Friday, July 24, 2009

Stage fright

I used to be active in the lecture/seminar circuit. From 2000 to 2006, I took on all opportunities to strut my stuff. Being marketing-oriented, I thought it was good for enhancing my credibility. It surely did.

My introduction to the field of public speaking did not come easy. Firstly, I was not born with the gift of gab. I was definitely not a natural. Secondly, I was one of those who would rank speaking as one of their greatest fears. I could be quite eloquent in front of family but never in public. Keep in mind that I am a social misfit. Fortunately, I was able to mature.

After my last major talk, a national convention, I got bored stiff. I saw nothing but the checkered flag.

For months now, my friend has been persuading me to get back on track. The money is decent and the idea of educating others is exciting; however, my drive is suspect.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth

For several months now, Paolo and his dad have not been in speaking terms. It was something that the latter did (or did not do) that hurt my brother. I must admit, Paolo has every reason to feel upset. On the other hand, acting not to tear down the wall that estranges them from one another is questionable.

As a big brother (on the short side :) ), I am quite nosy. Hence, ever since Paolo's rift with his father, who, incidentally, is also my Dad 2 (remember him?), I have been talking my brother into humbling himself so they could patch things up. I did it before with Dad 2 when I came over to him and shook his hand. Of course, you could not expect me to be intensely warm after more than two decades of avoiding each other. My approach was casual, but it was genuine.

Regardless of one's inadequacies, we have to show kindness. No one is accountable to us; however, we will always be accountable for our own deeds. We should not weigh the hurt that we have received. Our concern should be: the favor that we are willing to return.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It is not always bread

I must be getting too old. Nicole and I were joking the other day about how I sound like whenever I start giving out my sermon. Given the physical distance between us, my guidance can only go so far.

Nicole is in the middle of a grand vacation, shopping until her legs give in. She must be enjoying every minute of it, while the rest of the world is in recession. Like normal ladies her age, she salivates over the latest trends. I just have to remind her often that there are greater things in life than suitcases of LVs splurged with stuff. Anyway, my mom and aunt Janet are there to guide her... where the good stores are.

At the most, maybe, we will get to enjoy life's pleasures for 100 years. If, and only if, we exceed the normal life expectancy and remain Alzheimer-free for the rest of our years. Thereafter, it will either be an eternal bull market or the greatest depression (for-)ever.

Without being hypocritical, I too strive for comfort; however, I also do appreciate that living is about equilibrium. Hence, I will always be here to temper my daughters' addictions. I do not want to see them drunk. I desire that they be in their senses.

The goal is not to put our monies where our mouths are. The goal requires no cash, only righteousness.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The taxman

I just hung up with our accountant; the tax conversation was short and sweet. As always, before settling our corporate obligations, I would make a final run through of our income statement and compare notes with her. She suggested that we look for further adjustments inasmuch as we worked hard. As if we were making tons.

It is not our intent to cheat the taxman. Cheating is when you break the law. We are merely exercising the legal options available to us and taking advantage of the perks offered to corporate entities. Who am I to complain? I am nice, but I am not stupid.

It may be unknown to a lot of individuals on a paycheck that, at the end of the day, they are actually paying more taxes. Start with the income tax withheld even before you get hold of your money. Work overtime and you get taxed harder. Spend or stash your funds in the bank, either way, the taxman gets a cut straight away. On the other hand, corporations have the luxury of maximizing revenue through tax remedies. Talk about leniency.

I agree, the system could be a lot fairer, but who drafted it? Your guess is just as good as mine.