Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Archive for March, 2014

Thank you world 0

Posted on March 04, 2014 by jimparedes

Posted on January 31, 2014 by jimparedes

Thank you world Please click on this!

The new video of ‘Thank you world’, a song I made for to express my gratitude to everyone in the world who helped us out. Please watch and tick ‘like’ if you are moved by it.

Let’s make it go viral so everyone in the world knows how grateful we are.

Thanks to Jennifer David , Alekz Londos, Mio Paredes, Dorothy Chrizelle Baladjay, Andee Achacoso, Noel Cabangon, Ernesto Baladjay, jr.

If you want to help raise funds, you can purchase the song on Itunes. Type Jim Paredes on the Itunes store and it will appear as Thak you world-Single.
– See more at: http://haringliwanag.pansitan.net/#sthash.rNHBhHek.dpuf

How to avoid becoming grumpy as we age 0

Posted on March 04, 2014 by jimparedes

Humming in my Universe Philippine Star
Posted on January 18, 2014 by jimparedes

As I go deeper into aging territory, I sometimes wonder what I will be like 10, 15 years from now (if I live that long). I know that accumulating more years will mean I will have less and less time, opportunity and vigor to do the things I like to do.

Living will mean more physical pain, less activity at a slower pace, and more things to complain about. Aging will mean being more sedentary.

It’s a pretty daunting scenario to imagine but I am hoping to slide into it with some grace and positivity. Hopefully, I will find and accommodate the necessary balance to remain productive and happy.

I have eight brothers and sisters who are my seniors (and one who is younger than I) and while they may all have salt and pepper hair, none of them seems to be in a permanent state of pain, unhappiness or suffering. Thank God, I more often see them smiling, laughing, joking around, and still active, enjoying life and family gatherings. My oldest brother Jesse can stay on the dance floor longer than any of us younger folk. All of us are senior citizens now but we still enjoy singing our hearts out, and expressing ourselves in a loud manner like true Paredeses.

But I have met other people my age or older who seem to be going in another direction. Where once they were funny, sociable, positive and engaging, they have become reclusive, aloof, and even grumpy.

It is hard to accept that one is actually aging, even if we know it is also happening to everyone else. All around, there is denial of this fact of life. Aging, a natural phenomenon, is looked at almost as a disease, which, of course, it is not. It is one thing to accept intellectually that we all age, but quite another to accept it emotionally.

For many, every sign of aging can cause anxiety. We hang on to every vestige of youth. As we get older, we dye our hair or save what’s left, smooth out our wrinkles, go to the gym. Some go through stem cell replacement, Botox, plastic surgery, magic cures and diets that take out or slow down the creeping signs of aging.

Aging tends to make people grumpy for obvious reasons. There are the physical limitations of aging that one must learn to accept, which is hard to do. One is the limits to one’s autonomy, mobility and youth that no one would readily surrender to. And then there are the irritable aches and pains and illnesses that aging can bring. Surely, these can make one grumpy.

Losing one’s youth is, of course, gradual and each one goes through his own process of dealing with it. As aging gets more pronounced and its effects unravel more and more, the feeling can be compared to identity theft where you find your youthful vision of yourself being taken away and replaced with a less desirable image. While I can still do a real workout in the gym, there will come a day when I will not be able to, no matter how hard I try. And that, among other things, is something I must learn to accept, peacefully, quietly and with great dignity.

Aging is a given. It will happen, as long as we are alive. Which makes me wonder how we can handle aging so that we do not drop out of living and remain happy, productive, engaged, and at pace with the speed of life?

There is a medical condition called Irritable Male Syndrome which, according to Dr. Ridwan Shabsigh, head of the International Society of Men’s Health, is caused partly by testosterone loss that brings about “low mood and irritability.”

In the book, The Wonder of Aging: A New Approach to Embracing Life after Fifty by Michael Gurian, the point is made that in the first 50 years, a male’s body is fueled by testosterone that decreases yearly. But the decrease can be sharply drastic at around age 60. Basically, the grumpiness comes because at that age, the body has changed but our attitude and acceptance of this new reality has not. This can cause perplexing feelings of emasculation and powerlessness. Gurian writes that while generally, women as they age can cry about what they have lost, men prefer to scream and yell.

Activities that used to make us happy are no longer as enjoyable. Our older body can no longer keep up with the rigors of the sports that we love. In fact, many of them have now become physically dangerous. We suddenly realize that he can no longer play basketball or football, or jog as we used to without risking muscle, bone or tendon damage. Also, the thrill of sex isn’t the same as it was in our much younger days.

But actually, it is not only about the loss of testosterone. Perhaps more than the lack of testosterone are the pains we have suffered, such as the loss of loved ones due to death, unhappy or failed marriages, and ended relationships. We have regrets about the road not taken, decisions not made, career misses, lost opportunities for intimacy, and the lack of time or the chance to rectify the situation.

It is easy to imagine how these can make an elderly person grumpy.

Dr. Gurian suggests completely letting go of one’s lost youth, accepting that it is gone forever, never to return. This means letting go of all illusions and accept reality. This way, one can more easily embrace and settle into what he calls “pure elderhood.”

This still sounds pretty depressing. But it does not mean the end of everything. Not if one considers aging as entering an entirely new chapter in one’s life. Appropriate adjustments must be made. Perhaps one can take up gentler sports like walking, golf and recreational swimming. For psychological satisfaction, one can do mentoring, coaching and teaching the young. In fact, one can even go back to school or finally pursue urges one never had time for, such as writing, gardening, travel, photography and other passions.

The idea is to enjoy life as defined by this new balance.

One thing I am grateful for in my senior years is that companionship, love, the gift of laughter, learning new things, and simple joys like the company of grandchildren, pets, and old and new friends, have nothing to do with age. But they have a lot to do with being less grumpy as we age.
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How to be a good boss 0

Posted on March 04, 2014 by jimparedes

Humming in my Universe, Philippine STar
Posted on January 11, 2014 by jimparedes

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 2.39.53 PM
Illustration by REY RIVERA

I wish to share some thoughts on the ranting, complaining, condemning, whining, hating and blaming that’s been flying thick and fast among netizens regarding governance issues. The perception that we, as a people, are perennially on the receiving end of bad governance, corruption, stupidity and insensitivity is shared by many, and with good reason. I would like to share some ideas on how we can get out of this feeling of victimhood and create a new, less toxic relationship between the government and us, its bosses.

First of all, I wish to point out something really obvious that we seem to forget or refuse to acknowledge — that there are, in fact, good people serving us in the different departments, bureaus, offices of government. Some may argue that while there are exemplary public servants, they are not in the majority. But it does not matter whether they are or they are not. What is important is that they are there and they are working on our behalf. And we can actually have a more functional and satisfactory relationship with them that can, in the process, encourage their lot to multiply.

Another thing I wish to remind everyone is that we, the people, are the bosses who are supposed to be served by government. But being a boss carries with it certain responsibilities.

Now let us try to look deeper and examine how we can relate to each other better. If we wish to improve governance, government officials and we, their bosses, must develop trust and synergy to be able to get things done.

There are many ways to do this. We can start by pointing out how not to do it. Sadly, many of us make a blanket condemnation of everyone and everything about government, saying that government is corrupt, inefficient, uncaring, etc. This has to stop because it is not producing positive results. It only makes it more difficult for the good officials to do what they need to.

Let us try and imagine how we citizens can be good bosses. For government officials reading this who really want to serve, I hope they find my suggestions helpful.

To my fellow bosses-citizens, here are some things to ponder:

1) Let’s take the time to read, examine, analyze, think and learn more about what our government officials and employees are doing, or are supposed to be doing. Learn about the details of their jobs, the real live situations they are dealing with, and the arena they are operating in. Context is important. We must learn to appreciate complexity.

There are things that seem ideal on paper but are far from perfect on the ground. When we take the time to understand this reality, we can accurately pinpoint what is wrong and make truly useful and productive comments, suggestions and decisions on how they can be improved.

The hardest thing for a government employee to have to endure is to listen quietly and tolerate bosses who know close to nothing about their work and what really needs to be done.

2) No one wants a boss who screams, curses, shouts, lays blame and generalizes without knowing what is really going on. It smacks of ignorance and bad management. It does nothing to improve the situation and discourages good employees who are lumped together with the bad ones. It also promotes cynicism. But admittedly, this is how most of us have been dealing with government and, as we all know, it has not helped improve things.

3) More than finding fault, a real boss must be a leader who appreciates people doing the right things. Instead of limiting our repertoire to merely cursing and ranting, consider inspiring and encouraging the people who are doing good in government. Let us point out and praise what works well. When we acknowledge and reward certain actions, they tend to be duplicated over and over again. When we do not, they are hardly ever repeated.

This attitude goes a long way with employees who actually want to be effective in their jobs. If you want to motivate your good employees to show up for work feeling good and informed about what they have to do, then establish a relationship with them that makes this possible.

To our good government officials:

1) Aside from giving your best efforts to what you need to do, it also helps if you take time to go an extra mile and discuss in detail the problems you encounter so that ordinary citizens can be enlightened about the problems, processes and protocols you have to go through.

2) With such transparency, we can understand better the context of where you are coming from and we can be more informed and helpful in expressing our ideas and support so that you do not have to suffer in silence.

I have noticed in online discussions that the comments tend to move away from rants and become more rational and helpful when the big picture is presented and explained.

3) We encourage you to ask for help from citizens when you need it. It helps involve people and creates synergy between government and its citizens. It also helps identify individuals and groups whom you can count on for support.

4) As much as you rightfully claim your successes, make it a policy to humbly accept the consequences of your bad decisions or sloppy work. We are all human. A sincere offer to correct your mistakes will be more likely looked at in a sympathetic light than stonewalling.

Sure, there are many things to be angry about regarding how our government is being run. There are forces within it that are bad, even evil. But we can’t have a totally adversarial, even hostile attitude towards government. There has to be a better way to relate.

Let us recognize that there are lots of good people in government, too. Sweeping negative generalizations that everyone in government is corrupt are non-starters. They demoralize the idealists who enter government to render positive service. Let us make sure that good government service is a rewarding experience. This is the only way to entice good people to join.

When we must take the road of condemnation of some government action, inaction or persons, let us do so based not on hearsay alone but on solidly researched data. Very often, people fly off the handle based on something they read on the Internet that often turned out to be a false report. And often, when this happens, very few take back their rants and correct their mistakes.

Good citizens must be more discerning and intelligent. As the crowd of bosses, we must be able to tell the difference between Jesus and Barabas, so to speak, and treat our “employees” accordingly.

– See more at: http://haringliwanag.pansitan.net/#sthash.O5Rzr4B0.dpuf

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