Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Oledan: Taking risk

Slice of Life

LIFE is a series of choices. Every day, to show up and take one step to do something that we hold close to our heart. To make a decision, no matter how difficult it may be. To get out of the comfort zone.

Ever expanding. It is not about shrinking or keeping silent on things that matter most to us, or even succumbing to the expectations of people around us. It is with the firm grasp on our principles and values that would enable us to discern and even get out from situations which threaten to compromise our safety and self-worth. It is also in knowing that help is available if only we are brave enough to admit to ourselves and others that we need it.

Oftentimes, we are led to believe that our circumstances could somehow determine how we would live life. I remember during graduate school when one of our professors showed and discussed with us the effect of poverty and one’s geographic locations to determine whether one would be successful in life. In many cases, this could be true. Thus, the basis of different development interventions which insists to focus on geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA). Even a mentor at work would often remind me of the nuances of participation, especially in far-flung areas but sometimes, believing that a situation could change and working towards it can make a big difference.

Some things may be systemic, but the strong capacity of an individual to grow and learn from experience that matters in the end. Look at it from the lens of survivors of domestic or communal violence, or even with those who have lost their homes in the aftermath of either man-made or natural disaster.

I will always remember how some local communities in Eastern Visayas, in the aftermath of a disaster, were able to put in place the mechanism to share information, put in place their own safety plan and work together. I was then completing an evaluation of a community-based gender and development project when I got stranded in Catbalogan. Even without immediate relief and assistance, they were already doing things for themselves, far from the image of helpless survivors that is often depicted of them.

It is not the circumstances that we are in that would dictate how we would live life, as much as the persistence to go through the discomfort to make things happen rather than wait.

It is in taking the plunge and the risk of the unknown. It is taking comfort that some things can never be defined, it has to be lived.

Every day, a decision to grow and evolve, and be vulnerable not only on the possibility of failure but also on the sweet delight of living and in knowing that everything could go right.

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