December 24, 2017

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Give a man a fish and he’ll live for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he’ll live a lifetime. -Lao Tzu

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In recent weeks, I’ve graded my students’ papers and I’ve found out standing similarities in almost half of the class’ novel analysis essays.

Although their sentence construction differ a bit, their ideas, examples, expressions are similar.

To confirm my suspicions, I discreetly talked to each of those students and asked whether they are getting help outside and obviously I was right. These students go to the same tutor everyday after school.

To let my message get across to all of my students, I have given them a short story that they’ve never read in class before and asked them to write a short text analysis.

The result was glaring. Most of those who relied on their tutor’s help, on their tutor’s ideas and analysis of the novel weren’t able to write a satisfactory text analysis of the short story.

This is because they are dependent on their tutor and haven’t developed the proper skills to think on their own because they are used to just receiving, copying, and memorizing ideas.

What should have the tutor done

The tutor should have given opportunities to the students to develop their comprehension and their critical thinking skills instead of undermining the opportunity given to them in class to develop by inserting ready-made ideas in their brains.

So, what happened when the students were faced with a situation and she was not there? They failed. Not because they are stupid but because their potentials aren’t fully developed.

Why am I telling you this…What is it for you…

To remind yourself this Christmas, this season of gift-giving of the best gift you can give to your parents, partner, children, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends…to others.

What can be the best gift that you could ever give?

We equate gifts to objects, tangible objects especially money.

Isn’t money one of the best gifts?

When someone asks you for money, and you have some, why not? Meron ka naman and PASKO pa?

Or when a loved one asks for a computer or a cellphone, meron ka namang pambili, why shouldn’t you buy, tutal PASKO naman di ba?

Not at all.

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This is why…A Brutal Truth

Do you wonder why the things you buy using your own money that comes from your own sweat and blood last longer than things you receive for free?

Do you question yourself why the brand new cellphone you have just bought for someone has a broken screen or scratchy edges just few weeks after you have given it to them?

Have you noticed that for all those years you’ve been helping others, the same person keeps coming back begging and bugging you for money. Nothing has changed. They become your permanent beggars.

Ugly Hurting Truth…

Things we freely receive, things we get without working for them aren’t given so much value or importance.

Similarly, lending money or giving money on a continuous basis to someone who has the ability to earn for himself is not different at all from a cruel person crippling another man by slowly sawing his hands and legs off away to disable him to walk his own walk, and hold his own spoon.

You are like the tutor who gives essays to be memorized by her students for the final exam although nobody knows (except the examiner) exactly what the essay question is.

So, what can be the best gift that you could ever give?


Opportunities to grow, to learn, to second chances, to get better.

Teaching them how to get the money and where can they get it.

Giving them a chance to learn how to make themselves better so they can attract the success they’ve been looking for.

Giving them books, tickets to seminars, opening a savings account, opening a broker account, opportunity to learn to start a small business

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2.Tough love…

No more year round Santa. Toughen up a little bit and learn to say no to a dependent relative or a friend.  Ignore the hurtful comments. You’re helping them anyway to get better from their dependency illness.

Toughen up and say no to kids who cry saying buy me this and buy me that. If it’s not necessary, save that money and invest it to buy better ones in the future.

This Christmas, let’s give more opportunities and tough love to ourselves and to others.


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