JUNE 19, 1861 - Dr. Jose Rizal’s birthday is a date I usually forget among others. However, being a hoarder of quotations, it is easy to remember his statement, “The youth is the hope for our future.” The government is exhausting all efforts to mold the young ones, hoping that in the future, they would lead the country, change what requires changing, uplift what needs to be uplifted and supply what is lacking in the society.
Seeing the youth of today, I find many of them far from how our national hero described the youth of the fatherland. Most of them have a tendency to easily dive in the sea of depression. In fact, suicidal instincts are expressed in social media without hesitation. How can we consider them hopes if they themselves easily lose it?
It seems like they have forgotten the essentiality of looking on the bright side of life. Pain gets hold of them, taking away their hopes. Their generation tends to philosophize because of the flooding pieces of free information from the internet, neglecting good counsel from others and failing to consider it for scrutiny and reflection. They have the tendency to acquire and compose negative connotation about pain. People sink in the depths of depression. At worst, they go beyond boundaries teasing death.
Wisdom does not always come with age, but experiences show us the realities of life. We do get wise words and points to ponder from great philosophers, but the most fitting wisdom we get in life comes from our own experiences. It’s the wisdom we get from situations where we are bent to the extents of our guts. We’ll be in our shoes with the right pair of socks.
There is no accurate blue print for living. The books we tend to rely on are created by people from places and situations not identical to ours. References serve as guides. They merely give us a glimpse of possible solutions and outcomes. Psychologists can guide us, psychiatrists can prescribe medicines to relax our overworked minds, but in the end, we decide on our own. No one can get inside our head and control ourselves to get out of the darkness and stop that hand from hurting the other. Over and above, being knowledgeable does not make us experts; we need guidance, exposure and above all, self-control.
Our youth can acquire enlightenment in deep trance and meditation, but they can also get it from the noise of life, the punch of truth, the strike of reality. It is the squeezing and bending of the soul to extract the most beautiful being a person could ever be like a mere steel forged in fire to form a magnificent sword, or a mere rock pressured to become a precious stone.
Rant and scream if you must, but take the blow that would challenge your wits and mould you to survive. Do not surrender. Refuse the clutches of melancholy and the urge to inflict more pain to yourself. You are not justifying the deeds that cause you pain. You are trying to see pain as a part of a process of development and improvement.
Be thankful because you are undergoing refinement. It is never okay to let other people hurt you, but we have no control over their actions. Whoever and whatever they are, let them not be the acid that would corrode your heart, the gust that would extinguish your hopes, or the stain that would tarnish your value. Let the pain they caused you be your fuel.
Living your life is like being born to face pieces of jigsaw puzzles sprawled in every nook and cranny. As you pick up the pieces, you realize its irregularities, crookedness and gaps. Don’t let this stop you. If you keep on looking for the pieces, trying to figure out ways on how to put them together, no doubt, you will see the beauty of the puzzle in its entirety. Life, indeed, is meaningless not until you define it on your own terms. Make it unique, beautiful and inspiring. As long as you live, you will and you can. Survive the challenges in life that threatens our existence.
Be the hope of this generation. Be the hope of our future. Be the hope of the fatherland.