Every day is for tomorrow
AS EASY AS ABC - Atty. Alex B. Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - November 4, 2018 - 12:00am

It must be in the still of a Nov. 1 moment during our annual visit that I thought of how time heals anyone and how time ravages everyone.

If I have a lifespan of up to a hundred, then I would be in my “midlife”. Reality check – I am, in all probability, way past my midlife, farther from my beginning, and closer to my mortality. I have younger friends and I also have close friends in their 70s. Thus, the conversations I partake in evolve from the adventures one sets out to undertake, to the medicines one has to take. Conversations that have gone herbal have become more interesting. I relate better now to discussions about aching joints, stiff necks, and frozen shoulders, and can even toss in some anecdotes of my own.

I was just talking to a large group of our young people last week about personal journeys – how it helped me in major ways that I appreciated early on that in this journey, all difficulties are investments for the future. That every day is for tomorrow. It makes me reflect that unless life is prematurely taken, the journey, even for the aging, is far from over. Productive seeds can still be sown.

I was disturbed in these thoughts by an update on a real-life migration type of a journey happening in the western part of the world. The journey on foot of thousands for more than a thousand miles from Honduras to the US borders makes any other type of journey pale in comparison.

With low or no food supply, no bathroom facilities, let alone lodgings, they make the dangerous march to escape imminent threat to their lives from crossfires and direct criminal attacks.

For them, the high-risk caravan offers more safety than sitting still where they live. For them, every gruelling step is a step closer to a better future – at least for their children.

They believe in the power of humanity more than they fear immigration laws. With the US president on the other end though, that bet sadly could be quite wrong. And the growing number of leaders with tunnel-vision nationalism are precarious bets that place the odds against global harmony.

The threatening style of foreign policy does not produce goodwill and is not fit for partnerships. Their impulsive responses to feign decisiveness make things less predictable and destroy trust. Unabated clash of egos of world leaders can be fatal to an already war-afflicted, conflict-laden world. Without peace, there is nothing to look forward to.

High economic growth and healthy populations can be wiped out by conflict; trade infrastructure can be destroyed by trading in bad faith; inclusive growth is unachievable without inclusive peace; and all sides lose if nationalism is used as a wick of war.

Thus, the top mandate for any leader is for that leader to be committed to work for peace for humanity, in deeds and in words, first and foremost.

Back to my moment of serendipity during our visit – I stare at a specific patch of earth and thought that one’s final day is the exceptional point where one can only go back and hope that his life was purposeful and well lived. The “tomorrow” he worked for would ultimately belong to those he would leave behind, to those he hopes would pay him a visit when he rests in peace.

* * *

Alexander B. Cabrera is the chairman and senior partner of Isla Lipana & Co./PwC Philippines. He is the chairman of the Tax Committee, and the vice chairman of EMERGE (Educated Marginalized Entrepreneurs Resource Generation) program, of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP). Email your comments and questions to aseasyasABC@ph.pwc.com. This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

ALEX B. CABRERA
Philstar
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