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Rush to the future

CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - December 25, 2020 - 12:00am

As I typed in the date for this article, I said to myself: Imagine that! We actually made it to December 25! Unlike Christmases of long ago, this one has certainly been different. It was so toned down, almost last minute for many and, for the large part, electronic or digital. It actually came as a shock to suddenly see people flocking into malls for what must have been the shortest and fastest shopping sprees in history!

And now that we made it to Christmas Day, it feels like everyone is now rushing in heart mind, and soul to get to the New Year more to get away from 2020 than anything else. In fact a recent survey claims “91 percent of Pinoys welcome 2021 with hope.” I actually came across a magazine cover that was printed in advance for January 2021 and the cover was exactly that: 2021: Happy New Year! Everyone wants to get 2020 over and done with and I can’t blame them. What’s got me worried is the last days of 2020. Yes, it is with fear and trepidation that I count down these last seven days almost like the last seven words of Christ! The year has been so bizarre, I’m almost frightened to be on the road, walk under a ladder or pass under a coconut tree.

Getting back to the topic of rushing into the future, I wonder if we should really be in a rush to get to 2021 or are we setting ourselves up for a let down, big or small? During the past eight months I sort of embraced a mantra often saying: “We are not promised tomorrow” meaning we have no guarantees that we’ll be alive tomorrow given all the darkness and tragedies in 2020. I repeated that phrase to remind people to enjoy the moment, to appreciate present company and have a grateful heart. Do we simply do a re-set? Start over, seriously scale down, go boldly where we never did before? Unlike past years, planning for the coming New Year is going to be unlike no other in modern times.

The lesson is that as long as our lives are at risk, business will be on a “Need to do basis.” 2020 taught us all the harsh lesson that no matter how great the plans of mice and men, we are not in control. We learned the folly of ambition and greed when expansions and acquisitions all collapsed, leaving nothing but financial burden and woes. Even those who lived simple lives, content with jobs or being employees, discovered there is no such thing as job security and we all need a back-up. So what then do we do? The sign of the times will be “APPROACH WITH CAUTION,” “RECONSTRUCTION ON GOING –WISDOM REQUIRED.”

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Each year, I suggest to readers to start out with a family business conference or devoting a day or a weekend with your family to talk about plans, dreams and goal-setting for the coming year. But this time I would suggest you start with a “detoxification process.” Detoxify yourselves from the trauma of 2020. If need be, list down all the bad shit that happened to you, burn the list and bury the ashes! After everything I personally went through this year, I have to confess that it was only a few days ago when I decided: Enough! I set aside all my “To-Do-List,” locked up the house and went to a nearby mall for some speed-shopping and merienda. The minute we take away all our busyness, that’s when things turn. An almost magical message kept popping up in stuff I read on Facebook and even on TV. The word was: Rest. Unlike some of my friends who dismiss such things as mysticism, I consider it as being sensitive to the leading of the Lord or the Holy Spirit. Realizing “Rest” was the order of the days to come, I passed on my To-Do-List to a couple of part-timers and rested from my labors. It is when we are rested and removed from our pit of challenges and woes that we begin to find clarity.

Yes, I had challenges but there are many others who have it far worse. God has addressed my needs and answered my prayers at every turn and with every trial. The reason we need to detoxify is because a common behavior of traumatized creatures, animals and humans alike, is we go around in circles either physically as with caged animals or mentally as humans we replay and rewind the bad stuff until someone snaps us out of it. I caught myself seriously spiraling while recounting the bad stuff as if I was giving my testimony of survival. But in fact I was already entry-level depressed and beginning to entertain defeatist thoughts. By God’s grace my life experience with the power of prayer has been so great that things always realign with God’s word. After losing almost all my pigs in the farm, my wife and I wondered if we should carry on, or find something else for 2021. That same day another message popped up this time via Facebook:

“Don’t be afraid to start over. This time you are not starting from scratch, you are starting from experience.”

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E-mail: utalk2ctalk@gmail.com

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