How to build a house of bricks in any season

(Third of 3 parts)

“I build my house of stone
I build my house of bricks.
I’ve had no chance to sing and dance.
‘Cause work and play don’t mix.”
—Practical Pig

(This is the third and final installment of the 15 Tips on How my Build A House of Bricks in Any Season Series.)

11. Pray without ceasing to the God of your being. Realize that when you do, you will never be alone. The single, most important foundation of any life begins with the realization that by yourself alone, without help, you can do nothing of real meaning and lasting value. No obstacle is too big, no situation too difficult, or setback too overwhelming that cannot be helped by constant, heartfelt prayer and a foundation of faith so strong, it can move mountains. In the physical world, gravity holds everything together. In the spiritual world, where transitional human life is ultimately headed, prayer is the most powerful force there is.

12. Bring it all together. Once your circumstances become stable and you are able to choose the type of work you love to do and more importantly, that which makes you happy — GO FOR IT. The shift will be uncomfortable and unnerving at first. Seek the path that makes use of the abilities and the talents that you were born with. Listen to what your whole being says you were meant to do and enter that rare, enviable state of being that finally feels like coming home.

13. Rein in the spirit of the crab. Put a number of live crabs in a basket and witness how crabs behave. Any crab successful enough to rise above the heads of the other crabs to escape the confines of the basket will be pulled down by the pincer claws of the other crabs underfoot. The crab mentality is nothing more than envy in disguise— alive and well in human nature. Lest you think the Severe Acute Crab Syndrome (SACS) — a name I coined for this social phenomenon — is endemic or unique only to a specific community, take heart, for we’re not alone. Other immigrant communities report the same thing. To counteract this, try and be happy for others (even if it kills you).

14. Strive to learn any way you can. Learning is a lifelong process of adaptation. To copy Yoda’s transposed way of making a point, “Adapt, you must. Or die early, you will.” The dodo bird of the Galapagos never learned to adapt, never learned to defend itself against predators and became extinct.

It’s been said that the human mind is like a cup with a hole at the bottom. You just have to keep trying to fill that bottomless cup. But be warned: intelligence alone is sorely inadequate. The whole person’s mind and heart must evolve.

Of the two, the heart should lead. A good heart has a wisdom all its own. Blaise Pascal, a noted French philosopher noted: “The heart has its reasons that reason does not know.”

Draw from the strength of one’s native culture and weave it into the new one. The hybrid is often better suited to the new environment. Yet, we must never lose sight of the fact that in the end, all learning means nothing if we never learn how to love.

15. See the BIG PICTURE. Between birth and death is life. How you live your life is up to you. Many of the wisest men who have pondered the meaning and the purpose of life over thousands of years, have defined life according to their own perceptions and circumstances.

In the end, if you are in full control of all your faculties as an average human being, you and you alone define your own life with the set of gifts, talents and the circumstances that GOD gives you.

Remember what someone wise wrote so succinctly long ago about the essence of any worthwhile life and that is — TO LIVE WELL, LAUGH OFTEN AND more importantly, LOVE MUCH!

May the house of bricks you build allow you to do ALL THAT and perhaps, even for the most sensible and square among us, even sing and dance, when all is said and done.


Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail To read past articles, click on the link Online:” or you can do searches in the least invasive search engine duckduckgo or bing or yahoo even before

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