Posted in PotPourri

To Sit Down and Sip the Coffee


Sometimes, you just have to sit down and sip the coffee...


(Update: Noralyn Mendoza-Lina, the friend for whom this blog post was written passed away today, 16th October 2010, at 3:15 AM.  Dear SybDive readers, please include her and the family she left behind in your prayers.  Thank you.)

I planned to do a review of the American breakfast served at The Tea Republic today, but I think that can wait.

In the meantime, I would like to dedicate this post to my college classmate Noralyn Mendoza-Lina who – as of this morning – is still fighting for her life in a hospital intensive care unit following a collapse brought about by a blood clot in her brain.

The trouble with the modern world is that many people – if not all people in urbanized areas – no longer take the time to sit down and savor the simple pleasures of life.  Nine times out of ten, people tend to rush to and fro, grabbing sustenance of any form on the run – something to fill the belly without thought to it being healthy or satisfying.  As far as communicating with others is concerned, short SMS messages and tweets have taken the place of earnest, face-to-face conversation.  We are all so caught up in so many things that we have begun to take for granted the many blessings we have been given.

I also take issue with the young people I see in the morning: the ones who speak with loud voices, the ones who try to get themselves roaring drunk at 7:00 AM after a gruelling graveyard shift.  They have no respect for the people around them, the ones scandalized by their appalling behavior, their obvious lack of manners.  How could they afford to behave so badly at a time when children going to school can see them?  Are they so addled by the riches of their jobs and the inherent vices that they fail to become proper examples to the younger generation.  It is also deplorable that these people also believe in a culture of indulgence wherein bed-hopping, partner-swapping, and all sorts of depravity are considered hip things to do.  At the risk of sounding like a prude, all I can say it this:  Hang it all:;what the hell is this world coming to?!

I wish people would just take things easy, enjoy things in moderation they way they’re supposed to be enjoyed.

For those who are always in a hurry:

  • Take the time to sit down and have a proper meal.  Take the time to savor each bite of your food; experience the both the extreme and the subtle differences in flavor, aroma, and texture.
  • Take the time to strengthen your relationships with others.  When was the last time you had coffee with friends, when you shared a meal with your family, when you hugged someone?  I agree with Terry Pratchett that these truncated messages flying around from one mobile device to another have all the warmth and gentleness of a knife thrown in someone’s face.  A little warmth never hurt anyone, after all.
  • Slow down!  Ever heard of the Japanese word karoshi?  It means “death by overwork” – you know the sort: a perfectly healthy salaryman suddenly slumps dead at his desk.  While multitasking is a plus in the workplace, ask yourself: Do I need to multitask all the time? Trust me; you’ll be better off for doing things a step at a time.
  • Stop and smell the coffee – or the flowers.  Or just sit back, relax, and do something you actually love to do.

Now for those hedonists who still believe in the old saw about eating, drinking, and being merry…

  • Be moderate in your indulgences.  Binge drinking, gluttonous eating, and smoking may seem fun right now, but I’d think of my liver and lungs if I were you.  Have you ever seen anyone die of cirrhosis, emphysema, or cancer?  Believe me: it’s not a pretty sight.
  • Be responsible for your actions.  In relation to the still-ongoing debate on the Reproductive Health Bill, it isn’t so much the distribution of contraceptives that’s the issue.  It is moral degeneracy.  Thanks to the irresponsibility of the media and the behavior of certain public figures, people are made to think that sex is okay – completely forgetting that it’s only okay within certain parameters.  And if there’s anything I hate more than anything in this world, it’s a smug idiot who says that sex is free and that nobody cares about love anymore.  Yeah, till the said idiot contracts an STD, ends up pregnant, or manifests the signs of AIDS.  Jeez…
  • Is your high-paying, graveyard-shifting, “highly exciting” job going to be worth it in the end?  Not to knock the BPO sector, but if the related lifestyle is going to kill you in the end, it would be best to start thinking of a different career choice.

Admittedly, I am the sort of Roman Catholic, the sort of Christian who rarely ever opens her Bible.  But if there’s a set of passages I love,  it’s 2 Timothy 4:6 – 8 (NIV):

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

When the time comes for us to face God, we will not be judged by our accomplishments, our glories, or our contributions to the world around us.  The questioning will revolve around how we lived our lives and how we made use of the blessings God gave us.  It will be a question of whether or not we lived our lives to the best of our ability.  It will be a question of whether or not the lives of others were changed because of their contact with us.  It will be a question of whether or not we did fight the good fight.  After all, as in sport, the game of life is never about winning: it’s about how we play.

And, sometimes, the game of life isn’t about keeping score, about keeping up with the Joneses, or even about being the best.

In the end, life is about appreciating what we have, sharing it with others, and making the best of it all.



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

5 thoughts on “To Sit Down and Sip the Coffee

  1. Unfortunately, most people can’t know what’s really important in life until they lose it. And the young are easily persuaded by what their peers do and what the media sells. Certainly we live in a very lame world when hipsters sneer at something silly as a pumpkin boat race, because they have already lost the message that laughter (and pure, clean fun) is always the best medicine. I hope your friend pulls through soon.

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