DON’T DESPAIR IF YOU CANNOT SHARE BLESSINGS
THE WAY OTHERS DO
By Apolinario Villalobos
If you come across stories in the internet about people sharing blessings, do not wish that you could do exactly the same. Just absorb the message of the story and transpose it into what is applicable in your community and capability that you can possibly and sincerely do. There are many stories in the internet with some made more interesting by accompanying photos but, what you should do is profusely thank the Most Powerful for giving life to these unknown altruistic souls who reached out to others during unguarded moments and at unexpected places. What should be given notice is their immediate unselfish act that need not be copied, but instead, used as guidance and inspiration.
If you exert so much effort in imitating others, the act would not be realistic. Try to be original. Unconsciously, that could be the reason why I did not attempt to read the book that I won as a prize and donated by our school Director, Fr. Robert Sullivan, during an extemporaneous writing in English when I was in high school. As a provinciano, I did not know that the book was very popular, then and today…the title on the cover was “Imitations of Christ”. The word “imitation” turned me off. I gave it to a boyhood buddy who is now with the Lord (hopefully) in exchange for a paperback that contained Khalil Gibran poems that he gave me, but which unfortunately, did not impress me, so I passed it on to another friend, too. I am not saying here that I do not like Jesus, but, since childhood, I had been guided by the Golden Rule, and of course, love of the Most Powerful.
Filipinos living in Europe and America who come across stories about altruism in the Philippines should consider the vast differences as regards living condition and other factors. In countries where they are, working hard for their families in the Philippines, every penny counts a lot. Taxes in the country where they are, are high and budgeting is to the last cent. Although, they may have a few dollars set aside for the “rainy days”, they also need to hold on to such savings, as they have nobody to turn to in time of emergency.
On the other hand, Filipinos in the Philippines have friends and relatives to turn to in case of emergency, making them “bold” enough to share their “extras” with strangers. My point here is, if ever fellowmen abroad who come across situations about the Philippines in the internet that picture want or poverty in various angles, they should offer prayers, rather than force themselves, to part with their hard-earned money which they may need later.
Altruism does not manifest in the form of material objects alone, but in things that only the heart can define with sincerity….and they include prayers. If this attitude can be maintained, the setting in of despair or feeling of remorse can be prevented. Be charitable in your own affordable and doable way.