It is Easter Sunday, the day when the Christ rose from death and entered the earth and humanity in a new and profound way. This is the day I make sure the children and I are together, celebrating in the simplest but most meaningful manner. We light a candle and start with a story about the hare, whose task it is to deliver the eggs to every home, caring for each one so that the light of the Christ–the sun–that is in each one remains intact. Then off the children go with their little baskets, hunting for real (never candy-filled plastic!!) eggs.
I am unable to do for them today what I normally do, as I am in the process of moving to what I hope will be our forever home at last, but I am fortunate that there is an Easter Festival in their school that is celebrated with as much simplicity and meaning. I find it fitting that I am again at a personal threshold at Easter time, the same way our country is right at the threshold of true spiritual-cultural change.
Before sitting down to write this, I took stock of events in society today, from the ZTE hearings to Jun Lozada, the strong and vibrant indications of an emergent and new power of the people, the incredible shift I experience in our PAGASA workshops, clearly showing how people are already changing for our country with great zest and determination, and even the response to a rather angry, vicious, though probably truthful blog that has caught the attention of Filipinos everywhere. It does seem as though we are being peeled from the outside, cleansed, forced to look at who we really are individually and as a people, so that we may finally make a conscious decision to be either part of the change that will take this country forward, or part of the dying energy of destruction and decadence that has kept this country in darkness.
It’s a good time to reflect on where we are in our history and to view this time as one of true potential. It is the season to celebrate transformation and renewal; we can really ask ourselves how we can make manifest the deed of the Christ that was born this very day, two thousand or so years ago. What in us can be renewed and harnessed towards true service of our country?
Many people claim they are tired of the drama and toxic politicking that have dotted our history for decades, possibly centuries. I know this is a sentiment shared by many. I was there, too, before I decided to be part of the change. I have not looked back since. I don’t feel tired or burned-out about the country anymore because I see so much change happening around me. People who are on the same journey of inner change towards societal transformation are just raring to go and doing great things so quickly, that I am actually more excited and revved up now about the possibilities for our country than I have ever been before. You can choose to just be tired or you can choose to let that feeling propel you into positive action.
A few years ago, when I first got a call from Nicanor Perlas to join the newly founded PAGASA (Peoples Assembly For Genuine Alternatives to Social Apathy), I was going through a personal death; I felt I wasn’t ready to participate in anything. Then he said, “You will heal faster if you engage in the world.” He could not have been more right. That personal death led me to the many births I have experienced since, each one more profound than the last, in several areas of my life. I have since learned that a human life is meant to serve the greater whole. It is not meant for itself alone. It was self-indulgent of me to think I needed to get to that place of wholeness first before I could serve others. In fact, it was my very wound that allowed me to plunge deeply into the outer world to create something new and vibrant in the true service of something larger. I became active outside myself because I got tired of pointing a finger at others, complaining, and feeling helpless and overwhelmed. I wanted to be part of the solution, no matter what it was, not matter what it took.
The theme of Easter comes into one’s biography several times—tragedy, death, resurrection, and renewal, but it is only at Easter time when one feels (if we truly sense and listen) this impulse deeply because it seems to come to us as a collective energy — if we are open and sensitive to its call. Our country stands at the threshold of true change. It is important to take a closer look at everything that is going on around us and to try to read the messages behind them, fully cognizant of the significance of the season. Perhaps, if we come from this quiet space of connection to the essence of the deed we remember today, answers we never dreamed possible will finally surface.