What I value the most are words and time, especially from people around me, the ones close to me, the ones I love and care for. Cliché as it is, I do believe these are two things you can never take back. I value them so much, they are what I emphasize in my relationships.

The value of words
For me, words are important. I treasure the words that people tell me, much more the words of my family, friends, and everyone I love and care for. It matters to me so much that I take to my heart the words spoken or given to me.

Whenever I have to make a decision, I always consider what the people I love have to say. No, it is not being dependent on them because at the end of the day, I still make the decision. But I put a premium on what these people have to say because I want to be sure that I don’t hurt them in any decision I make. Most of the time, their words serve as my guide, my lessons, to which I use to shed light on matters I may be blinded on.

I also hold on to people’s words. If you give me your word on anything, I will hold on to that. Be it a promise, a thought or idea, a decision, a plan, or a guidance. I hold on people’s words so much that I value them and consider them to be true, especially when I trust the person so much.

In some (or rather most) cases, I get disappointed because of valuing those words. My best friend once told me that I shouldn’t hold on to them too much. I said I do because if you tell me something, I would trust you to stand up to it. He said “what they say may be true at that time. It was true for them because that is how they feel. But feelings change and so do people. What may be true for them during that time may not always be true because their feelings have changed.” I realized he was right and that I shouldn’t expect too much on words.

I remember one of my professors saying “people will doubt what you say but will never question what you do”. For me, words and deeds both matter. I trust people’s words because it can show me if they are really true. It helps me trust them more when their words are consistent with their actions.

For me, a promise is a promise; word given is a word given. To be honest, I fail at times to fulfill my promises, I even eat my words. Why do I expect so much on others then? Because if I fail, I try my best to explain my side and be understood. The same way I expect others to explain theirs so I may understand them. I can only expect what I can do as well.

Words, in any way they are communicated, can bring people closer. Words, too, can destroy the bond people have. It is the reason I value them.

On the value of time
It took me years and a lot of painful experiences to realize the value of time. Most people who know me know how busy I am. I once lived on a minute-by-minute schedule. Everything had its time. Except for those that I should have given time.

Now, time is of so much value to me. I try not to waste any. By that I don’t mean that I ensure that I am doing something with all my time. Rather, I make sure that I do something worth it. That means making sure I have time for the ones I love: my family, friends, and anyone special.

A friend once joked that “madali naman malaman kung gusto talaga o mahal talaga ni Renz yung isang tao eh, nabibigyan niya ng oras gaya nang kung paano niya nabibigyan ng oras yung mga ginagawa niya o mga bagay na gusto niya.” I guess it was true. I realized that I don’t just have to find time for the people who matter to me, I have to make time for them.

A lot of my friends used to complain that it is easier to find a schedule to meet the president than to meet me. In several instances, friends even tell me to block a schedule for an event 6 months in advance because they know how busy I am. Yes, there was a time I can get a whole year scheduled because of a lot of things.

That woke me up and made me realize it shouldn’t be the case. Well, friends still tell me in advance about events I need to attend to, the planned ones and important ones, just to be sure I don’t schedule anything on those dates. But now, I make sure that if anything random, or urgent, comes up, I make time for it. My time with my family is important, too. If I go on field assignments, I make sure that I find time to be with them before going back to work in Manila or being assigned in another one. 

People close to me also know how much I hate changing schedules. Especially last-minute changes or cancellations. Being the OC that I am, I tend to be rigid in terms of scheduling. If I am set to do something at a certain time, whether that is a task or spending time with someone, that is what I should be doing. I tend to plan how to use my time. Why? Because I want to make sure I can also find time for other things, for important people. I can set aside certain things if I need to give time to someone-this is when I break my own rule of not cancelling my schedule. If I need to change my plans, it simply means I am giving my time to someone or something dear to me. Time, for me, is the best I can give.

Words and time are two of those that I value the most. They are treasures I can give to the ones I love and gifts I treasure when given to me. I fail, yes, but the failures I had and I still do help me learn and realize what I should. True enough, as the line from The Little Prince goes “what is essential is invisible to the eyes.”

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