By: Jan Adrian S. Pardinas
The birth of the new age blinded humans from different ways of discipline. Traditions, cultures and norms are now amiss. Kids are shut in their own virtual worlds, different from the world I used to grow.
My childhood days were as fresh as yesterday. I can still recall the late night chasing game we used to play on the street. The whispers of laugh when the one looking in the play hide and seek is wondering where we all hid. The chirping sound of crickets that increases when the dusk allow sunset to bid goodbye. The time was too long to exhaust, the trees are too tall to climb and thick embrace. Everything was fine, until the fast-paced world took the realm of tradition and replaced it with the new rules of game.
Years have passed, so many changes I’ve experienced. My body’s becoming firm; my soft voice turned to husky; I grew hairs and I don’t look the same from the photograph I used to keep in my wallet. While my young physique grew taller, buildings and establishment in the city are now towering. The city became crowded and competent. People from rural areas settled in the city for greener pasture and some who were born in the city never had chance to elevate the status of their lives. Left in the farm were poultices and natives and sad to say, they are in the brink of risk to be swallowed by the hatted business man.
Trees in the mountains are being cut to propel industry advancement. Wild-lings became homeless and were thought of as monsters. Only few people rescues, but much of them kills. Clear waters are becoming dim and fishes are being intoxicated. Fishermen caught fishes and people were poisoned and they have the guts to complain. The terrain is transformed into wide road and people invented cars. The area became congested and created traffic and again the people turned out to be the great critic. Impatience built the mainstream and equity is slowly fading. Listening became expensive and morals are being degraded. Sex is the new status and it’s funny to think some are dying to get into it.
I started to work for a company and earn for a living. All the while I thought it’s easy to blame past generations for what they have done. Now, I became the ‘people’ I used to point my finger on. I became the monster I used to condemn and I don’t know who I am. At this moment of my life, I became deaf, blind and paralyze to the cries of nature. I enjoyed the comfort of technology, the fun found in the city and the relationship that the mainstream requires. I turned out to be the reckless youth looking for nothing but only fun. The culture, tradition and morals that built me went benign. I contributed to the worsening cancer of society and it’s hard for me to detach from the new world that changed me.
I was sitting on a paint-faded bench blankly staring the distance. I made a deep sigh and thought of the things I did. I said: “The damaged has been done and it cannot be undone.” I realized that it was all for nothing and the happiness was indeed for a while. I am doomed by my old ways, but starting to dust up myself for a better future. The transition was a huge struggle. The feeling was tempting when it’s tossed in front of me, I cannot resist.
I heard the first cry of my first born son. I said to myself, “Now, I’m a father.” It gave me confidence to start a new beginning. I became patient, selfless and caring. I value his life important than mine. I made all of the possible things to give him the best he can have in life. I worked hard and sent him to school. I taught him values, morals and lessons of life. I also taught him to respect nature and others. As time flies fast, he grew and became a fine man. He became a good leader in their school, he earned several awards and he developed a competent intelligence. He reminded me of my young years, when my strength was ample to do extensive physical activities. I thought him sports and on how to write. I was contented with the way we live, but I cannot stop his growing years. There came a time when he needs to go to college and keep separated from us. I should accept it though, that at the right time he will establish his own career and run his own life.
As expected, the timeline of my age reached its final stage. My black hairs turned gray and my sight went blur. The way I used to walk is no longer the same. My stature is now curved and fragile, my smooth skin turned into wrinkles. I went back to the old bench where I used to sit. There I sat for a while and thought of the past. It was sweet, but sad. As I looked back through the time I passed, I can say, I did my best. I lived my life to the fullest and made no regret. I molded a good kid who is now a professional, and I enjoy the company of my grandchildren. Back from where I sat, there was a sudden change of temperature that I can feel. A mix of hot and cold running through my nerves and it seems that everything’s around me is moving and I can feel dizziness.
As the arm of the clock ticks, I fell on the ground and all I can see is the blurry sky. Above from where I lie was a butterfly flapping its fragile wing concurrent to the momentum. There I realized the reason of my existence and the purpose of the universe. Life indeed is a constant change the same with the metamorphosis of a butterfly. From its early age of being a cocoon, it persistently waits and undergoes pain. It’s the same pain that would unleash the beautiful feature of its growth. Maybe this world and I are like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar. We undergo pain, pressure and change to reach the final stage of perfection. This world may experience chaos, disrupt and sacrifice but it produces a better output than what was before. The world will continue its way and human can do nothing about it. The unstoppable wave of change will force human to adapt.
I asked people I know on how to make the world a better place. Some said we can do nothing about it. Some also said, just smile and the world becomes better. I believe, in order to make a world a better place is the combination of both. Since we have no control of the raging changes of the world, to make it better, all we have to do is to smile. World is already the best that we can have, but as the time goes by it wears out. What we can do about it instead of murmuring is to be positive on possibilities. Smile and make small things that count as favor to the world we live. Humanities have not yet fully loosened its faith. There’s still hope to count on. There are still ways to take and there are still cards on hand to show.
As what John Geiger said: “By using time, pressure and patience, the universe gradually changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls, and coal into diamonds. You’re being worked on too, so hang in there. Just because something isn’t apparent right now, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. It’s not until the end do you realize, sometimes your biggest blessings were disguised by pain and suffering. They were not placed there to break you, but to make you.”
The world may not be the best place for us to live in, but it can be the better place that we can only have.