THE SPRING OF OUR HOPE
Two important events mark our lives as Americans of Philippines descent this month and the coming months: the health care law, a response to the social justice issue of health care in this country, and the elections that will be held in the Philippines next month.
In both events, we are implicated.
Their implications issue out the need for us to hope for the better, believing that hope is one spring of the soul we can indulge in and we can hold onto even as we get past life’s Fall, with all its connotations.
We are still reeling from all the literal hardships that have come to visit us even in this land of prosperity and dream.
We are still reeling from the ugly reality that has hit us hard when that American Dream we have been pursuing has suddenly turned unreachable, its pursuit now almost impossible, with less and less of access available to us for us to reimagining it in our mind as in our life and in our daily struggles.
In the homeland, the story is not better off: the images on the streets, the images on the newspapers, the images from the news are a mixed bag of hope and frustration, despair and illusion, virtue and vice.
In so many ways, it seems that this new homeland we have come to, literally and metaphorically, to eke out a life that is something more colorful and better and grander, has become elusive at best.
In so many ways, it seems that the homeland we left behind has not learned to molt into a republic of vision, preferring instead to remain a republic of sorrows and grief and servitude.
The new health care law is a thought in grandiose terms, its intentions marked by a distinct sensitivity to the connection between social justice and health as a public good.
The elections in the Philippines, on the other hand, remains a stage play, with no plot that is clear but a lot of entanglements, with the almost mysterious because open-ended sub-plot lines of political promises.
And there is much misery too: the roads claim the dead, in the deep of the night as in the sunlight clarity of daytime.
Two entanglements, these, and we watch from the sidelines, and we can only watch from the sidelines, kibitzing as much as we can, as we are rendered spectators in all these spectacles that assault us each day.
How do we move on past these bombshells of the everyday is a question that begs an honest response, a wideness of vision, and a critical engagement with that conversation that could show us the way out of these traps that are not of our own making.
It is our obligation to ask this question—and beg for an answer, or answers.
Because our obligation is not only to the present but to the future as well, in much the same that our obligation is not only to the current season, but also to the one that comes after.
Especially in this time of Spring, when the sunshine welcomes us in its glory and the thought of coming to life again from the Fall of “the falling of leaves” and the “hibernation of the universe” and the “dormancy of the colors of flowers” becomes a thought that ignites in us some reasons to look forward to the Summer of warmth and gaiety and joy.
It is resurrection told anew: it is resurrection in life as in the need to hope for something better especially when the debates in the health care law will come from everywhere and the dark and dreary dramaturgy in Philippine politics will confuse us some more.
“The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope,” so says Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
We believe him.
We need to give reason to the next generation of Philippine Americans to hope, in all the seasons of our life, in this season of Spring or in the coming Summer, or in this time of the Christian narrative of resurrection they call Easter.
Happy Easter to all!
FAO. April 2010