Bridging a gap in time
Reaching the October of my life last April, I quietly relegated myself to the elderly’s corner from where, I thought, I could detachedly watch the world go by. Behind me rests the treasured memory of eight decades of a storied life, while zestfully surrounding me are the exhilarating fruits of my affections. Wearied from the strenuous trek I have made, I intended to sit back, relaxed and freed from anxieties, in my allotted remaining years. But the progenies are just too dear for me to forsake, and somehow, in one way or another, I get myself involved in their concerns by way of sharing with them pieces of wisdom, culled from experience, as they face up to the challenges of the times.
For the world is no longer as simple as it used to be. Truly, “time flies faster as we grow older.” And changes take place just as fast. Great if only all changes were made for the better. But alack, not at all! For today’s shocking way of life and world disorderliness has taken over the neat ambience of the past. Consider the clash of cultures, the irreconcilable rift of ideologies, and the decline in values. Where have these culprits brought us?
Evidently there is an appalling dearth of nobility and purpose among those upon whose shoulders we had reposed our trust. Statesmanship is as rare as a precious gem, and justice as elusive as a damsel. Terrorism, which has grown and become organized, is taking its ruthless toll in many parts of the world, unsparing our own country. Somewhere, a deranged boy-tyrant is persistently igniting the fuels of war. And of the social aspect, seldom do we find now the gentleman’s gallantry and the lady’s modesty of yesteryears.
The sprouting of numberless emissaries of religion through time has so far failed to fulfill humankind’s quest for peace. They have not convinced man enough to toughen the goodwill in his heart.
But on the plus side, the achievements in science and technology are so unbelievably gratifying that they excite and delight us no end. Man, after reaching the moon, pursues the exploration of the limitless recesses of the universe. Computers and cell phones have conquered time and distance. Blocked blood vessels of the heart may now be bypassed by means of veins extracted from the leg. And some wearied organs of the human body may now be replaced via transplant.
These are amazing feats of the human mind. Unquantifiable indeed are the gifts of God! For more than life and free will, He provides love and wellbeing.
Unfortunately, however, not all of man’s ingenuity is meant for the good of humankind. For from same such talent of man also emanates products of his imagination that may not be good or right, or are even obnoxious or dangerous. Take the tools of war—such implements that are capable of annihilation. What if, God forbid (knock on wood!), one unhappy day the thresholds of patience and reason are crossed—and the weapons of mass destruction are unleashed?
There we go!
It would be nobody else’s fault but that of man. For he has chosen to tread the path not intended for him by the Almighty. With the alarming climate change alone, no less than nature is being ruined by man’s mindlessness as poor stewards of God’s creation.
How different life would be had everyone acted fairly and responsibly!
And now, as the sun majestically descends in the west, the dimming horizon brings me back to my reveries: the thoughts of the then, the now, and the morrow.
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Gerry T. Maglaya, 80, UST Class 1961, is a member of the Philets Foundation.
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