Be For The Glory

225255512_f85b6c7dab_m.jpgIt’s time to pick on the book Rules of Life once again . Rule 94: Be for the Glory and not Degradation strikes me as the author’s attempt to preach a virtue of being accountable to ourselves and consequently our society, our nation and our world, without sounding religious or moralizing. This rule may not sit well with everyone considering that some us are prejudiced by our religious beliefs or still searching for that elusive, utopian rule of absolute right. The author’s message is overtly simplistic and secularist, meant to tap on the conscience on anyone who has at the very least , a minimal sense of belonging and respect for society.

Rule 94 : Be for the Glory and not Degradation.

quote

“We can work for the glory of humankind or we can try to bring it all crashing down into degradation. Shakespeare is for the glory, a crack house is for degradation. A village fete on a warm summer’s afternoon is for the glory, stealing someone’s purse is for degradation. And it doesn’t have to be tame ; a parachute jump for charity is for the glory, porn is for degradation – but an erotic movie can be for the glory. Get the idea?

Anything that makes us more than we are, makes us strive for perfection, improves us, challenges us, excites us in a good way, makes us rise above our base nature and brings us into the sunshine is for the glory.

So what are you going to be for? The glory or the degradation? Well for the glory of course. My fear is that you will think this is all about being good and that has a bad press. All our lives we have been told that being good is a bad thing, somehow dull, for the meek and the namby-pamby, the sandal wearers, the holier-than-thou brigade. Being good hasn’t a lot going for it. As a kid at school if you tried to be good you get beaten up. At work if you try to be good they call you the boss’ pet.

Well, being good, being for the glory is a private thing. You don’t have to tell a soul. If you keep it quiet you are being good. If you brag about it you are a goody-goody. If you interfere with others and try to make them to be good, you are a do-gooder. Just make a decision to be for the glory and say nothing.

unquote

The definition of what is for glory and for degradation may vary from the individual’s perspective, largely influenced by his view on morals. A porn actress may rationalize that she is doing a job and not hurting anyone. A jihadist will insist that he is doing a job for the glory of his God. Some of us are still fuzzy about the invasion of Iraq, whether it is for the glory or degradation.

Our view on morals is largely dependent on the interpretations of our Judeao-Christian beliefs although many societies today are increasingly becoming more secular, trying desperately hard to put forth an all encompassing definition of morals in an attempt to appease people of all faiths. Suffice to say that the author’s examples of glory and degradation doesn’t sound too extreme and appear quite comprehensible, within the limits of our Judeao-Christian and secularist understanding.

The forces , big and small, that go for glory and degradation are forever clashing in this world of ours. The day to day affairs of every society is an ongoing battle between glory and degradation. In my view, the state of prosperity of a given society is dictated by how much glory had won over degradation or degradation over glory. Degradation may have pockets of victory but it is important that degradation must not be allowed to declare majority victory over glory for it will turn a society’s prosperity into misery.

In line with the author’s rule – be for the glory and not degradation – it follows that a strong determinant that in a society’s triumph over degradation lies in the collective conscience of its people . A society that posseses more people who individually move for the glory rather than degradation is on the road to reaping the rewards of prosperity. The choice to be for the glory also transcends beyond individualistic pursuit. An innate concern for the good of society must exist in the psyche of every individual, that the good he does to himself also benefits the society he lives in. This is not necessarily taught by religion but inculcated by culture and tradition, and the understanding of the true meaning of patriotism.

The tragic part of a society hanging perilously in the fangs of degradation is it will take many generations for its people to reverse its course. The notion of money being the solution to a society’s misery isn’t necessary true. Money will certainly alleviate the problems but the real solution is in the conscience of its people, for if it is not changed, the propensity to be for degradation and consequently, self-destruction will always be a plague that will threaten the society’s very existence.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?divider_18.gif


Earl Klugh is one of the jazz artists in the 80’s who with his guitar entertained us with his slow and relaxing brand of music which sounds like a funky fusion  (vide0) of classical and jazz. I had a few of Klugh’s cassettes and CD’s and always enjoyed playing them in my moments of relaxation or even in my car when traffic jams tend to bore you to death. Klugh’s music has a very soothing effect (video) that calms your nerves even when reckless drivers try to drive you into a road rage 😦

Earl Klugh had many hits and had won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1981. Klugh had notbeen in the limelight for a while but the good news is he hasn’t lost his hands and is still playing his wonderful brand of music and cutting albums almost every other year which is a great treat for his fans 🙂

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28 Responses

  1. Gosh, I can’t find any glory in war. I am never a goody-goody person 🙂

  2. To be for the glory requires discipline, commitment, and a sense of purpose that goes beyond one’s self. It’s not easy and that’s probably why we see a lot more societies where degradation has emerged triumphant. Examples of these are the failed states in Africa and corrupt nations in Asia and South America.

    On another topic, Earl Klugh’s music really relaxes. I hope he comes up with some new works soon. If not, we still have his body of work to fall back on. Thanks for the nice video. 🙂

  3. Maybe you should send some copies of “Rules of Life” back home to the Philippines.
    I guess you know to whom you should send them… 😉

  4. The ZTE scandal is a big degradation. The officials actions have more negative impact because they play with large money. Imagine, $100 million dollars for them ? How big it is?

  5. “An innate concern for the good of society must exist in the psyche of every individual, that the good he does to himself also benefits the society he lives in.” – That is what is sorely lacking in this society. From the opportunistic politicians down to the ordinary Juan de la Cruzes, it’s every man for himself in these screwed-up isles… it’s a wonder we’re still functioning as a people.

  6. I really don’t know. I think most people, especially in a country as difficult as ours, go through life just surviving and eking out their daily bread and whatever small joys and pleasures they can get, while trying to reach out to those near them in the most positive way they can. Does that last one count for the glory part?

    I am sorry if I sounded cynical. Just one of those days, i suppose.

  7. Irrealis – yes, it is difficult to justify death of thousands of people, especially innocent civilians 😦

    If you aren’t a goody-goody are you a do-gooder then? hehe 🙂

  8. Panaderos – I believe there is a goodness in us that can be harnessed by the sub-conscious and this I think what the people of the 1st world countries possess when they seem to have more concern of the impact of their individual actions toward society.

    Thanks and BTW there are two other videos in the post 🙂

  9. Sidney – I know what you mean and I’d end up bankrupt if I’d do that hehe 🙂

  10. Ryan – it is a staggering amount but also remember that Pinas doesn’t have the monopoly of this type of corruption. Remember Enron, the largest utility company in the US that collapsed because of corrupt practices of its senior executives. I agree with you that the people in power have the ability to cause more damage to society with their actions 😦

  11. Snglguy – there is no doubt that the leadership in the country must show the example if we were to turn the ship around. What really bothers me is the population explosion which just erodes every gain the country achieves 😦

    Having said the above, Pinas is still very fortunate when compared to certain countries
    in Africa where life expectancy of people is in the 40’s 😦

  12. Annamanila – I think you prove a good point, that people have learned to make the best of what is available to them.

    I’d be more cynical to suggest that there is goodness that doesn’t have to be justified by religion, that should be part and parcel of our existence as individuals, a goodness that makes us respect the society that we belong to. I don’t know why other countries seem to have this ingrained in their people’s character and we don’t. I don’t know how we can learn them, or if we even can 😦

  13. Hmm, I’m going to look for this book!

    and gheez! Now I miss my Earl Klugh 45 😦 Nostalgic bro…nostalgic!

  14. very well-thought post as always.

    i agree that everything depends on the individual. if we want to degrade ourselves into nothingness, it would reflect in what we do.

    ah, one of my faves, Earl klugh! I am looking forward to Lee Ritenour’s Manila gig!

  15. just wanted to comment on your third quote, as i myself was once bullied and would go home with bruises cause i was good and well behaved. but then i realize that i need not let this people step over me, so i fought back. and eventually (since pakialamera ako, hahah) i’ve fought battles for my love ones as well. ano ba yon, feeling super hero yata ako. but i wasn’t doing that for the glory, it was all for love — for family, friend and people being oppressed. kaya yata up to now eh palaban pa rin ako.

    now, speaking of earl klugh. you make me want to google and watch more of him on you tube. hahaha! that was definitely good music 😉

  16. Sidney is right! Send me a copy while you’re at it … hehehe.

    “An innate concern for the good of society must exist in the psyche of every individual, that the good he does to himself also benefits the society he lives in.”

    A powerful statement that every Filipino ought to adopt in this time of political turmoil. This would be a good start to facilitate “change” for the better.

    Earl Klugh happens to be one of my favorite jazz artists. My favorite is his rendition of “Like A Lover” by Antonio Carlos Jobim.

  17. I find it weird that I don’t get along with goody-goody people.

  18. Thess – it’s a good book esp for those who hate to read very long, thick ones like me 🙂

    I did this Earl Klugh flashback because I remember you did ask about the man. There you go ! hehe 🙂

  19. Ipanema – thanks. You mention about nothingness. I think it is up to us parents to instill some sense of identity and purpose on our children. It sometimes amazes me that there are people who who aren’t sick or anything but literally do nothing to help themselves, even rely on others feed them. This is one form of degradation on one’s self I would think that also has societal implications esp on extended family relationships 😦 Sorry to be sounding too cynical 😦

    Great – Lee Retinour is also another amazing jazz guitarist 🙂 Are you planning to watch his show ?

  20. Nell – love our new name 🙂

    Those challenging episodes are certainly a big part of our experiences of growing up and makes us who we are now. The irony is we will not learn the good until we see the bad. Sometimes we need to draw a line or set limits between ourselves and others and this book has a rule on this particular issue too 🙂

  21. Eric – I may have to send copies to the congress first hahaha 🙂

    Well, you’ve seen how things work in other countries being a balikbayan yourself. We really want to see this change happen coz just like you, I’d love to come home to motherland one day.

    That song popularized by Sergio Mendes is absolutely wonderful Eric. I love Earl Klugh doing a version of it too 🙂

  22. Jeff – why, do you find them too boring ? haha 🙂

  23. i think this is almost parallel to the idea that what is normal depends on how a person perceives normalcy. what is normal to others may not be normal to you. i think somewhere along the investigation about the zte scam, the celebrated witness mentioned about permissible morals. so, it really depends.

    while some others believe that as long as they dont live life stepping on others’ shoes, then they should have their glory and not be judged, i tend to believe that what is right should be done, what is wrong should be avoided.

    i am a fan of earl klugh. thanks to Papsie. 😀

  24. Narissa – there is definitely a conflict of what is perceived to be wrong and right depending on people’s views but as you said if what is right is to be done and wrong to be avoided and I’m not even saying “righteous” to stay secular, then I believe something positive can be achieved for the society because in the end, in a society, we all have to live and feed off on each other’s energy to make this world worth a nicer place to live . I think irrespective of our faiths and beliefs, all of us share in a common concept of what is good 🙂

  25. Very well said. Being a picture person, what caught my attention was the beautiful pic of the beach. But then, when I started reading this post, i just found it to be more beautiful. Thanx for reminding us that self-destruction, specially at this time, is a lingering evil.

    I am now in the land that greets “Sawadee”. I’ll post lots of pics when I go back home.

  26. Lawstude – thanks and all the best in your overseas travel 🙂 I gather it with be Thailand ? Easy on the entertainment hehe 🙂

    We look forward to your beautiful pics 🙂

  27. Now I wonder about a starlet who does porn movies to bring food to her family and send some poor relatives to school. Is she for the glory or degradation?

  28. Abaniko – good question. I can only surmise that she goes for degradation so her family can be for the glory. I know it is a bad answer. Morally she rots. Spiritually, she’s supposed to be hell bound 😦

    Some people however will argue – did she steal anything from anyone so her family can eat ? Did she punish and kill anyone so her family can survive? How does she compare with politicians who steal and oppress people so he can enrich himself and his family ? Big difference I think.

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