Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Willpower


For Chris, so you don't forget.

I don't believe in "The Secret", but don't take offense, I don't believe in a lot of things (I'm diplomatic like that). My belief system is best described as a series of non-beliefs; what holds everything together is a healthy dose of skepticism.

I had an argument with a friend once about the idea of an almighty deity. I said that, though I respect his view on religion, it is impossible to prove God's existence without using tautologies. (Here's one of his sillier arguments: God is omnipotent, therefore he has the power to create himself. I didn't even bother refuting the idea). He did say it all boils down to faith, and I agreed. However, I insisted that it was no use trying to convert me (I'm a former Catholic). At the very least, I have no wish to be part of a religion that systematically discriminates against my community.

My friend Chris is my exact opposite, at least in this aspect. He is a man of pure faith. The first time I met him I thought it would be impossible for us to be friends; I was too cynical, he was too nice. It grated. But the adage "opposites attract" seemed to have some basis; we became closer than either one of us expected to be.

His faith in his god extended to a complete faith in everything: himself, his family, his friends. I once told him that I admired him for his willpower, sometimes I'd think he can will the universe to act according to his needs. Chris said that that was the secret to his success; he willed himself to be the person he wanted to be, and a few years later, he was that person. My theory was that he could make other people believe in anything because he believed in it so completely himself. Perception is sometimes as important as reality. Hell, some philosophers say that perception is reality; it is impossible to define anything without using tautologies. He was the ultimate "The Secret" devotee, except I'm sure he never even read the book or watched the movie.

He was a poor child in Samar, born of a policeman father and a housewife whom he loved very much. The youngest of 9 children, even then he showed a positivity and entrepreneurial spirit that was too mature for his age. He told me he used to sell bananas in the market when he was really young, wanting to start making money for himself as soon as possible. He grew up to be a public relations specialist who is, I am proud to say, one of the best in the country (I'm also biased).

Chris told me his life was a series of leaps into the unknown. He was 20 years old when he opened his PR agency. He'd go to meetings in his motorbike, park several blocks away, then walk to his meeting. He always made sure he looked the part of a wealthy businessman. He wanted them to think that he was more successful than he was.

I admired him for it, knowing that his talent was a remarkable one, best suited for the industry he decided to excel in. My skepticism brought me somewhere else. Now I'm studying to be a lawyer. The universe likes to poke fun at my non-belief; I wish it would stop trying to make sense out of nonsense.

My friend Chris is a wall of pure willpower. If I was asked to pick anyone to hold up as evidence of the value of sheer ambition and drive, he'd definitely be top of mind.

Photo taken here.

2 comments:

  1. That's the problem with daily posts. When your readers get used to it, they feel withdrawal symptoms when you stop. LOL

    Still, good luck on your studies! =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks! Now really trying harder to stay away. :-)

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...