Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Who Else Wants to Move?

When we were in high school, we asked, "What did they {the 'old guys'} do to our country?" In as little as 20 years, we're already the 'old guys.'

One of my high school classmates ran for Congress. While I remember this classmate to be a bright and passionate guy, in my unguarded moment, I found it difficult to reconcile this man with that classmate of mine. Time passed. I didn't notice it, or was not conscious of it. That young lad (like myself) back then, became a full-grown man, and he was running for Congress.

In my discomfort I asked him why, on earth, did it cross his mind to run for a political office? His reply stunned me: "We're 35. If we don't move now, who will move? When these old guys fade, who would replace them? Who would take care of this country?" What immediately ran in me was, "who cares about who'll run this country? Certainly it can't be us, for goodness sake."

I was passing the buck.

You see, that classmate of mine taught me one thing. It was easy to let things be when we were in high school. We were young and powerless and too excited about girls and gimmicks to care. But now--my high school batch is now in the 39-41 age range--can we maintain the same absolutely comfortable outlook?

Obviously, no.

My friend said, politics was the arena he chose move. He said he could see that I chose business. I agreed with him. Either way, we're both contributing to the land. The question was, what sort of contribution do we give? When we become the 'old guys' how do we answer the question we as young teens threw to our parents' generation?

We couldn't accept a zero. We wanted to be heroes.

Most of us may feel that patriotism is a word that may as well be associated with the infamous Jedi order who lived a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away. I refuse to believe that.

Jose Rizal was martyred at the age 33. Bonifacio was 34 when he organized the Katipunan. Emilio Aguinaldo was 28 when he declared Independence in Kawit. Gregorio del Pilar was 22 when he died defending Aguinaldo from the Americans.

Where are the young heroes of today?

They are here. We just need to recognize them. Some of them may be in the halls of power now. Some of them may have already chosen a more silent path. But they're here. They're moving.

Who else wants to move?

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