Friday, January 16, 2004

Here's something I wrote for Theology class. Of course, I had to cut down that version just so it wouldn't go over one page, but here's the unabridged rendition...

.:How Do I See My Life In The Bigger Picture?:.

I recently had the pleasure of starting a Friendster account, and so far, I have a mere fifteen friends listed in my account. While being on Friendster is a bittersweet story for me, something more interesting should be the order of the day, and that?s this little thing I realized about the site: the game of six degrees of separation. When I had just one friend listed on my account, I was inextricably connected to 132,538 people, which essentially means that with one person, I already have quite a vast network to speak of. My life, though seemingly small and meager in my eyes, has morphed into a network that which, through my actions can affect as much as 132,538 different people. And that's considering only one friend that I have, and a connection only to those who actually have Friendster accounts. It boggles the mind to play the numbers game like this, but the bigger picture clearly cannot be ignored.

There is just something undeniably challenging about looking at life through heaven's eyes, with vision encompassing something bigger than yourself. Admittedly, seeing the bigger picture is not easily the strongest suit of mankind, as seen by the unsustainable lifestyle most of us do live. In spite of that, it would no doubt be a good idea to consider what lies beyond my own line of vision, and what it means to me.

To this very moment, I still question myself as to where I truly want to be. Do I wish to follow in the career path I laid out in the past four years, that is, advertising and public relations? Do I wish to pursue something completely different instead, that is, teaching Philosophy? Or do I want to take up a longstanding passion of mine, that is, being involved in radio? Or do I simply work for a while with any of the choices I have, then pursue higher learning, be it a Masters or a Doctorate? All these questions still permeate in my head, but I shouldn't lose sight of one fact: whatever I may concern myself with upon graduation can and will have its own impact upon this tapestry of lives I am interwoven with, and so, I must scrutinize.

As one who believes in being a pacifist, I am led to believe that my intended mode of action is a clear attempt at pushing this country towards the right direction, no matter how meager. It is clear that much division has ensued in this country be it because of race, religion, economic class, or political alignment. In fact, one might say that we are a parochial people, as one would more likely say "I am Cebuano" instead of "I am Filipino" when asked even by foreigners. There is little nationalism within us, less because of our disregard for the country, more because of the division that keeps all of us from being as united as most Americans are. Still, I pray that we do not need a World Trade Center bombing to actually jar us to our senses and unite, the way it has happened with the United States.

As a pacifist, I realize that the country needs healing, more than ever. My life in the bigger picture is simply one of the different ways by which healing can begin: in my case, in my opening my mind to differences that do exist in society, as well as my attempt to make these differences less of an issue. I do not claim to be the beacon of pluralism or tolerance, but I can attest to legitimately attempting as such. I recognize that I could very well be expendable in the realm of the utilitarian, but I do believe that if the single drop I could contribute to this ocean is denied, then the ocean would still not be complete, no matter how seemingly negligible my contribution may be.

I cannot change the country, much less the world that I live in. But as a great artist once said, "If you want to make the world a better place, then you have to look at yourself and make the change." And so I wish to make that change. To be more tolerant of differences. To be doing my part to advocate equity. If I could make an impact on so much as one life, I would know that I am certainly doing my part of living my life, conscious of the bigger picture that encompasses me. Conscious of the fact that my meager 15 Friendsters have given me a network of 732,865 lives that I could potentially touch. I cannot ignore this opportunity for His glory.

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