SIMPLE LIFE LESSONS WE DERIVE FROM DAILY EVENTS
Years ago, I saw and heard on TV a popular movie actress, together with her friends, announcing the establishment of a foundation that would assist people who are stricken with cancer. The foundation was in honor of her late husband, who recently died of a similar illness. I also heard of survivors of tragedies making similar advocacies. How many other similar stories have we heard?
Oftentimes, with few exceptions, it’s only after we experience these life-changing events and heart-opening moments that we are triggered to do something for others. If only for this, illness and tragedies serve as a catalyst and meaningful reminder of my, our, as well as others’ frailties as human beings and how we need to do something good for each other in these times of difficulties.
When I was still in Quezon City, I used to walk from my place going to the MRT to get to my workplace in Makati. Every morning, I would always see this female stray dog that had been loitering in the street. It seems her owners abandoned her. No one seemed interested in adopting her, and she sustained herself scavenging leftover food in the garbage brought out by the homeowners every morning to be picked by the garbage collector. Whenever I bring home leftover food from the office, I would just feed her. Early on, the dog looked fine and healthy and even bore puppies along the roadside. But as the days went by, the dog’s condition fast deteriorated. I did not see her for several days until I saw her in a very sorry state. The time came when her intestines could be seen coming out of her female organ. What amazes me is that she continued to live her life despite her condition with no trace of giving up. She continued with her life even if she was in the worst condition.
Corollary, with all the problems that confront us individually and collectively as a nation, especially those who have less or nothing in life, one can easily succumb to a state of helplessness and hopelessness. Yet, many with seemingly insurmountable problems continue to live and hope for the better. But ironically, those who have more reason to live are the ones engulfed with fear or who gave up and felt helpless and hopeless.
There was a time when riding the MRT and LRT early in the morning, piles of “Libre” newspapers were given free to passengers in different stations. Since the said tabloids were given free, it was a pathetic sight to see passengers rush in mad scramble (even to the point of hurting each other) just to get not one but several copies, thus depriving more people of the opportunity to be informed of the day’s news. I would wonder why they would get more copies when one would be enough and allow a lot of others to have their own copies. A classic case of “kaswapangan,” a sad spectacle of scarcity mentality. Days later, at Ortigas and Taft stations, I noticed that persons had been assigned to distribute the tabloids to ensure that one passenger gets only one copy. On the upside, employment was generated (not enough justification to justify such behavior).
Come to think of it, while we are encouraged to share what we can and want to share, we are not obliged if we have nothing to share, but let it not be a reason and an excuse to deprive others of their rightful share.
There are so many things in life that many of us just ignore or brush aside. With the so many problems and challenges we face in our daily existence, we seem not to care anymore about what’s happening around us. We become indifferent and choose to be uninvolved in the world we are very much a part of. We cannot isolate ourselves from the concerns of the world that we live in. And whether we like it or not, consciously or unconsciously, these events and experiences will continue to affect us in one way or the other. It is worthwhile to see ourselves in the context of what is happening around us, for it is the ordinary events and experiences in our lives that will provide us with the powerful lessons that we can learn from that hopefully can bring about and transform us into much better and worthy persons that we all ought to be.