Issue No. 27

Table of Contents


Seeing Problems in Perspective

When we are so absorbed with our problems, we often need perspective to put the difficulty in its right place. One way of gaining a wholesome perspective is to use humor.

Use the following exercise to gain perspective, as suggested by humorist Allen Klein, and adapted from the work of a laughter therapy specialist, Annette Goodheart:

Think of some irritation or small problem. Now state out loud the problem: (Example: “My husband never puts his dirty clothes in the hamper.”) Then, immediately after, repeat one of the following phrases: “Hee, hee,” “Ha, ha,” “Ho, ho,” or “Tee, hee.” It is important to say these phrases with a lot of expression.

Your statement will come out like this: “My husband never puts his dirty clothes in the hamper, tee hee!”

If you feel silly stating your problem and then making fun of it, then you got the point. You will create a distance from your problem, and you will find it easier to let it go.

Allen Klein, The Healing Power of Humor. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam Book. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, U.S.A.

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There are No Mistakes, Only Lessons

Do you (or somebody you know) feel that you are a failure, or feel frustrated for your blunders and defeats? If so, then perhaps you have not learned an age-old lesson that there is really no such thing as failure, only temporary setbacks. These setbacks are valuable for the growth of the soul.

In a recent book, If Life is a Game, These are the Rules, author Cherie Carter-Scott restates this insight as one of the “ten rules of being human.”

Growth comes from trial and error. Sometimes we win, sometimes we become disillusioned. But these so-called failures are in fact valuable for our growth. We learn more from them than our perceived “successes.”

View “failures” then as opportunities to learn. Emerson wrote: “Every calamity is a spur and a valuable hint.” Here are further thoughts by Dr. Carter-Scott:

Every situation in which you do not live up to your own expectations is an opportunity to learn something important about your own thoughts and behaviors.

Every situation in which you feel “wronged” by another person is a chance to learn something about your reactions.

Whether it is your own wrongdoing or someone else’s, a mistake is simply an opportunity to evolve further along your spiritual path.

When you consider your hardships in life and shift your perception to see them as opportunities for learning and growth, you become empowered. You can take charge of your life and rise to its challenges, instead of feeling defeated, victimized, or cast adrift.

Source: Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph.D., If Life is a Game, these are the Rules. Hodder and Stoughton, 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH, UK.

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How Stress Affects Your Health

Researches have found that people who are under stress become more susceptible to illness.

Source: Joan Budilovsky and Eve Adamson, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Meditation. Alpha Books, Simon & Schuster Macmillan Co., 1633 Broadway, New York, NY 10019-685, U.S.A.

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Overcoming Inferiority Complex

Perhaps nothing so plagues and harasses human beings, says Norman Vincent Peale, as the crippling, misery-producing feeling of personal inadequacy. Here are some of his suggestions to cure yourself of this malady:

Source: Norman Vincent Peale, Inspiring Messages for Daily Living. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Engewood Cliffs, N.J., U.S.A.

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Start a Tree Nursery

Children can be taught how to take care of forests and the environment by giving them the opportunity to get involved in conservation while they are young. In Chaparral Middle School in California, the students of sixth grade put up their own tree nursery using money collected by recycling aluminum. These seedlings can later be planted elsewhere where they can grow into trees. Such projects can also be undertaken by youth clubs, scout troops, etc.

There are agencies, government and private, which will be happy to provide seedlings for such projects practically without costs. If you need assistance in looking for seedlings in the Philippines, contact the Green Earth Foundation, Inc., 1 Iba Street, Quezon City, Philippines. Tel. (2)741-5740; Fax 740-3751. Green Earth can help you get in touch with a seedling donor.

Source: Patricia Adams and Jean Marzollo, The Helping Hands Handbook. Random House, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.


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Homicides and Firearms

In a study by the United Nations in 1998, Singapore and Fiji had no incidence of homicide using firearm, while Brazil, Colombia and Peru ranked highest in the use of firearms in homicide cases. The United States comes forth.

For homicide cases, Colombia had the highest deaths at 71 persons per 100,000 population, while Burkina Faso, Guinea and Japan had the lowest homicide rates.

Below is a chart on selected countries included among those having the highest or lowest incidence of homicides and firearm-caused homicides.


Homicide per 100,000

% of homicide using firearms




South Africa





















United States



Costa Rica


















United Kingdom















Burkina Faso




Source: United Nations International Study on Firearm Regulation. New York, NY, U.S.A.

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Parents: Find Time for “Wasted” Days

When Samuel Johnson was a young man, he was asked what was his happiest childhood memory.

“I remember the day my father took me fishing,” he said. “the two of us spent a whole day together.”

His father had kept a diary, and years later, when he died, someone looked up the entry for that day. “Took Samuel fishing,” it said, “another wasted day.”

Source: Rex John and David Swindley. Creating Confidence: The Secrets of Self-Esteem. Element Books Ltd., Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 8BP, United Kingdom

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Ways to Reduce Fat Intake

Fat is the cause of a lot of health problems. Here are simple ways of cutting down on your fat consumption:

Source: John Robbins, Diet for a New World.  Avon Books, Hearst Corporation, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019, U.S.A.

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Self-Transformation for Peace

World peace cannot be realized unless individuals achieve peace in their personal life. So long as people are insecure, prone to anger, to irritation and resentment, then lasting social peace will remain a dream.

To help achieve inner peace, the Peace Center of the Theosophical Society in the Philippines has been conducting Self-Transformation Seminars for teachers, principals and supervisors to attain inner harmony and integration as a basis for outer harmony. The following exercises are done:

·        Clarification of Values

For more information, please contact the Peace Center, Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba Street, Quezon City. Tel. 741-5740; 743-1181; Fax 740-3751; Email:

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Finding Your Mission in Life

Knowing the purpose of our life is one of the most crucial insights we can have. But it is not an easy one to discover. The people around us, especially the elders, tend to consciously or unconsciously impose upon us their own values and missions, that many of us get confused as what our life mission really is.

Here are five things that can be done to help find one’s life mission, according to Dr. Mark Thurston in his book Soul-Purpose, a work based on the teachings of Edgar Cayce:

From the above, you may be ready to write down your mission statement in this life. Before writing it, enter into a meditative frame of mind. Your first attempt may be a tentative one. Review it later and improve upon it.

Mark Thurston, Ph.D., Soul-Purpose. St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010, U.S.A.

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What Happens When a Baby is Not Breastfed

Millions of mothers assume that it is the same if she breastfeeds her baby or feed her with formula milk. Researches have revealed that this is not the case. Here are some data from scientific studies that may surprise you:

Geneva Infant Feeding Action, Post Box 157, 1211 Geneva 19, Switzerland

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Reduce Pesticide Exposure

Pesticides are poisons which are supposed to eliminate pests, but they are often found in the food we eat. We have to be conscious of ways of avoiding exposure to such chemicals. Here are some suggestions:

Discuss with the owner or manager of the store where you buy fruits and vegetables regarding your concern about pesticide contents, and ask his or her help in avoiding products which have been exposed to pesticides.

Source: John Robbins, Diet for a New World.  Avon Books, Hearst Corporation, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019, U.S.A.


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How Decisive Are You?

Life imposes upon us many circumstances that need decisions. When we are unable to make decisions at the right time, pending issues pile up until we reach a point when we feel worried, burdened or overwhelmed. It is a good habit to dispose of pending issues as quickly as the need arises. If you have a problem about making decisions, consider these three questions:

Source: Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., Peace Center, 1 Iba Street, Quezon City, Philippines

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Sixteen Examples of People with Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem can ruin one’s life, creating unhappiness and failures. It can prevent people from achieving their life’s potential. Below are sixteen indicators of low self-esteem, according to authors Rex Johnson and David Swindley:

If you are one or more of the above types, the first thing to do is to admit it honestly to yourself and then set to work and turn things around, says authors Johnson and Swindley. Make a list of things you must stop doing, and write next to them all the new behaviors you must adopt.

Source: Rex John and David Swindley. Creating Confidence: The Secrets of Self-Esteem. Element Books Ltd., Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 8BP, United Kingdom

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Are You Intimate with Each Other?

Do you enjoy intimate relationships with people – spouse, children, friends, relatives? Here are questions that will help you find out about the level of intimacy in your relationships, according to counselor Earnest Tan:

Intimate relationships find great ease in freely and spontaneously sharing with each other. Both show great interest and generosity in listening. We can fully express our deepest feelings, such as “I was hurt and disappointed with what you did.”

I do not have to force you to think like me. I see you as a separate and unique individual, and our differences need not hamper our relationship.

It is natural to have needs. Persons intimate with one another feel comfortable in expressing such needs and honestly assessing whether they can meet such needs or expectations. Through negotiations, you sometimes give in to the other; at other times, it is a healthy compromise; in some occasions, it is teaching the other to learn to live with your limitations.

It can be a handshake, an affirming word, a hug, a kiss, as long as it is appropriate to the relationship. Our culture often discourages us from reaching out in love. Leo Buscaglia wrote: “What kind of a culture would we have if we are producing people who are love-starved. If culture teaches us that showing affection is not all right, then people will be prevented from doing so. We successfully teach ourselves to fear closeness.”

One sure test of intimacy is when the other party can comfortably tell you – “You’ve got bad breath.” When one can say things that may even hurt the other for the sake of making them grow, then there is true intimacy. And when the other can take it, even if it hurts, then the relationship becomes truly binding. But feedback should be both positive and negative.

Somehow, there can never be true intimacy when there is no promise of a personal investment and of a future. When I say I am intimate with you, I cannot just appear and disappear in and out of your life without notice. There is a need for mutual assurance.

Are we patient enough to allow time for our relationship to grow? It is important that we are willing to give each other time to grow.

Source: Earnest L. Tan, How to Attract Love. Spiritus Works Publication, P. O. Box 24, Murphy District Post Office, 1110 Quezon City, Philippines

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Martin Luther King on Gandhi

During the Montgomery bus boycott against discrimination towards Negro passengers, Martin Luther King had believed that “the only way we could solve our problems of segregation was an armed revolt.”

After reading about the life of Mohandas Gandhi, however, the outlook of King drastically changed. He saw in Gandhi’s approach the essence of Christianity. In his book Stride Toward Freedom, King wrote that “Gandhi was probably the first person in history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere interaction between individuals to a powerful and effective social force on a large scale.” The effect on him of Gandhi was such that he decided to go to India for more than a month studying more deeply the life and teachings of Gandhi.

“I came to see for the first time,” wrote King, “that the Christian doctrine of love, operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence, is one of the most potent weapons available of an oppressed people in their struggle for freedom.”

“I believe in some marvelous way,” he wrote further, “God worked through Gandhi, and the spirit of Jesus Christ saturated his life. It is ironic, yet inescapably true that the greatest Christian of the modern world was a man who never embraced Christianity.”

Eventually, nonviolence became a way of life for Martin Luther King, who was later awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Source: Donald T. Phillips, Martin Luther King, Jr. on Leadership. Warner books, Inc., 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, U.S.A.

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How to Make Changes in Your Life

Bestselling inspirational author Anthony Robbins suggests these five steps in making changes in your life:

Pain and pleasure are two of the most powerful motivating factors in our lives. Make use of them to achieve what you want in your life.

Source: Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within. Simon & Schuster Ltd., West Garden Place, Kendal Street, London W2 2AQ, UK.

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Peace Quotes

ONLY those who do not seek power are qualified to hold it.


paraphrased by Donald Phillips


WHOEVER is out of patience is out of possession of his soul. Men must not turn into bees, and kill themselves in stinging others.



WHEN one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.



IF there is righteousness in the heart there will be beauty in the character. If there be beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.


PERSEVERANCE is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together yield themselves up when taken little by little.



A PEACE that comes from fear and not from the heart is the opposite of peace.



IF they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannonshots.



PEACE is rarely denied to the peaceful.



ALL violence, all that is dreary and repels, is not power, but the absence of power.



If we are to live together in peace, we must come to know each other better.


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Prepared by:
Peace Center
Theosophical Society in the Philippines