Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dreams or convictions? from YOUNGBLOOD of

Dreams or convictions?
By Florence Joy L. Maluyo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:21:00 08/09/2008

I miss everything about my childhood. I miss the time everything was so simple and happiness simply meant chocolates, toys and dresses. Why is it that as we grow older, things become more and more complicated?

I am one of the many graduating students who have a lot of uncertainties and anxieties. Where will I work after graduation? Where will I be five or 10 years from now?

During the final screening for the Ayala Young Leaders Congress, an Ayala executive asked me if I had plans of going abroad. I knew that question would arise. As a student leader, my community expects me to serve my country after graduation. After having attended so many training sessions and seminars, people expect me not to leave the Philippines when I finish college. I am expected to put into action the things I have learned in and out of the campus. So when the question was put to me, I was supposed to answer no, lest I miss the opportunity of being part of the congress.

My conscience struggled with my mind and my conscience won. I said yes, and luckily, I was still picked as one of the 73 participants after a nationwide search. It was then that I realized that honesty and truthfulness can have good results.

Probably, some people are disappointed by this admission, particularly my mentors. I am a student in development communication (devcom) and yet I plan to work abroad and serve another country instead of my own.

When the executive asked me why, I told him that I could not effect change in my community if I had nothing to offer. Let us face the fact: it is hard to make things happen without money. While it is true that a devcom practitioner has to be with the people and be for the people, it is also a fact that I need money to do such things. To do community work, particularly educating people in the far-flung areas, I cannot always expect to get a subsidy from the government or anybody else.

I also told my interviewer that my first priority is my family and that I need to work and earn for them. However, I do not plan to spend my whole life in a foreign country. After five years of working and saving abroad, I’ll go back to this place and pursue my dream for my own land.

When I was in high school, I envisioned myself as a journalist and as a community worker. Now that I am in college, I enjoy being an advocate of environmental protection. But aside from this, I also have my responsibilities as a daughter and a sister.

I am torn between my dreams and my convictions. I am torn between what I need and what I love. My mind argues with my heart about which is better and which is best, which is more beneficial and which is essential.

If our country could only provide for the needs of our people, probably no one would find himself in such a dilemma. If our country had a lot to offer to its people, probably I would not be in this state of confusion. But who can you blame? Is it the government or the circumstances I find myself in?

I don’t want to be pessimistic about all the things that are happening to me and to our country. I don’t want to linger on the grim scenarios. But I am no longer a child and I know that now I have to deal with the situation as a mature person. I can no longer react like a child when her candies are taken from her. I don’t know what the future has in store for me, but I hold on to my faith that God will never forsake me.

The sad realities of life need to be cured by a positive outlook and a positive response. “The response to pain and suffering is to forget,” Ann Rice says. “Flesh and blood, bodily needs, these are what inspire memory in man. And when these are wholly absent, it can be sweet to remember nothing at all.”

For me to live is to learn and to go beyond what is real, what is obvious, what is evil, and discover why God placed us in the situation we are in. I know that in due time, my convictions and my dreams will reconcile. And the things I love and the things I need will complement each other.

Florence Joy L. Maluyo, 20, is a Bachelor of Arts in Development Communication senior at the Central Luzon State University.

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