The world we live in is cruel, mischievous, and dark. This was one of the things that came to mind while I was listening to the homily of our School President, Fr. Aristotle Dy, last Thursday, October 24. However, another came to mind as I was thinking of this and it went like this: For every amount of despair that comes our way, an equal amount of hope exists to combat it. With the recent happenings in Xavier due to the SM Immersion Program, this line is very evident due to the despair and negative things that other people have said about the program. However, we can see that these negative comments are being combatted by fellow members of the community and Xavier alumni that support the programs Xavier prepare for its students. These people serve as the beacon of hope during this moment of despair for both the school and the students directly affected by the insults.
Fr. Dy also talked about service, and while he was sharing his thoughts, I wondered what the true value of the acts of service the Xavier community does for its fellow brothers and sisters in the larger community is. True, a big portion of the Xavier community are rich or above average people, but this does not mean that the value of what we do for others would mean less than any other act of service other people do. The value of service lies not on who, what, or when this was performed, but rather, the more important aspect is the contribution these services have given to the growth of self and the community.
Unfortunately, the world we live in thrives on social constructs and norms that conflict with the values we grew up with. The values we hold will be challenged, and it is inevitable because our world is not perfect, but at the same time that this despair exists, we have our beacon of hope. We may choose to stand firm even if the values we hold dear are challenged. In fact, these tests are important so that we would continually grow mentally, as well as spiritually. These challenges are present to allow us to depend on God more than we do to ourselves. It enables us to grow closer and closer with our creator and develop a deeper relationship with Him.
The message Fr. Dy imparted to us has a very big impact on our lives, especially to the H4 students who are leaving for China. Some are going for the first time, while others are going for the nth time, but, just the same, it’s a foreign land for all of us. We did not grow up there so no matter how many times we may have gone there, it will always be a new world for us. The challenges that this other world holds are limitless, and this is another reason we have to remain firm with the values we have grown up with. It is not the time for us to be complacent because the moment we let go of the values taught to us by our family and school, we become much more vulnerable to the chaos that looms within the world. And so, we have to learn how to remain firm and strong despite the challenges that we may face. It will be tough, but once we overcome them, we become stronger people ready to brave a whole new world.