Monday, May 12, 2008

Youth: Hope or Despair?



essay :
PRELIMINARY REMARKS

Mother Theresa of Calcutta once said: "To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil on it."
This quotation speaks of hope. When one lost its hope for a family or a country one loses his oil to keep the lamp burning. Jose Rizal never loses his hope for the youth. Ralph Waldo Emerson believed that man's wisdom is judged according to his hope. Indeed, Rizal took a great deal on hope to justify how deep and great his wisdom was. Rizal hoped much for the youth as much as he valued his wisdom.

Hope vis-a-vis Future: An Analysis

The youth always been reminded of such great adage from Rizal, "you are the hope of our fatherland." Rizal speaks of hope referring to "future". In his context, he used hope to further ignite and inspire the youth for action. If we look at the semantic play of the terms "hope" and "future", there are at least obvious differences in terms of its effect to the audience or the youth in particular. If Rizal uttered the phrase using the term 'future' it may had seem a different connotation to the audience. In my point of view, there is no so much effect in me if he used 'future' rather than hope. On the other hand, his use of the term "hope" is more prophetic and deep than the term "future". This only justify Rizal's wisdom on how he interpreted the historical events that took place in his time. Furthermore, there is a metaphysical tone of the term future and hope. First, the term future refers to the potentiality and tentativity of a being. Meaning, youth to be a future of the country means a 'potential being' capable of making the future better. Hope, on the other hand, speaks both of potentiality and actuality. It does not only refers to the furturisic plans but of the present pressing situation. When Rizal proclaimed: The Youth is the hope of the Father Land", he does not mean the future rather inspired the youth of his present time to act upon there will, provided with justified and reasonable propositions.

Rizal's Optimism on the Capability of the Youth

Rizal did strike a good shot. He was not mistaken to brand the youth as the hope of the country. His wisdom was not only restricted to the Philippine context rather it was a universal proclaimation about the potentials and capabilities of the youth. Rizal against the backdrop of the situation lurking in his time, did not stop him to awaken the consciousness of the youth. History proved this adage, the EDSA 1 & 2 which majority of the people were the students coming from various universities and colleges around Manila. The rise of student activism in the time of Marcos era, showed how Rizal became instrument in inspiring and igniting social and political actions. His optimism runs from his wisdom and the belief that only youth can lift the country on the mud of oppression and injustice of the foes.

Justification of Rizal's optimism and belief

In the previous discussion, it was clear enough to point out and strike justifications of Rizal's optimism and belief on the youth. However, not enough were those statement to prove his statement. In my point of view, i would say that not only Rizal jsutified his statement by merely showing how the youth of the past and the present reacted to the social and political illnesses of the country rather the youth itself justify it. For myself, i can not give anything bigger than my love for my family and my country. In this manner, it is always been effective that from a small deed or thing comes a bigger ones. In the bible we find the teaching of Christ beneficial which he speaks: "you cannot give what you do not have." Indeed, a small thing, like loving a family can contribute in the greater extent to the point of dedicating yourself for the good of our country. I learn to be conscious of the happenings around, to be critical in looking and leaving statements about these, and to participate in the social actions which i think could bring a change, not so much of a radical change, but a change that could contribute in the process of progress and development. I am a Filipino, pure-blooded "indio" but with heart destined and willing to be crushed only for my family and to my country.

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