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The best it yet to be..

Updated on October 19, 2009

You are important!

There is a cord in the human heart that prods people to strike, and in turn reverberates into the lives of others especially the recipients of a kindness shown, and more so when the donor was a total stranger in a very unlikely circumstance.

The world around us is world composed of different worlds or people, yet we spin altogether in one colossal world, perhaps bigger than our imagination.   But each of us has his/her own ‘world’ amongst other ‘worlds’ surrounding us.  I’d like to think that we are just one world, one community, one people, one special specie – but that is not reality.  It is more of a dream, a goal or worse - a fantasy.  Still, the mystery that baffled me is the human interaction towards tragedy.  Tragedies are abound; some are magnified, some are dismissed, some are personal, some distant, some are explainable, some beyond comprehension, some are man-made, some are termed force-major or divine acts; whatever it is – the glaring facts remain the same.  It is everywhere, often deemed unavoidable – but what can we do to avert or at least minimize it?

We have organized ourselves into multi-sectoral groups to address varied needs brought about by tragedies.  Subconsciously – we created defence mechanisms to offset effects of unpleasant situations occurring in every social structure, and these systems are offshoot of our own flawed creation of other systems that govern our social well-being.  And yet, it almost always do not work as it was intended to be.  Why?

Empires rose and fall; economies went up some went down, people come and go; systems evolve and the world is anxiously looking for new things!  Yes, technology is changing the landscape of our being, yet the holy scripture says - ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ – indeed.  So the nagging question remains in my mind ‘why and what am I here for?’   As a person, am I significant?  Is there anything I can do?  My answer is yes to both.  I am not a technocrat, nor will I pretend to understand world trends – I’m an average person trying not to be average, because I believe on my significance as human being.  We all are in some ways – born at this time and age or space – for a significant reason; it must be our sublime duty to find that reason to justify our meaning in life – today!

Scanning the news – one interesting story caught my attention. It’s about a boy from Mexico who donated his life-savings from his piggy bank to help the flood victims from an Asian country just recently hit hard. The only reason he did is his fond memories about an experience he had one time in that country. It’s not very noble or note-worthy to most of us, but to this boy – it’s everything in his own ‘world’. And that stroke a cord in my heart – the need to experience what others have in their own personal ‘small worlds’. This boy is not rich to do an extra-ordinary sacrifice, he may not understand yet what he did nor the impact of his deed. He is an average boy doing an above-average act. Grown-ups need to look within for things like ‘the boy’ inside of each of us – there has to be! Maybe this where the phrase ‘just do it!’ apply. I think in all probability – that is what we need. That is why tragedies – no matter how grave it was – can be seen as essential ingredient to perk in us the significance of our being, and that is positive! You don’t need to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, or the president of the U.S. to be significant! It’s something innate that’s waiting to be released, and release we must! The world is full of opportunities in dispensing this God-given gift – we call ‘help’ and it is not pre-packaged in measurable units as we grown-ups can quantify, instead it comes in diverse means that is surprisingly simple, yet heart-warming – as the boy from Mexico did.

John F. Kennedy once said “think not what your country can give, but what you can give to your country” and most Americans ascribed to that phrase - fuelling the industrial economy into the most powerful nation on earth. I admire such sense of nationalism, and perhaps rightly so to every proud citizen of any country. Yet I must add that there is a global need to go beyond nationalistic boundaries, to think of ‘others’ not just ourselves but the ‘Others’ outside our own. For we can not standby the sidelines and pretend not to be affected in some way or the other, by other people’s lives and their tragedies. Let’s face it – seasons change, there will be more ‘storms’ to come. A lot of these are of mans making, the frequency and intensity are terrifying! Take for example the series of typhoons that devastated the Philippines, and the growing fear of more to come; we can see a lot of hands and heads globally exerting some concerted effort to help ease the effects of its aftermath. This is phenomenal! But why do we need tragedies to bring out the best in us? Can I say then that we need tragedies in life (individually or collectively) to show that each one of us counts? Call me crazy and that won’t change my mind. The more I am convinced that tragedies, in whatever form, is a social need to bring us out from our dormant cocoons and take an active role in rebuilding our ailing society. The damage is extensive, the pain is insurmountable, but together we can do something for a better world. And by the way, my world is not different from yours. We just think and see it is. We spin together, we sail together, we breathe the same air, we bash on the same sun. Learn to accept me as I am trying hard to accept anyone; my goal is to erase social, racial, gender, economic, religious and whatever barrier that is between us, and perhaps dream of a glorious co-existence without borders.

If only the golden rule is sought and actively applied – and it is possible! (to “Do unto others what you would like others do unto you”) – tragedies need not be that painful, and this world we all wish to grow better – will be and can be comparable to a ‘foretaste of heaven’ right here, right now. Try it, you may like it!

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