Spend less, give more. . .

It’s 2018 ? a brand-new year. For many, it’s time to turn over a new leaf, time to make resolutions. But how many of us are really capable of keeping resolutions? We are probably able to do it over the next few weeks, maybe months. Then oooops! A slip of the tongue, a lapse in memory. The tiny knot we virtually tied on our finger loosens and we easily forgot what we thought was a good thing to keep or remember doing or not doing for the rest of our lives.

Smoking. Hmmm! I started smoking at a very early age. I was only 16 when I had my very first puff of cigarette. Yes, indeed. It was peer pressure. And why not? Every body my age in high school was smoking. Why not me?

My father caught me smoking inside the bus. I did not know that he was seated a few rows behind me. It resulted in a drastic reduction in my allowance. But that did not stop me from enjoying the mentholated and aromatic flavour of Salem cigarettes. I skipped lunch in school just to be able to buy that expensive and imported brand that everybody had in his shirt pocket. My cigarette consumption increased and it had its toll on my body. I lost weight. My waist line shrunk and I started coughing, not realising that the damaging tar and nicotine contained in every stick had a harmful effect on my lungs and heart arteries.

But God is good. He gave me a strong pair of lungs. I did not have emphysema, not even the deadly lung cancer which my younger brother had. However, the devil was also at work. The many years of smoking damaged my coronary arteries which resulted in a quadruple bypass more than 18 years ago. God has kept me alive, healthy and strong to this day.

I want to spend the remaining years of my life by spending less and giving to the less fortunate. I am sure too that with that mission in mind, God will further extend my stay on this planet because there is so much to do, there is so much to give.

Many of us Filipinos who live in Australia waste a lot of food. Excess food rot in our refrigerators. Unopened can goods expire in our cupboard and we throw them away. We indulge in parties, drink a lot of wine and alcohol.

Have we really bothered to give back to society? Have we thought of the less fortunate in our home country? I have seen children as young as 3 roaming the streets of Manila begging for food and worthless coins that could hardly buy anything.

My heart bleeds for these children. They wear dirty, stinking and tattered rags while we who attend meaningless parties wear expensive clothes from David Jones and Myers. We spend hundreds of dollars on “fashionable” ripped jeans that would have otherwise been thrown to the clothing bin of Salvation Army.

Children sleeping on sidewalk

This year, I urge readers of Philippine Sentinel News to spend less and donate more to the pitiful children of the Philippines who have nothing to eat and nothing decent to wear. A special bank account for these unfortunate children will soon be opened. Details will be published soon. Any amount will be accepted. Anonymous donations are welcome. ? DM Crescini