Sunday, October 25, 2009

And So We Are on the Eve of Destruction...Maybe Not

My friend Lorrie posted this video on his facebook account, and although I kind of had an idea what it was going to be, I still viewed it. Not that I am not interested, it's just that watching dismal videos or movies really get me down, especially when it is concerning human suffering in any way.

And so I watched it, hardly blinking as the scenes of destruction from various negative forces both natural and human-fostered flashed before me. Surprisingly, I did not feel as terrible as I had expected. Maybe, it's because I have pre-conditioned my mind beforehand, knowing all too well that whatever I would be viewing would really tug hard at my emotions. In doing so, I had subconsciously prepared myself by putting up a kind of barrier in my head, which kept me from getting dragged down as I watched the short flick from beginning to end.

Of the countries in the world that could attest to this kind of dark reality shown in the clip, my motherland is definitely one of them. Included among the list of unfortunate countries in the so called "typhoon belt" and "ring of fire," the Philippines is visited by a minimum of 16 typhoons yearly if I'm not mistaken. Also, we are among the list of countries with 100 active volcanoes to boast of. I'm not sure if these figures are exact. These are what I've been taught in school many years back during my elementary and high school years.

So far this year, we have already had 16 typhoons, 4-5 of them belonging to the dreadful super typhoon group.After the not-so-pleasant surprise that jolted the capital city awake(followed by more powerful ones that  struck the provinces) more than a couple of weeks back, we know better now than to be complacent when typhoons, super or not, are predicted by the weather bureau to be making its way here. And if a succession of excessively bad tempered rains and winds are not enough, local authorities have mentioned the possibility of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hitting the capital and neighboring provinces any time. Add these natural disasters to the prevailing graft and corruption in the government and the on-going battle between Muslim rebels and government troops in Mindanano, and you would be surprised how the Filipinos could still afford to smile and move on with their lives. Good Lord, what have we done to deserve this?

I am scared. But I know we can get through this. Hard as it is for us to understand why God allows these things to happen to innocent people, there is bound to be a very good reason why. Often, the troubles we have are due to ours or others' wrong doing. As to why some of us have to also suffer from the bad consequences of others' irresponsible acts even if we do not have a direct hand in it, I guess we can chalk this up to the ever-important lesson we are still grappling to learn, let alone accept up to now: our lives are interconnected.

With freedom and free will comes the big responsibility to use them wisely. Every time we take advantage of these gifts, we have to exercise responsible judgment to help us determine the repercussions of our actions and decisions. And this is where we all fail from time to time. However, failing is part of human nature. It is acceptable enough to fall flat on our faces when we misjudge or miscalculate the details surrounding our actions and decisions. But what is so pathetic and definitely embarrassing is to fall twice, thrice, or more over the exact same mistake. Needless to say, it only goes to show that we haven't learned the lesson at all. Either this or we get a sick kick out of doing wrong and hurting others in the process.

So we are living on the eve of destruction. Are we? I can't answer that. Neither can anyone else. None of us is in the position to do so actually. We can only see so far. At best, we can only surmise and predict about the future. But we could never justify any of them no matter what we do. Come to think of it, rain or shine, the world would continue to turn. Despite our speculations and contradictions, events both good and bad would take place because they have already been set by our past. The only choices we have now are to choose which side of the world to focus on: the good reality or the bad one, and to take the responsibility to make the best of today, so as to usher in an auspicious tomorrow for all of us.

If you ask me, I still believe in the good and the beautiful. No matter how bad things get, goodness would never be obliterated. Like black and white, they go hand in hand. One can't exist without the other. Being part of the entire system of life, this absolute truth is beyond our control regardless of how hard we try to fool ourselves into believing that we could. Yet we do have the say in which one we would like to place our hopes on. It' really just as simple as choosing to see the glass as half full rather than half empty.

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