We cannot be apathetic

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By Evelyn R. Luab

Light Sunday

Sunday, March 16, 2014


There was a time in the early 1900s when we thought that cancer only occurred in remote places. We kept on eating without choosing healthy food, gorged on snacks, sugar-laden delicacies, red meat and allowed ourselves to be under stress.

Today our doctors have their hands full of cancer patients and a variety of cancer types. Now we are more mindful of what we eat and we do try to avoid stress among other things.

Not so very long ago, we watched trucks carrying logs one after the other as we traveled in Mindanao. We noticed them and blamed the government for not stopping them. Did we think of tree planting or expanding our mangroves then? After so many lives lost we now believe in a wise saying that “Planting trees saves lives.”

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Allow me now to voice our wail as I echo our group’s concern during our sharing session last Mar. 7 and 8 during our Lenten retreat under Sr. Sonia Arao of the Cenacle sisters. During the discussion of fasting, we were led into a better way of fasting by acting positively on our loss of values.

Here are questions you too might like to reflect on during Lent. Do you still fl inch when you see the people shivering at night when you see them on pavements along the streets? Are you unaffected by the use of cyber sex, about parents using their own little ones to perform lascivious acts? When you read of incest, do you just flip the paper to the next page? Is rape just a common occurrence to you?

Have you noticed that the hawkers now are getting younger and younger? We have 15- or 14-year-olds enticing taxi drivers. Money really is the root of most evil and disappointment.

We also don’t even let out a cry of disgust about the raising of P350 million to prepare a building to house religious visitors for the Eucharistic Congress. This extravagance is very disturbing in the face of the disaster victims whose houses and means of livelihood have been lost.

Where do the majority of the church leaders stand on this expenditure? I am just referring to the portion of the unfeeling church. There has been a tremendous response from beautiful bishops, nuns and priests on their own, who went into so much work, so much tireless work to help feed, shelter and rehabilitate the disaster victims.

It is sad though that there are still more parishes interested in renovating a church that has already been renovated.

I wonder what Pope Francis would have to say of mansions, swimming pools, beach resorts and luxury cars. Of course, I’m just disappointed in a certain few but something should be done about their lifestyle. We are not blind to priests who walk to Cebu Velez General Hospital, Chong Hua Hospital or Perpectual Succour Hospital because their allowance cannot be stretched to afford taxi rides. I have not exempted the church because it is so unfair just to castigate our government for the plight of the poor.
The church too must do its share.

We as individual members of the church have our own share of blame.
We have been apathetic to what is happening all around us. In the meantime, those of us who were in the March 7-8 retreat have promised each other to raise such a furor over teenage or young adults making out in public places. We will reach out to parents via the Parent Teacher Association or clubs to monitor their children.

As grandmothers we will plant Filipino values again and again in our grandchildren. We will risk getting into trouble with their parents. We will not be apathetic about live-ins, about unwed mothers, or about women
supporting husbands who do nothing except eat, sleep and gamble. We will murmur and grumble and do something positive when we notice some forgotten norms. Men should still be the bread winners. Hence, single men should still pick up the tab when steadies go on dates. Girls should not call boys (on the phone). That should be the norm. I’ve done my part in upholding a woman’s right to keep her self-respect but in the process
I lost a good friend. There is pain when holding on to something worthwhile.

We have so many values no longer taught to the young. We have to do something. If we remain apathetic to losing our Filipino values, one day we shall wake up with nothing of value left.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 16, 2014.

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