Luab: Comfort zones are really hiding places-A A +A
Saturday, November 2, 2013
WE have often heard these expressions: “Don’t rock the boat.” We might sink! And “don’t poke the bear.” He might attack! Some people like to play it safe all their lives. How sad!
When we were much, much younger, we took risks! We had such a lively spirit of adventure. We thrived on new experiences like getting lost in the hills after dark because we couldn’t find our way home. Eventually our parents sent a posse after us. We received a terrific scolding but after a month or so, we were ready to blaze new trails uphill in search of fruits that were freely shared by farmers back then. We would come home loaded with sereguelas, guavas, tambis and if we were very lucky, sweet, luscious mangoes.
Parents were more permissive then. For a time, I was an only daughter, yet my mother allowed me to swim in the deep waters at the pier where ships docked to haul cement. A group of us were allowed to jump from the ship in gleeful abandon into the deep blue waters.
I suffer though, in a way, for my grandchildren. My daughters would rather have them cavort in the shallow end of the swimming pools they frequent under the watchful eyes of a lifeguard. But what about the joy of seeing fishes circling around your legs even in the shallow waters of the sea? What about snorkeling?
My spirit of adventure continued in college. We lent our lungs, our energies to join rallies to fight for causes we believed in. My University of the Philippines (UP) days were full of running for cover when we voiced our beliefs in actions that were not accepted by the institution, especially when we asked the Board of Regents to give us a new UP president. We never thought of rallies then as fun for they were never that. It was however an adventure into life which up to this day we still treasure.
What about people taking a chance at love? So many spouses today speak lovingly of the hard times they underwent when they decided to break away from mom and dad’s apron strings to navigate their own canoe in the river of the life they chose. For those who went hungry, those who had to rent a room for their living quarters, those who had to “beg, borrow or steal” in order to survive, today they look back with pride at the degree of accomplishments they have met and made.
The Gospels lately speak of going beyond, of doing much more because that is what we must do in order to follow Christ. In order to own the treasure, we have to buy the land first where the treasure is buried. In order to get the biggest pearl, we have to sell everything first to be able to buy it. So much has to be given up if we want the best of life. That of course means getting out of the comfort zone.
Only recently, the apostle Luke spoke of people “who are given much.” He said, “Much will be expected. To those who are given much more, much more too will be expected.” This really is a tough order, one we cannot comply with inside our comfort zone.
Two days after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol, none of us would take the elevator in our condo. The thought of being trapped there if a strong tremor would occur scared us. Today, many of us have returned to taking the elevator but in my case, the minute the door closes and I push the button of the floor I want to reach, I pray. Then I immediately jump out of the elevator with a prayer of thanks, with a brief rush of a thrill as I reach my destination. Gleeful as a child I pat myself on the shoulder! Crazy?
Maybe? At least I’m alive.
So allow me to start with my usual tickling of your thoughts. Are you so complacent with your life that you simply sit by the side of your road and watch the others have fun? Can you truthfully say that you took the risk of paying somebody a richly deserved complement? Did you worry about what she might deduce from your words?
Many of us refrain from reaching out. Sometimes people we care for leave for Home and we can’t reach them anymore. How ironic it is for us to be so fearful of risks that we miss out on the passion, the excitement, the adventure of being alive!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 03, 2013.