Advice to the younger generation
One of the perks of getting older is the wisdom we acquire over the years. As we conquer life's many trials, we all become veterans, ready to face any challenge head on. Just like playing a video game, eventually you get good at it, and you just keep leveling up. In life, and in video games, the ones who have the most experience points are the ones who have played the game longer.
As we grow wiser over the years, we naturally pass on our experiences to younger people, be it a family recipe, funny personal stories, or our very own secrets to true happiness. Golden pieces of advice coming from those who have already realized what things matter most in life, meant to steer the younger generation through the noisiness of youth. Who best to take guidance from than from those who hold the key to wisdom.
We asked some members of the older generation to share their advice, tricks of the trade, and cheat codes to life, with players who are new to the game.
Cathy Tillah, Early Senior
Wife, Mother and Church servant
Whatever you do, put God first for He is the beginning and the end of our existence. Pursue your dreams and aim for true happiness in every relationship you have by bringing out the best in every person. Make the most out of today for it is a gift, that is why it is the present; yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. God bless you in your journey!
Ellen Gamboa, 69
Listen and respect the older generations.
CarloS Tan Garces, 60
You will not live forever. Make sure that you value each day that you are alive. Be in a hurry to do good. Leave the world a better place than you found it. Look for purpose, not happiness. Take a risk at falling in love - you'll make a lot of mistakes but if you're lucky, you'll find your forever love, and that will be worth all your limited stay here on earth.
Celeste Balili, 65
Retired, Former Garments business owner
It is good to make a goal early on. Decide what it is you want to do and what you want to become, in say 5 or 10 years. Wake up each day working towards that direction. Caution, don’t be consumed entirely by your goal. Remember that life is a "balancing act". Your top priority is family, then friends. Be steadfast in work, but enjoy too the people whom you love and care for. Pray a lot, we know that God is the Great Giver. All your achievements will be a gift from the Almighty. Then look back after several years, smile and celebrate and be grateful because you would be the success you envisioned yourself to be.
Teresa David, 63
Retired writer/PR practitioner
In this life we can always choose our choices but we can't choose the consequences of our choices. Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result make a different choice.
William Yu, 64
Sales Manager, importer of Denim Fabrics from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China
My message to the younger generation is that you may think you have plenty of time which you do, but you'll realize that time goes by so fast, so put yourself first, shape your life and future while you are still young and learn something new everyday. LEARN from your mistakes, don't be scared of failures. Above all LOVE & RESPECT to others and of course to the family. STAY SAFE, GOOD LUCK!!
Simeon Damian Jr., 75
When we were young we had many dreams in life. Some wanted to become teachers, doctors or nurses, engineers, pilots, and so on. But nobody ever wanted to become a "nobody".
As we grow older some of these aspirations are diverted due to circumstances beyond our control, and some are pursued to their fulfillment. Still those who have to change their courses in life can find satisfaction in their own achievements. Whatever the results, there is one guiding principle that led to their accomplishment, - PURPOSE. There must be a very strong reason why you want to achieve your goal to fulfill your dream. And you have to back up that purpose with a grim determination to realize your dream.
When things get tough just recall the purpose of your pursuit, why are you doing this, who are you doing it for - that should give you enough reason to keep going and not give up.
Whatever the goal and purpose, your determination must be anchored in your belief that on your own you're nothing and cannot do anything, so keep the faith, for with HIM, everything is possible.
Connie Nartates, 63
Housewife/ Art lover
My advice to the younger generation is to learn from the older generation. Go ahead pursue your dreams and aspirations but always look back on how your parents raised you.
Dina Tualla – Miclat, 61
Full-time homemaker, part-time financial adviser
Live life! In doing so, never forget to always be upright. And be grateful for all the good that comes along and learn from the not-so-good.
Carmen Pascual, 67
Real Estate Lessor
Don't fear on failures. If you fail on something, just go back to the drawing board. Learn from your deficiencies as a stepping board and soar high along with the eagles.
Alou Barroso de Asis , 66
Go back to the basics. See the importance of the many values in life from the simplest to the greatest like personal hygiene ("cleanliness is next to godliness"), religiously saying the simple child's prayers you learned from your parents or grandparents, from your yaya, or from school when you were a kid, obedience to your parents' advice, respect not only the elders but other people's rights and opinions as well. As you grow older learn more how to think, know how to REFLECT (Why did it happen? How is it so? What am I supposed to do?) "I will pray and talk to God about it"... IF only everyone in this world would give some time to REFLECT on whatever situation he or she is into, there will be a bit of peace and happiness in mens’ hearts and that could be YOU. Make it a goal to do something good every single day no matter how small it may be. That "one little good" each day will be great because it would be equal to "365 many little good deeds". Easier said than done? Maybe... But you need to start somewhere. Keep going... The world now is in a mess... Make a difference, you will be its beneficiary.
Mab Santos, 72
There are four philosophical thoughts that have guided me in my life journey:
1. Be kind in getting along with people (makisama sa kapwa) because they are the ones who will accompany you to your destination.
2. What you are today is largely due to what you did in the past and what you will be tomorrow largely depends on what you are doing today.
3. I operate on the strengths of people by giving them jobs where they are strong and make their weakness irrelevant by not assigning them jobs where they are weak.
4. I am the strongest when I am weak because when I am weak I cling to God. And when I cling to God, He is with me. If God is with me who can be against me? No one! Hence, I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength.
Lili Ramirez, 67
It’s the same simple advice I gave my grandchildren. Be grateful for your God-given gifts and blessings. How? By NOT wasting such talents and sharing as much of those blessings with as many as possible. Also, that one’s character is formed by value formation and good habits. As they grow up into adulthood, it is important to appreciate the virtues of persistence, compassion and honesty. Many may be equipped with the knowledge and resources, but only a few may be self-driven to realize their true potentials.
Carol Mislang, 57
Full time Mother
When I started to reflect on what advice I could give today’s younger generation, it brought back a lot of fond memories during the time I was raising our five children. It reminded me of the truism that I’ve always believed in, that all parents love their children unconditionally and in our case, equally. No matter the pain and heartache that your children sometimes give you when they are evolving from being young kids to young teens to young adults, that parental love and bond will forever be present in one’s familial relationship.
The familial guidance that parents lay down for their children growing up plays a very important role in defining how good or how bad their children turn out as young adults. If the foundation of one’s childhood is anchored on love and respect for parents, anyone can already foresee how that child will fare in life. Just because one’s familial foundation is considered weak or lacking for instance because of absentee parents or maybe parents who buy their children’s love through monetary rewards because they’re always busy doesn’t mean they’ll automatically grow up as bad apples either. Everyone is born with the ability to distinguish between what is right and wrong. Growing up in a not so ideal home life is never an excuse to rebel and live recklessly. Everyone has a choice, more so, today’s young people. The onus is always on them on how they decide to live their life.
As a mother, the following are my own advice on life that I always impart on our married children and to our two young adults that I hope today’s young people will also strive to live by:
1. Always respect your elders and your peers.
2. Prayerfulness makes you a kind and loving person.
3. Be content and live a simple, Christ-centered life.
4. Success without true faith is meaningless and empty. Do not be ashamed to profess your faith in Our Lord and ascribe to His Greatness everything that you achieve in life.
5. No matter the weight of your problems, keep smiling and chin up high always. Talk to Him with a sincere heart and your burden shall ease.
6. Think before you speak or post anything. It is hard to undo the hurt you might cause on what has already been said or written by you.
7. Do not gossip and speak ill of others. You won’t like it if the shoe is on the other foot.
8. Always be smart and confident but never overbearing.
9. Listen more talk less. The less you talk, the fewer mistakes you make.
10. Respect the opinion of others if you want them to respect yours.
11. You will not go far in life if you forget where you came from. Keep your parents and your siblings close to your heart and always be supportive of them.
Ma Fe Bote Calara, 50
Perhaps I can share the pieces of advice that I gave my daughter on her 18th birthday which incidentally marked the first day of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in the country.
Our social and physical activities may currently be limited but our dreams, hopes, and wishes for you are without bounds. The limits, my child, are yours to decide upon.
Amidst all our concerns, anxieties, uncertainties, and ambiguities, I would like to leave you with a potpourri of thoughts (some of them not mine, but these are reminders I also give myself from time to time). I hope you will remember and ponder on them as you journey through life.
1. You can't undo the past, so don't beat yourself up. Learn from it so you won't repeat the same mistakes. The future is yet to happen so you can prepare, and as you do, don't lose sight of the present.... It is when you can do so much not just for yourself but for others, as well.
2. Have a grateful heart. Let me quote Oprah Winfrey who said, "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never ever have enough."
3. When your mind is muddled by a lot of conflicting thoughts. Be still..... (and yes, kneel and pray). Seek advice but know whom from.
4. "Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; Many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism". (Desiderata, Max Ehrmann, 1927)
5. Have a healthy sense of humor. Enjoy having a good laugh and enjoy, too, being able to laugh at yourself. "Humor can make a serious difference.... As Steven Goodier opined" A sense of humor helps us to get through the dull times, cope with the difficult times, enjoy the good times, and manage the scary times."
6. You always mind your manners, so here, I am just giving a healthy dose of reminders. Be courteous! Greet, and say thank you, and I'm sorry, and please. These are basics of courtesy, but remember, that courtesy is "practiced" kindness.
7. Don't sweat the small stuff. Pick your battles. Not everything is worth your time, attention, or energy.
8. Have hobbies and learn skills but don't stress yourself in learning everything. I have to say this in Filipino, the way a former student and now a psychologist expressed in his talk, as it has a nicer ring to it, "Kung kaya ng iba, ipagawa sa kanila. (If others can do it, then let them do it.) "Just for clarification, that does not apply to school requirements and to work that you are expected to deliver, in the first place.
9. Always remember the order according to St. Josemaria Escriva" God, family, work. " Remember this now and keep this in mind when you already have your own family.
10. This is from Desiderata as it has always been my favorite in its entirety. "Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass". The world has so much to offer, choose well!
Teng Bustos, 58
Endeavor to discover your own interests in life. When you have found it, put your heart and excel in it. Doing what truly makes you happy is the key to success and self fulfillment. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Remember that life is not perfect. It is what you learn from your mistakes that will teach you how to overcome and enable you to rise above every obstacle in your life. Most of all, always have a GRATEFUL HEART. Always choose to see what is good over bad, what is beautiful over ugly. Find the purpose and meaning whenever a situation is challenging. This way, you will never feel discouraged, even in the midst of trials.
Debbie Anne Jacinto Pengson, 60
My advice to the younger ones: Do what you have to do for the day. Everything that is in your control. Then let God take over the rest. There is no use in stressing yourself too much. When you sleep, sleep. Take that much needed rest to recharge your body and mind, for tomorrow is another day. Life is a combination of your actions and a whole lot of faith.
Photos property of contributors