Wednesday, February 4, 2009
FRIENDS ARE MORE THAN WHAT THE MIND CAN COMPREHEND.
FRIENDS ARE MORE THAN WHAT GOD CAN GIVE.
AND FRIENDS ARE MORE THAN ONE REASON TO SURVIVE.
BECAUSE FRIENDS ARE EXTRA-ORDINARY INDIVIDUALS THAT ONE MUST BE CRAZY TO GIVE UP!
“The planet Earth is the only entity in the universe that we know can sustain life, and at that, a very intelligent life. We don’t want to lose this planet Earth; otherwise, maybe, the Earth will just be so empty without any life on it.” – Dr. Josefino Comiso
Before, when a child was asked to describe the environment, the typical answer would be: “Oh, the tree, beside the clear blue river, is full of fruits, beside the tree, are flowers of different colors. The tree also had a nest for the birds, and a whole in the middle for the owls.” This was the common answer, which soon became the typical drawing of the environment. Now, if a child is asked to describe the environment, generally, the thought would be: “The river is black in color, maybe because of the factory beside it, it smells so bad because of the garbage bags floating on it, and there are no more trees near here.”
This quick change in scenario happened within the past 20 years. These two decades changed so much of what the world is. The world is no longer a place to enjoy living in, but a place to live in, and impossible to enjoy. So many terrible things happened because less logical things were done.
From signature clothes, internationally imported goods, adopted teleseyes, gameshows and reality shows, to poor Peso quality, corrupt government officials and empty progress promises, the Philippine society has much yet under its wings. They said that the Philippines, as a country, is rich because of its agricultural lands and rivers. However, in account of this problem of global warming, the only thing Filipinos “have” will be gone. What was held dear for hundreds of generations, protected by dozens of cultures will be washed away, literally, just because the Filipinos today did not care.
The Philippine society is now seeing so much, to care intensely about the soil they’re standing on. From the questionable and incapable governance of the present administration to the rapid alarming rise in prices of necessities, it is just too much for the Filipinos to handle… or is it? There are people who are aware of the current uprising of global warming, yet still stand unaware and rely on petty excuses of having a poor government. There are still people who admittedly know what things strengthens the problem, yet still sits down, drink a cup of coffee, and point fingers at each other. In addition, there are still people who deliberately ignore the problem being too busy or thinking that it’ll be far-fetched for them to be involved in this problem. If that is the case, the water levels will continue to rise, forest fires will continue to burn its raging mockery, the ice caps will continue to fall, and thousands of species will be gone.
Just because children focus more on playing online games, just because adults focus on making a living, politicians want to earn more than celebrities, the government wants more industries than trees, and the people preferring a good contraceptive over a well living planet. This is an embarrassing way to go down. It’s just ironic to see people in the Philippines demanding a solution to this problem while belching smokes from their vehicles, using harmful pesticides, and waiting for someone else to do the dirty work.
The documentary, “Signos”, showed the relevance and the rather great effects present in the islands of the Philippines by the infamous global warming. It cited events and occurrences that strengthen the claim of immediate address to solve global warming. And included the voices of respected intellectuals in the said field, including Dr. Comiso of NASA.
The rivers of Manila are overflowing, the ecosystems in rural areas are being converted into land of industrial factories, the temperature increased by a centigrade, when it is sunny, the sun burns through the skin, and when it rains, the water swallows thousands of houses and buildings. If this scenario does not initiate mobilization, nothing will. A new dilemma should not be anticipated before doing an action. Does action need dozens more floods, thousands more of lives, millions more of destroyed houses, before it occurs. Right in front of Philippine populace lies the reason to act out. What is experienced by the society is more than enough for, at least, even half of the mass to mobilize. But, evidently, nothing is accomplished.
The thing is, again, there are Filipinos who does not see the point of helping solve the problem, because, probably, they live on a high ground, or the effects of global warming will be felt a decade from now. Ignorance, evidently, is the first wave of defense, therefore ignorance must be the first thing to solve. It’s illogical, and at the same time, immoral to look on the opposite direction when fellow Filipinos, and the rest of the world, are crying, reaching out their hand for help. It is not so much to do something big, but the mere recognition and effort to help is more than of a contribution a single person can make.
This problem requires an intricate, long and step-by-step process, not an immediate show of force, like rallies and threats, that Filipinos are familiar and well accustomed to. if solutions get postponed like this, for time-to-time, then this solution can never be done. Nothing can be achieved, because no one dared to start. The scientists today, and probably some concerned, can never be enough to make up for those who do not. What is required here is a general motion, a step that has to be done by the whole society, in unison, with consent, and with dedication.
This generation has to refuse to be that generation when everything went wrong - when blue rivers seemed to never have existed, when birds never seemed to sang, where swimming in rivers seemed impossible, when living never seemed to be fun. This generation has to make its mark, that, yes; this is the time when problems aroused, but was massively answered.
In the Philippine history, we were fine portraits of interesting cultures. We were living a way-of-life we could have been proud of. The white Philippine canvass was painted with a black ink that shouts individuality, beliefs, personality and a different culture. We were who we should have been. We could have been unique, we could have been different, we could have been interesting and we could have been ourselves. But thanks to the American, Spanish, Japanese and other countries’ influences, we are now the same as the rest of the globe. We are now just another state following what we were taught to as – “the right and only way of living”.
It is as if our canvass was being colored by a complicated fusion of colors. Our way of life disappeared. The supposedly different drawing was being colored just like kindergarteners do. No space was left unshaded, every inch of our cultural sketch was being overpowered by the colors of other countries. Moreover, the sad fact about this is: the coloring happened without the Filipinos noticing it, the Filipino people took concern years too late of the transformation.
The foreigners were successful in claiming themselves triumphant in giving us a “way-of-life”. HA! They were successful alright, successful in making us live like they do. But they weren’t to blame, the Filipinos, in one way or another, allowed the transformation to happen. Our grasp to our old customs were so weak that with few dictions of faith, we easily let go. Even now, we are still in the process of transformation, and our society is not doing ANYTHING to prevent it.
Our simple, fine and complete black and white sketch was ruined by the presence of colors. The colonizers may have given us the lifestyle we have now. But the fact remains that we had our own, but they erased it and developed their own. The Spanish, American, European lifestyles are not the only lifestyles, we had our own, but our grip to it was not strong enough.
People often find their meaning in life whether it is consciously or not. We either find things to keep us occupied, people to share it with, or set goals, be it materially or not. When finding this certain meaning each person has, people now have a reason to survive – to fulfill that particular goal. Thus, survival is not what defines life, for survival is merely a process in which man undertakes in search for the accomplishment of their previously set goal.
In the book, Dr. Viktor Frankl found various reasons to strive to survive the concentration camp: (1) to meet his (hopefully alive) wife; (2) to rewrite his lecture; and (3) to start a peaceful life anew. With this, I too have found reason in life: for my life, my career and a stable life.
Dr. Frankl did everything that has to be done for his survival, and so have I, am, and will. I too have a goal and it withheld, not by walls and brutalities of a concentration camp. I, as I may say, am still in that stage where I am learning the in’s and out’s of practical human survival – survival in everyday life (food, school, family, etc.)
It’s funny that as difficult as it is for Dr. Frankl to find a lavish meal inside camp, is the same as it is for me to experience a relatively problem-free day.
Perhaps it is that I live life on the reason of betterment, which upon thinking, is a vague and abstract goal to begin with. Nevertheless, living a life with reason is far better than reasonably living a life. I have a goal, a vague one, but still, I aim for its accomplishment, and perhaps, in time, I will find a better one.
Dr. Frankl presented logotherapy, which is pretty much described above. Man has to find his meaning, hence the title of the book, for it is in this special meaning that man sees reason to live on.
This concept seemed to be a “common-sense” thought once read, but neverwould I thought that this concept should somehow be a definition of life. In other words, it would be a natural idea that man needs reason to live and that it defines the way that particular person lives, but it is an intricate thought that this search for meaning is in itself an encompassing lifestyle for society.
Let me quote a paragraph from Dr. Viktor Frankl, for it is in this paragraph that I found essence from what he meant.
A mother of a boy who had died at the age of eleven years was telling her story. “At the death of her boy she was left alone with another, older son, who was crippled… she, however, rebelled against her fate. But when she tried to commit suicide together with him, it was the crippled son who prevented her from doing so; he liked living! For him, life had remained meaningful…” And so Dr. Frankl participated in the discussion, he asked the lady to imagine herself as an eighty-year-old woman looking back on her life. This is what she said: “Oh, I married a millionaire, I had an easy life… but now I am eighty; I have no children of my own… I cannot see what all that was for; actually, I must say, my life was a failure!” Then Dr. Frankl asked her to look back on her real life, this is what she said: “I wished to have children and this wish has been granted to me; one boy died; the other, however, the crippled one, would have been sent to an institution if I had not taken over his care. Though he is crippled and hopeless, he is after all my boy. And so I have made a fuller life possible for him… as for myself, I can look back peacefully on my life; for I can say my life was full of meaning, and I have tried hard to fulfill it; I have done my best – I have done the best for my son. My life was no failure!”
Dr. Viktor Frankl, however seemingly uninspired with a lecture-type presentation, succeeded in introducing n excellent concept to the readers. It is no doubt that Dr. Frankl is as well respected in his field, and by the society.
Everyone wants to die knowing that they had reason to live or to at least lay on their deathbed and have done every possible way to fulfill this meaning.
In line with Leonardo Dicaprio’s “Eleventh Hour”, man’s current inquisition led to certain mishappenings that will seemingly be experienced by this and future generations. This film presented the infamous global warming – its effects, causes and some solutions.
Man should be held liable for what he experiences today – that is a remark often spoken, a rather assertion of a “karma” system with which complaints will be considered stupid. It is the man who first chopped the trees, threw trash on the lake, built smoke-producing companies, invented gadgets that required the use of fuel, and ignored the prior signs of this global problem. If it is man who started this, then man should experience the consequences of what he has done, nothing is to be questioned, no one is to be blamed but those who blame themselves.
Yes, it is man who surrendered to the force of societal improvement, but admission of fault is not enough. Admitting and asserting that man is guilty and is deserving of what is currently happening is just an illogical statement to banner-up humor to a serious problem. Maybe that man is the proponent, but that fact alone is just an in-the-air line that strikes people with its cruel irony that will eventually cause the lives of everyone. Yes, it maybe that man is the abuser in this story. There are those who intentionally neglected the laws, nonetheless, the responsibilities of a sensible citizen. There are people who chose to cut down trees, use harmful products, fire-up the engines of their cars without considering the precautions and warnings given by those in the academic community.
Again, admission alone is not enough; it can only be the first step towards a good thing. What the world needs now is action.
Some people say: that what’s the use in abstinence or following the rules, when there are still those who chose not to; some say that it’s too late to turn around and it will be more practical to just live what the world is now to the fullest. Statements like these are those that prohibit society from improvement, solutions and life. These are rather pessimistic assertions made by those who either know little about the current situation or know nothing about what to do. If man “caused” these problems, then man can certainly find the answers.
I believe that the populace, in general, has the ability, the knowledge, the resources, the machinery and the will to solve this long-term problem. “Eleventh Hour” cited some solutions that are consequentially doable, but nonetheless pointing to the right direction, answers provided by those who know. However, these solutions are just intangible, inexistent and far-fetched terms and jargons that would mean nothing unless executed. That is, I believe, where man comes in. It is up to the “average-Joes”, to the “working-man”, the “college-boy”, the “housewife” and the rest of the society to make these solutions answers to the problem. Statements as those mentioned are just minor set-backs when one look at it.
If man has the arms, the legs, the heart and the mind, and if global warming is a massive problem against the human race, then responding to this problem would require billions of arms and legs, a billion of burning hearts and understanding minds.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I did not choose to love you,
Love chose me for you, you for me,
I did not choose to think of you,
Every minute, everyday, all the time.
I did not know why I love you,
But I know…
Why wherever you are, light shines,
Why every time you talk, I am silent,
How your smile brings joy,
How your company makes me secure,
Of that four-letter word,
Your smile, your face, your voice,
Your company, warmth, care and embrace,
Are my seven wonders.
For with them I hold,
Hold the world’s beauty –
All in one.
I walked with a smile to the floor,
Went up and turned my bedroom door,
Tiptoed aimlessly to the stairs,
Slept contentedly to the door,
Locked carefully across my face,
Opened joyfully on my bed,
Sat privately the knob…
I walked aimlessly to the door,
Opened and turned the knob,
Tiptoed carefully across the floor,
Went up, joyfully, the stairs,
Locked, privately, my bedroom door,
Sat contentedly on my bed,
Slept with a smile on my face.
All because you said “YES.”