“The ultimate power in life is to be completely self-reliant, completely yourself.” – Robert Green
ON OCCASIONS, I come across those big themes of life. They elicit different reactions in my mind.
Some simply pass me by with a nod or a “wow” reaction. The others hold me in thrall for a time until the mind gets tired figuring out what they mean.
I am not always successful in wrestling, discerning, and bagging what the big themes of life mean. In these wrestling matches, I should have lost my self-esteem long time ago. By God’s grace, I am still on my feet, engaging them, whether they are Angels or demons in this journey.
In itself, a man or a woman’s journey on this planet is certainly a big theme needful of understanding.
I have always wondered whether the outcome, results, and productivity of a man’s life is all that mattered. After spending so much of my time on this side of heaven, I think otherwise. We have plundered life and wasted so much of its resources to realize at the end of the day that a man or a woman’s journey – the processes and relationships of their existence to each other and other creatures - mattered more than their accomplishments along the way.
We could have prevented the extinctions of several life species if the goal of an individual’s journey in life is the journey itself, not what he or she can get or amass out of it. In such case, stewardship and its objectives, the processes of existence and their meanings would be different, so with the concept of ultimate power.
But let me move a step backward and that should get us closer two steps forward later to what our topic is really or should be about.
History and civilization spotlighted how empires and dictatorial powers built the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Giza and the Nile Delta in Egypt.
In the Philippines, men clad in G-strings were engaged in constructing the rice terraces all over the Cordillera through voluntary group work and constructive power that sustains life. These men, who worked and served one another, hardly wasted fellow creatures. Warriors, they may be, they actually always sought the preservation of life and avoided fights if they can, even seeking refuge above the cliffs or deep into the forest.
They were also religious, always giving thanks to the Great Spirit including their departed ancestors for life, mercy, and sustenance.
The structures that they built resembled their way of life under harsh conditions.
In their original stature, the rice terraces are natural biodiversity food machines where rice is grown along with different kinds of food like water ferns and vegetables, crabs, shells, indigenous fishes, eels, frogs, birds, water insects and other flying creatures.
An engineering masterpiece of integrated terraces carved into steep mountainsides, these scenic structures that once stretched from Cagayan Province on the Northeastern part of the Cordillera to as far as Quezon Province has magnified the strategic role of this mountainous and centrally situated region as the watershed cradle of Northern Luzon for centuries.
The Chinese and Egyptian civilizations are considered great by the scale of human accomplishment they present. The outcome of the power employed to build their magnificent structures plundered the environment and destroyed life. That kind of power over people and resources has characterized human ambition and aspiration for centuries in varying degrees.
As you can see, I could not directly tackle what the phrase “ultimate power” means but to go about it in a round-about way. I was hoping to show the constructive power of genuine power affordable to man while leaving what is “ultimate” to that being who is able to give the “ultimate” sacrifice for having it.
For unless we are servants one to another our aspirations and ambitions of possessing “ultimate power” is not different to that of Hitler.
There is another way of sharing or having “ultimate power” that so many talked about but a Mother Teresa has demonstrated possible, with a towel and a basin of water as its tools. It is such a choice, an “ultimate power” that gives life to others, unlike any other. Now, that should make one completely self-reliant, completely yourself in a great way.