Coming of age

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By Stella A. Estremera

Spider’s web

Saturday, August 30, 2014


WE’RE a bunch of friends who would have been very happy just doing our own thing in the background, away from other people, except that…we have come of age.

No, not the 18th birthday kind of coming of age, it’s the coming of age that comes with the realization that your parents are all senior citizens if not full-fledged geriatrics, and many of whom have already died. Meaning, the torch has already been handed down… to our generation. Not that we’d want to take over, but that we have no other choice.

“Pahimoi nalang ko, ayaw nalang ko paistoryahi (Let me do anything, just don’t make me speak about what I’m doing), my buddy Kublai would often moan after yet asking for technical help to fix some presentation of speech in the computer.

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“If you don’t speak about your art, your art will die with you,” I’d say.

This is a conversation that is repeated over and over again as my buddy is yet again invited, kicking and screaming, to speak to a crowd.

If you think that’s bad, imagine this: I’m sick and tired of my voice. I don’t like my public speaking voice, it’s squeaky and shrill because my normal voice can hardly be heard. But I’ve been listening to it for years on end talking to groups, big and small, young and old.

I guess that was how it was in our parents’ time. No one generation is ever ready to take over, except for the few eager beavers who at an early age already want to rule the world. Normally, we’d just love to cruise along the highway of life, bothering a little, doing a lot. It’s easier that way.

But then, if you want to pass on a better world to the next generations while you can some effort will be required. You can’t just cruise along and choose the easy way, rather, you have to spice up your life with challenges that force you to face as many and entice them to do as much.

At times, we may be accused of being rabble rousers, but then, we know we’re not, so the accusers can go hang, or better yet, cruise on with their own life without bothering us.

Otherwise, we find contentment in just each other’s company over wine and cheese and plots of what else we can do to shake the world a bit. Cruising is boring, you know.

“We’ve built a world where it’s possible to fly higher than ever, and the tragedy is that we’ve been seduced into believing that we ought to fly ever lower instead,” Seth Godin in his book, The Icarus Deception.

“The rest of the world is stuck with the brainwashed culture that the industrialists gave us, the culture of fear and compliance. But culture is a choice. You don’t have to accept a culture of fear or a culture of failure,” he further wrote.

Yes, it’s easy to cruise along, to do our best in our chosen career, to shine among officemates and be popular among your small circle, but that’s a very boring life and it doesn’t reassure us that the next generation are well aware of where their heart should lie.

saestremera@yahoo.com

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 30, 2014.

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