Christmas is here, but at what cost is Pride and Dignity?
By: Graham C. Lim
Happiness is when one is free from any suffering and living in peace.
Loneliness is when friends turn their backs against you and leave you in the pits even when you are already down and out.
Pride has a crazy way to behave irrationally but dignity in a principled person does not hesitate in good or bad times. Faith is undiminished and righteousness is never compromised.
When I sing to one of my favorite Frank Sinatra’s songs, “Let Me Try Again,” I feel consoled in that, it affords me the hope to continue my journey in life while numbing the noisiness of the outside world. It gives me the strength to preserve my dignity without compromising my life principles no matter how uncertain is the world we now live in.
Sinatra echoes the following words in his immortal song:
I know I said that I was leaving,
But I just couldn’t say good-bye.
It was only self-deceiving
To walk away from someone who
Means everything in life to you.
You learn from every lonely day
I’ve learned and I’ve come back to stay.
Let me try again; Let me try again.
As Secretary-General of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) in exile, some greedy officials in the basketball community continue to harass me through their subalterns, seeking to stop me by all means from returning to my land of birth after eight years of forced exile brought about my participation in the local sports scene.
Dirty money is overflowing. It is being offered to people out to work for my return to the Philippines by corrupt and insidious sports officials out to derail my return at all costs.
And it appears the devil’s hands are in motion for justice remains elusive until now.
Pride is not an answer to suffering. Those people who have benefited financially from my suffering and hardship are much worse than the castrated animals.
Personal gain from somebody’s dire situation is so inhumane. It hits one in the guts when his dignity is being trampled in the name of the almighty peso.
That Justice is not for sale is the universal credo. But in reality, it is not. And in my case, it is not.
After eight long years, there are still some unconscionable people who continue to wish me ill and sell their souls in exchange for monetary gains. So inhumane they are in their insatiable thirst for money and power.
The BAP was its target and its Secretary-General was its victim. Power was usurped by its organizational rival in return for material considerations and in conspiracy with the old, gullible International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Secretariat that was decimated by the loss of two key members in the past two years, Patrick Baumann and Borislav Stankovic. Bob Elphinston remains from the Three Stooges but he may be on the way out as the new FIBA hierarchy now tries to regain its tarnished image, and hopefully turn away from the remaining leftovers of the old regime.
That the BAP was illegally ousted from the FIBA in favor of the SBP, unilaterally setting aside the provisions in the 2007 Bangkok Agreement, was the handiwork of Baumann and company, who were wined and dined in the country before settling the issue in favor of the SBP for millions of reasons.
I am a person who respects institutions that have legal rules to stand on. I am supported by many respectable personalities, from friends to members of the associations, schools and universities clubs, and league-organizations from all over the country who have not been tempted by the color of the money and have steadfastly remained loyal to the BAP in the purity of its objectives.
“The evil that men do they sell their soul to the devil; the good that men do they keep their dignity and principles intact.”
For those people that continue to wish ill of me, it won’t be long before the long arms of Universal Karma catch up with you. That I can guarantee in the name of Justice.
To my genuine friends and loyal associates, a Merry Christmas to all of you!
There’s no turning back but only “One More Try” in my life narrative and God willing, there will not only be peace and happiness for me and my family, but also Justice.
Before the altar of Justice, I guarantee you that my dignity and principles will remain intact until I breathe my last.