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Harsh Realities

“What is reality anyway! It’s nothing but a collective hunch” Jane Wagner, American writer

As the clock begins to click a few milliseconds from 5:00 p.m. each day of my life working, since first month of 2010, in a place that has a reputation of being Paleolithic in the way it looks at it, it is not the failure of doing my cyclic duty of punching out that I am so worried about, nor is it the thought of finding the most socially acceptable way to steadfastly survive multitudinous, rigorous requisites of work. It is undeniably the tedious process of debriefing and redebriefing myself, apparently on the unethical way of dealing with people, as can be observed in the office.  It costs me my life sluggishly, the kind of life I have long dreamed of having — simple but happy and, more importantly, purpose-driven.

I am literally sad and lonely and am literally beginning to lose track of the directions I want to tread through. There can never be any plausible cause to deny this fact of being sad and lonely and of having somehow gone awry in the face of adversities that I have experienced while striving hard to create, in this place better known as The Steward of the Two Holiest Mosques, a name in the profession that is itself my life I should live through all these years.  There also can never be any logical reason to believe that because I chose this profession I should be treated indifferent and nonchalant by no less than my colleagues of the same aborigines.  

Like others, I am no extraordinary individual.  Like others, I am an ordinary mortal who weaves ordinary thoughts in words that may matter to all and sundry.  However, I am unique in my own way, a way that is often misunderstood but truly defines who I am in the menagerie — beyond the four corners of the office — that is this world, where stratification of people by social class is a norm and where disregarding such stratification, which standardizes behavioral manifestations, is a no-no. After all, we are in the same kingdom working in the Kingdom and for the Kingdom, outside of our own. To say then, for the sake of immortalizing our bitter memories of our work experiences in this place, that we are slaves in the kingdom away from ours may even be an understatement of our status as indefatigable workers demonized by others of different aborigines to engage us in a cut-throat competition for a strong spring of sources of income.  We merely became obsequious in order to survive in a competition like this. 

In fact, as of this writing, I begin to think more deeply about what must have lain beyond the four corners of our office that sees Filipinos disennobled by different forms and faces of abuses perpetuated by Arabic bosses micromanaging them, including me. I also begin to ask myself more realistically what will have become of me after being in various situations that I might inevitably accept as part of the harsh realities of life.  This is but an exposition of what I truly feel about the situations I am in, a type of oration allocuted not to call for a big number of audiences who may not care about my sufferings and those of many others.  This is but a sort of expose not made to enlist the help of the irresponsible among our government officials.  They cannot help. 

For more than a decade of being an HR practitioner, I can undoubtedly say the ennobling and disennobling nexuses of realities have sunk deeper into my consciousness starting when I grabbed the opportunity to work in a manufacturing firm run by people with, to say the least, a depraved heart.  Different people have a mind of their own.  They think, act and do, as they do.  They are dynamic.  It is dynamism, deep within themselves, that propels them to think, act and do.  It is same dynamism that coerces them to pursue what they think, act and do — sometimes even if it is beyond the bounds of propriety. 

Astoundingly, the recent spate of events in the office is proof enough for me to conclude that the well-ingrained office politics is indeed a real threat to the entire well-being of the employees and that it diminishes the value of each nugget of wisdom left in their young noggins.  It leads to the creation of a professional vacuum that predisposes an attitude of indifference and nonchalance from whence spring a multitude of rackety problems. Employees are dishing out a breakfast of disses and spitting out a dinner of messes.  That’s reality.


About Danilo Tao-tuan Naraja

I am an expatriate based in Jubail, Saudi Arabia and work in the Admin and HR Division of an oil and gas company. I am an HR practitioner for more than a decade. I used to work for a Cebu-based local newspaper. I love to write human interest stories and started writing when I was still in high school.


11 thoughts on “Harsh Realities

  1. Good morning Danilo,

    Sorry to be so long replying to you. In spite of our circumstances we must cling to the Word of God which says “This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it,” (Psalm 118:24 NAS). I cannot begin to imagine the culture and boundaries that constrain you–but God knows where you are and He loves you.

    After our 28-year-old daughter died eleven years ago I began to learn the very hard lesson of choosing to rejoice, each day, because the Lord had made the day and it was good because of Him. These past eleven years have taught me that my focus must be fixed on Him, every moment of every day, if I am to survive and accomplish the purpose He set for me. God is not shocked with your situation, sweetheart. He knew about it and you before the foundation of the world. Like Ava Elizabeth quoted Jesus’ invitation to you, “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest.” Danilo, He is faithful and will give you comfort and peace no matter the situation or place you find yourself.

    I agree with Ava, you are a marvelous writer. My daddy taught me, “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Keep wielding that pen sweet friend. Not only will God give you rest, Danilo. He is the author of courage and inspiration to be all that He plans for you to be. Choose to rejoice in this day because the Lord made it, He made you, and He is good.

    Please let me know how I can pray for you. I’m delighted to have you follow my blog even though my words aren’t as eloquent as yours. Perhaps the Lord will use my mother’s heart to convey His comfort and encouragement to you this day.

    Waiting to hear from you and may God bless you and cause His face to shine on you.



    Posted by dianegates | July 12, 2012, 2:30 pm
    • Hi Ms. Diane,

      It is indeed an honor to have you not as a fellow blogger alone but as an inspiration as well. I haven’t expected you’d spend your precious time to write me a very inspiring message. Thank you so much for it. The death of my mother two years ago has been the heaviest burden I have been carrying over and over again, day by day, so that I felt I lost my courage to live life through, until I read your message. As I know, as much as you do, it is not easy to accept the loss of a loved one, especially a mother. While you successfully coped with what you’d gone through with the death of your daughter, I didn’t. I am still thinking of my mother. I am still dreaming of her. I cannot sleep without remembering all the best things she has done to me, continuously saying words of regrets for not spending much of my time with her and for being unable to say in words how much I loved her. I love her so much, even now. I cry each time I remember her. I have retrogressed, I know. With your fervent prayers I wish I could unload much of this burden caused by her death. I still could not accept the fact that she is not anymore with me. I have felt so empty until now.

      I look forward to hearing more from you.



      Posted by Danilo Tao-tuan Naraja | July 17, 2012, 3:38 pm
  2. Danilo,

    You “liked” and subscribed to my modest blog, so I thought I’d check out yours… First please allow me to say that you are a PHENOMENAL writer with a command for the English language that simply blows me away. You have a gift my friend.

    Next, I want you to know that I subscribed to your blog too. I have only read “Harsh Realities” so far, but will read more when time allows.

    My favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you; declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you; Plans to give you a hope and a future.”

    My darling friend, remember that even Jesus Himself was despised and rejected by His own people. And precious, I just want you to know that you are not alone. I live in the US…in Fort Worth, TX. I may be far away, but I would like to be your friend. You see, friends live in our hearts.

    Beloved, I will pray for you. Use your gift as a writer as an outlet for your emotions. I am here to listen and encourage you. You just contact me anytime. It would be an honor and a pleasure to listen to your wisdom and to give you an opportunity to just vent.

    Remember that you are God’s child. He chose you before the beginning of time and He loves you with a love that is so profound that human minds simply cannot comprehend it. You are beautiful…and I think you are perfect the way you are. Jesus says, “Come to me, all ye who are weary, and I will give you rest.” Lay your burdens at the foot of the cross, Beloved and rest…

    I too have always worried about whether or not people like me. It’s like…I have 1 million friends who love and adore me…..but then if “one” person didn’t get the memo about my awesomeness (lol)–then I freak out and put all my focus on that one person! This is no way to live! Surround yourself with love and with people who will affirm you and hold you up. What happens at work…leave it at work. You are only there to get a paycheck. Those people there…well there approval is neither required nor desired!!! And personally I feel sorry for these schmucks as they are missing out on the joy of knowing you!

    I pray for peace for you, Danilo. And I pray that will feel the Agape love that Christ has for you!

    I am glad to have met you and have been blessed by your writings. You are a star. Keep shining, my brother…KEEP shining!

    I hope to hear from you soon!

    God’s very best,
    Ava Elizabeth Wisdom


    Posted by Ava Elizabeth Wisdom | June 30, 2012, 12:19 pm
    • Hi Ms. Ava, thank you so much for your message, which is among the nicest I have ever received. It has encouraged me to move on with life somehow unruffled by harsh situations like what I am now going through. By the way, I so like your blog, especially the topic on single parenthood, as it made me become more grateful of the sufferings of my mother who single-handedly brought us up after my father left us when I was still a grader. I would all the more be reading your encouraging articles. Keep up the good work, my friend! 🙂


      Posted by Danilo Tao-tuan Naraja | June 30, 2012, 3:25 pm
  3. Hi there, Danilo! The harsh reality is…
    the more we know, the more we suffer.
    But, might this suffering be self-induced?

    Extraordinary expectations get the best of us.
    Aim high, yes! For who knows, except ye that knock?

    Peace to you, good fellow! Uncle Tree 🙂


    Posted by Uncle Tree | June 30, 2012, 10:55 am
  4. These are but passing clouds. You will overcome, I’m sure of that, Danilo. Hang in there tight.


    Posted by readinpleasure | June 28, 2012, 5:51 pm
  5. Keep the faith Danilo! I’ve been there before.


    Posted by Leslye "JOY" Allen | June 28, 2012, 6:03 am

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