My Father

Today is June 22nd, seven days past the day they have set aside to honor fathers all over the world. Too late to be remembering the man who gave me life, but who said that a late celebration to honor a past life is an unforgivable sin? My father, always forgiving to family faults including the neighbor’s, never complained of tardiness.

I know my father to be one who would always admit faults. He never glorified sin, for he had lived it— big sins, small sins. On our way home from his shop, he and I would pass by a small Catholic chapel in a barrio in the town of Cadiz, and he would call on the priest to demand his right to confess. A ritual he would do once month when I was five, he batted for perfecting it when I was seven, and by this I mean he did his confession to his favorite “padre” at six p.m. every Friday afternoon. Very regular, as long as it did not rain. I understood this actuation to mean he had been burdened by his many sins.

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Minds at work (meaning your mind, or mine) could be busy processing 10,000 thoughts per day, so says the book titled Mind, Body Medicine: How to Use Your Mind for Better Health (by Daniel Goleman and Joel Gurin). 10,000 thought data per day means 70,000 thought data per week, or 3.65 million thought data per year. If these thoughts were printed on paper, you could be crushed by its sheer weight alone. If they are bad data and they remain as electronic data in your brain, they could either make you a lunatic or a killer.

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Of Mice and Men

Dr. John B. Calhoun, a research psychologist of the National Institute of Mental Health, set out to prove his theory on the dangers of population overcrowding. His brand of discipline is also known as ethology because it deals with the behavior of animals. In the process Dr. Calhoun also invented the term “behavioral sink” to describe aberrant behaviors he had noticed among the rodents, a term that has now passed on to common use.

His studies on rats and mice began in rural Maryland in 1947 and were to last for 15 years. Dr. Calhoun had chosen rodent species that are aplenty in North America, and are true omnivores— would eat almost anything—, have acute hearing, are sensitive to ultrasound, and possess a highly developed olfactory sense. A 2007 study discovered too that these rodents possess meta-cognition, a mental ability previously found only in humans and some select primates.

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The Diamond of Great Price

One day a buyer shopping drops by a large Gemolite chain store in one of those big buildings in Downtown Cloudburst. That store is a branch of a jewellery manufacturing company and exquisite “gemolites” are its main product, although it sells other gems too.

But one gem, different from the others, catches the man’s attention. “I want that,” he says. “How much is it?”

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Beatitudes According to the Unspiritual

Happy are those who have friends in the high places: for by the click of their fingers they could silence the objectors, by name-dropping they could cut through red tapes.

Happy are the pushers: for by just pushing their weight they get on in the world.

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Answers to Questions

Questions from Click here for that article where the questions have been posted.

(1) “How do I know what authorized matter is mandatory and what authorized matter is optional? Do I need to trust some ‘authoritative’ teacher of the text, or is there a fool-proof way to know?”

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Learning from Past Mistakes

How did you learn your great lessons on this business called life?

Mine came out of the mistakes I had made. Many mistakes, and not just small ones but big, mistakes that made me back out into a corner and made me think how I got it all wrong when everything seemed to be so right.

Sure, I admit that the times and the seasons when I got things correctly had also taught me lessons equally great, made me happy and made me dream of repeat successes. I got enamoured with medals and awards for the right things I did, for these flew into my lap expectedly; in fact I dreamed of these to the point of being obsessed. But I had discovered too that trophies and successes may also tempt us to embrace rigid solutions for doing things, or get into patterns of thinking that rarely give us freedom to be creative. Rarely do they lead to insights nobler and more profound. Under that stupor, we seldom entertain the possibility of flops and fiascos. My more profound lessons of life are the bounteous harvest from the troubles I had sown. They, aside from hurting my person and my soul, impact me more, salving the wounded ego of one so bright who had done things so stupid.

So let’s take a little time out together to think on life’s lessons and learn from these suggestions:

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