“I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.”
-John D. Rockefeller
I used to complain so much on the work I do. I complain about the documents to be submitted, the materials to be prepared for instruction, the daily conquest with the hard-to-deal with aliens inside the four walls of the learning station and the usual conflicts between colleagues. I used to complain about almost everything about my life. I used to. Yes, I was not quite satisfied with the kind of life I live in – not until last Easter Sunday when our house was devoured by a big fire. Everything I knew about life changed after that.
With such calamity, we were forced to be contented and dutifully make use of the remnants of our once prized possession. We need to compact ourselves in a makeshift tent and make use of all the materials that were left behind. In short, living became more complicated. However, with those times, I’ve observed that my complaints became very minimal – I couldn’t even remember complaining anymore since we were to caught up with our rebuilding project. At that moment and even up until now, I have realized how priviledged I was. Something I have never realized back then.
At present, we are still on the process of rebuilding our house and just like what has been done for the previouse weeks, we need to make use of all the available materials and resources including manpower. Everyone in the family has to take part in doing this project – no excuses allowed. With all the work done, I have realized a lot of things.
- Sometimes, the labor we do does not justify the results that come out.
- Complaining does not help.
- Hollowblocks and cements are sometimes heavier than our problems.
- Money plays an important role in whatever transaction that would take place.
- You need to keep moving no matter what the weather is – may it be raining hard or extremely hot.
And more than anything else, I have learned to minimize the unnecessary words that has to be said (like words of complaints and curses). I have realized how privilege I was to work inside a well-shaded room with fans in comparison to digging with shovels and lifting sacks of cements and hollowblocks under the stinging hot rays of the sun. My eyes were opened to the reality of work and how poor the labor system is here in the Philippines.
Today, May 1, aside from my prayers of having our house finished before classes starts, I pray that the government will hear the cry of those people in the marginalized sector and that they get to feel on the burdens of others instead of having their heads ache on how to get more money from the people and how to spend them. I pray that a brighter future may await for those who have been struggling hard in order to continue living. Life is indeed short to sulk in frustration when the world seems to turn their backs against us. We need to keep living. We need to keep struggling.
Mabuhay ang manggagawang Pilipino!