Thirty six years ago this month, my folks have been blessed with a bouncing baby boy. However, there was one problem – the boy was born with a Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (CTEV) or in layman’s term, “clubbed foot”.
With questions of uncertainty day in and day out, my parents’ weariness and confusion have been replaced by helping arms, and tons of steadfast faith from families, relatives and friends at home and overseas.
I cannot imagine my folks dealing with the pain seeing their youngling’s feet casted and recasted on a weekly basis at the Philippine Orthopedic Hospital. It was not how they have expected to rear their first born but, they are both helluva fighter, and they made it.
I was too young to tell any tale about my physical pain struggle in the confines of the hospital, but here’s what I have learned all throughout the years that I have been blessed a chance to literally walk the Earth.
1. Acceptance is the key. People are different in many ways and there is no other way to understand people but to accept them – regardless of their complexion, their language, or their physical forms. Everyone is not born equal. No one is special. One person is uniquely created to serve different purpose from another.
I have learned that to accepts one’s physical being regardless if they are a family or not, is the best gift I could offer. Creating a support sytem gives someone in need a foundation to start building their confidence and sense of belongingness.
2. Faith is the answer. No matter what you have been going through, no matter how many times you have failed, if your faith is steadfast, there’s always that higher power that eventually draws you to or atleast gets you closer to success, triumphs and victories, no matter how much you have been hurt falling facedown.
It does not matter how you really behave in a societal and religious context. You would always have that someone or something you strongly believe in, that keeps your will to try and to do greater things – be it your spirit warrior, your gods and goddesses, your guardian angels or even your love ones who have gone before you – they keep your anger away.
3. Humility is life’s best lesson. Like any other being, you should be allowed to fail, to make bad decisions, to be inflicted harm and pain. It will build your character, it will help you discern things, it will make you stronger. Let all your marks and scars from falling down and breaking apart serve as reminders that you fought valiantly like a warrior and conquered kingdoms like a king, at the same time, the same marks and scars should keep your feet on the ground.
4. Have a grateful heart. As a soulful being, you must show gratitude to your family, to your friends, and to all the people whom you have met along the way. You should practice the cycle of generousity and give back; and be an instrument of your faith. Be cheerful.
5. Pursue happiness. The world as we know it, will never be fair and just, but you have the power to be a medium of justice and peace. Not because some people malevolently treated you means you are entitled to malign others. Not because other people corrupted their decency and thoughts means you have to corrupt yours. Regardless of what you are dealing with on a daily basis, get up in the morning and retire to bed at night with the thought that is craving for unperturbed happiness; lastly,
6. Kick some ass. Well, figuratively. Dare to achieve small tasks, big tasks, risky tasks. Do it without expecting something in reciprocity. If you fail, do it again like the way you redo a power nap by hitting the snooze button. Do it many times, as long as you can. Stir it like you are making your morning coffee without the help of a barista. That sense of accomplishment at the end of every job well done is an awesome feeling that you know you so well deserve – that fist pump – that sigh of relief – that big grin – use them to drive your will to live and be a gift of life to others and use it to strive for more goodness.
Look around you! We are different! But under that black, white or brown skin is a stinky flesh and blood that will eventually end up rotting six feet under.
Happy New Year, everyone!