Friday, March 27, 2009
I am once again invited as guest speaker on a high school commencement exercises. i couldn't say no because foremost, this school used to be my own and i treasure every single memory i have in this institution. anyway, this is my second time to have accepted their invitation and every invitation is always like the first time...the tension, the preparation, the excitement and apprehensions...all are there in a package...i actually have two speaking engagements this march 2009. One will be held on March 29, 2009 at Stella Mariz Learning Center and the other, on March 30, 2009 in Malinao National High School on its 36th commencement exercises. The sked is quite so tight that i have to rush home right after SMLC so i will have the evening trip going to Bukidnon. It's going to be, more or less, a 5-hour trip via bus but since i am traveling in the evening, i have to sleep over at Valencia City and take the first trip to Kalilangan the following day. Hmmm, sounds exciting and i guess i am going to lovit. i am pretty much inclined to experiences like these and i am sure i will enjoy the trip and savor the fun!
well, here is a glimpse of what i call my "partial" speech.
This year’s theme says: my education, my contribution to my future”, is a universal truth. It is not only true today, or yesterday, but it has always been true since time immemorial. Regardless of space and distance, this is always true, anywhere else in the world. My point is that, education plays a very crucial and significant role in the molding of the future generation.
We would never have known Jose Rizal and other national heroes, had it not been for education. We would never have tall buildings, wide bridges, huge malls and amusements parks had it not been for education as these are designed by well-trained architects, and built by schooled engineers. Nobody could have seen the moon and its craters, explained the complexity of the solar system, discovered some mysteries of the universe had it not been for education…
Take note of our earliest inventors who have made a difference in our lives. The American inventor Thomas Edison changed the way people live when he invented the first practical light bulb wherein people in the 18th century used candles and oil or gas lamps for light. Thanks to Alexander Graham Bell who, at age 18 had developed the basic ideas of the telephone in the year 1876, with that, communication has become easier. Who invented airplanes? Ships? Who discovered that the world is round and not square? Was it not Christopher Columbus? All these have become possible because of education. They did their best in maximizing and furthering their knowledge. We would never have computers, no cell phones, no ipods, no cars and other luxuries that technology has given us, had it not been for education. Basically, these are all products of education.
We would never have known the genius Einstein, benefited from the theory of the mathematician Pythagoras, learned from different schools of thoughts from the famous Philosophers Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, or Confucius, had it not been for education. We will never have doctors to diagnose our illnesses, dentist for our dental care, lawyers to defend us and fight for our rights; we would never have pilots to fly planes and captains to maneuver ships, had it not been for education. We would never have passionate mentors to teach us how to read and recite our ABC’s. These and all other professions and vocations are brought about by education. We would never have books to read and learn thongs from had it not been for education. What is education then?
The school is just one aspect of education – we have a bigger school out there where the teachers are not the same with the teachers we are facing each day in school. The teachers back then are our own experiences…and how do we go about the process of breaking through these learning is what we call education… There are other ways wherein we can enhance and enrich ourselves to the person we can be best at...
Education is a continuous process of learning. It is not bound or limited to a certain stage or level of educational attainment…human as we are, we always seek for something better and that act is called education…when we continually seek for what is good, what is remarkable, what is advantageous, that is education. And while we do nothing, but wait for something good to happen is fatalistic. And it is contrary to education…it is ignorance. God has opened our eyes to see what is there to see and give us wisdom on what to do with what we are seeing…we just don't look into things, we have to use them…we should maximize them not only for our advantage but for others and of the greater glory of God.
the real essence of education is that something which is not bound to anything…no level of educational attainment can ever exactly define what education is because it is relative, when we say relative, it is not permanently fixed, but having a meaning or value that can only be established in relation to something else and will change according to circumstances or context thus, education largely depends on our experience. That’s why we vary. We differ in perspective and outlook. We differ in understanding because education is relative. It goes with the person’s experience, Level of understanding and his abilities.
Children are naturally curious and tend to be very inquisitive thus parents and teachers should not deprive them of the answers to every question they raise. Don’t ever stop them from asking questions because if we do so, it is equivalent to depriving the, of education. Remember there are lessons that are learned by asking, learned from home, church, friends and in school ,and lessons learned from anywhere. So let them ask to learn. According to Peter Usnov, “After all, what is education but a process by which a person begins to learn how to learn?”
It is our every obligation, teachers and parents and the entire community to work hand in hand in building a better and wholesome education to our children because it is then in this way that we can achieve the goal of quality education; the goal of reaching our destiny to excellence and reaping the fruit of our labor, our learned products. these students will be our future engineers, future scientists, defenders, government officials, teachers, entrepreneurs, computer programmers and analysts, bankers, managers, surgeon and dentist, nurses and writers…when we have done our best share in molding our youth, and the younger generation then we won’t be ashamed to ask the question to our children, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Remember that whoever and whatever they will become in the future is their own contribution to their future, to their country and to their generation and the generations to come.
(note: photos were taken during the actual commencement ceremony and posted after the event.)
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Is life a matter of choice or chance? Is it a decision or destiny? All at once, we know just what to answer. And we are too good at justifying things. We give our reasons but which reasons are sometimes not reasonable enough. Or maybe sometimes, we give reasons which “reasons” itself does not know. We answer hypothetically, mathematically, theoretically, biblically and sometimes even ridiculously! We know, deep in our hearts the real answer to this question. However we allow ourselves to be influenced by our thoughts, our experiences, our beliefs and our ideals!
Observe how one of my students, a mechanical engineering student named Harold Rotor, answered this question in an essay i asked them to submit in my reading class. He wrote and I quote:
“Life is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice. It is the effect of what we did in the past. Destiny maybe compared to the algebraic equation Y=CX. Destiny is not constant (C). It is the Y or the independent variable. Y depends on the X, where X is the input. When X is small, the Y will also give a small value and when the X is big then Y will also give a big value.
The value of Y may also be positive or negative. When x is negative the Y will also turn out to be negative and when the X is positive the Y will also turn out to be positive. The principle is the same with destiny. The result maybe big or less, good or bad depending on our input. It may always necessarily be instant but surely it will happen as it should be.
Life on the other hand is a condition or course of living. Our existence in this world is life itself. A person is said to have a life when he/she still has the capacity to breathe.”
Mr. Rotor asserts that life and destiny are interrelated. Destiny is how we live our life. His life and destiny lies entirely on him. He believes that there is a God who has the authority in every individual, as well as believes that God gave us the freewill. He gave us the mind to decide on our own. God’s authority is like the traffic enforcer. He gives us the right way and the right timing but it depends on us whether we follow directions or not. But most often than not, human as we are, we tend to disobey traffic rules and so as disobey God. But then again HE is still there to watch over us. HE may sometimes use methods that we think are incomprehensible to human thoughts but surely God does not do anything that would totally harm us. HE always has the purpose for everything. We just have to follow the right direction, that is, wait for the right time and the right way to go.
Here's what I got from this site on what destiny is all about: http://www.akgupta.com/Thoughts/destiny.htm
"One of the greatest and everlasting debates of humanity has been about the role of destiny in the lives of human beings. There was a time when it was almost an accepted fact of life that each and every event was governed by destiny of human beings. Astrology was considered a science. Then with the advent of modern times the importance of role of destiny as a concept started losing weight. Today, belief in destiny is considered a superstition by majority of people. And rightly so, since there seems to be no evidence for the irrevocability of destiny.
There are three schools of thoughts about fate. The most prevalent these days seems to be the one which says that there is nothing called destiny or fate. This line of thinking says that human beings do possess free will. All our successes, failures and actions are governed by the decisions we take. If we take correct decisions and act accordingly, no one can prevent us from achieving what we want to. If we fail, it must be due to something wrong on our part. We have the option to take decisions using our free will. In this line of thinking, fate is considered a superstition at worst and at best one can regard it as a psychological defense system to cope with the failures in life. Whenever you fail in some endeavor or whenever something happens which is not in accordance of your wish, you use it as a convenient scapegoat. You say, it was your bad luck which caused you to fail. Otherwise, how could you fail? You are never ready to accept that it was you who was responsible for the failure. It may have been due to some bad planning, lack of efforts in the right direction or outright failure to correctly judge the realities of your goal. But since it hurts to accept that you were the one who committed the mistake, you take shelter behind the concept of fate and blame it on your karma. This relieves you of the terrible pain of knowing and accepting the defeat."
Well, what then is life to you? A choice? a chance? a destiny? fate? Whatever your answer to that question is, let us reflect to the ultimate truth, the Bible, which provides a wonderful promise and assurance about God's beautiful purpose and plans for our life. His plans are great. He plans a good future ahead of us... He tells us that our existence has a purpose but it's all up to us how to make this purpose in us be realized. His Word says, (in GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)"I know the plans that I have for you," declares the LORD. "They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope."
Then, Let's choose to hope in HIM, for nothing compares to a future filled with hope. It is said that "Life with Christ is an endless hope, without HIM , a hopeless end..."(anonymous)