Lessons children could learn from 2012By Audrey Tan-Zubiri
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Once again, another Christmas has passed and a new year beckons. How could 2012 have gone by so quickly?
It seems like it was just yesterday when I was writing about the 11 things I had learned in 2011 and looking forward to what 2012 would bring.
This time last year, my son could barely say anything beyond his five words, and I was still trying to figure out where to enroll my daughter for her first year of preschool. I look around me, and like every parent, can’t believe how quickly my kids have grown. Unfortunately, the speed at which they are growing is also the speed at which we are aging. Let’s not go there.
But just like that, the year has come and gone, replacing old concerns with new ones and updating old lessons through the new experiences we had this year:
1. The canonization of San Pedro Calungsod—What a joyful day it was when our very own Pedro Calungsod was canonized as the second Filipino saint, patron of the youth. This was a man in his prime who chose to dedicate his young life to promoting our faith and eventually dying for it.
As Jose Rizal said, the youth is the promise of our land. But promises can sometimes be difficult to fulfill. Hopefully, learning about the strength and valor of San Pedro will inspire our kids to be just as strong in their faith, and through his intercession, they can be more than just a promise.
2. Habagat and typhoon “Pablo”—Who would have thought that an ordinary fall of rain, brought about by the annual habagat season, could turn into such a nightmare? Visions of “Ondoy” flashed through everyone’s minds, which fortunately, served as a reminder to quickly move into action and evacuate people out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, the same didn’t happen for the victims of Pablo.
In both cases, everyone sprang into action, sending relief goods and donations to those in need. Children of all ages were seen getting involved in whatever way they could, but these disasters are more than just a lesson in empathy and generosity.
It’s also a wake-up call to seriously educate the next generation on how to take care of our environment, because unfortunately, our generation, and those that have passed, did not quite do our job—and now we are paying for that negligence.
But it’s not too late yet. If we teach them what to do now, maybe they can save the world tomorrow, assuming there is something left to save.
3. Victory and defeat—Over the years, we have all taken great pride in Manny Pacquiao’s victories, and for a while, proudly believed that we would always be on top. Though he will always be our champion, his recent fights have reminded us that there is always an end to everything.
However, in typical Pacman style, he remains upbeat and assures the country that we will rise again. In the meantime, while waiting for the Pacman’s return to glory, we have the victories of Nonito Donaire and Janine Tugonon to celebrate and inspire us.
On a smaller scale, this reminds us that it’s good for our kids to learn that what comes up must come down, and just because you’re down now doesn’t mean you will be there forever. With the right amount of hard work and dedication, they, too, can make it to the top and be the next source of pride and inspiration for our country.
4. Sandy Hook, Newtown, Connecticut—Every time I hear a story about this tragedy, my heart breaks all over again as I think of those brave teachers, innocent children and the families they left behind. The world may not have ended last Dec. 21, but for those who lost a loved one, it probably may as well have.
There are many things that have been brought up in relation to this, from gun control to the issue of mental health, but I’m not here to talk about that. Rather, the issue is how we really can’t tell how much time we have in this world. Such is the nature of time, the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done; we are all given a finite amount here on Earth.
All we can do is make the most of every minute we have. And therein lies the irony of it all. Though we wish time could last forever, we know that the value of life lies precisely in the urgency to make the most of something so limited.