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Our purpose on earth

In My Eyes

By Edward B. Antonio

Looking at the children reminds us, adults, of the things we enjoyed or missed.

It’s fun to be young, fellas.

Being young is much further away from dying a natural death. Old people envy the young and their virility.

It’s that nice to reminisce the past, what we did that should not have been done or what’s not done that should have been done.

Why are we really here, fellas, only to grow old and die later?

Or why are we here only to die young and beautiful?

A young and pretty colleague in the education department was very sensitive of her looks. She had a “lady best friend” who loved her very much. She would not walk under the sun without her umbrella. She had been regularly taking in “youth pills” to maintain her youth and vitality.

One day, she noticed a lump in her upper lip. The thickening spread to the lower lip until her mouth swelled. It spread to the inside of his mouth.

Initially, her lady love blamed another teacher for “poisoning” her. She even accused this teacher as “mangkukulam.” Because of this belief, they consulted many quack doctors and faith healers. But her illness worsened.

Finally, the couple was persuaded to consult a doctor who advised them to undergo a biopsy.

The result sent her to hysteria. It was cancer of the mouth.

She would cry everyday and always shouted, “Lord, why me? Why me?”

As the days passed by, her beauty faded. She grew very thin. Her crown went bald as a result of chemotherapy. Masses were held for her recovery but to no avail. She died several months later.

But she was not alone, fellas.

My uncle who never smoked or drank excessively was surprised to learn he had cancer of the lungs. He had a very pretty wife, a beautiful daughter and a good-looking son. He was an elementary grades teacher who was enjoying his age when he learned he had the Big C. He had been complaining of short breath, persistent cough and chest pain. He first thought it was just ordinary cough or TB at worse, but when he started spitting blood, his family was alarmed.

Why me?’ he said once. “I’m still young and my family needs me.”

The last time I saw him alive was when we had a lengthy talk about his situation. I was then borrowing from him a coat and tie to wear in a national press convention.

He died a very lonely and puzzled man.

In other words, why are we even born if we are only to die some 30, 40, 70 or 80 years later? Isn’t there more to life than to say, “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die?”

But why do good people die young?

This question is reflected clearer by a young woman who lost his best friend in an accident: I don’t understand. Why do the good die young? I have lost a friend who was the best person I know. And I can think of plenty of not-so-good people who are living it up. Where is the justice?

I don’t know the answer, fellas.

All I know is that people die anytime, anywhere.

But it depends on how we respond.

A preacher said: We may not choose the experiences we are given in our lives, but we do choose how we respond. We can be angry, refusing to move forward and stagnating in our progress. Or we can choose to use our experiences to become more compassionate, more purposeful, and wiser.

A psychologist said: When a loved one passes away, we feel we have lost something precious. We are left with a gaping hole in our heart, and we often wonder why they were taken away from us. But at the same time we can be grateful for the very fact that they were given to us in the first place. We are blessed to have such beautiful souls in our lives. The world is privileged to have such heavenly guests come down on earth. And even if it can only be for short while, we will take whatever we can get.

Stephen Grellet says it best, fellas: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Let us, therefore, make an impact in our coming here on earth. Let’s all do good to others — share to others, help others, serve others and love our fellowmen. Let’s die good in thought, words and deeds.

Indeed, there’s no better feeling than to bear in mind that our monument here on earth lies not in the structures that we build or how high our positions are in the society.

It lies on the good things we do to our fellowmen.#

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