March 23, 2023

Dear Manang,
Envy is indeed a deadly sin and it is poison in one’s heart. I have a neighbor whose daily diet is minding the business of each neighbor in the subdivision. I don’t know why my kitchen is her favorite dumping ground of the gossip and hate that she has stored for almost 40 years of her life. I am almost hard of hearing because I don’t know how much longer I can bear this punishment of hearing her describe my favorite friend, Syl.
Syl is a simple and humble person who minds her own life. Actually, there is not much in her home to envy except that her family is happy and content. If you ask me, you know a happy house if you see that the pets are friendly and loving because they are well loved. Why Syl gets the goat of this other neighbor puzzles me. Should I lock my door?
Portia of CM Recto, Baguio City

Dear Portia,
I am as annoyed by similar people around me. Here’s what I have found effective. I keep quiet or leave the room when gossip or nothing nice is being said. It has just put silence in the room but it is lost opportunity for anyone with unworthy thoughts around. Finally, when people want to talk to me about something, it has to be an idea and not about another person. What about butting in and asking that person about another topic. Like, do you think I should plant tomatoes? Or if you really want to make that person turn 180 degreees ask her about a food that you know she doesn’t like. We actually stoke envy and gossip when we even listen to it. Poor victim who doesn’t even know she is envied.
Change the song,
Manang

Dear Manang,
My friend once asked why I enjoy giving. There’s not a day when I try to share what I have with others. I guess it is just a way for me to say thank you to God for this life that I live. I am comfortable and not wanting of anything. My mother despises the way that I busy myself with projects that give things away to poor children or even people in the jail. Sometimes, she even asks for a bag or a pair of shoes that was donated for the poor. I want to tell her that she will die and that bag or pair of shoes will just stay in her cabinet instead of being used by others. Is it bad to just keep the peace and just give in to the request? It is such as waste.
Diedre of Navy Base, Baguio City

Dear Diedre,
It’s a matter of mind set. I guess we just have to think of them as beggars too. I guess what is more important is that the joy of giving remains in your heart. That fulfillment after those projects where you make the life of another person better is something that can’t be matched on this earth. Don’t bother yourself with what others will say, enjoy your moments with other people that you help. If only you could blanket yourself away from those people, do it. Turn a deaf ear or a blind eye. But keeping the peace in your house is your peace of mind, then give it.
Keep your heart warm,
Manang