Three Virtues on the Meaning of Life (#11)

“True Tales” Series – Volume 11

Sometimes in life, we search for magical things that would change our lives and transport us to the high heavens. Often, we search and search for this dream, not knowing it is staring us right on the face. There are three virtues needed to achieve a meaningful life.

A book on a collection of ‘True Tales’ is forthcoming.

eastwind journals – March 14, 2023 (archives tr352 / posters p493 p160)

By Bernie V. Lopez,

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The Virtue of Simplicity

This is based on a true story. Sarah, a rich old lonely Filipino widow in California decided to return to the Philippines and spend the rest of her life there. She built a huge four-bedroom house right beside her son’s house in a plush subdivision, so she would not be lonely.

She made sure she got everything she could not easily get in affluent America – a live-in licensed nurse and a live-in maid to go to market and cook. She got a brand-new car and hired a part time chauffeur on call, and a gardener-janitor who came regularly. She had all the comforts of life she did not have in the States.

Her son was always away at work. To while away the hours, she did some gardening and yard sweeping for exercise, and talked endlessly with the nurse and the maid. But she still got bored and lonely. As her health degraded, she abandoned the garden and began to get insomnia and depression.

Her son noticed this and gave her advice. He said, “Distract yourself. Focus on others, not yourself. Live simply. Sell the big house. Share your wealth.”

Sarah sold the big house and lived in a modest beach cottage in Bantayan Island in Cebu, which had a community of marginal fishermen. She immersed herself on the poor people around her and discovered how happy she was just knowing these warm people. She started helping those who needed new boats or whose children got sick. She put up a foundation to give micro-loans to fishermen. She abandoned luxury and embraced frugality. Her comfort level plunged. She employed the wife of a fisherman to be her nursing aide. Her insomnia and depression vanished. She began to pray and talk to the Lord, which she never did before. Never was she so happy in life.

The problem was her attitude. Why buy a big house just because she could afford it? The virtue of simplicity says – do not squander your wealth on things you do not really need just because you are rich. Share your wealth. The big empty house made her more miserable. The fishermen saved her from misery.

p493 – the virtues of sincerity and generosity go together

The virtues of simplicity and generosity can only exist together. They have a total synergy where they complement and strengthen each other.

The Virtue of Sensitivity

This anecdote is inspired by the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Lisa is a nurse caring for a cranky old man who screamed insults at her every day. She was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She sought advice from a pastor who told her, “You cannot be hurt against your will. You have to will it to be hurt.” His words echoed during her sleepless nights. Then she made her move. She smiled every time the old man insulted her. The more he insulted her, the wider her smile, until he gave up. Later on, they became the best of friends.

Lisa underwent a dramatic spiritual transformation. She introduced prayer, meditation and sharing in sessions with all her patients. She discovered that hidden spiritual wounds were healed by simply talking about them. Spiritual healing led to physical healing. She realized later she was becoming a spiritual healer of sorts.

The virtue of Sensitivity simply means listening instead of talking, absorbing valuable wisdom that solves our crises, instead of taking over the conversation. Sarah listened to her son about a ‘ridiculous’ plan to move to a poor man’s village. Lisa listened to the pastor about the wisdom of not getting hurt. Listen before you talk. Sharing, a form of nursing care therapy, heals. Being sensitive to everyone around you heals you and them.

As a columnist for the Inquirer long time ago, I was in a conference with Russian journalists. I took over the conversation, boasting to this Russian columnist that Inquirer had a big circulation of 350,000. When I was finished talking, he simply said that his paper Izvestia had a circulation of 11 million. I blushed with embarrassment.

Sharpen your sensitivity to others. Get out of yourself and reach out and immerse yourself in others. This is the secret to life. This is the cosmic principle of love that heals and emancipates.

The Virtue of Serendipity

p160 – the virtue of serendipity

Serendipity is the skill to stumble ‘accidentally’ on beautiful experiences and beautiful people even without trying. It is partly a psychic gift, which is both innate and acquired. Serendipity leads to creative strategies on how to live life. Please read the author’s experience on serendipity –

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More Inspirational Articles

FOR THOSE WHO NEED HEALING, spiritual or physical (depression, anxiety, loneliness, terminal cancer, covid, diabetes, etc.) – say an online healing prayer with one or both healers below. Terminal patients have been healed in cyberspace. All you need is to have faith –

1) Father Fernando

2) Sr. Raquel Reodica, RVM –

Download free e-book ‘Healing Stories of Sr. Raquel’ at

Author’s book. At age 26, the author (eastwind) drifted through Europe, hitchhiking 25,000 kilometers for three straight years. He wrote a book on his adventures, Wings and Wanderlust. He learned deep insights that radically changed his view of life, which he wants to share with readers looking for themselves or wanting to catch the wind. More about the book =

Author’s Credentials. Blogger – ex-Columnist (Inquirer) – Healing Ministry – ex-Professor (Ateneo University) – Documentary Producer-Director (freelance, ex-ABS-CBN, ex-TVS Tokyo) – ex-Broadcaster (Radio Veritas) – Facebook “Bernie V. Lopez Eastwind” / Pages “Eastwind Journeys and Journals” and “Mary Queen of Peace”.


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