Traffic and euphoria at bus stations, seaports and airports aside, it really now is turning out to be a slow, calming, Holy Week. If there’s one mundane thing I very much look forward on Good Friday, it’s the sight of virtually empty roads in the Metropolis and that annual, simultaneous personal wish that road conditions in Manila would always be like that daily. I must be daydreaming again…
Still, in any case, I don’t seem to be heading to a slow Holy Week ahead. But I’m not at all complaining.
Proud to be Ka-Guthrie
After a three-month R&R, I started my new work on Holy Tuesday. As I’ve said and announced over the past few months, I’ve left my previous life as a News Reporter, and now ventured into a new, exciting advenure, which is the Coporate Sector. I am now officially a Training Consultant for the country’s leading Management Consultancy Firm. I will need to say as early as now that I won’t be going into too much specifics about the job so as not to compromise any policies. Although it shouldn’t hurt now, to dwell on some reflections.
Admittedly, the first few hours were a bit overwhelming, when I truly realized that I was out of my comfort zone. Who wouldn’t be overwhelmed when one who interviews, covers, and chronicles events as they happened is now suddenly dealing with Management, Finance, Marketing, and Communication? But hey, when you leave your comfort zone and expand it, that’s real growth! So when I put all the challenges into the proper perspective, I realize that it has been one great, learning experience so far. There’s a really a new world for me to discover, so much to read, so much to absorb.
I’m thankful that I’m in this new adventure with the best, warmest, and most professional people in the business. I really couldn’t ask for more, and could not have asked for a warmer welcome that they do extend to everyone who joins the family. I enjoy my new role, the new kind of service I can do for many people, and delight in my sort of being a student again. And yes, we are all treated according to our own work and merits, and not the people we know. If you know what I mean!
My new work is something that I have very quickly grown passionate about. So, when I was advised by a good colleague and friend to observe work-life balance during the Holy Week and enjoy the long break, I couldn’t do it 100%. I chose to bring just a few books home to devour because there’s so much to learn. But of course, I am still giving priority to praying, reflecting. Of course, there’s “playing” this Holy Week — after all, all work and no play…
I really did not realize all the free time I have now, because this is the first time in four or five years that I’m not working. This is the first time in ages, when I can wake up at 10 or 11 in the morning on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday.
But there’s no time to waste. I really don’t know now what I was thinking back then, but I do remember having bought DVD’s intended for “Holy Week” Movies viewing back in 2004. I never got the chance to watch them because of my past work. Maybe I’ll watch them now! Top of the list is The Ten Commandments. I’ve actually seen it over and over again, but I never really got the chance to start the film. Hmmm… maybe I could even watch again episodes of The Flying House on VCD. I enjoyed watching it as a child, and I still do enjoy watching it now for its creative, non-preachy way of telling the story about the Christ’s life and the New Testatement.
Other films? Maybe I’ll watch Gone with the Wind again or Ben-Hur, because I actually do have the time.
Of course, it’s a time to reflect as well, since a lot has been in my mind. Work as a whole really has been the subject of my thoughts lately because of my own very experience. And through a talk I attended just last week, I came to know and appreciate the late Pope John Paul II’s encyclical entitled Laborem exercens, which is a great piece of work, for it beautifully defines the proper dignity of people at work, and what should be justly accorded by employers.
It’s a timely reminder of people or labor being more important than capital. It upholds the advancement of women and the need for unions. And it talks does not remind employers of the morality of just wages — but wages that should enable a worker to provide for his or her family, which, come to think of it, a number of companies ignore.
Here is a short part of the encyclical: “Besides wages, various social benefits intended to ensure the life and health of workers and their families play a part here. The expenses involved in health care, especially in the case of accidents at work, demand that medical assistance should be easily available for workers, and that as far as possible it should be cheap or even free of charge. Another sector regarding benefits is the sector associated with the right to rest. In the first place this involves a regular weekly rest comprising at least Sunday, and also a longer period of rest, namely the holiday or vacation taken once a year or possibly in several shorter periods during the year. A third sector concerns the right to a pension and to insurance for old age and in case of accidents at work. Within the sphere of these principal rights, there develops a whole system of particular rights which, together with remuneration for work, determine the correct relationship between worker and employer. Among these rights there should never be overlooked the right to a working environment and to manufacturing processes which are not harmful to the workers’ physical health or to their moral integrity.”
When I think of the insights of the encyclical, I am reminded of a more recent Vatican announcement — the six “new” sins, which include widening social and economic differences between the rich and the poor that “cause an unbearable social injustice.”
The last thing I want to be in this day and age — and this week — it to be a Pharisee, but I just wish to say: it is only right that social injustices have their rightful place in Inferno. This, especially thinking that the injustice of a bad employer — or a corrupt government — can truly ruin the lives people, and could even be felt by their descendants for generations to come — those who fall prey into the system of lack of access to education, healthcare, basic social services, and proper human dignity.
Well, we all have much to think about. Everything aside, and I will never tire of it, I endlessly rejoice and I am eternally grateful for the many inspirations and blessings received, the company and love of family, real friends through thick and thin, the best colleagues, and most of all, the one and only God, who, without question or condition, loves each one of us so much, that He chose to suffer and die on the Cross for us so that our sins will be forgiven — even the ones we have yet to commit. And realizing our own weaknesses and nothingness, we all run to His loving embrace as little, innocent children — praying and claiming with faith, that we will conquer, and receive eternal peace and happiness one day.