By Alvin Abrantes
One of my childhood past time was collecting pencils. Red, black, stripes, psychedelics, checkered, cartoon prints, costly and cheap ones. Name it! I surely have it. I remember the time I became a nuisance to my mom every time I begged her to buy. She would always ask me “What’s with the pencil that fascinates you? You’ve got a lot in your box.” At that point I do not have any good or at least valid reason to give her. All I could think was, I like to take hold of all the pencils around me. Keep it on my box and count it, countless times. Years passed and I had outgrown the passion I have with the pencil. Forgetting all the tears I shed just for my mom to buy a single pencil to add to my collection.
Few days before this, while having a general cleaning at our storage area, I found my long lost interest, my most priced possession when I was a kid, my pencils! Thoughts came like a flashing beam on my mind! Interest was awakened in me. Little did I know that we could learn so many things from it. I’ve come to realized that thirty years since then; I’ve got a clearer perspective with a pencil. Now, I can give my mom a better if not the best answer from her question thirty years ago.
Let me share with you the five important lessons from my childhood past time… Equating my life with a pencil.
First, like the pencil everything I do will always leave a mark…Mark that changes lives of people around me. As a trainer the knowledge and skills I instill with my participants will make or break them. I think I will be remembered with all the positive things I impart everyday. So from time to time I’ve gotta’ have my time check… am I livin’ a worthy life or just letting it passed by? How about you? Have you ever wondered, what mark are you going to leave when you depart this life?
Second, similar to a pencil, I can always correct the mistakes I make. I can always use the other side of the pencil and erase the unwanted mark I made. I am not afraid to apologize and reorganize things. I am not perfect as anybody in this room right now. I can say “I’m sorry” if I’ve done something wrong. Believe it or not, it didn’t bother me at all. If I’m wrong… I’m wrong… no justification needed… no need to hide behind reasons. What I do is to give my sincerest apology and try to mend things. Believe me, it will lessen the pain and will make situation easier. If only people around us will learn this…
Third, what is important is what is inside of me … The pencil is worthless without its lead. Just like the pencil no matter what trademark I wear or how expensive my jewelries are, it is not incomparable with what is inside of me… my personality…my character. It is the mark that I will leave to you.
Fourth, just like the pencil, I will undergo painful sharpening which will make me a better person. Living life is not always a bliss. Sometimes, we’re so engrossed with the things that are happening to us - forgetting that we are heading the wrong direction. In these times we need other people to sharpen us up. It will surely hurt, but pencils can never give its magnificence without experiencing the sharp blades. Critics are not always bad, actually we need them to see different angle on which we fail to see. I didn’t say that you entrust your life to them. But at least take a few steps back to see things for yourself. However, we should be attentive between the critics and gossipers. They are not in any way similar with each other. No one said that honing is easy but one should experience it to shape a better you.
Lastly, and probably the most important is to be the best pencil I can be. I must allow myself to be held and guided by the hand that holds me…Our GOD The Father.
We can never go wrong with Him. I’ve notice that people nowadays are so absorbed with material things. Why are we allowing ourselves to be seized by the earthly things? Isn’t it nice if our God is the one in control? Just try to give it a thought. Maybe, it is the reason why we are not happy in spite of the huge success we are receiving.
We are like pencils… we are responsible for whatever mark we made with our lives. How about you what mark are you leaving?
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