Not about bad luck
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - November 3, 2014 - 12:00am

When my father Louie Beltran was still alive in 1992, I remember him writing a blind item about a presidential candidate he had discovered to have sired an illegitimate offspring with a mistress. On the day the article came out my dad made it a point to discuss the blind item on his morning radio program. We assumed that 2 candidates who were publicly known for their philandering activities would be calling. What came as a surprise was that 4 of 8 candidates checked in with my dad in order to avoid a public scandal.

It is ironic that people don’t think much of their misdeeds until a time of possible promotion comes up like the presidential race or when things fall apart whether in business, politics or family life. Take for instance the case of that Governor who generated public sympathy and concern about his missing wife, only to be totally ruined by his alleged extra marital affair posted on Facebook.

Then there’s my big shot friend: Business had been tough for him in spite of all the efforts and imagination they’d thrown into the witches brew of sales and marketing. As it turns out desperate times calls for desperate measures and my friend was desperate enough to consult me, the one guy who has never bought and can’t afford to buy his products. We go through the motions of ticking off all the possibilities.

Soon it became clear to me that my shopping stop was actually a divine appointment orchestrated by God in order to address my friend’s situation. I realized that his difficulty in doing business or his bad luck had nothing to do with sales, marketing and promotion. So I asked him a question that hit him like a coconut from nowhere: “Are you screwing around?” The “question” was really not a question since I knew that he was and who it was he had been philandering with.

Like all guilty individuals, my friend immediately dismissed the question as illogical, irrelevant and had no connection with his disastrous business situation. Unfortunately for him it does. I have sat down with many a repentant businessman, executive, even politician who are repentant, not for screwing around, but for their miserable state of being or mind. It actually takes a while for people to make the connection and the consequence of screwing around. Since he had gone through the trouble of detaining me and made the mistake of asking me, he now had to shut up and listen because I was not going anywhere until we were clear on the matter.

I proceeded to walk him through all the stories we’ve heard in life about what is “Malas” or brings bad luck, like screwing someone in a car, don’t shit in your own backyard meaning don’t have sexual affairs with your own employees, don’t mix business with (sexual) pleasure especially if you’re married, and the ultimate cause of bad luck which is having an extra marital affair.

I remember an occasion when for lack of something better to do, I engaged three lawyers; a commissioner, a politician and a dean of law regarding the sacrament of marriage and extra marital affairs. As I expected the 3 highly esteemed lawyers viewed marriage as a legal contract between 2 parties but failed to acknowledge the fact that marriage is in fact a contract between God and the couple, which entering into would benefit the mortals with divine blessings and protection. Again, when the issue of extra marital affair was discussed, the three lawyers once again referred to “affairs” as a “private matter” between “two consenting adults.”

But when I raised the fact that the extra marital affair was a violation of contract and subsequently results in the nullification of the contract and all the benefits and privileges provided therein, the lawyers suddenly had a different perspective. As a final point, I told the lawyers that the private matter between two consenting adults subsequently cascades into a disaster. Using a faucet as my analogy, I pointed out that because of the nullification of contract, the faucet where all the blessings and divine favor comes from is then closed. When that happens, the man’s wife, children, household helpers, employees and business associates are affected and are denied because the “primary signatory,” the head of the household decided to violate the contract. It’s not “malas” or a matter of bad luck but a really bad decision.

After sharing this story with my friend, I asked him to make a mental count or list of people we knew who had suffered marital and business setbacks after going through an affair. Recently I learned about an executive who spent so much time to get to the top of a multinational company only to get stuck and become unproductive until his career fell apart. I eventually found out that he had a bad habit of “ordering take out” women every time he was on a business trip or out of town. His associates lost respect and withheld support for him. Others who “shit” in their own backyard or have office affairs either reach a plateau or lose their authority and moral ascendancy thereby ending up with a compromised leadership.

Perhaps the worst story I came to know of was that of an unrepentant Dirty Old Man who took pride in having teenagers for girlfriends and parading them in all the social events he attended. He clearly took pride and stroked his ego in taking advantage of such girls until one evening as he was out on one of his dates, he bumped into one of his barkadas and Kumpadre who was also out on a date with a teenage girl: the daughter of the DOM. As they say what goes around – comes around.

Instead of calling it bad luck, ask yourself: Are you screwing around, are you cheating on God, is your business becoming number one in your life. Cheating doesn’t always have to be sexual; you could be cheating God and the important people in your life by spending more time and more money on other people and other things. My other analogy is that God is like a casino; you’ll never win playing against him.

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