Why the first day of the year feels like rescue from an island



Tomorrow morning I will find out if I have cancer or not.

My recent x-ray showed that I have a nodule in my lung. A CT scan was necessary to see if it’s malignant or just a scar from an infection. Initial suspicion is harmless “granuloma” but the final result will be known tomorrow.

A time like this reminds me of that scene in the movie Castaway.  In a party celebrating the rescue of Chuck Nolland, Tom Hanks’ character, we see him going to the table to look at the leftover crabs. He also flicked a lighter lying on the table.

Obviously, he was recalling the marooned years on the uninhabited island when it took him at least 3 days and several broken bones to make a fire. He used the fire to cook the one and only crab he caught after several days.

The scene reminds us that one day life may get worse. We may lose all our comforts, all that we own, all that we desire, all our senses, all our loved ones.  One day we may feel like Chuck Nolland, four years alone and with future uncertain in the middle of nowhere.

Therefore, it is also a reminder for all of us to appreciate what we have. We may not be a CEO, not a rock star, but we can make a fire just by flicking a cheap lighter. We can pick up crabs from the market any day.

Tomorrow, the first day of 2018, good health or bad, I will be more appreciative of what God has given me, of what I have, of all the things around me, of people who care for me, of what I have learned, of every single day that I can breathe.

This year I learned so many things from books. I also learned to have more empathy, to never belittle other people’s pain, and to be more balanced in my views instead of being judgmental. Also not impose on other people the kind of happiness I desire for myself. They choose for themselves.

I learned many things from life lessons. I learned from the experiences of other people by listening more and talking less. I believe all these new learnings are making me become a better person.

This coming year, I will make better use of whatever I have. Things, talents and time. I will use them to serve God. To make a better life for me and others. In my own little way, help make the world a better place.

There is a Stephen Covey exercise in which people would write down on four quadrants the things they concern themselves with. These may be things that are urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, not urgent and not important.

Almost a hundred percent of the time, people realize that the things that really matter are in the important but not urgent quadrant. We don’t get to attend to these things because they don’t have a deadline. We procrastinate then another year ends again.

But what if tomorrow, we are told we have only a few months to live? What if the person we have failed to be nice to, or ask forgiveness from, or to spend time with, is already leaving for a faraway place?

I have a feeling that the nodule in my lung is benign. In any case, I will survive this trial. That’s for sure. But even if I may still have 100 years ahead of me, I will take 2018 as a second chance, making each day count to learn more, serve more, love more, because everyone’s journey is to become a better person.



“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” ( 2 Corinthians 9:11)
Why the first day of the year feels like rescue from an island Why the first day of the year feels like rescue from an island Reviewed by Robert Labayen on 1:17 AM Rating: 5

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