Hey you, yes YOU!
You the confused youth, you the frustrated startup businessman, you the tired call center agent, you the early family man or woman, you the teacher, you the internet surfer/addict, you the lost individual.
Look to the future and act on the present
There are a lot of things I want to say to you. It’s just that It’s not easy to put it into words. It feels like a huge amount of energy is amassing inside of me and I can’t help but to write it down. (I was just about to take a shower but in my towel I had to open my laptop and attempt to write it down.)
Just this morning…
I read this blog post regarding a guy who’s picture was shown in the last state of the nation address by President Noynoy Aquino. He shared how inspired he was by being touched by the SONA and he related it to how millenials deeply cared about the nation.
and the same time I was reading the article, I was listening to this song by Newsboys
There’s no such thing as apathetic
It was a curious feeling, a rallying call inside of me. I didn’t like the way they treated the nation’s president during the SONA, but why wasn’t I writing about it? (Why wasn’t I doing anything?) I realized from PNOY’s SONA how rude and insensitive I can be. How sometimes we think we can do a better job than other people but in reality we wouldn’t be able to do half what they did.
I then realized that like most of our generation, I was not apathetic, I was simply doubtful. I was doubtful if anyone would listen to what I have to say, or that someone will bother to read this and share the same opinion or that someone will care. I was afraid.
There’s a bunch of us that actually deeply care! Many would even go miles to do something about it, from passing out bottles of water under the rain, to doing startups and organic and renewable energy.
But we’re afraid.
All around me it was apparent that everyone deeply cared. Everyone cared enough to tweet, share and post their opinions on Facebook. Some would even go to the streets and really scream what’s in their hearts.
You may say that you don’t care about our country but in reality do. You may say that there’s no hope for a country such as ours but deep inside you, you hope something will happen, you know something will happen.
So don’t be afraid to care!
Some say that caring too much is weakness, but in reality there lies our strength. Not just as an individual but as a nation. We have been broken and shattered but that’s why we learned a lot of things. We’re not as ignorant as we’ve been before.
Meeting People with the Piso Project
“WAKE UP BRO (or SISTER)! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!”
So care! Care deeply as much as you want to and act on it!
Find something you love and be great at it! Be the best you can be in doing it.
Don’t be afraid of what other people might think. Be a businessman, an artist, a great programmer or a great engineer, a lawyer or a dentist, be a politician, be the next president of the Philippines, be the first Filipino Astronaut to reach the moon and beyond (We’ll have to do it eventually!). Do what’s in your heart because that’s how we will change our country and the world.
By being our true selves.
Yes, we are misfits. We spend most of our time glued to computer screens and thinking about the people we love. We spend too much time browsing Facebook and tweeting. Yes we dream too much and too high, we’re too ambitious and too idealistic, Yes, we’re weirdoes, not being able to adhere to tradition and the old rules, we rebel too much and we’re too emotional at times but we are who we are. God placed us lovingly in the world at this specific timeline because he has great plans for us.
The graduates of UST ICS batch 2015 (Photo by: Carmelo Culvera)
Let’s use the power we Millenials have, let’s use the power of social media, the power of the internet to bring about our own brand of change. This world will be passed on down to us, we can’t sit in the fence for long, we have to decide as a united generation. We have to decide on how we want the world to be.
We are the Millennials! If we’re going to change this world for the better, we must focus on the good things and not the bad. We must not focus on being perfect, but on being better versions of ourselves.
It’s time to decide
It’s been too long that we’ve waited for someone to act, someone to do something. Something!
But maybe, just maybe! We don’t have to wait for a hero anymore. What if that person we’ve been waiting for to change the country is staring you in the face when you look in the mirror?
You will never be alone in this fight
You have the power! if you look inward and see that you actually love your country, and that you actually want to do something about the situation. Invent something, create your art or voice out encouragements to others.
The time to act, to speak and to come up with world-changing ideas is now. We are the change that’s coming. You are the change this world has been waiting for!
Do you believe we can change our country? In what way can you contribute to this revolution? Sound off in the comments below!
“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”
–Theodore Roosevelt (more…)
Yang katabi mo sa fx na nagka-clash of clans, that person will change the world.
Yung kaklase mo na babagsak bagsak, that person will change the world.
Yang tao sa salamin (oo! Yang pogi/magandang tao na yan), that person will change the world.
For 3 days I have been with almost 15,000 people most of which are young people who come from the different campuses of our nations.
That’s 15,000 strong! Finally change is possible!
I was deep in thought for the past few days, I have been dreaming about the things to come. Here are the things I saw and believe will be the reason why we can change the world for the better in our generation:
BECAUSE GOD SAID SO
Friends, I can tell you, I wouldn’t be where I am right now without God. He is the reason I can even write articles like this one or why the company we started a year ago is still here and is under way to expand.
One of the most important reasons why we can change the world is because it was said in his word.
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” – Acts 2:17
His word is mighty and powerful! When God promises you something He delivers.
I have been moneyless, naglalakad ako papunta sa client meetings, bumagsak ako, natalo sa mga projects yet I’m still here, alive and kicking! I am a living witness to His love and power. I tell you my friend, no matter what happens His word never fails.
WE CAN USE TECHNOLOGY ON OUR SIDE
Technology is more advanced than ever. Being a professional in the field of science and tech myself, I have the vision that we can be more than who we are right now. Filipinos aren’t just meant to be call center agents!
We were meant to lead advancements in technology. I believe the Philippines can become the capital of technological advancements in the Asia.
I have seen interns going to us absorbing everything like sponge and learning advanced website development skills and applied mobile programming in just 1 month.
Almost everything can be learned from the internet and Filipinos love staying online. What you post, what you say can make a great impact to our world. Instead of sharing articles about vanity or about blaming another politician, why not share articles that encourage and give hope?
AFTER YEARS OF FOLLOWING
We are ready to lead… Yes! You might not know it but each and every one of us is called to be a leader, not a boss but a LEADER!
The difference between being a boss and a leader is that a boss will just give orders but a leader will lead the charge. A leader doesn’t give a command that he himself will not be willing to execute at any given time.
We are all leaders and the first one you should lead is yourself.
BECAUSE YOU DESPERATELY (WANT) *NEED TO CHANGE
Before we think about changing the world, we must look at ourselves first. Like what my pal Ghandi once said,
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
You want change. In fact, you don’t just want it, you desperately want it. It was wired in our generation to improve ourselves, to seek ways on how we can learn and grow. It’s like there’s always something we can do more with our lives.
Some of you may be feeling lost right now but here’s the thing, you can’t be lost without a destination. Being lost sometimes is a good thing. Being lost reminds us that there is in fact a destination.
In one snap of His finger God can set you back on the right track! My friend, you just took the detour and it in any day you can make the decision to go back to your journey. Your past doesn’t matter. You have a choice! You can choose to change.
SOMEDAY IS TODAY, THAT SOMEONE IS YOU
We were told that we live in a broken and cruel world. Our lives are torn by pain, suffering and despair. However we must always remind ourselves that the good things in this world are worth fighting for.
No matter what you’ve been through or what you’re going through right now, you are the change that is coming. No matter what pain you have experienced in the past, no matter your insecurities or doubt, you are what this world has been waiting for.
All that’s left is for you to do is rise and decide to take action now: pick up pieces of litter on the streets, learn new things, and be concerned about our rivers. Let’s make that “Someday I will be better” to “Today I will be better”!
Finally I want to share with you this verse about how God commanded us to be an agent of change
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
God is telling us that through Him we can change our broken world for the better. So face the mirror and say to that person,
Changing the world for the better is possible, that day is today and that someone is you!
What do part can you play to change the world for the better in our generation? Share your thoughts below!
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Poverty, gang violence and injustice. This is what book “Tattoos on the Heart” by Fr. Gregory Boyle is all about. Fr. Greg is a Jesuit priest who works at the Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles. What you need to know about that place is that it is the center of gang activity in America. It is an area with a lot of poverty along with a lot of violence. Many social ills come together and percolate in this little corner of America. Education is not easily accessible and not always practical so many young adults resort to gang activity, which perpetuates a cycle of destruction and hopelessness. This book may be about an area in Los Angeles, but we could easily be talking about many places in the Philippines as well.
Surprisingly, Fr. Greg’s book is not a book of condemnation or despair, but a book of hope. Fr. Greg has worked with the gangs in America for over twenty years, and he shares many stories and insights in his book. One of the major points in the book is that as a society, we’ve developed certain ideas and notions that allow all this marginalization and injustice to continue.
He writes that “we have this lurking suspicion within us that some lives matter more than others.” This is the idea that he wants to challenge – the idea that needs to die.
Are the struggles of the poor less important than those of the high powered CEO? Is the life of a child on the street worth less than the student in the private school? People live and die everywhere. People do great things and terrible things everywhere. But it seems we think and behave as if some lives have more worth than others.
Mother Teresa said that the problem with the world is that “we’ve forgotten that we belong to each other.” It is easy to look at everyone around us, and think of them as “others” – people that are just there. But the great ill of humanity is that we treat the “others” as something, instead of someone. It takes great humility, self-reflection and determination to truly see the other person for who they are – to look into the eye of another person and truly understand that there is another human being of equal worth and value there.
Fr. Greg adds this final thought: “It is not enough to take the right stand on issues, but it is also important to stand in the right place.” In other words, it is not just what you stand for, but who you stand with. Because we don’t just fight for the issues. We fight for people. We stand with people – we stand with someone who is another human being – a human being of equal worth and value.
When you see her for the first time you will have a hard time distinguishing Arizza Ann S. Nocum from your typical college student. How can you not? She dresses and talks like everyone else.
But once you hear her story, the veil is lifted. I guess the closest word to describe what I see in her story is the word HOPE.
Their family had seen first-hand what war and violence can do. They stand witness to the never-ending conflict that ravaged the southern part of our country for what seemed like countless years. Just recently, they have seen the devastating effects of the Zamboanga siege and the Mamasapano incident to the region. I cannot begin to imagine what it must feel like to be a refugee in your own town, in your own country. Their family was right in the middle of it all.
In a seemingly hopeless situation Arizza and her family was able to come up with a brilliant solution – they start building libraries.
They named all the libraries they have built, Kris (Kristiyano-Islam) Library. As the name suggests, it was built to welcome everyone. They built the libraries to provide a safe place where children can go, play and learn together despite their differences in culture and religion.
“Kung merong isang lugar na pwede mong dalhin yung mga bata na magkakaiba yung background nila, magkakaiba yung religion, magkakaiba ethnic group, kung merong lugar na ganun, yung pwede silang magstudy together parang yun yung starting point na pwede magkaroon ng friendship and siyempre later on, acceptance, understanding and peace.”
She went on further to describe their two fold goals:
“First, nagpu-provide kami ng educational resources sa mga lugar na walang resources.”
“Second, bringing together yung mga bata sa library namin and ini-introduce namin yung concept ng openness, na dapat open sila sa mga kababata nila na iba yung religion, iba yung background, tapos dun sila magtitipon tipon with the common goal of learning together.”
They opened their 1st library in 2008. They currently have 6 libraries, 4 of which are in Mindanao. Arizza also told us how they were able to provide scholarships to 300 students in the span of 4 years.
“I can tell you right now, ang hirap! Tuwing enrollment para akong nanay na naghahanap ng pang tuition.”
A SINGLE SPARK, THE BEGINNING OF INSPIRATIONS
It amazed us how at such a young age she was able to find her voice and act on one of the most significant social issues today-ignorance. We asked her if there’s a particular event in her life or someone who inspired her to do these things.
“Ang galing ng education namin sa PSci (Philippine Science High School), lahat kami libre. Yung mga teachers ko sa PSci, ang galing. Tapos kahit maliit yung sweldo nila, sobrang bigay todo, yung quality of education na binibigay nila sa amin. Dun pa lang makikita mo na na sila mismo, mga bayani at same values yung ini-impart nila sa aming mga estudyante”
She went on to say:
“Ako naman, dinibdib ko yung mga sinasabi nila sakin. Dun ko na-realize na may utang na loob talaga ako sa bansa natin.”
Her strong background in education inspired her to provide the same quality of education to everyone else.
BUILD A LIBRARY, FILL IT WITH BOOKS AND PEACE
Arizza told us some amazing stories about their libraries. She told us how they were worried at first that children from different communities would fight, but instead of fighting, they just started playing with each other.
Her testimonies prove that for children, there is no religious stigma harbored towards one another; they only see a potential friend who can play with them. In this case, adults should follow suit.
Arizza, together with her family, was able to go beyond the conflict, going on with the rest of the world, as they start to fill buildings with shelves, within each shelf, books, and within each book, lines, each line containing peace, waiting for the children and everyone else to find.
WHAT MAKES HER DIFFERENT
Although many of us acknowledge education as the antidote to the many errors of the world, only a few actually acts on it. Ignorance is the blindfold that keeps us from seeing the truth, education would be the shears that take away the cover and make us see clearly again, but no one is cutting away at the soiled fabric.
“Building libraries is how I channel my activism,” she stated.
She was able to act out a solution instead of just feeling sorry for herself and giving in to despair.
Arizza was raised by a Muslim mother and a Catholic father. She described how they were able to sustain peace within their family. Coming from such a background, Arizza and her family can connect with everyone and confidently make the statement that religion should not be used to initiate turmoil and conflict. That it should be used instead as an opportunity to channel mutual respect.
They were also able to take two different religions and provide a middle ground. Christianity should not wage war against Islam and Islam should not pursue war on Christianity. We should all follow the example of Arizza and her family. We should be waging war against ignorance.
The weapon of choice for this passionate heroine is education.
Within the ideals and principles of this young woman, there is a sincere heart that simply wants to provide a refuge for the children of our country. To provide that safe place where they can escape all the abuse and hate, a place where they can begin to create a new future for us all.
Arizza and the Kris Library calls for kind hearts who would like to volunteer or donate: electric fans, desks, books, and money. Anything you could contribute to help Kris Library.
You can go to their website for more information on their projects: www.krislibrary.com.
You can also contact them through this number: 09152659596 or maybe send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow them on facebook at facebook.com/KrisLibrary and on twitter twitter.com/KrisLibrary.
Arizza currently studies Industrial Engineering at the University of the Philippines. She is also currently the Overall Head of Kris Library.
What do you think of this young woman and what she is doing? Talk to us using the comments section below!
Photo Credits to krislibrary.com