Good things happen during the worst of times

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - November 28, 2020 - 12:00am

It has been said and I do agree fully, that whenever God closes the door, he also opens a lot of windows. And I also tend to concur with Charles Dickens' first sentence in his masterpiece “A Tale of Two Cities”, written in 1859, that this is the worst of times, and yet, the best of times. I heard many testimonies of people witnessing the truths that many of us don't see or are seeing but ignore.

My wife and I are members of a prayer community of encountered couples under Ateneo's Center of Family Ministry, and we meet every Friday evening to share with each other how the Lord touches our lives during the pandemic. There are a number of sad stories of deaths and sudden departures, of pains and sufferings, of too-expensive hospitalization and treatment, and of feelings of hopelessness and disillusionment. And we also hear narratives of people losing their jobs, of businesses that had to declare bankruptcy, employers who need to lay off workers and undertake retrenchments and closures. And yet, in the midst of all gloom and doom, we also hear stories of wonderful things that happen even during these most difficult times. God is good even in the most trying days of our lives.

To me, I found the pandemic months from March to September, as my most productive time ever in my life. Together with my son, who just took his oath as a new lawyer, we have co-authored no less than eight books on Labor Law and Human Resources, as well as reviewers for the Bar examinations.. These books are selling briskly in the market. A number of lawyers who need to handle labor cases are buying our books and are happy to give us feedback that their law practice has been helped a lot by my research included in those books. Law professors in various universities are prescribing them as official textbooks for their classes in labor standards, labor relations, and labor procedures. If not for the pandemic and the lockdown, we would not have had the time to write and publish these legal resource materials.

Even as I continue to author books, I am also teaching labor laws in three universities, two in Metro Manila and one in Cebu. The digital platform, using Zoom and other providers have opened tremendous opportunities to reach out to our students, our Law deans, and also our clients in the practice of law. The NLRC arbiters and the DOLE hearing officers are conducting virtual hearings and conferences using the digital platforms too. I am a consultant to a number of business corporations engaged in banking, foods, beverage, transport, logistics and education. I do consultations every day. I could not have reached too many clients if I had to travel a lot and keep getting caught in traffic most of the time. The digital ways of work have made me more productive.


I am invited regularly as a lecturer, resource person, and in weekly webinars conducted by professional organizations and business organizations. I speak before the Rotary Clubs, the Jaycees, and chambers of commerce and industries here in our country and abroad. I have engagement as keynote speaker in a number of regional and global conferences of HR professionals and labor law experts. My audience is in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh. If we were in the old normal, I would have wasted a lot of downtime in the airports and on the highways. The pandemic opened tremendous opportunities for me to become more productive and more accessible to much larger and more remote audiences.

But above all these, what matters most is that I have more time to be with my family, having breakfast, lunch, and dinner with them (which never happened prior to COVID), having direct contact with my five children and four (soon to be five) grandchildren. I have more time for reflection, contemplation, and introspection. I have an office on the first floor of my house and there, I write my daily columns, conduct my webinars and talk to the Lord. I am amazed at how a negative thing could generate too many positive results. God is good all the time.

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with