When Television was so stranged in our home and radio can only be found at our neighbors abode where we sat behind their doors to listen to beautiful dramas, I found my way to entertain myself at a school library and fell in love with books. Books helped me to learn English by just watching at the pictures and went home happily sharing it to my family that the English Term for “kilat” (Cebuano Term) is lightning. My family were so amazed and bragged that I must be so smart and my future must be so bright.
In the chaos of my soul when I started learning that our family must be born so underprivileged compared to some of my classmates who were the “IT PEEPS” at school, I found books to be my constant mentor in the absence of my mother. I always frequented to Biography section and has allowed those strangers to speak into my life by how they relayed their stories from rags to riches and how they did not allow bitterness to dwell into their soul. I can still remember how I cried in the corner of the school library feeling so encouraged that if others fare well in life because of sheer determination and perseverance, I must have too and that in itself made me a dreamer and ambitious while others believe that where they were must be their fate and they must happily lived with it. True indeed, these people who believed this way were empregnated way too early, married way too young, became a parent way too soon in life and continued to spread a message of “it’s our fate and so let’s live with it.” On the contrary, I am left unmarried, had my first boyfried in my early 30’s, no kids, bloomed in my late 30’s, just learned the value of saving, just enjoying the beauty of serenity brought by the Presence of Jesus, and just started to get a grasp of life reality by the Help of the Holy Spirit.
As I am standing in between the two paradox of how a person live and view life, I also learned that the way we think matters. Some of my friends in the early days allowed the voices of the people closest to them as their final life reality. They were told that they wey were born poor and they must die poor. They were told that they were destined to live not finishing their studies and become a househelp and that’s where their actions led them. I was told the same way too. While I was so inspired by the lives of people I got strength from for their success through books, I also caught myself hearing the most familiar voices of my relatives who constantly told me that WHY SHOULD YOU TRY TO REACH THE STARS WHEN YOU CAN’T REACH THE STARS?!? YOU ARE DESTINED TO BE POOR AND YOU MUST BE CONTENTED WITH IT. YOUR FACE IS BEST TO BE A HOUSEHELP AND SO YOU MUST LEARN TO ACCEPT IT. THAT THERE’S NO FUTURE FOR SMALL PEOPLE AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.But then again SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE IN THE BOOKS I READ were exactly like me but had a shining future who inspires many.
I remember how I stood in our school plaza one time and just dream of becoming a MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER & WRITER. Gosh, people may have fainted had I told them that desires in my heart.
Fast forward, I graduated College by the grace of God, became a motivational speaker to various places, offices, campuses, and churches, and now slowly pave my way into writing. What’s the difference? I associated myself with those successful people I have never met in real life but learned their success stories through books and eventually adopted their attitudes of learning how to plow the way through regardless of how hard life may seemed at the moment because there’s a time that the field will become fertile for victory and success.
One time, I was just talking to a friend who was trying to go back to school who eventually bursted, I don’t think I’ll make it in our class because my mind has been too rusty. I was infuriated on the inside. You will never be too rusty if you push your way through and read. And if you are a Christian, your Bible must be your best reading material that must have provided you with wisdom and common sense. And true to what she said, she stopped going to school and does nothing now simply because she believed she can’t.
Friends, do not limit God’s way of shaping you into becoming who God wants you to be. Sure, there will be hardships, trial, and tribulations as you step in faith. Yes, success is not going to be overnight. True that the process will be too painful. But will you trade your VICTORIOUS OUTCOME SIMPLY BECAUSE THE PROCESS IS ROUGH???
Imagine how many young people will be inspired by your story just like how I was definitely encouraged by those successful people I read in the books. And oh, you might not be a book people will eventually read, but you can be an AN INSPIRING BOOK PEOPLE WILL SEE FACE TO FACE.
As Derek Ramsey always said, “LEADERS ARE READERS” so READ. You might not be leading a battalion of people, but friends, you have yourself to LEAD.