IN CELEBRATING National Teachers’ Month on September 5 to October 5 this year, kindly reflect on this question. Are you still young to succeed or too old so you need to retire? If your answer to this question is yes, you have to opt changing your line of thinking.
Life is short enough for those who have everything to give and long enough for those who are fed up of even extending their hands to offer a little help. However, it is not the quantity of years you stayed on earth but the quality of your presence that counts. Come judgment day, you will not be asked how long have you lived, instead, how worthy your presence was while you were on earth.
So while we are still alive and kicking, why not we examine our life. Let us reflect on how we can make it meaningful for ourselves and fruitful to others. Only when we can confidently say, that we are worthy of the life God lend to us that we can be happier as a human being.
Let us go back to the question, are you still young or old enough? What is the ripe age to succeed? Based on experience, research and queries from people of various age groups, age is immaterial when we are talking about success.
One best example is Jeremy Lim of Singapore who at the age of 11 already became the Young Ambassador of the National Kidney Foundation Children's Medical Fund. He was a storytelling champion for three times and two-time double gold medallist in an international Mathematics and English competition organized by the University of New South Wales in Australia
He was then featured in various newspapers and periodicals and on television because of his achievements. His picture even graced the front page of The New Paper on Sunday, 11 March 2001 which he jestingly said not because of his good looks but to show that children like him can also be an inspiration.
For Jeremy, learning is joy. It is full of excitement and loves every minute of it. He said that attending the various classes gives him the opportunity to develop himself intellectually, socially and emotionally. What he cannot achieve physically, he makes up for it through conquests that require brain power.
In achieving those milestones in his life, Jeremy, like other grateful achievers owe much of what he is now to the school principal of his school, Pei Chun Public School, Mr Chen Keng Juan who has been so kind to him in giving him chance to develop his potential. Jeremy said that he is a man who believes that every child can make a difference and he lives by that philosophy. That is why Jeremy oweMr Chen a debt of gratitude. He recalled that his parents had to go school hunting. Except for one, all the schools they approached turned them away as if he was suffering from some dreadful contagious disease. The rest was history.
Jeremy's life is not a bed of roses, in fact the opposite. He recalled that his life is full of unpredictable accidents. It is impossible to tell which bone will break next. A born fighter, one philosophy keeps him going is he may not be able to control the waves in his journey through life but nothing is going to stop him from learning to surf.
In his website, http://www.jeremylim.com/, Jeremy has this to say to everyone as source of inspiration to succeed like him amidst the odds in life: I am a fighter not a quitter. If necessary, I will climb the highest mountain to get what I want. You may say that it is difficult or impossible. It is my mountain. I will climb up or crawl up. Believe me, I will!
If Jeremy who is young and could not exert his full physical might was able to do it, anyone who has the drive to make a difference in his life can do it.
Believe me, you will!
Director’s Cut: (This portion features the thoughts of lawyer Alberto Escobarte, CESO IV, Regional Director, DepEd-Davao to all stakeholders and recipients of the efforts to improve the basic education). "Let me assure you that in the performance of my official duties and even my private acts will be guided and guarded by my Oath of Office, The Panunumpa ng Kawani ng Gobyerno, the Philippine Constitution and all the laws that govern our actions.”
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