SFI wants to thank you for your visit and participation. Comments, following, adding, tweeting, etc., etc., are very much appreciated and reciprocated. ;o)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How is Eddie Boy doing?

Hi Everyone! This is Luz again! I just wanted to share with all of you some of the amazing things Eddie has done. Since the April 17, (which by the way, the doctor is so surprised at what a fighter he is) Eddie had not been moving his eyes, but a few weeks ago, after a prayer and meditation, we all noticed, he began to move his EYES! (he's still sleeping but it was a miracle just to see his eyes moving)
Eddie currently has had a tracheotomy installed in his throat. When you have this, you can not make any sounds because of the cut in your throat the air escapes thus not allowing sound to come out. Well, Eddie has started making grunting sounds, and you can hear him coughing! The doctor is so surprised saying that he is so strong. She can not understand how he is making any noise at all.
Eddie began to move his little toes when touched, then he began to move them when he heard us speaking, then he moved his ankles, and last week, began to bend his knee! (the healing is moving upwards. We just need to make it go higher to the lungs and the brain stem). He is really doing better! We really believe your prayers are soooo strong. We can all feel the love.
Eddie is here with us, he just needs our prayers and love to show him how to wake up, because believe me he has the strength to wake up, and the will, he does not give up. Thank you for the love.
Please Read More ;o) >>

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Would you leave your family to take a job in another country?

Recently I watched a movie called “Caregiver”, made by media giant ABS-CBN and Star Cinema, starring Sharon Cuneta and John Estrada. The story focuses on a woman whose husband has left the Philippines to take a job in another country because the pay is considerably more in this other country than what it would be in the Philippines. They decide as a couple that she would leave their young son with relatives in the Philippines so that she could follow her husband to the foreign land. She resigns from her job as an English teacher and sells their home just before leaving. The plan is that within 2 to 4 years they might possibly save enough money to send for their son. Upon her arrival in this new country, she is hired as a caregiver in an assisted living facility. Here, she suffers some culture shock in her new job in that she is required to change the soiled diapers of elderly residents and also by the idea of this type of care, in and of itself, because it is not customary for Filipino families to “deposit” their seniors in this type of facility. She perseveres however and even experiences some minor triumphs even being promoted after a fashion due to her fine work ethic and excellent command of the English language. As the story progresses, we learn that the husband, who is a trained nurse in the Philippines, is but an orderly earning a fraction of what she believed him to be earning. Because of this he plunges into an emotional downward spiral becoming resentful of his life and even somewhat jealous of his wife’s modicum of perceived success in her new “career”. By the end of the film, her husband has decided that he has had enough and wants them to return to the Philippines where they will start life over from nothing. She had already given everything up to make this move in the first place and was inspired by her personal potential in this new land as well as feeling that her husband had already emotionally abandoned her. She decided that she would do something for herself and refused to go back with the husband to the Philippines. The last scenes of the film were of her still in the new country, only now her son was with her and the husband nowhere in sight. There were some sub-plots worthy of mention but this Post is not about the movie but what it is trying to show us.
There are men and women actively seeking employment in other countries because they cannot find meaningful employment in their own country. Another issue is that while they may have employment, the same position in another country might pay double or triple what they are able to make in the Philippines. This issue is especially marked among professionals, like doctors, nurses, and teachers who are lured out of the Philippines by salaries and opportunities that cannot be found in their homeland. This creates another problem known as “Brain Drain” because many of the finest in any given field leave the country and are not working for the benefit of their countrymen but for a whole other people and culture. Some of these OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Worker) work towards assimilation in their adopted lands and others are employed via contracts that last a couple years to as much as a few years.
The personal issues are abundant. Many of the people being recruited are not well educated and fall into the hands of human traffickers and sold into slavery or prostitution. Immense fees and loan payments of loans taken out to pay for the “fees” of both legal and illegal recruiters make it nearly impossible for some of these people to pay off the cost of getting the “job” much less being able to send money to loved ones. Others are abused by what would otherwise be legitimate employers, sometimes being accused of crimes and jailed because of false allegations. Often times, Overseas Filipino Workers, become stranded in far off lands because of war, natural disaster, or due to these unscrupulous employers and recruiters themselves. It is then up to the families to scramble to put together the means necessary to rescue their loved one thus adding to their burden. On occasion well meaning government officials pool resources to offer rescue to these families in need. An example of this type of assistance happened recently when the Senate President of the Philippines, Manny Villar, pooled certain resources and was able to facilitate the return of several such stranded Philippine Nationals.
Not all stories are nightmares. There are many that find meaningful employment in these far off lands. While abroad, these workers have built reputations as being talented and hard working. Often these OFW’s live frugal lives so that they can send relatively large amounts of money back to their families. It is not uncommon to hear stories of nice houses being built, businesses being started, and educations of children being paid for by OFW remittances. For some of these people, the opportunity to make this kind of money and the lifestyles that they have become accustomed to almost necessitate leaving repeatedly on new contracts. Minimum wage in the Philippines is currently pegged at approximately 380 pesos a day, or roughly $9.05. Meaning that for an eight hour day, you would be getting paid approximately $1.13 an hour. What would you do making this amount of money? Would you be motivated to find an overseas job thus requiring that you leave your loved ones behind even only for a couple of years?
The movie itself presented a real life scenario of people making difficult decisions. We all want the best for our families. Whether for our parents, siblings, spouses, or children we are all willing to make sacrifices for their benefit. Where do you draw the line? Is money the only consideration when deciding to be apart from your loved ones? Is leaving them for extended periods of time the only possible solution? Is the human cost worth the financial gain? (If there is a financial gain to be had) These are questions that can only be answered by you as the one living the life in question. The decision though must be weighed very carefully making sure that you do your due diligence to ensure that it is an educated decision, a decision that can affect not only your destiny but that of your loved ones and even that of your nation.
Please Read More ;o) >>

Friday, June 13, 2008

A message for everyone that has accepted Eddie Boy into their hearts and minds.

The following words are meant for everybody that brought Eddie Boy into their lives by sending their positive thoughts, to him and for him, through prayers, well wishes, and inspirational advice.
Your continued support is sought and very much appreciated. I think that after you read the following message, you will agree that everybody's efforts have made a difference not only in Eddie Boy's life but that of his families and loved ones lives. Please let these words fill your heart with satisfaction;

Dear Sphinx & all you sweet wonderful people,
This is Luz (Eddie's girlfriend) Thank you for your words... I must admit that I have gotten a bit teary eyed by the beauty of your words. I am FEELING and SEEING and KNOWING that Eddie will open his eyes. The Doctor has said that he is doing things that someone in his state shouldn't be doing! THANK YOU EVERYONE... THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE AND LIGHT AND PRAYERS! I know for a fact that Eddie himself would be so touched by the love and kindness you are all showing to him, someone you do not know... THANK YOU and thank for spreading the word...
Please Read More ;o) >>

Friday, June 6, 2008

Can a positive thought save a life? Let’s find out together.

Eddie Boy, as he is lovingly called by his family, was badly injured in an accident that left him with a severe head injury. He is currently living on a respirator in what can be described as a comatose state. Certain Medical Doctors have said that he has no chance for meaningful recovery. More optimistic Doctors have basically advised the family to wait and see. Needless to say, his family and friends are not willing to accept either prognosis. We all want Eddie Boy to open his eyes so that the real struggle toward recovery can begin.

Personally, I have heard several stories about people that have suffered severe head trauma caused by everything from gunshot wounds to being hit in the head by a helicopter blade. With proper care and support, these individuals have pulled through these life threatening incidents. I have no doubt, with our help; this same outcome will be available for Eddie Boy.

He is a good man that wants nothing more that to fulfill his obligations to his loved ones and live a life striving to be a positive influence on those that he may come into contact with. He is a teacher for a school that provides job training to young adults so that they in turn will be able to fulfill their obligations to their loved ones. His students love him and are also pulling for a speedy and complete recovery.

How much is a moment worth? How about a moment a day until further notice? Your good thoughts are urgently needed. We are not asking you for money, to buy a raffle ticket, or even leave the comfort of your favorite chair sitting in front of the computer.

I do humbly ask you for this. When you sit in front of your computer to check email or visit your favorite blog, please take a moment to think a positive thought for Eddie Boy. Please look at the picture of Eddie Boy as he is now after his accident then look at the picture of him before his accident. See in your mind his improvement from his current condition to how he looked when he was uninjured and happy, and then encourage him to open his eyes. We are all made from the same stuff. You can make a difference.

Also, if you have encouraging words for him and his family, please post them here and I will make sure that he gets every one. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude at this point for those of you who are already saying to yourselves, “I want to help this man because I can.”

You have heard the saying, “Penny for your thoughts.” How about, “Save a life for a thought.” That is, a thought a day until our friend opens his eyes.

Please Read More ;o) >>

Sunday, June 1, 2008

“Same Sex Marriage” What does it mean for you?

First off, let me preface this post with a simple disclaimer; Morality is relative to the life being experienced by the one living it. I do not endorse any particular religion or belief system. I do, however, endorse having one because such things are prisms through which we can focus the minds active force, also known as intent. By being able to focus your intent, you will have the ability to become a truly powerful being capable of serving and protecting those that you hold near and dear to your heart. These elements define your universe. The intent of this post is not to determine right from wrong. Our goal is to expose the topic in a way as to engender conversation. By doing so, people can make their own educated decisions and adjust their life paths accordingly.

Whew, now that the disclaimer has been taken out of the closet and set prominently on the mantle, let’s get ready to have a nice orderly discussion.

What is the issue? (Is there even an issue?)

Until recently, same-sex couples could not marry anywhere in the world. This final restriction was lifted during 2001-APR, when The Netherlands expanded its definition of marriage to include both opposite-sex and same sex couples. Belgium followed suit during 2003-JAN. Next came Ontario, a province in Canada in 2003-JUN. By 2004-NOV, same-sex marriage had become available in most Canadian provinces. When federal law C-38 was signed into law on 2005-JUL-20, SSM theoretically became available across all of Canada. However Prince Edward Island ignored the civil rights of same-sex couples, and refused to issue marriage licenses to them for almost a month until threatened by a lawsuit. Spain passed a law allowing same-sex couples to marry on 2005-JUN-29. South Africa's law came into effect on 2006-NOV-30.

The status of same-sex marriage in the U.S.:

Currently, only one man and one woman can be joined in matrimony and have their marriages recognized by the state, except for residents of Massachusetts who successfully won a court battle for the right to marry. Same-sex couples were able to obtain marriage licenses in San Francisco, CA, and in various towns in New Mexico and New York for short intervals of time during 2004. However, none were able to register their marriages.

As of 2007-MAR, almost all states have "Defense of Marriage Acts" or constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage, Exceptions are: New Mexico and Wyoming in the West, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont in the Northeast.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian legal activist group, maintains "DOMAwatch" that describes the current status of same-sex marriage, court cases, etc. in each state. See: http://www.domawatch.org/

Text from: ReligiousTolerance.org (www.religioustolerance.org/hom_marr.html)

California under the leadership of “Arnie” is probably about to legalize same sex marriage because of a California Supreme Court decision. New York, while not legalizing it, intends to honor such unions consummated in other states or countries.

Let’s look at the word marriage. Yet once again I crack the cover to my ever faithful Encarta Dictionary: mar riage (noun) 1. A legally recognized relationship, established by a civil or religious ceremony, between two people who intend to live together as sexual and domestic partners. 2. A married relationship between two people, or somebody’s relationship with his or her spouse. 3. The joining together in wedlock of two people. These are definitions good enough for Microsoft Corporation, so they must be good enough for this discussion. Do you find it interesting that when addressing the “whom” in these definitions they use the term, “two people?” Not a man and a woman? Why is that, PC being displayed in educational text? Another interesting statement is that marriage is established by, “civil or religious ceremony.” We must be reminded that not all civil law is based on moral guidance. It is also civil laws that allow a pornography store to be located on the same block as a church. Both the church and the porno store having their own devotees. Civil laws in general are intended to serve the greater good of the community it is intended for without prejudice towards any specific group. Can the same be said about religious doctrine? Which religion you ask? I say, exactly.

Are we discussing societal or religious concerns? What about scale? Whose society or religion are we talking about? There are practices in certain societies around the world that are beyond the fathom to any other society around them. The same can be said for religion. So it can be understood that there are people around the world who are on both sides of the fence regarding this subject. But alas, we are talking about the United States of America, the land of the brave and home of the free. What about America? How will this affect America?

There was a time in our history that a man and a woman were expected to get married to somebody from the same community or church. By this I mean the same circle of friends, same background, more blatantly, the same color or race. It was unheard of for a white person to be dating, much less marrying, a black person. This separation was supported and even enforced by both religious and civil authorities of the time. It was said that to allow such unions to exist would cause the very fabric of decency and propriety to be irreparably damaged. The same stigma exists even today to some degree in certain communities around America.

Not to long ago being homosexual was something to hide and keep secret. If this statement were not true why does the saying “coming out of the closet” exist? There were laws, and still are in many places, threatening prosecution and jail time for people engaged in homosexual relations. In the past, people were released from military service because they were “gay”. Today we have the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. Some of today’s most popular television shows have either homosexual themes or star people that live publicly homosexual lives. Ellen DeGeneres being a prime example.

The prejudices in America have evolved not disappeared. New egos are controlling the system that we live in. We have grown so intolerant that we tolerate the previously intolerable. Our horizons have broadened to the point that we can no longer see the trees for the forest. We now define society in terms of the individual without first defining just who that individual is. Glassy stares are intertwined with the angry glares. Some of you say, “What?” Some of you say, “Why”. Some are saying, “Huh?”

Picture in your mind a couple that lives in small apartment in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. A small dog runs in circles elated that its master is turning a key in the front door lock. In the kitchen, a pot of home cooked tomato sauce is being stirred lovingly by skilled hands. Entering the kitchen, a leather briefcase is dropped onto the kitchen counter and a soup ladle is tossed into the sink as two lovers embrace and share a passionate kiss. Jeff pulls away and says, “What smells so good?” A smile crosses Philip’s face as he proudly announces that he is making a pasta dinner using his grandmother’s secret recipe. Just then Jeff’s six year old son from his recently failed marriage comes into the kitchen and announces that he is going over to his friend’s house to play video games.

If I did not mention any names would you have surmised that it was a story about two men? If I never mentioned any names at all would it have made a difference? This type of relationship exists on a grand scale in today’s America. With or without laws “legitimizing” such unions, these “families” will continue to exist and even flourish. Will the “legalization” of this standard result in even further societal change? I put it to you that “society” will change regardless. Will the change be for the better or worse? Relative to whom?

If you have read this far you might be asking me, “What now?” Well what now? How does any of this affect your universe? If you let it affect your universe it will. As with any issue that you decide to become part of, it becomes a part of you. You must take a stand and defend your opinion because it is your’s, it belongs to you; at the same time you must accept the fact the every human has the same right as you, and it too, must be defended.

Please Read More ;o) >>