The Effects of Bullying

The Effects of Bullying

Have you ever been told you’re ugly or fat? If you answer yes, then definitely you’re not alone. When I was young, my classmates used to bully and call me “pig” because of my size. I’m used to hearing reactions such us “ewww”, “yuck”, “kadiri” (gross) and other similar name-callings just because of my looks, my outfit, the way I speak, my laughs, beliefs, even my sneakers and almost everything about me.

The Harmful Effects

These all happened when I was in my late grade school years and it continued until I was in junior high school. I tell you, it was really degrading. As a result, I became secretive to my parents and also timid. I find it hard to express myself to anybody and had very low self-esteem. I became depressed. When I was in junior high I began experiencing panic/anxiety attacks whichever you call it. Without any reasons, I felt very nervous. Palpitations and difficulty breathing were common. I’m not sure if these were the possible effects of bullying though. I mean I was already timid at that time being an only child.

What We Can Do

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Bullying happens everywhere, in school, on the streets and even online. In the Philippines alone, one out of two Filipino children have witnessed violence or abused in school according to a survey conducted a few years ago.

To all the victims of bullying and other types of abuse out there, remember this: Our past does not determine our future or our identity. Let’s just keep moving forward. Think of the past as a teacher. Keep in mind that there were bad teachers when we were studying in school and we learned something from them at least. The fact that they showed us how to be bad teachers helped us not to imitate the way they do things. It’s also the same with our bad memories of the past. Just view them as our bad teachers, bad examples and the bad influences! And what should you do when you knew someone is a toxic friend? You would stay away from him. Bad memories are bad friends! They drain our energy and take away our happiness. So stop living with someone who doesn’t care about your feelings. In other words, stop living in the past. Today is a new day. Tomorrow is another day. Just keep moving forward.

 

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What Makes a Real Man?

What Makes a Real Man?

It has been a month since my last post here. How are you friends and fellow bloggers? I have been very busy last September so I could not even make a single post (laugh).

Reflecting from the things I have learned last month, however, motivated me to write a blog about being a real man. To many, their common stereotype of a real man is someone who has the machismo appearance, being dominant and superman, the knight in shining armor for any girls. On the other hand, if you are modest in your speech while showing weakness in making decisions, you are viewed as “soft”. But what does it take to be a REAL man?

Essence of a True Man

For me, a real man is someone who does not decide on impulse. He is reliable and takes responsibility for his actions whether the outcome is good or bad. A real man could be childlike but definitely not childish. He is well-organized, does not procrastinate, and balanced. He is committed to a relationship and respects others, especially women.

If married, he’s someone who leads his household lovingly and protects his family as his own self from harm. Not self-centered and ruled by emotions but is self-sacrificing and can control his emotions. Doesn’t turn to violence and would respect others’ opinions though different from his. A real man is true to himself, honest, and loyal – characteristics a guy could not fake. In fact, you can fake your speech or emotion, but there’s definitely no put on for being faithful.

Finally, a real man may fall hard but would always find a way to get up and set things straight. It is also not true that a real man does not fear anything. A real man fears his Creator – God. He fears for the people he loves too but is not afraid to admit his mistake. Actually, one of the main characteristics of a real man is humility.

Are You a Real Man?

If you answered “yes”, then congratulations! Otherwise, there is always a room for improvement. What about me? I can say that there’s always a room for improvement too (sigh and laugh). But admitting our flaws is a sign of maturity and that is good! So still, let’s congratulate ourselves for that.

Have a good day true man!

 

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Why I Chose Teaching ESL Online

Why I Chose Teaching ESL Online

“Teacher!” The word “teacher”, how does it sound like to you? What makes a good teacher? And why did I choose to teach ESL online? Many think teachers aren’t making a lot of money. Maybe it’s true especially in actual schools. Nowadays, however, things have changed for online ESL teachers. I will not discuss any salary rates offered by different companies in this field on the internet though.  This is more of being sentimental. It is all about answering the question “What makes you happy as an online ESL teacher?”

A Happy Teacher

In school, you are the second parent of your students. In online schools, you can’t be a parent to a 45-year-old manager nor a 50-year-old businessman. But you can be their friend, son or daughter, or their confidant. Teaching English is not all about helping them become successful because most of them are. Teaching English is like constructing a bridge for them to reach their goals. It will also help them to widen out. When you hear your student express himself confidently not being bothered to have the correct words and phrases, or the perfect grammar, it motivates you to do more for him.

Teaching English is not only helping your students understand grammar rules or correcting their pronunciation. It is far more than that. It is an amazing privilege! You are planting a seed. You are watering it. You watch how it grows to a tall, bulky tree. It grows on its own. And when your job is done, watch how far your words of wisdom have reached the hearts of your students; powerful enough to change their lives. You also get to learn more from your student’s culture and it helps you grow.

One time, one of my students asked me: “If you are in my case, which opportunity would you choose?” This is one of the most difficult questions I had to answer while in this career. The one who’ve asked is in a managerial position. Two competing CEOs are offering her top management position in their respective companies. In all honesty, I feel humbled and honored, though am not certain if I gave her the best possible answer. It is because I think I’m not even qualified to work as an employee in their company in the first place! But the trust she gave me boosted my optimism, to do more for her and to my other students.

The Ups and Downs

Of course, there were unfavorable circumstances I had to go through like accepting the fact that a student doesn’t like you, or you unintentionally hurt their feelings. These are normal pitfalls that you have to deal with. At the end of the day, when you know you gave your best shot, though you failed, it is still a good learning experience. It makes you become wiser, tougher and keeps your feet on the ground. Your perseverance to hardships helps you appreciate the value of your job.

Again, being an online ESL teacher is a privilege. That’s why I’m enjoying it. It is definitely not a boring vocation. Actually, it is a profession you can be proud of absolutely!

 

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My Top 10 Motivational Movies

My Top 10 Motivational Movies

There are many movies out there with lasting impact in our lives. I listed down here my own version of “Top 10 Motivational Movies” of all time. In case you haven’t watched some of these films, don’t worry: no spoilers.

 

10. Cast Away – (Tom Hanks)

I find this movie not only entertaining but highly motivational. It is about not losing hope and never giving up.

9. The Truman Show – (Jim Carrey)

I think this inspired some of the “unreal” reality shows on TV like the “Big Brother”.

8. Take the Lead – (Antonio Banderas)

If you are passionate about dancing and teaching, I highly recommend this video.

7. Coach Carter – (Samuel L. Jackson)

Being a basketball coach doesn’t only mean you focus on winning. You also need to help your players win the game of life. Be their life coach. This is what “Coach Carter” movie all about.

6. A Millionaire’s First Love – (Korean Movie)

A movie like “A Walk to Remember” is also an honorable mention that we can compare to this Korean movie. We call them tear-jerkers. When you found someone who can change the way you view the world, never let him/her go.

5. My Sassy Girl – (Korean Movie)

This is one of my favorite Korean movies of all time. I’m talking about the first one. The sequel is a disaster.

4. Like Stars on Earth / Every Child is Special – (Amir Khan)

One of the best Bollywood films I have watched so far. It will motivate parents and teachers to be patient with their kids and students.

3. A Beautiful Mind – (Russell Crowe)

Inspired by the real life story of the Math genius John Forbes Nash Jr. (June 13, 1928 – May 23, 2015)

2. 3 Idiots – (Amir Khan)

Another Bollywood film starring Amir Khan. This movie has one of the best plots made outside Hollywood. Looking for something inspirational and hilarious at the same time? Then this is the right one for you.

 

1. The Last Holiday – (Queen Latifah)

Want some positivity? Watch this movie.

 

You may also have your own list of Top 10 Motivational Movies which have tremendous impact in your life. You can share your list by commenting below.

 

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Let’s Talk About Death

Let’s Talk About Death

Why death? Who else would like to talk about that? But, yes. There will be a time when we have to face it. Not unless we don’t know we’re already dead.

I started thinking about the possibility of being dead when I was around 4 or 5 years old. I was so afraid back then. Fear of death makes people feel helpless. From the death of Abel, the brother of Cain, up to that someone right at this moment breathing his last, death has been the number one enemy of mankind.

As a Bible believer, I know the fact that the dead are unconscious and know nothing at all. (Ecclesiastes 9:5,6) It’s just like falling into deep sleep with no dreams or whatsoever. (John 11:11-14) These truths make others feel somewhat relieved when they know their dead loved ones aren’t feeling the pain any longer. But still, others don’t want to talk about it. (For more info on my beliefs about death, please open this link)

Talking About Death is Talking About Life

When was the first time you heard the word “death”? How did you feel? How about the word “life”? Life has many worries, and death is one of them. The fear of losing our loved ones or being away from them makes us feel uncomfortable. Still, at sometime in the future, we need to face these painful changes in our lives.

Is Death Really Scary?

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We can hear familiar statements like “You only live once,” and “Live life to the fullest.” In an article published online [1], it discusses things you can do to overcome the fear of dying. One of my favorite points from this article is the statement “Surround yourself with people that make you happy and vice versa. Your time will be well-spent – and well-remembered – when you share yourself with others.” (wikiHow – How to Overcome Fear of Death, Part 4, Point 2) Indeed, surrounding ourselves with people whom we can make happy will give us meaningful accomplishments. Genuine happiness comes from giving according to Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:35)

But the question remains: Is death really that scary?

Consider these quotes from different personalities.

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”[2]

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”[3]

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”[4]

“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”[5]

“Do not fear death so much but rather the inadequate life.”[6]

As you might have noticed, the people who uttered these statements seem to agree that living a meaningful life will take away fear of death or assuage it. Dying with self-respect and dignity is better than living a hundred years in dishonesty, being greedy and power-hungry individual.

The Bronnie Ware’s Regrets of the Dying

Author and songwriter Bronnie Ware wrote in her blog about the common “Regrets of the Dying” in 2009.[7] It made a great impact to many especially to those who were working too hard that they forget to spend enough time with their loved ones.

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I have an ESL student who happens to be a branch manager of a well-known fast-food chain. One time, I told her about Ware’s article on the “five common regrets” of the dying. She pondered well on it and gave importance to spending enough time with her family. It made both of us happy with the results of that conversation we had.

Let’s Talk About Life

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Living a healthy life doesn’t mean you don’t have to fear death at all. Having a morbid, irrational fear of death is not good, but a little bit of worrying about it is healthy. It will help you avoid things that may put yourself in danger. Nevertheless, worrying too much won’t help you any better. “So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles.” (Matthew 6:34)

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.[8]

“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” - Erma Bombeck

 

We need to enjoy the blessings we receive each day; be it food, shelter, a good night sleep, or being alive. Happiness comes from appreciating even the least important things we have. Find contentment in life. When you find it, hold on to it.

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Breathe life, watch many sunsets, run, play like a child, decide like an old man, help others to know their Creator and do the same, be a blessing, inspire, motivate, forgive others and yourself, laugh more and love more. In doing these, you will be loved and respected. Eventually, you are going to feel contentment in life. And that’s when you are living your life with a noble purpose.

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References:

1. How to Overcome Fear of Death – wikiHow-http://www.wikihow.com/Overcome-the-Fear-of-Death
2. Marcus Aurelius-http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marcusaure148732.html
3. Mark Twain-http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marktwain104444.html?src=t_death
4. William Shakespeare-http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/williamsha104447.html?src=t_death
5. Benjamin Franklin-http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/benjaminfr129949.html?src=t_death
6. Bertolt Brecht-http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/bertoltbre382589.html?src=t_death
7. Bronnie Ware – Regrets of the dying-http://bronnieware.com/regrets-of-the-dying
8. Erma Bombeck-http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/140315-worry-is-like-a-rocking-chair-it-gives-you-something

 

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The Booze Stole My Son – Don’t Let it Steal Yours (by Aui V.)

The Booze Stole My Son – Don’t Let it Steal Yours (by Aui V.)

Book Review

The Booze Stole My Son – Don’t Let it Steal Yours (by  Aui V.)

I was asked by a dear mother and author, the owner of the blog writingandalcohol.wordpress.com and the website www.auisjournal.com to give a review of her book “The Booze Stole My Son – Don’t Let it Steal Yours.” The book is a real life account of the author herself about the tragedy of losing her son due to drunk driving. It serves like a warning yet very touching counsel to all who are suffering from alcoholism and those whom loved ones are victims of the disorder.

These are some of my favorite quotes from the author.

“Maybe things are difficult sometimes because we are trying to live life to the fullest, because we are not denying the pain and we are searching for better ways to live.”

“Parents are the most imperfect people here on earth. God is not.”

“The fear of not having enough was the driving force behind all the chaos. It was like being caught in a net and the more I struggle out of the bondage, the more the net seemed to get tighter.”

“If the spirit remains alive, that’s good. If it dies, what can I do?”

My message to the author:

Dear Ma’am Aui,

How can I not love a writer who poured her heart and soul writing her book? Powerful words only come up when you think you are in the pit of desolation but you actually have become the best you can be. A book of this kind will make us realize that the power of love is stronger than death. I think I’m a little older than JC. I’m 28. I had to stop every time I become emotional while reading it because the words you used were so powerful. It made me think how miserable my parents would feel if I gave up things I love. I’ve been battling depression for a while and am looking for more motivation to continue my journey.

Reading your book made me feel as if I have known you for years. I will never fully understand the pain a mother would go through for losing her son, but at least I could imagine how my mother would feel or think when I’m gone. I can’t speak for your son, but through reading your book, I am very sure he loves you so much and that he has always been thankful for having a loving mother like you. Like him, I’m also aware of my parents’ weaknesses and their struggles in raising me up. I’ve seen their worst and they’ve seen mine.  As I grew older, it made me realize that their flaws are nothing compared to all the sacrifices they have done for me.

Although we have different beliefs and concept of God, we share the idea that He is aware of our sufferings and promises us everlasting life if we can endure until the end, and that there will be a resurrection of the dead. (John 5:28,29)  There is a very good reason why God has not yet stopped bad things from happening. However, He is never the source of our trials. (Job 34:10-12; James 1:13) He also promises that “the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing.” (1 Corinthians 15:26) Thank you for entrusting me to review your book and for sharing this masterpiece that only us, fragile humans, can write masterly.

If you have time ma’am, I would also like you to read a brochure here https://download-a.akamaihd.net/files/media_books/d5/we_E.pdf. I suggest others to do the same. It is a good read for those who are suffering from a loss of their loved ones.

Hugs and best wishes.

Your friend,

Jordan

 

 

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A Story of REAL Humility

A Story of REAL Humility

Many years ago, I received a text message which contains a short story about humility. I thought it will be great to share this story to all the readers of this blog. I tried searching for the original source of this story online, but so far I haven’t found it. I made some changes and additions to the story to further emphasize the lesson it brings to us.

~~~~~

The CPR – Short Story

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One hot afternoon on a beach, people noticed a young girl drowning. They quickly rescued her. The little girl was unconscious. An old man from a nearby cottage hurriedly reached for the girl laid down on the seashore. As the old man was about to hold the girl, a furious guy warned the people surrounding the girl to step aside, including the old man.

“I was trained to do CPR. Stay out of this! Let me do it!” the guy exclaimed.

The old man stood up and stepped behind the guy and watched quietly while the latter was performing CPR for the girl.

After almost a minute, the little girl regained consciousness. The people around them felt relieved and began applauding the guy. The old man, who looks very happy, gratefully congratulated the guy as well.

After two hours, however, the guy who saved the girl suddenly felt too much fatigue, experienced difficulty in breathing and became unconscious. A few minutes later, he woke up in an ambulance rushing him to the nearest hospital. Beside him was the old man he saw earlier at the beach now checking his pulse rate. The old man did the CPR on him while he was unconscious. This time he learned that the old man is a doctor.

“Why didn’t you tell me you’re a doctor?” he asked.

The doctor just smiled and answered: “It doesn’t matter to me whether you call me a doctor or not. A precious life is in danger. I became a doctor, not for fame, but to save lives. We had the same goal, and that was to save the girl. Nothing can surpass the feeling that you have just saved another life. There’s a lot of things to be protected other than our ego.”

The teary-eyed man humbly said: “Well, you have just saved two more lives today.”

~~~~~

Lessons? Being humble means we need to trust other people’s capabilities. Sometimes, we tend to play the know-it-all role in a group. Although, we might be well acquainted with a certain issue, we need to exercise self-restraint. Don’t think as if you are the only one who has the unique idea or the solution to a problem. Because most of the times, we’re not. Not because others beliefs are in contrast with ours, we’d think they are stupid. We need to accept that we are prone to making mistakes.

While we need to believe in ourselves and be confident, nothing can justify the idea that we are superior to others. We are living in a “me first” world. Nowadays, many people want instant gratification and to be on top. We can make a difference if we stay humble. If you’re gentle, meek and humble, people will love you. People will believe in you without forcing them to do so. Always remember that a good leader is also a good follower.

A Bible passage beautifully directed us to be humble: “ In the same way, you younger men, be in subjection to the older men. But all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones.  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.” – 1 Peter 3:5,6 (New World Translation)

 

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