Let’s make positive things happen in these negative times
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - April 4, 2020 - 12:00am

In these dark times, of gloom and doom, when we hear a lot of complaints, bashing, and “laglagan to the bones” I don’t wish to join the fray and be drawn into pessimism and negativity. I want to be positive, although I tested negative, I have to clarify that very precisely.

Today, I can’t go out of our gate. I have to hear mass via Facebook Live. I join our Marriage Encounter Prayer meeting every Friday via Zoom. No traffic problem. I can’t go to the bank or the grocery. This very good as we save on money and gas. Only our driver, Romy, is allowed by the village association to serve as our link to the outside world. My son, also a lawyer, is staying with us with his wife and child, which gives us time to catch up on each other. My youngest son and his wife (just married in Coron, Palawan) are spending their honeymoon at home. The wife, an international flight stewardess, isn’t flying for a month as airlines have slowed down. This is positive too.

I miss my Law classes in the university belt and in nearby San Beda Alabang, but I conduct classes online. I ask my students to recite and argue with me and with each other. I see all these as positive. My driver of 30 years is resting, which means he is always arranging and re-arranging the law books in my office and library in the ground floor. My son and I have finished preparing petitions and appeals to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. We have a small law firm, Jimenez and Jimenez, and are updating the list of our retainers and keeping our books in order. My wife cleans the closets with the maids, and does some gardening. We have breakfast, lunch and dinner, even snacks together as one big family of more than 12, including the helpers. These, to me, are positive.

We have finished the two books on termination of employment, one for employers and another for employees. My son and I are co-authors. The books carry the foreword of DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III and the introduction of NLRC Chairman Gerry Nograles. This lockdown allows us to do the finishing touches on our next two books, one 2020 Bar Reviewer consisting of a thousand pages and a Pre-Week Law Reviewer. These are very positive things. I do consultations with my clients by phone, email, and Twitter. I issue opinions online and am reachable by phone. These are positive too.

I have encoders and editorial assistants who are working from their respective homes. They earn money by electronic transfer based on their productivity and volumes of output. While the whole world is reacting to a virus, and many are being distracted by negativism, we are working and continue to be productive. We don’t have time to criticize others, we just focus on our work. My youngest daughter is finishing her thesis for her UP masteral degree. My other son is in their house doing recruitment online for a big group of companies. My elder daughter is performing her banking and investment functions as bank executive. We are all busy and productive.

We make positive things happen at these very trying moments in our life. We don’t allow ourselves to be distracted by negativism and idle thoughts. I'm sure after all these, we will survive and even become stronger.

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