Luab: The meaningful lifestyle-A A +A
Saturday, July 14, 2012
IN our younger days, we worked hard so we could acquire a lot of things. At the start, we were contented to just have one TV set in the living room. Then we decided to have another one in our room. It was the same with most things. First, we bought a regular-sized refrigerator. Then we figured that a freezer would be nice. We then moved on to our washing machine, and we wanted to have a drier too. We needed a car, then we had to have another one. The needs just grew.
It was only when I really had to get rid of the so many things I had acquired all these years that I realized I had several unnecessary items. I gave most of the bigger ones away, but I still had little things to dispose of, like my favorite watercolor set, my game of Monopoly, which I enjoyed playing before, and my beautiful collection of stamps, which I had collected when I was young. Yet all these little things I’ve not even touched for some time. So why did I acquire so many, many things?
The answer came easily to me. I followed everybody else. We work hard to be able to get what we want. That sounds logical. However, were we living a meaningful life?
I found meaning in my life when I started teaching English Communication Arts and Skills to third and fourth year students way back in 1960. My love affair with teaching ended in 1989 when I was caught by CA (cancer). In between, there were relocations where my teaching stint got staggered into parts, but any love for a teaching lifestyle make life worth living.
The manager of our pension house got an offer which would have been difficult to refuse in terms of financial remuneration. However, the minute her stint with us is over, she’ll go back to full-time teaching, which is really her passion. Where does she want to teach? Anywhere near her hometown so she can go back and bring up her kids there. Like me she believes that the simple life is still the best. Hurray for her! I hope she eventually gets her wish!
How about you, dear readers? Do you wake up late, go to the parlor, have lunch, play mahjong and end the day watching TV while your kids are with their nannies most of the time? Do you leave your husband’s meals to the cook and allow him to have his meals alone while you each go your way especially when all the children are grown up?
I will ask my male readers this question too. Do you leave for the office without taking breakfast at home, eat lunch at the club, then go out with the boys for dinner imbibing a few drinks before going home? Do you even recognize your growing children and know who their companions are? Are you a stranger to your wife?
After a lifetime of going about being empty inside without actually noticing the emptiness, now that you’ve reached old age, what is there to look back to?
I guess a great number of us have forgotten what really is our goal in life. With God first in our hearts, were we able to passionately love our husbands, our children so that they become our world and we too become the core of their existence?
Many great men and women have really focused on what to them was meaningful. Some teach children for free, going from town to town. Some join medical missions. Some join spiritual groups that spread the good news. Others reach out by handling seminars on values for free. I guess it’s really a calling to achieve something worthwhile.
Again, one does not need to do great things. Parents can concentrate on teaching and loving their families to the point of great solidarity. Grandparents can focus on showing their grandchildren what values are worth emulating. Anyone can leave an indelible mark in this life. Remember, one good painting does last a lifetime. Good deeds go a long way too.
There are men and women who have been labeled “buotan” (basically very good) by their peers. Now is really the time to look back and check if your contribution to our small world has been marked. If not, it’s never too late to start!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 15, 2012.