Be sure to give back what you have received
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - September 15, 2019 - 12:00am

There are many rich people who die sad and frowning. They have not discovered the real meaning of life. But I saw many who were smiling and happy before they breathed their last. They have unlocked the secret doors to happiness and success. Today, I am here in Ronda, sharing the secrets that others have chosen to ignore and take for granted.

When my family and I visited the Holy Land two years ago, our pilgrimage guide brought us to the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River and to the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River are filled with marine life while in the Dead Sea, there is no life at all. It is nothing but water and salt. Our guide told us that Galilee and Jordan are alive because they give away all that they receive, allowing water and marine life to flow freely. The Dead Sea keeps all that it receives. That clear contrast made me realize that the real meaning of life is to give whatever we receive, and to keep only what we need. To withhold anything beyond our needs is to disobey the real meaning of life. It is unfortunate if we leave this world without discovering this essential truth.

There have been hundreds of young men and women who left our town some decades ago, and now they have prospered in other countries and in other cities and provinces in the country. They have become wealthy, famous and have abundance and possess more than enough to live comfortable lives. They have provided much for themselves and for their children. But only a few of them have returned to help. I wanted to walk along the road less traveled. I wanted to help even in some small insignificant ways. And so, today, our town fiesta, I am here to give back what I have received. Today is the fiesta in Ronda, my hometown. I do not have money to give away, nor goodies to distribute. But I have discovered the secrets of true happiness and success. And I am sharing this with my people.

Because of the lesson I learned in Israel, I have discovered that there is a better way to celebrate a town fiesta, other than mere eating ''humba'' and ''torta'' and drinking wine and beer. I came home to give ''pro bono'' legal consultation on laws concerning family relations, property and inheritance laws, and labor problems concerning employment, recruitment, wages, and illegal termination. This is my way of giving back to my people all the blessings that I received from above. I left my town in the seventies to find some rays of hopes and save my family from poverty and marginalization. I have fulfilled my mission, helped my parents and my brothers and sisters. It is time to help my people. I need not venture into politics  to be of assistance to my people.

I have returned to my hometown after more than forty years and I came to help my people in a number of ways. It is our fiesta today, but in the last few days, I have been giving free consultations on legal and related matters. There are so many problems that require some advice, ranging from issues concerning marriages and family relations, labor issues including illegal dismissals, unpaid wages and benefits and unfair labor practices. There are problems concerning pending cases involving brothers and close relatives. My latest advocacy is to help senior citizens prepare for their eventual departure, including putting their estate in order, preparing for last will and testament, and preparing documents for the extra-judicial settlement of their estate.

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