“Mano Po” is a practice in the Philippine culture of respect and honor. It is taught at a young age and practiced all their life. When someone enters into the home or presence of someone older than them they ask “Mano Po” … which is a request to take the right hand of the elder person and press it to their forehead. It is a gesture of respect and honor and a request of blessing from that person. This is more than just a gesture though. It is an attitude which is constant in their life … and is displayed by this amazing custom.
I am humbled and honored whenever this happens. Being from America … we have forgotten how to respect elders. In fact there are many things we have lost over the past 50 years in our American culture which used to have an important place … Like honoring men and their place of leadership in the home … respecting the family unit (husband & wife) … discipline and guidance of children … honoring the wisdom and role of our elders … and … most important of all … keeping God at the center of everything. While the Philippines is not a perfect place … and considered to be a “third world country” … THESE are traditions and practices which are very much a part of life here in this amazing country.
When I was a boy during the 1950’s I remember many of these concepts and practices of honor and respect being carried out in our country … BUT THINGS HAVE CHANGED … and disturbingly … not to the better. America is a great country and I am still very proud to be an American citizen. I am also deeply saddened that I had to come to the opposite side of the world to recognize and experience what used to be prevalent in our culture back home.
I am normally not a negative person … and certainly don’t mean to be here … I just want to draw attention to something we are losing in my homeland which will ultimately destroy our culture and our nation … The rapid erosion of the foundation America was built upon which made her a great nation. Those building blocks that made our country the strongest nation in the world are the same principles being practiced here in the Philippines: The respect for marriage (man & woman) … The honor due to men who are leaders in the home … respect and honor given to our elders … and keeping God in the center of our lives. THIS is the foundation which made America great … and the destruction of these things will be the fall of our society as we know it.
I am determined to do MY PART … and in the words of a man in history who was honored and respected in his home and culture said: “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” While I can attempt to spread my influence outside my home … I only have control over my home and these are the basic principles that I will see are practiced and carried out in my home. I will change my world … by starting at home … and starting with ME!
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