Tuesday, May 28, 2019

What Makes a Great Teacher?

It's possible half of the stuff I blog about comes to me through my dreams.

So, I find myself writing this after having woken up at 3 a.m. from a dream.

It's been said that waking up at that time is ideal, for the world's still asleep (at least in my part of the world), your thinking is fresh, and the air around you is "fresh" and "clear".

I dreamt I was teaching.

I know that's inevitable.

My whole life has been preparation for such.

The dream awakened my own mind to the concept of teaching and what makes good teachers.

And I can only think of one:

A good teacher is one who extracts brilliance from you.

Aha, revolutionary!

Only because most of us have gone to school and have been taught by many different teachers.

Even life -- particularly life -- had been a great teacher.

Education, for a long time now, has been some form of "indoctrination".

We were "fed" what to think and not "invited" what to think.

More so, we had not even had been given time to "digest" the new idea, much less taught "how" to think, and we were asked to move on to the next lesson.

There was no time to "savor" learning.

I can imagine many miffed egos and ruffled feathers upon reading this.

But hey, that's my personal experience at school and in life.

I was born paying attention to everything and I merely re-view and document things.

For me, all have been indoctrination, unless they are like Christ who "disturbed" all that indoctrination.

He challenged all popular concepts and, of course, He became greatly unpopular.

Time and time again, when the world needs to wake up, you can expect Heaven to send new teachers and new teaching.

The really great teachers invite you to think for yourself.

They don't ask you to "parrot" stuff.

They "invite" you to do your own thinking.

And when you start thinking for yourself, they become pleased and move on to others who need some "inviting".

And one day, you will become a great teacher in your own right and "invite" others, too!

Perhaps, "education" is not the right word to use in teaching.

"Invitation" is a friendlier word, a more respectful word.

If we are all Facets of the One, True Creator, then that shows we are all intelligent and gifted souls to begin with.

Better yet, we are all "sacred" souls -- all a reflection of the God in us.

A great teacher will have no arrogance in his humble being and will not knowingly or unknowingly "manipulate" or "contaminate" such sacred souls.

Instead, a great teacher will "invite" the following:

1. Remembrance.
Sometimes, we forget what we "used" to know. A great teacher will intuit how much we remember and how much we've forgotten and cause remembrance upon our minds, souls, hearts, and beings as guided by Spirit. Teachers are merely "open" channels for such.

2. New learning.
Yes, it's also true that we don't know everything. Only God Knows Everything. So He sends the proper teacher or situation to teach us. If you can think like a five-year-old, you will welcome such "teachers" eagerly. There is always joy and humility in learning.

3. New thinking.
We're all intelligent, but sometimes we become stubborn and hold on to thinking that doesn't seem to work anymore. Or we've embraced the world systems and let them do the thinking for us. All "new" learning stems from "new" thinking. The old cannot hold the new.

The great teachers merely show the way.

It is up to you to walk the rest of the way.

Remember your own "brilliance".

A "facet" of God always has his own "brilliance".

Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Leaders Who Really Love You

A leader is someone who heads an organization, enterprise, or a nation.

Are you happy with the leaders you have?

Are you happy with those you've chosen or voted for?

Would they happen to have these two (2) qualities?

1. Compassion.
Do they give you enough time for yourself, your family, friends, hobbies and interests you care for, rest, recreation, personal growth, and God?

2. Respect.
Do they treat you well, listen to you, pay you commensurately, or acknowledge your need for spiritual or professional growth?

It may just be two simple things like compassion and respect but if your leaders at work and in your nation do these, that means they love and respect you.

That means you're in good hands.

That means they don't just see you as a follower, a worker, a number, a statistic, or a voter but as a human being worthy of being given their very best so all can have a happy life together.

Precisely why we choose or elect leaders.

Exactly, too, why we work for them.

We want to be part of something that benefits all.

We all want to stand for something good.

We all want to believe in someone.

Of course, it is rare these days to find such a leader with heart.

And if you can't find one?

You have to be one.

This Policy Changer blog is about creating the changes within you first.

When you know how to lead yourself and how to think for yourself you have a greater chance for happiness and contentment.

You also have a greater chance to lead others fairly.

All because you took the initiative and led yourself first.

To be good followers, we must also be good leaders and vice-versa.

When your mind is clear about what matters most in this world, you will definitely be a good leader.

When you love God above all, there can be no greater quality for making a good leader.

Each of us must make up our own minds how we want to lead or be led, and must not dump upon each other the responsibility.

If there are no good leaders, then you have to take up the helm.

Be the good leader you so desire.

As we quoted Gandhi on our very first post on 29 March 2019, nearly two months ago, we must be the "change we want to see in this world".

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Things That Will Work

What assurance do we have in this world that things will work?

In my heart, there is only One Thing That Will Work.

If we do all things with love.

If we do all things with God in our hearts.

Love and God are the same thing anyway.

Why do we make things so difficult for ourselves?

Why do we make things so difficult for others?

Don't we know that at the end of our days, we bring nothing home but our hearts?

We leave everything behind.

All our loved ones, our possessions, our material wealth, our worldly power and position -- all will have to be left behind.

Only today, right here, right now is the moment that matters.

How are we making use of such moments?

Are such moments filled with love for God, our Creator, or is it filled with focus towards empire-building, prestige-building, wealth-building, or power-building?

It's not difficult knowing what love is or how to love.

Merely recall Christ in all His Strength and Simplicity, teaching everyone to love His Father, and you will have observed that he had no gadgets or money to do so.

He only had Himself and His Love For His Father.

Yes, you will argue there were no gadgets then.

Everything was on a person-to-person basis then.

There were no gadgets to shield us from the other.

Now, we can all take virtual anonymity to a point.

But now, we can also lambast each other viciously virtually.

Consequently, we've lost sight of our Creator -- the One Who Loved Us the Most.

If He didn't love us, we wouldn't be here.

We would never have existed.

He would never have given us the talents we were each equipped with.

How we use those talents are our own personal decisions.

If we look at how the world is now, we will have come to the conclusion that we have to use our talents better.

We have to have more heart.

We all need to love each other more and not outwit, outshine, or outdo each other more, for we are but specks in God's Eye.

Only God can really outwit, outshine, and outdo all of us combined.

Still, it's not in His Character to do so.

He has transcended all that for He is beyond all that.

It's only humans, and possibly other entities, who think we can all successfully compete with each other or treat each other the way we do.

But I think we're here on earth to happily co-exist with each other, to share what we have, to be grateful for all our blessings, to give love where it is needed, to see with our spiritual eyes, and to simply help each other up.

We've all known many wealthy people who are unhappy, their marriages and families are asunder, their people only serve them because they get paid for it, and of course, there is no real love or loyalty.

God is the only fitting Lord of All.

Learning to love as He does, is the only real objective on earth.

Everything else will not fulfill our hearts, except if we learn to love as He does.

That's the only thing that will help us all create homes, businesses, and organizations that will flourish beautifully.

After all, what else do we do on earth but to have families and to work?

If we can expand our hearts and visions further -- without ego or personal ambition -- we can take our families and work to the highest level.

Of course, expanding our hearts simply mean we have God in our heart, for only He can expand it beautifully.

We really must step back a bit, reflect on how we are living our lives, how we are creating, how we are working, what work we do, how we are treating others, and how we wish to create a kinder and more beautiful world and we will surely succeed, for we are obviously guided by God in our hearts.

Only a heart that loves as God would can create things of beauty.

Only then can it work.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The People Have Chosen

Finally, our election day is over in the Philippines.

The people have chosen and there have been a lot of upsets as it seems change was dearly desired.

I took that photo above during a 13 April 2019 gathering where mayoralty candidates were introduced in our city.

Each candidate had a chance to speak for a few minutes.

The whole event was televised and well-attended.

I was actually fascinated by the people around me, so quiet and attentive, as the candidates took turns sharing their platforms.

You could almost hear a pin drop.

Is that what happens in other countries, too?

I noticed the current mayor was in the middle of the crowd but each time I would take a photo, he'd cover his face.

After the second attempt, I gave up.

So I merely focused on the "one" candidate that God had been leading me to on several occasions.

Do you ever doubt God?

I don't.

And I was right.

God's chosen candidate, indeed, became our New Mayor.

Please welcome, Ret. Gen. Benjamin B. Magalong, the new Father of Baguio City.

We wish the new mayor, his team, and all who voted for him, infinite blessings and congratulations!

Here are a two (2) related posts I wrote before the success of the General's campaign:

"Hope For Baguio City"
"A Listening Leadership for Baguio City"

Soon after his triumph, I wrote this yesterday on another blog:

"Change Has Come To My City"

I did start this "Policy Changer" blog on 29 March 2019, knowing change was in the air.

There can be no stopping the engines of change.

The people have chosen and have spoken.

And God always sanctions change that have heart.

The time has come and today is that day.

(All photos by author.)

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Chances of Winning

What are the chances of winning a singing contest, a dancing contest, or a beauty contest?

I'd say very nil, or slim.

Unless you have loads of friends on Facebook, are exceptionally famous, extremely popular, have loads of friends, relatives, and colleagues, or super monied and have lots of load on your cellphones.

Why would I say that?

Only because many years ago, a young lady was contestant for a beauty pageant and her father asked that we "vote" for her by texting her name as our choice.

Sure, she was pretty and wonderful, but I was dumbfounded.

So, contests have gotten to be that way now?

We have to resort to that?

Wherein you can text a name and that person will get an additional vote?

Some days I can really be ignorant of the ways of the marketing world.

What happened to real beauty and character?

How fair would such a texting contest be?

How much weight did such a contest have?

Apparently a lot, for I noticed singing, dancing, and other beauty contests on TV asked that you send in your text, too.

The texting frenzy had begun.

The world of contests have definitely changed and you're looked queerly upon if you don't send in your text and vote that way.

Thus, the era of telecommunication giants were born.

Every time you text, they get rich.

And these giants continuously pepper us with their own texts and offers.

It's become a texting universe, especially where I live -- the Philippines.

Do we need more data? Great, they have just the offer.

Have we ran out of load? No problem, we can "borrow" a load.

Depending on the occurrence of earthquakes or typhoons, we also get offical government text reports to take precautions. Those are the texts I care for.

There was a time my Mom couldn't seem to get rid of a text "campaign" from a television personality she erroneously signed up for. She actually had to go to the local telecom provider to have it removed from her phone -- twice. The dull, frequent texts bothered her so.

Thus said, we're all careful what text we answer for once those wily marketers get our number, we're putty in their hands -- apart from the fact our load dwindles dangerously to zero.

But that seems to be the whole idea -- to load and re-load. 

Contests are merely the latest creations from these horrid marketers.

Lots of political candidates or those sincerely wishing to serve the people are anxious if they'll get elected tomorrow in my country.

Mercifully, I have never received a text asking me to vote for a particular person.

Otherwise, the texting community will have been flooded with such texts for a whole month.

Perhaps there's a ban on such promotions.

I do know there's a gun ban.

What we do have during elections are flyers and tarpaulins all over the place.

No fence or willing wall is safe from such.

And after all that, I wonder what happens to those tarps?

Maybe these are sewn together and used to shield the hard-working sari-sari stores from the sun?

Or perhaps to provide additional cover and weather protection for houses that need such?

Or perhaps entrepreneurs recycle them into eco-bags?

I really don't know.

I just hope they get used for they're quite a lot during election season.

We Filipinos are a creative lot. I know we'll have a use for those somehow, somewhere.

But I veered from what I was talking about -- text brigades for your votes.

Perhaps there's still hope for we are not flooded with texts about voting for politicians or those interested in public service.

When that day comes, then all hope is lost.

There will be no more honest campaign where you're elected for your sincere desire to serve and a workable program for people.

Everything would have been bought and paid for.

So how can anyone be #1?

Money has become #1 by then.

But for now, I count my blessings that all is not lost.

And I wish all my country's best political bets the very best and may they serve as they said they would.

Also, we all have to be careful where we expend our money and energy in this world, for there are many vultures waiting in the wings.

May marketers and policy-makers remember we are all human beings, not numbers or statistics.

We have faces.

We have souls.

We are all facets of God, doing our best each day.

Respect and reverence are much-needed in this world.

Souls are not really up for sale.

In God's World, there are only Armies of Angels, not armies of texters.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Forgotten Ones


Jeepney drivers.

The forgotten ones.

I'm glad I was born in the Philippines.

I get to live, see, and experience these wonderful, hard-working people of my country and that makes me appreciative of everything.

My late grandfather was a farmer and master carpenter.

I remember his tall, lean frame, darkened skin, and gnarled fingers from work.

My mom would show buildings he had worked on from important architects and clients in our city.

It seems he had a fine hand and a strong temper that made sure work got done.

I also have another uncle who was a wonderful carpenter but has passed on since.

It seems I come from a bunch of builders, teachers, and healers and that makes for a gratefully-rich heritage.

I also remember grandfather's delicious creations of rice cakes and grapefruit skin dipped in a huge vat of special sugar cane syrup.

The rice cakes were wrapped in woven strips of leaf and dipped in that syrup.

The commercial variety could hold no candle to my grandfather's version which I would savor and devour.

He had a house where a low table-high mound of earth remained undisturbed in the center of the living room.

In my country, there was the belief in elves that guarded nature and that mound was believed to be their sacred home.

My grandfather, having lived in the Northern Philippines, would also have his own version of "basi", the strong local wine which he liked a lot.

He would bring home a huge jug for my Dad, and I would stare in fascination at the raisins floating in that heavy bottle of wine.

One day, my grandfather was struck by a relative with the bolo, cutting a main vein, and he died on the spot.

It was a disagreement about land.

Such is the value of land among farmers in the provinces. They were all passionate about that, especially they physically tended the soil.

Fortunately, my father was around to comfort my mom in her deep grief.

I also visited his farm after he passed on and saw the river below a hill where a carabao peacefully planted itself, ankle-deep.

As is always the case with me, I got fascinated by the large stones beautifully-hewn by the river and kept three lovely souvenirs. 

I learned the water would rise enough to reach my grandfather's farm.

He also had a mountain where the national electricity providers placed pylons, with the permission of his heirs.

My grandfathers, father, grandmothers, uncles, and brother are now all together where they can regale each other with stories of times past.

He may have passed on but we can still eat from his "malunggay" tree for our soup and eat his rice, those few times we had a chance to visit his home. Fortunately, I have an uncle who decided to stay and continue grandfather's back-breaking work as farmer.

And jeepney drivers?

Well, I ride their hardy vehicles every chance I get which is very often.

These amazing Philippine creations for every day transport can carry up to 23 people on board.

It's the cheapest form of transportation in my country and they really serve us well, rain or shine.

Whether there's a strike about labor or diesel prices, these faithful drivers determinedly carry us on their routes without complaint.

Can you imagine doing that every day of your life, exposed to the heat, dust, rain, tempers, oil price fluctuations, and traffic all day long?

If there's a medal to be given for their psychological, emotional, physical, and financial endurance, it's these farmers, jeepney drivers, carpenters, sales clerks, and other laborers.

I salute these every day heroes of my life.

Without the farmers, I won't be eating rice, our staple dish.

Or the vegetables my Baguio City is famous for.

You ought to see how those rice or vegetables find their way on top or inside those jeeps, with all of us packed in there and yet somehow, I enjoy the process of being shoulder-to-shoulder with my fellow Filipinos.

Yes, we are a hardy race, just as you are.

All the more reason we must love our forgotten ones.

Who are your forgotten ones?

P.S. If you need to know more about the plight of farmers in the Philippines, perhaps this link may be of great help. This organization considers farmers to be the "backbone of the nation", something I learned in my favorite Social Studies subject in high school, ages ago.

(Photo of farmers from dumielauxepices.net. Jeep photo sourced online.)

4 Feel-Good Businesses

As a consumer, feel-good businesses are those that make you feel good when you buy.

As marketers, feel-good businesses are those that make you feel good when you sell.

It could be because of the products, the management, the service, or what the company stands for.

What if you have all of those ingredients that would please both consumer and marketer?

We searched far and wide for businesses that will please you and have come up with the following online choices:

If you like aromatherapy.
If you are into color therapy.
If you like cool organic products.
If you appreciate exciting natural products.

You may have noticed that these choices are all people-friendly and care about the environment, too.

Most of all, they care about you and your families.

To take it a step further, these companies have excellent affiliate programs if you're interested.

Policy Changer blog aims to only promote programs we believe in because they care about everyone and everything. If you're this kind of person, you'll enjoy checking out our selections above. Click the links then and explore with your heart.

(Formerly featured on our other blog, Band of Banners, on 19 February 2019 with the addition of the organic product link.)