I am always grateful and mindful.

Resolutions come first in our minds whenever New Year approaches. These resolutions are for us to fulfill new personal goals, missed opportunities, unmet targets, and achieve physical well-being and character building.

More often, our resolutions are just repetitive list of unresolved goals year after year just like concealed paintings or unpublished writings. This practice has become the core of witticism on group discussions for every year that ends or another year that begins.

Envisioning resolutions as simply carbon copies for our personal files is the culprit for our slow-paced or stagnant personal growth.

The time is now for a major twist. As I write my first article for 2019, I post this question to ignite some inspirations towards achieving our resolutions: “In our list of resolutions, did we ever consider offering gratitude and mindfulness to people who have been instrumental to our overall well-being?”

By people, I refer to the ones who are not only close to us but also to the ones whom we do not personally know. Be it returning favors or giving acknowledgments within our capacities and as long as done wholeheartedly, it is already a noble act of gratitude and mindfulness.

For 2019 and beyond, I aim to continue offering gratitude and mindfulness as I have done in the past two years. My goal is to spread these acts across and hopeful that many people can follow the route and that they can generously acknowledge those who are truly deserving of recognition.

I am always grateful to the indigenous communities in the Philippines for keeping our traditions sturdy and for teaching me that handcrafted goods are more sustainable, eco-friendlier and healthier. Half of my roots come from the Province of Pampanga and I pay great honor and respect to the Aeta community. The Aetas are the first ones to inspire me about the practice of simple, peaceful and stable living. I bet this is not a priority of many civilized people nowadays.

Photo description: The author with 67-year old Aeta lady named Linda Dela Cruz displaying her handcrafted flute (made of Philippine bamboo) during the author’s visit in Clark, Pampanga, Philippines last December 22, 2018.

I am always grateful to our farmers for braving and enduring the scorching heat of the sun everyday so that I have the basic daily food on my table. Like I mentioned in my previous article about Inspiring Sustainable Farming to the Millennials READ HERE, our farmers have the inherent ability to hard work and flair for producing finest local foods just to earn for keeps despite facing many hurdles like hunger, sickness, extreme climate change and very costly farm supplies and supplements. Imagine if our ageing and decreasing farmers suddenly leave their farms for better options, how can we address the shortage of our basic needs with very little resources. And because I bet that many people still would not care, the threat of danger becomes greater.

I am always mindful of all the animal rescuers in the Philippines and rest of the world. They inspire me how to live the true purpose of life. In spite of their personal circumstances such as having families of their own, committed to other demanding tasks and with very limited financial means, they will always find innovative ways to fulfill the mission of giving back not only to society but also to wildlife. In my social media accounts, I have been advocating for a much wider support of any forms for these initiatives for years now: Shelter of Hope BacoorPhilippine Animal Rescue TeamAnimal Aid Unlimited IndiaHelping Rhinos and Hope for Paws.

This year, I felt I needed to do more and go even further by personally visiting the shelters in the Philippines, extending donations, spending a day or two to help care for the rescued dogs and inviting people for a tour of the shelters. In this way, we get to appreciate not only the rescued animals but also the heroism, dedication, compassion and hard work of all the rescuers. We will then realize that our little complaints are nothing but just a cling for love of comfort and by continuing to complain, there is absolutely no meaning in the way we live.

I am always mindful of environmental advocates who tirelessly put their best feet forward and even risk their lives to protect and preserve the environment. They show me that the greatest value of existence comes from the harmony and respect of humans to nature. Since traveling is an active part of my life, I take responsibility in preserving and promoting the purity and culture of every place I visit.

2019 is a year of dedication and gratitude for all these people who have deeply touched my life very profoundly. This is also a year for an even more responsible use of social media and leveraging on its full potential.

I do not count the number of post likes, views and shares. I am more mindful of keeping and increasing the right circle of like-minded people who share the same passion and advocacy as I do. For as long as a social media post inspires other people to do good, to learn more useful inputs and demonstrate ethical practices, then I find great value in that post.

Just like this very inspiring initiative group which I previously encountered on Facebook and I have been supporting their advocacy and noble works for a time now. Our Better World is initiating good deeds, documenting good stories and engaging people to create dignified works all over Asia. The organization is also recognizing people who have been doing good in their own communities but are mostly unnoticed. My hats off to Our Better World.

Social media is a very powerful tool. It is not only about “us” and our “accomplishments” that we can only proudly share. It should also be about honoring those who have shaped or are shaping the good life we now have, big or small it may be. It’s actually the little benefits we get from others which are most impactful in our lives and are worth sharing to the world.

Is gratitude and mindfulness also in your list of resolutions this year? I would love to exchange thoughts and ideas with you.

Here’s wishing wellness and abundance to everyone this 2019!