Friday, December 5, 2008

On being happy and angry during graduation

I remember this short blog post a few minutes after graduation more than a year ago, scrambled together to form an essay. If I were the one who gave the response for the graduates, it would most probably be along this idea. I must note beforehand: The reason why I did not speak during graduation was that I did not submit my entry. Work sort of "interfered."

This is not related at all to digital marketing, but I felt you'd find this write up interesting. Tell me your thoughts.

I am angry, but I am also quite happy. This would be the best way to explain how I feel right now, as a graduating student standing before you all, and soon, the Philippine society. I know this wasn't the type of opening you all were expecting from me at such a grand event as commencement exercises, so let me explain myself.


There are several reasons to be happy.

One. We are students schooled in ideas, concepts, and technology that will be obsolete in 2 to 3 years. We are schooled to find solutions to problems that don't even exist yet.

Now why be happy about this? Because there is one competitive advantage the Lasallian education gives us: the ability to adapt to change, and the discipline to attain success in the face of dizzying changes.

And that means we can manage almost anything that the world may slap on us. We will soon find our way around these hurdles, thanks to the torture that our school training gave us. Do I need to elaborate on the "torture" part? On the "dizzying changes" part, I recommend you to watch "Did You Know" in youtube.

Two. The education that we have is not manifested in our diplomas alone. This is an education that is also deeply rooted in values. And that means we have a smaller probability of getting swayed by corrupt practices when we leave the University's four walls. We have a smaller probability of instigating the corruption in our areas. We have a bigger probability of putting an end to corruption and lead the country out of poverty, like Moses who lead the Israelites out of Egypt. But I will come back to this topic in a while.

Three. The third reason is us. There is unlimited potential in each of us, and we can tap these to affect our society. Whether or not we tap these potentials is outside the scope of the school. The school has equipped us with the two important things I have stated above, and it is up to us to awaken our passions and awareness. That will be our foundation for our impactful contributions to society.


But why angry?

We are not special. We are not the only batch of graduating students of DLSU. To think in numbers, hundreds of thousands of Lasallian graduates have come before us. Scores of graduation speeches have been said. I bet all of them declare that we - the graduating students - are the future of this land. That we should help those in need, that we should not only look for bettering ourselves but always to think of the common good. The list of these grand ideas goes on.

People say this because these lines are proper, and at such a time when our egos are tremendously boosted by the attire, diplomas, and medals, why can't we? Having it any other way would seem completely stupid. But ask ourselves: If we hear these, do we take it to heart? Or are we already thinking of how we will spend the night in celebration of this "momentous" event? Or thinking of where you can find work? Or, as quite many scientific studies tell, thinking of sex?

Picking up from where I left off a few minutes ago, we should be angry because even after the hundreds of thousands of graduates that have come before us, many of whom carried a huge sense of idealism we currently (might) have, the Philippines has not progressed far. Some would even argue we have progressed in the opposite direction. Corruption is still the norm in most of our government. Worse is many of the people who occupy positions of power in our society are from the creme de la creme of Philippine Tertiary Graduates (like La Salle). What has happened? They have forgotten the speeches they've heard or written years back. They have switched off these ideals talked about so loftily.

But, being angry can sometimes be a good thing. Suppose someone tells you that you did a poor job, and you won't be able to bounce back. What do you do? Accept what you were told? Or will you get angry and tell the person, "I will shove your words up your rear." Then propelled by this anger, you deliver and make the person eat his words in the end.

There are other things we should be angry about, but as we are all graduating students, I believe we have the capacity to figure these out ourselves. This serves only as a spark plug.

Therefore we should be angry, and keep this anger in our hearts and minds.

These are the reasons why I am both happy and angry.

I have been quite emotional when I was writing, so I know that I messed up some of the points.

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