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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

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Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Stay The Course

If you kept tabs during the recently held US election, you would have gotten the impression that the print and broadcast media were up in arms against George W. Bush. For most of them, four more years of his presidency was something untenable.

A barrage of criticism was thrown his way ranging from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, to the non-existence of WMD, to the National Guard memos which turned out to be fake, to the less than stellar US economic figures, and to the undestroyed WMD etc. But through it all, you saw a George Bush smiling, smirking and swaggering which all the more incensed the Democrats and the liberals. On the eve after the election, he came out swinging, defeating John Kerry and getting more than 50% of the popular vote.

Despite all obstacles, this Texan held his ground. Most of us may not like George W. Bush. But you cannot help admire his tenacity. The whole kitchen sink was thrown at him and yet, he sung the same tune. We may not know it privately but publicly, he was the picture of a man in control, of a man who stayed the course.

In our simple ways, we are confronted with obstacles, some hurdles are more difficult than others. Sometimes, due to the enormousness of the problem, we cannot stop ourselves from thinking of quitting. History has lots of shining examples of quitting in midstream. But history also has a stream of profiles of perseverance and of staying the course. How can one forget the Allied landing on the beach of Normandy, of the death of countless lives to create a beachhead signaling the end of Nazi Germany's hegemony over continental Europe.

But the question is: When do we know when to stay the course or to quit? This query is made more difficult if our problem is exacerbated by the presence of kin or the pangs of love or rejection which makes us think with our heart rather than with our head. Very difficult indeed.

Perhaps, as has often been remonstrated by the oft quoted maxim, we need to look at the forest and not the trees. Why? Because trees block our line of vision and at the same time, we are daunted by their height. Step out of the forest and you will realize that they are not so scary after all. It is when you are inside Fangorn forest that we, hobbits, dread of orcs, of trees talking, or of witches dwelling in the mists. Step out and you will see the majesty of the great rolling plains of Rohan. Then, make a decision.

Or another guide is whether the ends of our adventure are worthy of pursuit. Is it worth all the sweat and man-hours poured into it? Is it worth all the moral means to achieve it? Is it worth all the conflict, enduring the hubris of our friends, and the exhaustion of our emotion and intellect. If it is not, then quit.

It is so easy to give counsel when none is asked or when our emotions are placid. And maybe, that is why Ignatius of Loyola cautioned his companions never to make a decision in a fit of anger. It blurs our intellect and dims our judgment.

So, my friends, when you cross the bridge of whether to stay this course or not, whether to continue to love this person or not, or whether to continue to invest in a losing proposition or not, just remember to gaze at the forest or to stretch your neck a little longer if you can see the outline of the finish line. If you can either do both, then stay the course. If not, there is no shame in quitting.



4 Comments:

Blogger TRIFECTA said...

Sir all i can say is this, it's not how many times you go down, its how many times you get up. My friend always told me that when i was still in med school. Well i just decided that medicine wasn't for me and that God has another plan for me. Im starting on a new journey again and hopefully il reach the end.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Edwin Lacierda said...

Good for you Jun. And I hope you will end up coming up with a new anime superhero. And if you do, please call him Edwin-san

4:31 AM  
Blogger jhennie caldito said...

i remember this line i got from a text message of a friend "the measure of a person is not in how well he prepares for everything to go right but in how gracefully he stands up and moves on after everything goes wrong".. written so well. i still believe in the saying that everything has a purpose...so our existence. i also believe that if everything goes out not pretty well for us, God has a meaning and purpose for such. we should not lose hope. for as long as we trust Our Savior and believe in Him, there is nothing to fear about... there is no reason for us to quit, even in the most horrifying problems that we encountered along the way. we just have to rediscover ourselves. there's no going out. afterall, there's this Someone who is always there, loving and caring for all of us. all we have to do is to strengthen our faith. let us all believe and everything else follows.

7:44 PM  
Blogger sarichairul said...

We are always being faced with 2 decisions to make. one decision or another will lead us to different paths. as long as we believe that we are taking the right decisions, and ready to take the consequences, we can get through it easily =)

1:47 AM  

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