Monday, February 20, 2017

20 Philosophies in Ageing Gracefully (Lagro Gazette Special Report Jan-Mar 2017))


Dr Abe V Rotor

1. Ageing like good wine; it becomes mellow with age. But only good wine becomes mellow with age. And the longer ageing is, the better is the quality of the wine. We can compare it also with wood. “A seasoned timber never gives (up).” A seasoned teacher is wise.


 Philippine literature greats, among them Sedfrey Ordoñez, Ophelia Dimalanta, Larry Francisco, Jose Garcia Villa 

2. Ageing is like knowledge – distilled into wisdom. It’s the ripening of fruits on the tree. Knowledge is not all useful; it leaves a lot of wastes. Which I call infollution (information pollution). Like the so many flowers and developing fruits of a huge mango tree, those that fall are useless knowledge; those that do not ripen are knowledge that can’t stand by themselves. Only those that remain full and ripe at the end are like wisdom. Wisdom is tested by timelessness and universality.

3. Old age is harvesting what you planted in youth. The man is the child of yesterday. Start early in life to plant the seed of success, more so, the seed of service. Monuments are not built for no reason at all. And even without a monument a good deed is monumental in the hearts and minds of those you serve and those who believe in you – especially those you have changed their lives.

4. Ageing physically and physiologically - this is inevitable. But don’t let the mind and the heart age prematurely and uselessly. Like faculty, practice makes them alive and full. Reason, thoughts, imagination, love, compassion should not go to waste by chronological age.

5. The child in you must always live. That Little Prince that rules over the grownup in you that says “a matter of consequence is not only those that are urgent and important,” is also preserving the ideal. Idealism must live together with realism.

6. There are those who are late bloomers; they bloom with age. Catalyze the blossoming of the beautiful things – how late they may come in life. It is better to bloom in old age than to blossom early – and the blossom just fades away. You’ll even regret it because it could mean to you as failure.

7. In old age don’t lose your trophies and medals - because of one false move, worst, if deliberate. Or because of a persistent habit you thought you can get away with even in old age. There is nothing more regretful if you fall into disgrace in old age – you don’t have a second life to amend for it.

8. Hold your horses. Stop, look, listen. Getting older adopts “slow but sure” attitude towards situations and decisions. “Quick to think, but slow to act,” may be appropriate in old age. That is why in traditional societies, decision makers are old people, village elders.

9. Make your assets grow for others, as you prepare to leave the world. Have the philanthropic heart. You can’t take your riches to your tomb. The Egyptians never did. The young pharaoh Tutankhamen left his belongs for the afterlife in his tomb, now in the Egyptian Museum. . Economics does not work well with each one of us holding a treasure chest and locking it up. Imagine if the world is dominated by Madoff, by AIG, by Lehman Brothers - even with their generosity.

10. Older societies are more peaceful than younger societies. Make peace as you grow older. Old men don’t go to war. It is the brave who dies young. “Where have all the flowers gone?” speaks of the youth cut down in their prime. All wars – ancient, religious, political – the young is the sacrificial lamb. People as they grow older can’t simply be made easy tools for power and greed. .

11. Expanded family ties; three generations not in a row, but in a chain. For the first time in the history of man that three generations live under one roof. And soon four generations - as longevity increases. While in the city the family is getting small, agrarian families is expanding because of longer life span.

12. Scientific and technological thrusts are toward ageing, longevity: rejuvenation, on-site cloning of tissues and organs, ergonomics (designing tools and materials that fits well to the comfort of the user) - geriatrics, gerontology (all about the science and caring of the aged.)



13. Extension of retirement, active retirement – this is the trend today for old people. Soldiers become security guards; teachers become professor emeritus, executives as consultants, professions doing odd jobs. Age of retirement is not after all boring. So when does one really retire?
Dr Anselmo S Cabigan and the author, former classmate, co-workers in government and university professors. 

14. Foster, adopt, and help the needy, the homeless, the orphaned, the abandoned as your own children especially if you are childless. Even then, by the time you are very old, your children shall then be on their own. Be like Brad Pit and Angelina Jolie who have adopted children of different nationalities. Sponsor scholarships for the deserving but are unable to pursue their studies.

15. Resurrection and immortality are myths. Humans will always remain mortals. More than a hundred corpses of rich Americans are in cryonic tanks waiting for the time to resurrect them. DNA extracted from cadavers and human fossils will never make a living replica of the departed or deceased.

16. Life cycle biologically - that is a universal given to everything, living or non-living. But with man’s rationality we can plot our life cycle, on so many socio-economic matters. The late Justice Secretary Ordoñez wrote a book, Life Cycle. He said the inevitable is biological, but the way we live our lives, is within much under our control and will. “Men choose to live long which they have no control of, yet refuse to live nobly within their will.” So said the great Roman Philosopher Cicero.

17. Nature is selfish within your lifetime – you care so much for those close to your genes, to the point of dying for them. But nature, after you are gone is altruistic after you are gone; it distributes your genes to where they will most fit in the name of evolution through which a species should be best equipped in order to survive. We can hardly trace our family tree beyond the third generation. Where are the offspring of the pharaohs, of the King of Siam?

18. Kindness is key to fulfillment; it is also the Golden Rule. “Treat an old man as you wish men to treat you when you are old.” Say Chaucer in Pardoner’s Tale. But be kind yourself as an old man or woman. And that kindness must be unconditional. ARK in Evan the Almighty means – Act of Random Kindness. That’s the way to change the world, so said God in that film.

19. Don’t just pass people along the way. Stop, help them, feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, visit the imprisoned, clothe the naked, comfort the lonely, and heal the sick. In Matthew 25, Christ said, “What you have done to the least of my brother, you have done it to me.” Indeed this is the most meaningful act of a human to humanity. You deserve a place in heaven.

20. Facing death is a beautiful thing to one who has reached old age. It’s like a candle in its final brightness. Angelus to the old who is dying unifies the family, gathers the broken fragments of relationships. Bonding is strengthened. It’s time for the living to say the kindest things about the departed. Let the occasion be a memorable and lasting one. Dying is leaving to the living a new hope, renewed love, and a new beginning.~

I am Nature Crucified (Lagro Gazette feature Jan-Mar 2017)




I am Nature crucified by the unending pursuit of progress, the goal and measure of superiority, nation against nation.

 Dr Abe V Rotor


                                                               Silhouette of a tree skeleton, QC

I am Nature crucified, Paradise lost to my own guardian
whom my Creator assigned custodian of the living earth;

I am Nature crucified by loggers, my kin and neighbors 
annihilated, forever removed from their place of birth;

I am Nature crucified by slash-and-burn farming dreaded
- once lush forests now bare, desertification their fate;

I am Nature crucified, greedy men with giant machines
take hours to destroy what I built for thousands of years;

I am Nature crucified in the name of progress, countries 
vying for wealth and power, fighting among themselves; 

I am Nature crucified, rivers are dammed, lakes dried up,
swamps drained, estuaries blocked, waterways silted;

I am Nature crucified, the landscape littered with wastes,
gasesinto the air form acid rain, and thin the ozone layer;

I am Nature crucified, flora and fauna losing their natural
gene pools by selective breeding and genetic engineering;

I am Nature crucified, the earth is in fever steadily rising,
ice caps and glaciers melting, raising the level of the sea; 

I am Nature crucified, privacy and rest becoming a luxury
in a runaway population living on fast lanes, and rat race. 

I am Nature crucified, inequitable distribution of wealth
the source of conflict, greed and poverty, unhappiness;

I am Nature crucified by the promise of heaven in afterlife,
the faithful restrained to regain Paradise while on earth.

I am Nature crucified by scholars of never ending debates,
on the goodness of the human race in fraternal praises;

I am Nature crucified by the many denominations of faith,
pitting God against one another in endless proselytizing;

I am Nature crucified by licenses of freedom in extremism,
human rights and democracy - tools of inaction and abuse;

I am Nature crucified by mad scientists splitting the atom,
building cities, tearing the earth, probing ocean and space;

I am Nature crucified by capitalism, consumerism its tool
to stir economy worldwide, wastefulness it consequence;

I am Nature crucified by the unending pursuit of progress,
the goal and measure of superiority, nation against nation;

I am Nature crucified by man’s folly to become immortal:
cryonics, cloning, robotics - triumvirates for singularity.

I am Nature crucified, hungry, thirsty, imprisoned, naked,
abandoned – wishing some souls to stop, look and listen. ~




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dragonfly Resting on a Wall Mural (Lagro Gazette Jan-Mar 2017)



Dr Abe V Rotor


Wall mural on Nature by AVRotor at his residence
 San Vicente, Ilocos Sur 2017

A dragonfly came and alighted on my painting
seemingly lonely and needing rest;
 The morning sun on its wings a prism of colors;
  thank you, I said, tired but refreshed.

A famous artist in Ancient Greece once painted still life
of fruits so precise the birds came and pecked on them
to the audience's awe and praise, “He who can deceive
Nature is truly master of the arts of unequalled fame.” 

A simple man, his entry wrapped and bound by string,
was about to withdraw, but the proud painter, aghast 
took from him the canvas, pulled the string to open it,
 and tried again. The string is the painting itself! Alas!
                   
The Rotors (Cecille, Gabby, Veny) pose before the mural at the author's residence in San Vicente, Ilocos Sur. 

Friendly Waterfalls (Lagro Gazette Jan-Mar 2017)


Dr Abe V Rotor
  Mother and daughter before a wall mural painted
by the author at his residence February 5, 2017

Thunderous falls yet music to the ear,
     in the language of the free;
Stream raging yet peaceful scenery,
     takes away a young child’s fear.

A piece of Eden in virtual reality,
     archive when forever gone;
A mural for art’s sake and for fun,
     shall bear witness to history. ~

Protolife – Greatest Mystery (Lagro Gazette Jan-Mar 2017)

Science probed the universe and conquered cyberspace,
Genesis versus science, people all over were asked to choose.

Dr Abe V Rotor 



Beginning of Life in acrylic (3’ x 4’) AVR 2016

The origin of life, science loftiest adventure ever,
Probing outer space, the earth’s core and ocean floor;
Welding and splitting atoms, discovering Higg’s Boson,
But the prima causa of life remains at-large ever more.

For eons legends upheld man-nature-spirit relationship,
Until fossil hunters unearthed the secrets of the past, 
Science probed the universe and conquered cyberspace,
Genesis versus science, people all over were asked.

What a chasm in Einstein’s theory of Energy-to-Matter, 
Chemical-to-Cell in Oparin’s theory of protolife model,
Darwin’s Survival-of- the-Fittest without the Missing Link!
Isn’t faith enough, and not challenge the Creator to tell?