THE avenue of getting quality education has drastically evolved throughout the years but our perception of success hasn't changed a bit. The notion of working far from home always had the stereotype that you are more successful than those who remained from where they are from.
The fact that a huge company in the city or abroad hired a person, does not equate to the impression that he does better work than the ones who chose to be employed in a local firm or business at that matter.
We are talking about this because there’s still a tsunami of youngsters in college who are already itching to move out to make money- because of course; money is the norm in defining one’s success. But if we are out in the open for too long, we would know a six-digit bank account or so alone will not make your soul satisfied or your mouth smile wide enough.
There’s a bit of heartbreak - in fact, a huge deal of regret. It hits you when you go back and see everything you have fond memories of become unfamiliar and distant.
Because when you move out, you may gain wealth but you lose the chance to know your origin the way you should have seen it. You thought you knew everything about your birthplace because you grew up there but it’s another thing to build with the very community that reared you.
It’s a different thing when you teach at the elementary school you graduated in. Your memories as a student flashes back while you point the stick yourself on a noisy kid and you remember that you and your friends were the loudest in your in Grade Four. You write on the chalkboard not as the Class Secretary but as the lecturer.
It is way more different when you line up at the local cooperative bank and deposit on your own account and not as the impatient daughter waiting for your mother to finish talking with that teller she’s trying to be chummy with.
It is different when you walk the street to get the grocery yourself and not as an irritated child wondering when your aunt will be finished negotiating with that middle-aged woman, selling readily sliced vegetables for pancit, who’s probably the mother of your schoolmate.
And when you see the town mayor not just as a personality but the town mother who you can always count on when you need some school project assistance for the incoming Nutrition Month celebration.
I hope all of us, someday, would stop looking or wanting to move afar just to fulfill the emptiness within or just to prove our worth. Because the measure of success lies within knowing oneself- how well you know your surroundings, your community, your people, and then vice-versa.
There's a sense of identity and security when you start from where you are from.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on August 16, 2017.
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