* a son *click* a daughter *click*) yung sa pinoy version nakatingin na lang sa camera yung “celebrity” and they look mad as opposed to compassionate. Maybe it’s just me, pero bakit kinailangan pa ng pangalan nung mga tao sa Pinoy version?

    ** 2 cents are getting so expensive now ** and there it is

    With much “idolation” for your thoughts and APO,
    Ina

  36. Jim says:

    To everyone,

    Thanks for everything. I actuallly felt a lightness of being with all the support and prayers and good wishes sent my way. I am healing slowly but surely.

    To all political comments, I hope you understand if I do not comment na muna. I do not wish to get agitated in any way. I must concentrate on what is important right now which is my health and spiritual balance.

    Once again, salamat.

  37. jimparedes says:

    What info? And what is your website all about?



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