Wednesday, December 30, 2009

End of Year

I have a rather unusual end of year experience.

Last night, I went out with college friends. We had coffee at Starbucks till 2am and when I went home, the gate to my apartment was already locked and the landlady could not be waken with my knocks. To pass time, I went to the nearby 7-11 and bought some cigarettes and a 500mL PET bottle of Coke. I went back to my apartment and knocked on the gate some more. Still no answer.

Since she normally wakes up at 4am and by that time, I still have 2 hours to kill, I decided to go to Malate and probably find some store open (don't really want to go clubbing on my own - not my scene with or without company). However, majority of the stores were already closed.

At that time it was around 3am to 330am so I still had time to kill. I decided to go to Divisoria to buy fruits. I rode a taxi and the taxi driver let me off at Reina Regente corner Jose Abad Santos, still quite some walking from the stores that sell fruits but vehicles can no longer get any further due to tiangge stalls (open 24 hours) and the trash littering the streets.

Having drunk Bailey's, San Mig Light and tall caramel macchiatto with my friends and that 500mL of Coke, I began to feel the urgent need to pee. There were no place to pee in Divisoria at the time. The malls were closed and there are no open fastfood shop.

The need to pee was so bad that I wet my pants, and I mean like possibly most of the front of my pants. I thought of just going home after a privately humiliating experience (no people seemed to have seen what I just did) before getting a public humiliation from people seeing that I have wet my pants.

Still, I came all the way there, I still have time to kill, it's still dark and people can only see you when you're only a few feet from them (thus, they'll be forced to just see the top half of the body) that I decided to just buy some fruits.

I bought kiat-kiat, seedless grapes, and red apples. I also bought a purple-leafed plant, an ornamental plant that looks like a pineapple and another plant.

Just an experience before the year ends.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stephen Covey's Giving

As part of our key result areas (KRA for performance measurement), our boss tasked us to "read" (read the book or listen to the audiobook) at least 4 management books per year. He suggested starting with Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

While listening to the audiobook, Stephen Covey mentioned that you can never truly give what you don't own. And that in order to give willingly, you must have had the feeling of truly owning what you're giving.

Flashback to highschool and college days, I remembered I was so stingy in giving things away or in giving gifts to others. Stephen Covey's words made me realize why. Growing up, I did not have many things. The few things (toys and stuff) I received or bought were few and far between. It's the sense of having few that made me cling to them more (in terms of having the stuff materially and for sentimental reasons).

But now that I have a decent job and can afford more things, I am more generous in giving gifts and stuff away. I already feel the satisfaction of "owning" things.

Covey's comment also made me think of what others would describe as rich people (especially those who grew up in well-to-do families) who are very generous to others and people who grew up poor but are now rich as stingy.

Rich people can afford to be generous because they have had the satisfaction of "owning". Some poor people cannot afford to be generous with what little they have. Others (those who grew up poor but became rich) still could not afford to be generous because they still have not had the satisfaction of "owning".

Just a Christmas-related realization from a timeless book.