Monday, February 19, 2007

Stealing our Youth

Inquirer Column: Randy David

Even after I have sold out and joined the Establishment, I am still all for student activism, mainly for three things:

1. It is a far healthier way to let out stress and teenage angst.
2. It keeps the youth in focus, even for a short time.
3. And if they get in trouble because of it, they can look back with fond memory.

So now they start killing kids. For what? To stop people from complaining? You could succeed in moving the moon from its path than preventing people from standing up for what they think is right.

A colleague here keeps on saying it's the same faces who complain about the government and it's the same issues all over again. True, we can do without the professional agents provocateur, but the answer is simple: Very little has changed.

I laud those who try their best to effect change wherever they may be. As it is, though, I'm tired of speaking out against the current administration. Mainly because I suspect people don't even bother to listen. But I can tell them this: no party affiliation guarantees your candidate's general program of action or even his or her political integrity. A political newcomer who is not a "trapo" also does not guarantee something better.

So for these people, it's not for me to say whom you are going to vote, or if you would vote at all. You were given intellect to reason, just use it properly. I will be the first to say this --- biases govern our thinking more powerfully than they should. The trick then, is not to view the world as how you think it should be but what it really is. Don't worry about the cause, but see the effect. Then ask questions instead of providing the "answers" you think you already know. To paraphrase H. L. Mencken, your being older does not mean you're getting any wiser.

Open up, and let go --- and be, for those instances, be like a youth raring to change the world again.

Be a youth once more, and relive that passion for change. Now, this is the very same youthful spirit our government is trying to silence. Pray it doesn't happen to you when your time to rage on comes - don't wait for a Qiu Ju moment to happen to you, when you realize that the government whom you so put your trust in has no justice in its soul. Much less expect a better system of living and governance under it.

Meanwhile, mourn the young dreams repression has killed.

* * * * *

My spirit grieves for the passing of my dear uncle, Leonardo de Guzman Sr. from complications arising from prostate cancer. I always admired the way he conducted himself. Unlike my dynamic father, my uncle was neither brash nor outwardly brilliant. However, he had a determined confidence and a surfeit of inspiring spirit, and he was a fountain of fortitude. This was all the more evident when he began his valiant fight against disease and old age.

A quote attributed to the Talmud:

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

Throughout the tests and trials of this life, my uncle stayed true. It frustrates me that I could not even do the least I can do for him, which is to pay my respects.

There is no pain greater than the memory of good times past now that our family grieves. But this too, gives strength, and renews the spirit to its youth and strength in times of adversity.

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