A LIGHT IN THE WILDERNESS
Speech given by Foodhuntress to the Graduating Class of 2009 at her Alma Mater surrounding the theme, "My education, My contribution to the future".
Distinguished guests, the Honorable Superintendent, Dr……., the District Supervisor……, our beloved Principal….., teachers, parents, my dear graduates….good afternoon.
From the bottom of my heart I appreciate this wonderful opportunity to be here with you today. Thank you. I celebrate with you as well what little accomplishments I have had in my life… seventeen years ago in 1992, I was just once like you- I wouldn’t have dreamed of this.
I would like to begin my message with a little flashback...
(Vernacular) Kaidtong batit pa ako, batit pa man an lugar na ini. Wara pa sadtoTV, internet, playstation o Friendster. Pagkatapos mag iskwela, kami san mga tugang ko na gabos man nag iskwela sa Pilot, nagbabaraklay kami pauli. Tapos nagbabarasa kami libro. An paborito ko sadto basahon, an mga istorya san Knights of the Round Table- idto na mga suldados san hadi kaidtong panahon. Insusugo sinda san hadi para sa iba ibang misyon. Sa mga battle formation, an pinakagusto ko na knight idto na may hawak na torch- sulo. Paborito ko sya kasi nasa iya an liwanag na nag iilaw san dalan.
From the storybooks I now realize that the world itself is a wilderness- our lives today is no different from the lives of the Knights many years ago.
My dear graduates, our world today – this future I see right now when I was your age- presents to me a wonderful world, at the same time, a very challenging one. It is an age of too much information, where knowledge is easily replaced by new discoveries.
So now, we are asking, what else can we contribute?
The moment we step out of this room after this graduation ceremony, everything will come to pass… what we read in books we will probably forget…but somehow there will be lessons in life that will stay with us.
Science may be replaced by advanced science, but how we were awakened to the beauty of things living or non- living, enable us to respect one another and the environment we live in.
Math may be replaced by advanced math, but how we were taught to be honest with our studies is far better than what we get in numbers.
History may be replaced as history is made every day, but how we were taught to be true to our roots – and everything else that makes us worthy citizens of our nation – these are the things that make us unique to the bigger world out there.
Elementary English may be replaced by advanced English but how our teachers took pain to teach us our first alphabet so we could read and write, we owe them all these abilities.
When you go out there, when you go to high school, you will meet more people who would expect more from you….You will no longer be students of this school…When you go to college, you will no longer be all from this town...specially when you go to Manila, you will be in a bigger environment. When you apply your first job, it is the same.
In my work as a chef, it is a tough competition likened to the wild outdoors. People tend to steal one idea from one another, it is a battle of who cooks better or who does better. I decide to respect the brainwork of my competitors, for as I remember in my Math class this valuable lesson: do not cheat in your exams and you will never cheat in real life business.
Whatever comes our way, whatever challenge we face, our true education shows not on what we know, but in everything we have become- an individual with a peaceful mind, a loving heart, a grateful attitude, a natural trust to the goodness of God.. With all these in your heart, you can do more others can do, endure more pain more than anyone can do… and in the end feel truly glorious more than anyone could ever feel.
Remember what I will say to you, in four simple sentences the heart of my message so that you- and myself counted too- can contribute better to our future-
4. Be a good son/ daughter. Be obedient to your parents and teachers, for obedience to what is good is the first step to a successful journey.
3. Study hard, give your best.
2. Dream big. Albert Einstein said that imagination is better than knowledge. To dream big means seeing in your heart, imagining and believing that all things will be possible, that you will become the person you want to be someday - and you will be.
But then with big dreams should come bigger courage and the faith that God knows what is best for you more than what you can dream for yourself. So,
1. Do not be afraid. Decide to be courageous, and alongside such decision, always pray to God for guidance.
- these all, you could give back to the society and improve your generation.
In the knight story, knights were trained since the beginning to prepare them for the future. Anyone can undergo such training, but what makes knights different from any warrior is the essence of their heart. Sir Gawain was young and naive, but he was made a knight because of the pureness of his intent.
In the same way that anyone can go to school but not everyone can be truly educated; or, according to that popular movie, anyone can cook, but not just anyone can truly be an artist who creates - for creation is made possible by an inspired spirit.
In this sense, my dear graduates, we have to accept that there will be people who have more knowledge than us, who have more possessions than us, but you will become knights of the real world because you are educated – and educated by this institution.
And so to the teachers who gave us such precious education, I have a message which will be summed in three –
I was once very ignorant but now I can read and write. It is because of you. How many graduates have come back to say thank you. So with the graduating class, I have come back to say, “Thank you Mam.” This is my education.
As your students, we may not have made you happy all the time. I might have failed you in some ways. So now we are asking too, your forgiveness. This is our education.
This is going to be another long journey, for me and the graduates, and we will never forget to pray for you. This is our education.
I am declaring here my true education- and it is to remember what you have made out of me.
My dear graduates, your Alma Mater is sending you off to create a world that is full of hope. Let your education guide your way, so that in time, each and every one of you becomes the knight that carries the burning torch: a light that shines in the darkness of the world.
No matter how small, one single spark that burns bravely in the darkest wilderness, is the rarest and most precious of all.