Ating Kabuhayan

Just think how boring life would be without certain commemorations, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations. We are in the graduation season now. If your refrigerator door is like ours, where invitation and other cards are put to remind us, then you are probably getting ready to attend a graduation and/or the party that goes with it. In fact, graduations are really “commencements;” they are “beginnings.” The graduates—be they son, daughter, niece, nephew or friend—are actually beginning the rest of their lives. Haven’t you and I experienced such commencing, such beginning?

A graduation, while being a “beginning,” is also a time for reflecting on all that has taken place; on all that has been accomplished, in one’s life. So, a graduation is time to celebrate the past, while looking forward to the future, and all that it promises. I recently came across a “List for the Wise” in a card that was displayed in the “For the Graduate” section. I think that when starting out anywhere in life, it is good to be wise.

So here’s the List:

  • Remember where you are coming from because those who are sending you love you
  • Be respectful to everyone, every day
  • Give what you can to someone in need and your heart will guide
  • It is good to tell someone you love them
  • Love is simple, and kind and generous
  • If you owe someone anything, pay them back
  • Once you pay, give something to make someone’s life better
  • Be charitable
  • Always think before you speak, or write, or express yourself in any way
  • You know what is right, which means you know what is wrong
  • Say your prayers because God, who is always in charge of everything, hears you
  • Help a child; help everyone you can and must
  • Don’t forget to say “please” and “thank you”
  • Make this world a better place

I like this List. I like it because it reminds me of things that were sent or said to me when I graduated. And I’ve graduated more than once, which means that I’ve had more than one “beginning”. I think this List reads like self-examination or validation of that of which one has or has not done. Even as I was writing this column, I found myself pausing after typing each phrase, as if I were checking my own life, my own “beginnings.”

Graduations are times to celebrate life and the accomplishments that go along with it. This List adds passion and compassion to life. It serves as a guide, a menu if you will, of how life’s accomplishments are always experienced through relationships with others. Indeed, a graduation is not a selfish reality. I think it is about how one’s life, and all that is accomplished within it. It is because of others who, themselves, have commenced, accomplished and well, graduated. Ah, it is about being wise, along life’s journey!
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Until next time, take care!