Monday, November 9, 2015
Letters to Our Children on Recollection Day
From Papa and Mama
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog Paaralang Bayan.sa Himpapawid (School on Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio 738 KHz AM 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
To Matthew Marlo, 16 July 15, 1997
When you open and read this letter you shall be in uniform, seated comfortably with your classmates, your teacher giving instructions that you devote some precious minutes of concentration. It shall be a moment out of 365 days, two-thirds you spend in school, and a spark out of 17 to 25 years of schooling. May this letter therefore, contribute to the significance of this occasion. Marlo plays the flute with sister Anna on the keyboard, and father with the violin.
You live in two different worlds. One world is found in the school, the other outside its walls. The first is the ideal, the other is the real one. One is kind and patient, the other cruel and demanding. One emphasizes principles and theory, the other practice. One teaches you never to indulge in vices, the other even advertises vices. In one you play the music by notes, in the other you play by ear. In one you keep your trash in the waste can, in the other, on the street.
You find a homogenous, fine company in school; outside is a heterogeneous society. In one you can hear the echo of your voice mixing with other voices in vibrant, happy sound; in the other, it dies in thin air, or in a crowd. Or it mixes with cries and moans. You have the privilege of education; outside millions of children are deprived of this opportunity.
For the coming years until you become 21 or so, you will be witnessing the daily drama in these two worlds, and you will realize their great disparity. Do not allow yourself unprepared, more so to be caught between two rocks, so to speak. We have seen failure in those who waited for the wall to dissolve, failure in those who crossed it too soon, and failure in those who simply became prisoners behind it.
You are in your right direction and your pace is just right. Just trust in us to guide you. Be as obedient as you are. Be as industrious and sincere. Be kind always to your sister and brother. Study your lessons harder. Keep faith in the Almighty and mankind. Be healthy and strong. Keep your chin up even in defeat.
What we are saying is that you must prepare yourself early in life to adopt yourself to the outside world. Do not be just a witness or spectator, be that actor on the stage of true life. Our responsibility to you, as well as to your sister and brother, is one more than that of your teachers. As father and mother, we will strive to help you cross the bridge of life more than the care of anyone or any institution. We will strive to fill the gap in whatever way we can to make it less difficult for you to succeed.
May you find this special moment a time of reflection. Remember to read this letter again when you are not in school, where the world is real, and reflect once again. Keep the message in your heart and mind as you walk through life’s rosy and thorny path.
To Anna Christina, 15
January 24, 1998 We are writing you a day after your recollection. What a strange arrangement. Shouldn’t parents write or send gifts to their children on the day of celebration? We can imagine how you sat down there alone in your seat while your classmates were reading their parents’ letters, or opening the gifts they received.
Anna at a botanical garden on Mt Banahaw
This incident can be easily dismissed because people who are bound by love and respect easily find forgiveness. Lest we forget however, that the very things that bind people could be the same things that can break them apart. We have known many a pampered child fail in life. We have read true stories of friendship gone sour. What an irony that the very things that set progress could be the very cause of destruction. So with the cause of breaking friendship. So with love. Brotherhood. Peace. Taking things for granted on the other hand, can generate similar catastrophic results. Why many an accident happened from taking things for granted. A conflagration can be traced to a single matchstick.
What we are telling you is a lesson, which we want you to reflect upon, on this post recollection day. There are many young people who get spoiled because they fall victims to this triad of errors, which are as follows:
1. Too much care can lead to over protection,
2. Overprotection stifles the mind, and
3. A mind that is not challenged takes things for granted.
You may be brilliant, but you may not be using this gift well. You may be loved, but you may not be aware that you are not reciprocating properly. You may find the world exciting, but not challenging. You may have many friends but friendship may lead you away from your path of success. You may have many things at fingertip command but you may be passive.
You will realize as you grow up that failure of life is hidden behind too much of the good life. Rich countries, it is true, provide the good life, but look at the present problems with the new generation. And if we think that nobody is poor in a rich country why is it that there are millions of impoverished people in the US whose conditions may even be worst than in our country? How can a genius professor turn into a world terrorist? .
On the other hand, how can Helen Keller see the world clearer than most of us who are not blind? How did honest Abe Lincoln pass the bar when he did not formally attend law school, and became president of America? Why did Augustine renounce his rich inheritance just to live a monk’s life? Life indeed is full of contradictions, and this is what makes it go round.
In your post recollection, get a whole sheet of paper. Draw a vertical line at the center and list down on the left side people you know who made it in life the hard way. On the right, list down people you know who did not make it because they became willing victims of the triad syndrome.
Where do you place yourself? Think deep and write your resolution.
To Leo Carlo, 14
July 28, 2000
Every day is a day of celebration with you, and with your brother and sister around. Our home is complete. But there is one thing that makes our lives unique. It is having you around doing a lot of things by yourself, from caring pets to inventing gadgets, which only you can understand. Then there are your paintings, mural in size for your early age.
Leo with Papa and Mama; Leo's art
When we asked ourselves what you would become, we just said, “He will become what he wants to become." It is because you are talented, creative, and in many ways, responsible. The best gift a child can give to his parents is confidence.
But there is a lot to learn in this world. Ours is a very complex one, and it is going to be more difficult to live with. That is why we want that confidence to be anchored deeply and properly to withstand the harsh realities of life, which do not spare anyone - except perhaps the strong and prepared.
Let us reaffirm our commitment to you, as we have done the same to your brother and sister. And as the youngest, we will double our efforts if needed, this we can proudly say to you on this special occasion: We stand by you at all times, until we can do no more - or when you say you can already face life. ~