(an excerpt from the book Living Large)
The firewood began to burn. The flame started to fume. My face now feels the heat. “Your face could burn with this,” I whispered as I distanced my face a bit and sat down on the bangkito (a wooden stool) near the old door made of thin and now blackish galvanized iron.
Gazing through the dark outside and feeling the cold Kibungan breeze, thoughts on the ordinariness of life in the province flowed through the veins of my young mind. “Life here is simple and plain,” I muttered as I opened the pot painted black with coal and smoke to check if the slices of sayote (chayote) were already cooked to be added to the food of my mother’s dear dogs.
Then I stopped and said, “Life here is simple, but it doesn’t have to be plain.” I argued with myself. “In fact, life anywhere can be simple and it doesn’t have to be plain. Life can be simple and special… whether you are in the city or in the province.”
It dawned on me that while the environment plays a big role on how you view life, you can still make the decision and commitment to live a simple yet special life no matter where you are. You may be living on the twenty-first floor of that tower in a busy city or in a humble house atop a hill in a placid province.
Orly was telling me, “My folks always say that my life in the city is much better than theirs in the province.” He continued, “So I would say to them, you do not know how blessed you are here in the province. Your life here is better.”
Perhaps, Orly was right. And his folks, too.
Living in the city has its own perks but living in the province also has its benefits to offer. It is a matter of perspective. What one may choose to do is to experience living both in the province and in the city to see, feel, taste and touch how life goes in these two areas, environment or setting. A person may thrive better in one than in the other depending on his preferences, interests, and intelligence (in different domains).
Thus, the question is not, “Are you living in the city or in the province, in the boondocks or in busy streets?” The question is, “Are you living your life with love, joy and vibrancy – wherever you are?”
You can hear people – both of the city and those in the province – complain of their alleged plainness of life. They say, “Boring. Nothing special. Ordinary. Mundane. Simple. Sad.” They forget to be bold in noticing the specialness in the ordinary or seemingly mundane. They forget that the simple can be special. They lost sense of the essence of living large in the little things.
You and I need to be reminded that our life is not little or low, rather, our life can be large if we put in specialness in the simple, magnificence in the mundane, and awesomeness in the ordinary. When we do so, we will live not a boring life but a blissful life.
Be warned, however, that living large in the little things is not about getting complacent but being grateful. It is not about little dreams but it is about big dreams being realized in every small step taken every single day. It is not about settling with whatever that comes but it is about soaring high amidst humble beginnings. It is not about being fooled with crippling culture but it is about being fired up with the freeing core of good culture. It is about living and loving life. Both in the large and little things.
This is manifested in our dreams and how we achieve them, how we carry ourselves and communicate with others, how we connect and collaborate, how we earn money and manage our money, how we learn and apply this in life, how we see life and live our lives, how we savor and share the gifts we have in life. Both in the large and little things.
Let’s journey together. Enjoy. Savor. Relish. Love. And live life to the full!
(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM is a trainer and speaker on communication, and on personal and organizational leadership. His latest book Living Large in the Little Things where this article was taken is available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio City. For talks and trainings, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.chrispoweracademy.com.)