IN MY EYES
Edward B. Antonio
Someday, I will die, like you will, fellas.
Nobody lives forever. The great Shih Huang Ti, founder of the dreaded Chin Dynasty and the Chinese empire simply refused to die. He consulted palace magicians and sent his loyal subjects far and wide to look for that potion that would keep him young and immortal. But he died an unhappy death.
Alexander the Great hoped to live long to realize his dream of founding a royal army out of the breed between his Macedonian forces and the Persian women elitists. His dream never came true. He died young of malaria. He was only 33.
Genghis Khan, head of the dreaded Mongol horde and conqueror of Asia dreamt of ruling the biggest empire on earth, but he did not sit long on his throne. Death, tradition says, came to him swiftly as he choked to death during a banquet.
Death is the surest thing to happen, fellas.
It will come to you and me sooner or later. Now you laugh, tomorrow you lie. Now you glee, tomorrow your family cries. Now, you eat, drink and get merry. Tomorrow you die.
Yesterday, when you faced the mirror, you saw a beaming youth admiring a beautiful face, bedimpled cheeks, radiant eyes.. Today, what you only see with those pair of eyeglasses are sagging cheeks, wrinkled forehead, receding hairline and gray hair.
How time flies, fellas.
A while back, I assigned some reporters to interview people for our school publication. The topic: What is your greatest fear in life?
A student said, “I fear of God’s punishment because of the iniquities of this world.”
“I fear of losing my love ones,” a teacher wrote.
The third amused me most. He is a 58-year old public school administrator who enjoys his life as well as his position.
“My greatest fear is getting old because I cannot turn back the hands of time,” he said.
One time, he went to talk with a sulking subordinate who happened to have a communication gap with him. The subordinate, as old as him, refused to come to terms.
“Ala kadin,” he said. “Let’s reconcile now, for whatever we do before we retire will serve as something we bequeath to our fellow employees.”
Well said and done, fellas. She hit the mark well.
Bob Garon, a great lecturer, columnist and philosopher wrote:
“Death is the only sure thing in life. There is no escaping it. It will come as surely as the setting of the sun. The man who has not come to terms with death cannot truly be happy. There is always a dark cloud hanging over him and somehow watering down the joys that he may experience. People who refuse to think about death begin to live and behave as though they are immortal. Refusing to acknowledge the reality of death is like saying that they will live forever.
It is good to think about death once in a while. It makes us more human. It reminds us that we are not the gods we sometimes make ourselves out to be. The thought of death also urges us to make decisions that we had been putting off. It reminds us that time is short, and if we are to make the best of all the days that we have left, we must get on with the business of living.”
Truly, William Shakespeare, the great dramatist said it best:
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
But what’s between entrance and exit, fellas? How should it be lived? How fruitful or fruitless should it be spent. Did we come to this world as just a mere bit player and after our little role on stage, we exit unknown?
Did we come to this world as mere bystanders passing time as if nothing happens? Did we come as caretakers of this world, order it a bit, that is? When God created us in His image, He must have expected us to emulate his Godliness. Have we failed him?
The great Giovanni Velasco, Vigan City Division Chief Supervisor and concurrent principal of Ilocos Sur National High School probably says it better than the rest. Seeing the noble job of teachers as living inspirations to the children who are the future hopes of this land, he would exhort everybody to live their lives to the fullest. Filling up the span between Shakespeares’ entrance and exits, he would often cite these words:
“We come to this world just once. Any good, therefore, that we can do for our fellowmen, let us do it now. Let us not defer or neglect it, for we shall not pass this way again.”
Yeah, we come to this world just once, fellas. Today we laugh, tomorrow we die.
Let’s, therefore, live a fruitful life and die happy.#