Saturday, November 19, 2011

Unveiling of Next Week

My Saturday night is a really exciting night. I'm excited about a lot of things. I'm anxious about a lot of stuff. And those things I'm thinking about (that makes me excited/anxious) will mostly happen in the coming week. ;-)

Starting tomorrow, I'll be busy, but I'm very excited about it. My Thesis Defense is scheduled on Monday. I'm supposed to prepare for an overnight. I might also be assigned to print "Demo Kits" for our thesis defense. I don't wanna forget that I should bring with me some scratch papers to use for the test-printing of our system. Another thing is I'll bring all my "appliances" (cables, internet, etc.). I hope my group mate does not forget his printer. Then, after preparing for an overnight (my attire should be ready, presentation materials, clothes, etc.), when I get to my group mate's house, we'll be starting our rehearsal. I plan for us to review our document very well, but to also focus on the flow of our presentation.

This is my last defense ever for my undergraduate degree. Talk about happiness and excitement! I'm about to end a phase of my life. ;-) After that, I'm totally free!

Next week, Tuesday, I might meet with my former professor, now turned IT professional. Hahaha. A group date (with two other friends in college). After that, I might go to school, then accompany my best buddy, and have an overnight at their place (for the 3rd consecutive time)! ;-)

I'm also planning to clean up my room next week, because I never really had the chance to do so. Our house helpers are not doing the deed that right lately. Maybe I can rearrange my stuff myself. :-)

And how about some physical activities? I have a planned jogging exercise at my college's sports center. I'm looking forward to it! I also want to try swimming with my thesis mates once our defense is over.

So, here's a good night! :-D

Saturday, November 12, 2011

On Volunteerism

It's at my last year (and last term) in college that I have sincerely contemplated and thought about volunteerism. In the previous years, I hated it. Why? I'm not the type to go out and "explore lands", and "help others" by "volunteering" in events called for by different organizations. Why? Because I think that, though noble, they're too temporal and unsustainable. Too one-sided. I dream instead of helping people by becoming rich, then engaging in philanthropy.

I believe in supporting a cause that I really believe in, then going full-blown with it; not of volunteering just about anywhere the wind of volunteering blows, and at the end of the day, fooling myself that I was satisfied for that night for helping others, then forgetting it the day after. I'll just renew the "contract", and help again, then I'll feel good again, then I'll forget the feeling. Then I'll do it again to feel good for helping. But, it never really ends. The short-term needs of people are met; they are left there hoping for another wave of volunteers. Do they really obtain hope in getting a better life just from volunteers? My thought is that volunteering should end, because the need for it has been eliminated; that just means that people have become self-sufficient. That is what I want to see.

I have been "unsupportive" and "inactive" a lot of times because I lack the necessary appreciation of things; usually because I think that if something is not sustainable, why waste in investing? I'd invest if I'm sure about the thought already. I wouldn't want to join an organization and stay there for the "association" nor the company. It's the cause, not the friends you gain.

I'm lucky, though, to have finally "found" what I believe is a cause that I genuinely wish to support; that is the EDUCATION OF THE POOR. There are lots of poor people lacking the same education I have. The kind of education that empowers decisions, gives voice to people. The challenge here is that even those who are educated still encounter that problem; so, it mustn't be the kind of education that you can find in books. Maybe it's the kind of education about surviving in life, and succeeding. It's about the kind of education of finding out that you have that identity as a Filipino, as an individual, and you have a power to choose.

I wish to engage in volunteerism acts soon related to Education. I particularly want to teach. And, what I love the most about Education is not teaching technical subject matters; it's about empowering the minds of people, both young and old (particularly the fresh and young minds). It's about showing them that they have the capacity to grow, to absorb. The impediment of lacking the "materials" is a treatable illness, and the impoverished can still enjoy education beyond the books. That is something I want to see. That is a cause I would want to support.

Upon writing this, I've realized something about myself. I've been too inactive, too busy waiting for "that one thing", that I have missed out on experiences that could help prepare me for "that one".

Help--it starts early; do not delay it. Do not be like that servant who received one talent, and buried it on the ground, waiting for a "worthy cause" to spend the talent with; cos, in the end, time ran out for him, and that "cause" he was waiting for never came (Parable of the Talents). Maybe we are the ones who would create a "cause". Increases don't mean never losing a talent you have invested. It may be a part of the process. But the important thing is to use the talents, and eventually there will be an increase.

Another principle I've learned here is that what you sow is what you reap. Engaging in volunteer acts doesn't go without it's own rewards. The superficial benefits may be for the short-term, but the learning, the experience, that is something that builds up in time.

This is a new page in time. I hope to engage in this personally, and heave a great amount of learning.


1. Parable of the Talents -
2. What you sow is what you reap -,9-10&version=NKJV

Monday, November 7, 2011

Xenophon, Socrates

Xenophon, Socrates:

"Do not be surprised at my plain speaking; the wine helps to incite me, and the kind of Love [Eros] that ever dwells with me spurs me on to say what I think about its opposite.

For, to my way of thinking, the man whose attention is attracted only by his beloved's appearance is like one who has rented a farm; his aim is not to increase its value but to gain from it as much of a harvest as he can for himself. On the other hand, the man whose goal is friendship is more like one possessing a farm of his own; at any rate he utilizes all sources to enhance his loved one's worth.

Furthermore, the favourite who realizes that he who lavishes physical charms will be the lover's sovereign will in all likelihood be loose in his general conduct; but the one who feels that he cannot keep his lover faithful without nobility of character [kalokagathia] will more probably give heed to virtue [areté].

But the greatest blessing that befalls the man who yearns to render his favourite a good friend is the necessity of himself making virtue [areté] his habitual practice. For one cannot produce goodness [agathos] in his companion while his own conduct is evil, nor can he himself exhibit shamelessness and incontinence and at the same time render his beloved self-controlled and reverent."