Thursday, August 31, 2006

Another Compassionate Human Being

I found another friend for Kate. His name is Kojak. Looking at him, one could hardly believe that this tough-looking American, who rides around Dumaguete in his big bike, carries with him a compassionate heart - one that seems to be absent from MOST people I see around, some of whom profess to have "found" God!

I have friends who are deeply spiritual, like Ma'am Muffet and Ma'am Lele, and as their relationship with God deepened, they were able to transcend their weaknesses as human beings, giving them the rare ability to look beyond themselves and to reach out to others, even to complete strangers - and extend a hand of friendship - a hand that is of God Himself.

I am not as spiritual as they are, but like them, I am deeply grateful to God for having blessed my life with such overflowing goodness - my cup runneth over - and as with my friends, I am saying "thank you" to the Lord by passing forward the blessings that I have received.

It makes me wonder then, how about the others who claim to have "accepted God in their lives as their Lord and Saviour"? Is it simply a two-way relationship then - just between them and God?

Good deeds - for the sake of doing good and not for reaping heavenly rewards later on - do not come into the picture of that relationship at all?

Is it not that having found the Lord, one has changed for the better? And is it not that having become a better person, one wants to do good for the sake of goodness alone?

I am confused. Or am I just being too naive?

Kojak Hughs - he is a Vietnam War veteran. He has seen more than his own share of death, and I would have thought that anybody who has been through that would lose his soul. But not Kojak. His heart remained whole. Beneath that tough exterior dwells a sensitive soul that
can still still notice and appreciate the sight of pure simple love between a father and his child ... or protests against the hypocrisy that abounds in our society.

How many among us would notice those little things around us? More often than not, our gaze remain fixed on our nearest and dearest we fail to notice there is so much more to life beyond the walls that encloses our families and those we hold closest to our hearts.

Negros Chronicle, May 27 issue

I write this column for several reasons. First, to honor those we often do not hear about or forget. Second reason is to entertain and, hopefully, to help improve your life.

Finally I do this to stimulate your thoughts and to encourage you to actively participate. I am gratified that many of you do send me thoughts, stories and encouragement. (

Down Syndrome Child
by Kojak Hughs

I was at Mass. When we stood to sing, I saw a little sevenyearold girl about three rows in front of me. She had the distinctive features of a Down Syndrome child. I was overwhelmed with a sudden sense of sadness. I felt so sorry for her, not because she was likely to die before hertwentieth birthday. I felt sad because here was a beautiful innocent child that would miss so much of life. She would probably never have a boyfriend. Never know the thrill of her first romantic kiss. She would never be married or know the full joy of motherhood. As I stood there feeling sorry for her, she looked up at her father beside her. As he gazes down at her they smiled and her tiny hand slid into his. I suddenly felt sorry for myself. I would never know the depth of pure simple love that they shared at that moment.

God gives us challenges. He gives us love in strange ways. The other day a nice Filipina lady told me about little Kate Lozada. She is only seven months old but already she has adult size problems. Problems that can kill this sweet tiny little baby. You see little Kate has a congenital heart defect. If she does not get an operation soon she will not survive. Her mother works in the pharmacy at Silliman University Medical Center but just can not afford the expensive surgery. She is forced to sit helplessly by and watch her tiny innocent baby die a little each day. In desperation she has appealed to every charitable organization she could find. Only to be turned down. My friend asked me to see if I could help. I told her I would try. I took all the information I had to some friends who regularly do charity medical work. They were not too optimistic. The operation is VERY expensive, around 500,000 pesos. Also it is highly likely the baby will be retarded and has a limited life expectancy. Possibly that is why the charitable organizations turned her down.

I admit, here I get a little angry. People claim to be against abortion, the killing of a fetus, but are perfectly willing to let a baby die when it could be saved, merely because it wont live long anyway?

I can not help but think of that sweet little girl in the church and how much love her father would never have gotten had she died. How much pain her loss would have brought to her family.

To those everyday heroes that read my column. Those who want to help as I do, even though my help is meager compared to the need. The mother has established a trust bank account for contributions, the pediatrician is Dr Glenda N. Nuico and the mother can be contacted at 09173141942.

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