How to ‘survive?’

By Klaus Döring

Sometimes, we might ask ourselves: What is the sense of doing this and that? What is the meaning of life? I am sure, each and every one of us looks for a good life.

Sometimes, we seem to remain very optimistic. We think it’s easy to always find a good life. Most of the time, we are in doubt or, we even choose to be unhappy without any reason at all. To wake up in the morning with pessimism and fall asleep at night, dissatisfied and unhappy – yes, that makes life miserable.

Without happiness and satisfaction there is indeed no space for peace in our hearts and minds. Therefore there is no domestic harmony and logically, no peace on earth. The meaning of happiness is trying to manage life even with big problems, difficulties and trials. I learned this from Filipinos since staying in the Philippines as an expatriate for good in 1999.I was really surprised to experience mutual happiness, friendship, love, unity and communal spirit with relatives  in my surroundings.

Of course, I also found myself in very negative situations. I observed people, who seem to live an easy go lucky way of life. But, they were like actors and actresses on stage, wearing incredible masks and pretending to be what they are not.

Hence, in Greek, they are the so-called hypocrites. Maybe also you and I belong to them from time to time. Fear of rejection or displeasure of other people are becoming our daily friends. In society, it’s called “good public relations”. Politely greeting and smiling with a set of purpose: to win them their business.

William Congreve (1670-1729), English dramatist  shaped the English comedy of manners through his brilliant comic dialogue, his satirical portrayal of the war of the sexes, and his ironic scrutiny of the affectations of his age. His major plays were The Old Bachelor (1693), The Double-Dealer (1693), Love for Love (1695), and The Way of the World (1700).In his “Preface to Dryden”, he wrote: No mask like open truth to cover lies as to go naked is the best disguise.

So, what really counts for us in life? Success? Power? Strength? Money? Is it contentment? Is it peace on earth? Is it peace in our homes? Zest for life?

Let us go through life’s journey: From that time, we have been babies bubbling like a brook on the first blush of spring. We hurried up, unaware of problems and troubles, being unconscious of time, as adults we worried and became conscious of money. Then, suddenly, we looked at our aces, the first wrinkles, and the bald patch on the forehead, the first grey hair. We observed our teeth falling out and our eyeglasses got thicker and our bones crack here and there.

We start the familiar line: “When I was young… .” And we realize our mortality. Death could knock at our door any time. We feel humbled. We have mellowed.

Have I done no wrong? Have I been selfless or selfish? Have I been mission-oriented since then? Have I lived a life worthy in God’s eyes? What really counted for me? Ano ang mahalaga? Paniniwala? Pag-asa? O kaya pagbibigayan at pagtutulungan?


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