LAST week, we were invited to the radio program of Kapitan Peter Wasing in Z Radio to talk about the concept of originality. This was the chosen character value by the City of Baguio for that week. I was with Dr. Nora D. Dalapnas, the education supervisor of Edukasyon sa Pagapakatao (EsP) subject in the division. It was an admirable move for both the city government of Baguio and Z Radio to include in their program the discussion of values to remind the listeners of its importance in urban development and nation-building.
It was another channel for me to talk about values especially on the value of originality since this concept is not always being discussed in ordinary conversations. Originality as I introduced in the radio program is part of the lesson on the value of work in Grade 9 EsP curriculum. Humankind alone has the ability to work when we consider the genuine definition of doing work. Work requires originality, intellect, strength and love from the worker. It is in work where the person can show more his/her creativeness and innovative ability. Other beings may perform what can be defined as work but the manner and intention of doing it are limited to their nature. For instance, animals perform tasks but these performances are done for the sole reason of survival.
The creative ability of humankind brought us to the age of technology today. A decade ago, we thought that everything that can be invented has already been introduced but every year, innovative individuals continue to amaze us with new and original inventions that we initially thought are not possible. We give importance to the value of originality because this value guides us to modernity and progress. I would like to think that the city of Baguio in highlighting the value of originality is encouraging and challenging the citizens of this city to innovate ways and means to make life easier and become more meaningful.
Progressive countries offer their full support to inventors and innovators. That is why most of the machines and other technologies come from these countries. It is only fitting that the local government of Baguio promotes this value so that innovators in this city will not lose heart in coming up with new and original ideas and things.
Originality as a value speaks also of our uniqueness and individual differences. As human beings we cannot be repeated or reduced. We have unique features and characteristics that separate us from other individuals. We have distinct talents, skills, and unique ways of seeing the world and living our lives. This uniqueness of every person shows us the transcendent wisdom of God, our creator. This uniqueness, this “original us” gives us enough reason to love ourselves and to stop comparing ourselves to others.
We take pride of who we are because the God has not created any human being that is exactly similar to you or us. Since, we were created different, there must something good and beautiful in us that cannot be found in others. Originality then, also speaks of loving oneself. It is accepting our flaws and weaknesses and try to turn them to positive characteristics. These physicals flaws, if we ever consider them as flaws, are part of us which we need to embrace.
The concept of originality also opens us to the reality that we cannot put people in the same box and treat them the same. We meet different people every day and somehow we expect them to behave in a way that we like. But the truth is, these different individuals were raised in unique environments that affected the way they live their lives. Part of our discussion during the program was the difference of today’s generation to the past, decades ago, especially on attitude.
I maintained that there is surely difference in attitude such as on the aspect on respect. Though the idea on individuality can forgive the difference on attitude, it may not excuse the worsening lack of respect of today’s generation to authority like teachers. Listeners who shared their opinions via text messages were quick to say that the new generation are not as respectful as before. I am sure that there is a big shift on values as we continue to embrace the huge impact of social media today.
Kap Wasing was right to say that teachers especially EsP teachers have a lot of responsibilities in keeping the right values among adolescents in the midst of the colossal change brought upon by the social media. One listener commented that teachers should not relax in their job. I agreed yet I also reiterated that the greater challenge lies in front of the parents.
Originality as a value is a wide concept. It reminds us of our God-given gift to create new things, innovate, and invent. We are the only creations capacitated to work, see the meaning of work, because of our unique talents and skills. Originality brings us to the concept of accepting and loving ourselves because of our uniqueness. We cannot be reduced and repeated. We celebrate this beauty of uniqueness by praising our Creator and by treating others with respect in acknowledgement of their own distinctiveness.