“The youth is the hope of the Motherland,” said our national hero Dr. Jose M. Rizal. To this we say, “Yes, if we properly nurture our youth. No if we miserably fail in this mission.” The story of the Filipino people will be written by the youth of our land.
Why do we need to properly nurture our youth?
Our reply: “In order to develop their God-given talents”. For what purpose should we do this? Our answer: “We should do this so that our youth will learn to truly love God and their neighbors, and make them effective instruments in making the ‘earth as it is in heaven’. Our youth has always been the main object of our apostolate ever since.”
Let our humble efforts to do all these be the legacy of our generation. Hopefully, our children and their children, with gratitude in their hearts, will say in the future, “Look what our forefathers did for us.”
This means abling our youth to assist in the promotion of institutional reforms particularly principled politics which turn power to service. To Christian youth, at the outset, we admonish you to imitate Christ as “peaceful revolutionary” and be motivated by the Spirit of service, and live a life of positivity, responsibility and discipline.
They must be very deliberate by exploring due diligence and constancy in mission. May our youth find inspiration and joy in serving God and our people. May they never underestimate their capability to do good for our nation as risk-takers, change-makers, and most of all being there for others.
In this connection, our youth must form social consciousness to have a deeper understanding of the ills of our society. Our book “Healing Our Sick Society” is a must reading for them to adequately address our nation’s dilemma. Undoubtedly the challenges they will confront are great.
Let our youth bear in mind that the greater the responsibility is, the greater the preparations should be to achieve it. Knowing ourselves fully takes time. The quiet school of self-reflection will help us get more knowledge in measuring ourselves to chart a program of self-education, self-renewal and growth.
F. Vitaliano R. Gorospe, SJ, succinctly posed the issue: “With the end of the age of ideologies, the question for Filipinos (especially our youth) Today is ‘what is the alternative to the present elitist democracy and free market economy which has so far failed to solve the worsening poverty and structural injustice in the country?’ Is there an alternative framework for social analysis and social transformation in the Third Millennium?’
One of the most compelling issues that our youth will encounter is,” How to appropriately upgrade and make more responsive our 1987 Constitution?” No doubt our youth is our tomorrow.
To better our tomorrow is to better our youth. Remember that many of our heroes were young Filipinos. Sad to say, many of them got lost for various reasons. Who exactly are our youth? In this book, we define youth as those aging from thirteen to thirty. This particular social group, henceforth, we christen as the “Fifth Estate”.
Webster defines Estate as a social class “having specific political powers”. Political power refers to powers related to governmental functions. Currently, the world considers four social classes as Estates. These are: 1. Clergy, 2. Nobility, 3. Common or bourgeois, and 4. Media.
In countries where the majority of the population are young people, the youth undeniably hold considerable political powers which up to the present time remain unfortunately unrecognized and untapped. Thus, it is proper to name now our youth as the “Fifth Estate” in our political life. This they truly deserve. In doing so, justice to our youth will be served.
This book is designed not only to pay tribute to our youth’s great contribution in the building of this nation but also to help in their total integrated development and empowerment.
This book is written with the hope that our youth will be further equipped and inspired to transform their passion to action in the healing of our sick Philippine society and making our people and nation more competitive in the pandemic – prone era of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Most importantly, this book likewise is concerned with the spiritual growth of our youth. All these processes involving the youth in nation-building must be guided by our “Dream Philippines Proposed Shared Vision”, which is, “A God-Loving and Healthy People United in Diversity, with a Diamond-Shaped Humane, Just and Innovative Society, Sustainable Prosperity and Lasting Peace.”
We are fully aware that if we plant a mango seed, a mango tree will grow. If we plant tomato seeds, tomato plants will grow. This book will plant “Seeds of great ideas” in the minds of our youth. If nurtured properly, the minds of youth will surely grow.
However, take note of our Lord Jesus’ :Parable of the Sower” (Mark 4,13-4): Hear! Behold, the sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside, and the birds came and ate it up. And another seed fell on rocky ground, where it had no earth; and it sprang up at once, because it had no depth of earth; but when the sun rose it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.
And another seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other seed fell upon good ground, and yielded fruit that grew up, made increase and produced, one thirty, another sixty and another a hundred – feld.” Then he said “He who has ears to hear, let them hear.”
In totality, this book is a celebration of our youth that need our extra care. The total integral development of our youth is imperative. This simply means the betterment of every young man and woman-body and soul. This further includes being good stewards of our threatened environment. Philippines, my Philippines, let our youth do their best for you.
There are things that are universal in time and space. They can withstand the test of time and space. Good examples are the Gospels of the Holy Bible, the right hierarchy of values of God, country and family, and love as the greatest of all virtues.
On the other hand, we strongly believe that there are times that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel” to save valuable time, money and effort. It is for this reason that Chapters 1 and 2 of this book are reprints of part of the 1992 book titled “A Letter to the Youth: A Message on Success” authored by Mr. and Mrs. Chito R. Gavino III. (The husband is the co-author of this forthcoming 2022 book. The other author is Dr. Adrian M. Tamayo.)
Below are some quotable from C.S. Canonigo’s booklet “SPARKS of WISDOM. 1996, fitting for our youth’s guidance:
• The secret of life is not just to live but to have something worthwhile to live for.
• If you can find a path with no obstacles it probably doesn’t lead to anywhere.
•Hope and faith are the willing servants of successful men.
• No one can put you down except yourself.
• Only with cutting jade shaped to use. Only with adversity does man achieve the way!
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