The Lucky Ones

"...But being the best is not enough"
—Reuven Frank, 
NBC News President circa 1983

I think in each class there are 2 kinds of students: those who care and those who don't, or rarely care. Those who care can be divided into two: the lucky ones and the not much lucky ones.

Who am I to tell you this? It's just an idea from my mind, theoretical, and can be rejected. Just let me share it to you, because I’ve found something here for all of us to take note.

The lucky ones successfully reach the finish line before any other else. They are those who get to finish first. They ace the tests and achieve almost each and every seatwork, homework, and project. They're brilliant, of course, unless they're the ones who memorize instead of understanding. There may be some downs, but they are minor. Thus, they're all-time winners, in my own opinion. And what seems incredible to them is that they have the strength to do it all. It thus makes me wonder, how do they do it? Discover Channel may not answer it, though.

The unfortunate? They work. They work hard. However, they work hard too late. They are those who fall a lot of times, after numerous trials. They work in a trial-and-error method. They’re blessed with diligence, but sometimes they lose it, and sometimes time is what they lack. They win at some time, but soon they become unfortunate. They lose frequently.

But they don’t give up. They may be exasperated, but they don’t stop, because there’s no other option. They accept how human they are. And by every setback, they’re humbled.

The lucky ones may be humbled, too. But in an unfortunate’s eyes, they’re lucky, and they brag about it. Envy, that’s the word.

At some time I am the lucky one, sometimes I’m not. But I feel I’m always unfortunate. I do work hard. But, I’m not as “blessed” as them. There’s a reason why.

I procrastinated, and I regretted it. I let time pass by without running, without doing what can be done when there was time. But I deserve the consequences. I have to pay the price. So sad to know, but I have to know. I have to learn the lessons over and over again.

Again, this piece is a figment of my imagination. Classifying a class like this seems weird. But isn’t this somewhat true? Isn’t it true that there are those who win all the time, and there are those who fail almost everytime? That there’s a Philippines while there’s a Timor Leste(no offense, dear neighbor)?

This is out of my madness, out of desperation for a “light that never comes”.
But in reality, are there really lucky ones and unlucky ones? Are blessings destined to a chosen few? Are good grades, or productivity, appointed to only certain people? Not at all. Anybody can.

Yes, there are blessings and misfortune, but there’s no luck, only consequences.

Either we succeed or fail, either we get work done like an early bird or suffer cramming, it’s all a product of our choices.

We fail and we fall, but behind those mishaps are lessons to help us face the reality of life as we grow older and enter new levels of the game we’re playing (in my terms, academics). Failing is a part of life, and it is painful or disappointing at some point. But we can start again, with the lessons we have learned, with better and wiser choices.

Alongside that, we have to remember that despite of encountering misfortune, we’re still blessed. I suggest one to be thankful for: life. Not-so-good times may come, but I’ll better think of the lessons as blessings rather than drown myself in sadness for a long time (Don’t worry, being sad is natural. Just don’t stay that way for a long time...).

If we want to get better next time, we need not envy the others whom we feel are better than us. Let’s remain humble. Let’s not give up. It’s not late to try again. We just have to keep on going, keep on doing.

We try and try, and so we learn. And after learning the right way, together with using our guts, hopefully we’ll get to do schoolwork better and earlier. And so we can finally call ourselves blessed. 

No more lucky or unlucky ones. Only people deserving what they have worked for.

PS: I apologize if I appeared to be judgmental. I hope I’ve boiled everything down to a good and humble conclusion. Drop a comment if you have something to say. You may also e-mail me.

Postscript: Christmas (on the piece "Two Christmases")

2 years ago, I wrote a piece here, where I depicted 2 different Christmases: one that was a joyous celebration, and one that was not that joyous.

Days before Christmas that year, Typhoon Washi, or Sendong, struck Mindanao and parts of Visayas and Palawan. As long as I can remember, the pictures and videos showed a very tragic aftermath. One picture that I put there in the post set my mood down. I did wonder: how they'll spend Christmas when there's nothing left? When their love ones were carried away from them?

This year, I felt the same again. History repeated itself, but now in a stronger level. Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda, is seen as the greatest storm yet. It brought damage in Visayas and parts of Minanao. It turned Tacloban and nearby places into "ghost towns", like that in The Walking Dead, or Cell.

Seeing on the TV screen what was going on there pulled me in awe. I felt compassion. I was saddened suddenly. I wondered what can I do to help. And so I wrote the poem "Donation".

Prayers were all I can give at those times. Thankfully, some days after, I took the chance of giving unused clothes.

I think this 2013 it's two Christmases again. But I also think it's not a sad Christmas at all.

Last Christmas Eve morning, I saw on the front page of The Philippine Star a nice picture of 2 typhoon survivors arranging a Christmas tree out of recyclables and relief goods. I can see there that for them it's really not a sad Christmas at all.

Despite of the storm, the Filipino spirit stayed strong. It will stay strong. Amid the sadness and grief, there are still smiles, and even laughter. Optimism remains, and hope rises.

I hope my fellow Filipinos there will get better as they go on rebuilding the devastated lands, together with the efforts of other Filipinos and the international community.

I also hope they will find hope in the Reason for the Season—in Jesus Christ. They may find Him in these trying times. They may grip on Him.

He is really the reason why we celebrate Christmas. Again—I'll point it out to you—the day of His birth is not specifically pointed out. But for me it's good enough to celebrate the fact that He existed, that He was born for us, for the salvation of mankind.

Christmas is not much about gifts, or getting what you want, or enjoying a feast. It's celebrating God's goodness and love. It's learning to be generous and overflowing with love towards others. It is acknowledging what God has done to us out of His love—giving the dying world His perfect present, a living Savior(credits to Our Daily Bread). That was what I was reminded of this Christmas.

Days before this, I really didn't feel it's Christmas. There's the usual work, plus a burden that suddenly came like a storm (I prefer not to tell you that until a better time permits).

But God is good, I was blessed with such presents this Christmas season. They're not wrapped, they just came in. One of them was that reminder of what the season really is. I think it's better to list the others:

  • The joy of giving (at Christmas party). 
  • The joy of being with friends that I missed since 4th year began (post-party)
  • That peace coming from the Prince of Peace
  • The joy of bonding with the family
  • The rest I can have after all the hustle and bustle

This year's Christmas appeared to be different from the past ones. But still, it's a blessing.

I hope, dear reader, that you also see Christmas as I now see it. And I hope you'll accept Him in your life. The gift is already there. It's yours to accept.

Blessed holidays to you! 

"He left His Father's throne above
So free so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love
And bled for Adam's helpless race.

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou my God shouldst die for me?..."

—"And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" 
from A Treasury of Hymns, Ralph Carmichael and the 
London Symphony Orchestra and Choir