Same thoughts

I found this old post in my old blog that contains similar thoughts to my recent post Let’s Dance. It’s good to know that my thoughts now are almost the same as before.

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Posted on April 2, 2008

Life is like dancing. The different stages/trials that we face are the genres like pop, hiphop/street, tango, swing, boogie, folk, etc. We must keep up with what life can present to us just as we have specific dance steps and tempo for these different genres. We must have a flexible attitude if we want to get through life just like a dancer who must have a flexible body if he wants to dance various genres. We can’t succeed all the time because our attitudes can’t accommodate all unexpected situations like a hiphop dancer who can’t do broadway or folk dance.

However, there are also circumstances that can get us through it all if we only have the guts, and these are those moments that we are able to push through our limits just like a dancer who keeps on slipping or missing a step during practice and was able to pull it off during the performance. Like learning a dance, we must prepare the steps and follow it if we want to accomplish a goal in life. There are times that the steps need to be changed or adjusted. There are also times when we need to change a goal, in order to pursue a higher level or because circumstances doesn’t allow us to do so. It’s similar to a dancer who needs to change the song because the theme for the program suddenly changes and it doesn’t fit what he chose before.

In dancing, the dancer must enjoy the music, feel the fluidity of the body’s movement, utilize the adrenaline rush, and inspire the audience because this is what dancing is all about. In life, we must enjoy each day of it, even if it is filled with unfortunate events. We must experience the growth and progress of ourselves especially in pursuit of our goals. Lastly, we must exert all our effort, defy all odds, push ourselves beyond our limits because our audience is God.

 

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Vocation

October 2001. Our librarian went to our classroom and asked who would like to take a test to know if they can go to a seminary. Since I love ad hoc tests and I know it wouldn’t affect my grades, I raised my hand.

The exam involved cognitive, mathematical and abstract reasoning tests, which are the requirements needed to become a priest. I passed the test. Did I just take it because I want to test my ability? Definitely not. When our librarian asked the question, my mind focused on the word “seminary”. During my four years in high school, I became religious and somehow closer to God. I’d always go inside the church first to attend mass or pray before going to school. I also started reading the daily scriptures being read during the mass. Whenever we have prayer meetings, I’d always try to share my thoughts as if I’m delivering a homily. All of these made me happy. Happiness that’s different than anything I’ve felt before. A feeling ¬†of warmth and lightness coupled with a clear mind and vision. Thus, I thought and felt that somehow priesthood was my calling.

After the test, the passers were invited to a search-in workshop a few days later. During the workshop, we were given another set of tests. It only focused on abstract reasoning. An interview with a priest followed. The big question was thrown. “Do you want to go to our seminary and take up priesthood?” My answer was a no. I said that I wanted to take up a four-year course first and then I’ll decide if I’ll pursue priesthood. Of course with that answer I wasn’t invited anymore to the succeeding activities towards the entry to the seminary.

I thought I knew that I wanted it but I realized I wasn’t a 100% sure about it. It was a coincidence that the congregation, OMI (Oblates of Mary Immaculate) was related to the church celebration that my birthday fell on. That also added a reason why I thought it was for me. I didn’t regret that decision because I believe that God was guiding me at the moment I made that decision.

Looking at the pictures of my wife and kids made me realize that God indeed had something in store for me. =)

 

Let’s Dance

This is more or less the speech that I’ve delivered for my fourth speech project in toastmasters. Not the exact words because I just made an outline to prepare for the speech. I have basically achieved the objectives of the speech project except for one (use of vivid words), which totally slipped off my mind when I was writing this. Also, I should have followed my instinct to entitle this one as Life is Like Dancing, as what the general evaluator pointed out.

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Let’s Dance

Dancing is movement. Dancing is a journey. It has a purpose. There are a lot of things in dancing that can be related to life. Life is a movement, from birth to death. It is a journey. It has a purpose. For this afternoon, I’m going to share with you three of the things how life is like dancing.

Dancing has variety. You can dance fast or you can dance slow. You can wear tight clothes or baggy ones. You can dance with very small, detailed steps or you can dance with big, wide ones. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. In life, we can aim for so many goals or dream of anything but we can’t do everything. In dancing, dancers have a specialization. A hiphop dancer will most likely fail to perform a ballet dance, but there are some who are very versatile enough to dance more than one genre. Still, I don’t think there’s one dancer that can perform exceptionally well all dance genres. Why do these experts perform really well in their specialization? It’s because their bodies and emotions have the right fit for the dance. Similarly in life, we must find that something we can aim for that fits ourselves.

Dancing is fun. It should be enjoyed. When there’s no enjoyment, it becomes dull and obligatory. Just like in life, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing you’ll get bored and stressed out. And eventually you’ll quit. It’s alright to be serious in achieving your dream like harnessing your craft, having a family or building the next-generation airline applications, but you can’t continue doing it if you’re not enjoying it. You have to be serious in having fun, seriously.

Dancing is not perfect. When a dancer makes a mistake by missing a step or two, the music never stops and the performance still goes on. So what must a dancer do at these moments? He must forget about what happened, for a while at least, and move on to the next steps or redeem himself the next time he performs. Likewise in life, when you make a mistake, the world doesn’t stop rotating or revolving around the sun. Life goes on. One must learn from his mistake and then move on.

All these three things are impossible in dancing without the three things that we also need in life. Faith, hope and love. Without faith, a dancer cannot believe that he has the talent to perform. Without hope, a dancer cannot look past beyond his mistakes and look forward for his next performance. And without love, he won’t be able to keep his pursuit alive, which is to dance exceptionally well. So my fellow toastmasters and guests, I challenge you to keep on dancing, to keep on living because life is a dance and our audience is God.