Friday, May 31, 2013

Getting Into Harvard: Where Great Minds Meet


On this day, I was lucky to have witnessed the commencement ceremonies of the graduating batch of Harvard School, class 2013. Thanks to the power of the internet where everyone can view it live as it happens. It was a pleasant event where the greatest professors, alumni, parents and graduating students are gathered for a special occasion, which is to be recognized for the outstanding performance and excellence that they have shown for several years into one of the world's greatest  and respected educational institution-- The Harvard University. 

Graduate students of Harvard who came from all over the world are honored to have Oprah Winfrey as their Commencement Speaker. Known globally as Oprah, she used her celebrity status and media influence to inspire the graduates through her motivational speech. As how she projects her image on television, Oprah once again showed her energetic personality and charismatic appeal to deliver a highly effective speech that are substantial and meaningful. 

I watched the entire speech live via online streaming and I could feel the excitement that the live audience could have been felt on that moment. The message was short, yet powerful and full of positive emotion. Oprah got teary eyed since from the start until the end of her speech perhaps due to the recognition and trust given to her by the Harvard School  that through her success stories, she may be able to influence the mind of the future leaders that the Harvard has produced.

The message of Oprah was clear, and that is to dream of something big; accept failure, learn form mistakes and have the relentless determination to succeed. She gave a personal example about her biggest dream that the biggest media organizations in America dubbed as flopped or a failure. She was referring to her current media organization which she named as "Oprah Winfrey Network" or simply called "OWN". 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Oprah's Lifeclass: Changing Your Outlook


Oprah together with one of the most charismatic American Spiritual leader, Joel Osteen discussed about the power of "I Am" or the positive self-talk that we do which could lead to success or failure. Words that we utter whether verbally or just a thought gives power to who we become and it  has a significant impact on how we live in the future. 

In our lives, how many times do we tend to focus on our flaws or imperfections? How does it affect the perception about ourselves and how people around us would feel the vibrations that we are sending out to them? These limiting and destructive thoughts can be blocked by changing our outlook of who we are and how we can attain the life that we deserve.


Here are some of the questions I've answered about the topic.


1. At this very moment, how would you finish the following sentence? I am_______.


At this moment, 'I am' courageous and I have the will to do things as planned. 'I am' happy and contented about the things that are happening in my life and I have to strive harder for a more positive and meaningful things to come. 'I am' feeling grateful for the blessings that has come and looking forward for more prosperity and abundance. 'I am' strong and I will continue to persevere life challenges to become a better person. 


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Special: A Celebration of Love


Over the century, 'Mother's Day' has been celebrated all over the world to give honor and recognition for all the love, care and sacrifices of the Mothers. This is a special day to give thanks to the woman who devoted her time from birth and even until adult life. Through the years, the presence of Mothers are always felt in our being; wherever we are and whatever we do.

Mother's Day celebration is unique to every individual and families around the world. For some people, it is a chance to treat their mother something special, to give a gift, to offer a flower or dinner together. To others, celebration would mean spending their most precious time despite of being busy at work or with the family on their own.


Celebrating 'Mother's Day' is also unique to some cultures globally. In the Philippines, people honor their Mother for being the"Light of the Household". It is true that a Mother gives us the guiding light in our lives specially when we are young and not yet capable to stand on our own. Whenever we've committed something wrong, our Mother would discipline us through words that can leave an imprint on our heart. If we ask for a question, she gives us the answer for us to get enlightened. Mothers simply wants the best for their kids and wanted them to grow up being disciplined and responsible person.


In India where I am currently residing, I have observed that they honor their Mother as God and would give their respect. I have known someone who shared her stories on how she is raising her kids and how much she loves them. She leaved on her job and became a full time Mom and she find glory watching her kids growing up. She has witnessed how the kids grow up daily, and for her that's the greatest gift she can give to them. I salute her for being such a loving and caring Mother since not all could have the power to achieve what she has been doing.

We have our own experiences as to how we were brought up by our Mother. Being the youngest of the six siblings, I have learned to become strong and have the persistence in life no matter how hard circumstances are at times. When you are down, you have to stand up and start again; never to give up. These are some of the wise messages I learned from my Mother.


Somehow, the saying "Mother's knows best" is right. They know what is good for us. They know our 'ups and downs' and they are always there to give their support and guidance.

Motherhood is perhaps the most challenging profession. It may not be learned in any academic institution, but being a Mother is an instinctive intelligence at work. It's a lifetime commitment; no expiry date but just forever.


In our lives, when we are in trouble or in deepest despair, our Mother can become a source of inspiration. Perhaps, the strongest woman who believes in us and push us to our limits. If we feel weak, she believes we can do it. If we succeed, she's there to celebrate with us. In our society, people look up to some woman or a Mother figure who have made a great contribution. They may be simple in appearance, yet they have shown courage and perseverance to become a leader and create a wonderful legacy to the society or maybe to the world.

In the celebration of 'Mother's Day', I've written about "The Blessed Teresa of Kolkata: Her Life and Mission". This is my tribute to one of the greatest Mother in the world who ever lived. Like all the Mothers, they can make an impact in the society that they live in. One of the most fulfilling commitment is to have the societal contribution and to inspire people to achieve something worthwhile; just like Mother Teresa's way.


Our Mothers are one of the sources of our strength. We have to honor them and let them feel special and being loved. Our existence is one the most wonderful gift ever and we shouldn't forget to give back and fulfill our responsibility of  being a good son and daughter not only to her, but to the world that we live in.



© 2013 Del Cusay




Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Blessed Teresa of Kolkata: Her Life and Mission


"Blessed Teresa did not only show her motherly care, but she taught humanity how to live in modesty. To live a life in simplicity and remain to be strong when life seem to be unjust."


In our lives, we may have someone whom we look up to or admire; we look at them as our idol and hero. What makes us follow them is the result of their greatest achievement and a purposeful living. They have set themselves as a role model and later became an icon for the world to emulate.

When I visited Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), it flashed back to my mind the name of a single person. She's not just ordinary, but a blessed one in the name Mother Teresa who was popularly known as a 'Living Saint' before her death. 

Mother Teresa became a global sensation since when I was a young child back in the Philippines and even became world-renowned in the 90s, until she passed away on the year 1997. It was then, we saw Mother Teresa as a simple nun caring for the sick and the dying in Kolkata. Her work isn't extraordinary, but it is just ordinary deeds accompanied by great love, compassion and commitment to serve people in need.

Since I was in Kolkata, I've thought of visiting her place: the main headquarters of the "Missionaries of Charity" which is the Congregation she founded. That was the time I saw the great achievements of a simple nun with extraordinary power, who is now Blessed Teresa.

What could have made her adorable and famous is due to her selfless love and compassion to the poorest of the poor, to the sick, the abandoned and the dying people. In her early years in Kolkata, she used to be a teacher in a convent school until such time she had a calling from the Divine to look after the needs of the poor people who are hungry, homeless and dying in the streets due to widespread poverty and famine in the locality. 

She lived the 'Corporal Works of Mercy' and have it in action to stand the test of time. She fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, visited the sick, visited the imprisoned and buried the dead. All of these works has been achieved by Mother Teresa when she was living. 

Her congregation, the "Missionaries of Charity" started with a mission to save the people who needed care on the streets. She had nothing to give financially at first, but due to global recognition and the power of media, they have attracted donations from individuals and organizations from around the world and financial aid from different States and Government Agencies.



Mother Teresa showed not only her compassionate nature, but also her charisma to attract the right people to support her cause. From 'nothing to something' she was able to build numerous age homes, schools and orphanages and currently operating not just in India but the rest of the world in more than 120 countries.

Perhaps, it was the shortest pilgrimage I had in my life to visit the Mother house where the tomb of Mother Teresa is placed. It is a simple tomb with a chapel inside for the visitors to offer a prayer. It is a peaceful place with people of different creeds coming in to witness the thousands of archives relevant to the work of Mother Teresa located in the room adjacent to her tomb. Visitors will also have a realization of how a Spiritually powerful nun used to live in simplicity, in a small room with  tiny single bed. It made me realize that our status of living has nothing to do with what we can achieve in life. Hence, there is no room for self-doubt as to what we can accomplish.


Mother Teresa served the poor people, however she could have also meant people who are poor in spirit. Nowadays, people become a victim of their lower emotions. Some are playing as a victim in life and degrades people of their miseries and misfortune.


There are so many people who are capable and fortunate in life, but they remain empty. They have the feeling of being unloved and abandoned. This would seem to be a global epidemic, but Mother Teresa's dedication of love and compassion speaks it all.


Like all the successful and accomplished people in history, Mother Teresa has a share of unjust criticism from her critics globally. She had been condemned and ridiculed in her ways of leadership with the founded congregation. However, Mother Teresa, stood up for what she believe was right. Just like in life, people are seeing the negative sides and having themselves put into exemption. In the end, no matter what people say and do, mirror still reflects back; and the ones who do better are ahead of the game of life, like the way Mother Teresa did.

Few years from now, the beatified Blessed Mother Teresa will be canonized as a Saint and people will be praying through her intercession. A lot of devotees would be coming in to her tomb for pilgrimage and once again people from around the world will remember her name eternally like an immortal Spiritual being. Blessed Teresa did not only show her motherly care, but she taught humanity how to live in modesty. To live a life in simplicity and remain to be strong when life seem to be unjust.

© 2013 Del Cusay



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