On dealing with crises

ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato - The Philippine Star

We all at one point or another fall into a crisis. Before Christmas, many of our fellow citizens suffered from the pains of Odette and it isn’t over for them, as even the most basic necessities such as clean water and proper hygiene are difficult to attain. Then came Omicron and, although we saw how cases were much lower during the holidays, the sudden spike hit many of us unexpectedly. In both occasions, we are suffering.

Waking up the next day to uncertainty and longing is difficult to bear, clinging only to endurance and perhaps the little faith any of us can muster when it comes to life. We have been tested and we continue to be tested to a point that we question where we ought to be anchored on but, in all this, I have learned about the most beautiful people who have remained untouched by catastrophe by looking at the silver linings. Many of us fail at this -- I myself included. But, as I had mentioned, there are people out there who still teach us that hoping is in fact expecting that the days ahead will be better for all.

The Filipino spirit is one that amazes me in times of tragedy when, despite what has happened, many are still able to smile. In places that have been severely stricken by the storm, many are managing to share whatever little resources they have with those who have nothing. Such a small act can never be repaid by whatever money can buy, as it is simply priceless. How many of us have endured a crisis and encountered people who, regardless of the struggle, have placed themselves not only at the forefront but also treat you with the same amount of dignity? Again, It is priceless.

It is in times like these that I truly salute the people in the sidelines who never get featured or never expect a thank you in return, simply because their service is born out of love. It is very difficult to serve when one is undergoing a crisis himself yet, I have seen so many in the past few weeks that are doing just that. I know Filipinos are resilient but on top of this valuable trait, I’d like to look at Filipinos as givers and if we replicate this , or pay it forward as they say, every Filipino can and will rise.

We often hear people say “aangat din tayo balang araw.” On my end I hear that a lot. Wherever I go. Even in the movies. One must ask, however, what it really means to rise or what it means when we say “don’t worry, aangat din tayo.” To me, it is about the people who share a bar of soap when supplies are scarce so that another can wash her clothes in a nearby river or handing your mobile phone to someone who can’t find his children even when you are almost out of credit. This is what it means to rise because by doing so, one experiences the struggle with another and only together can they move forward.

A crisis is teaching me so many things. It is mostly teaching me that I cannot do things on my own. It is also teaching me that problems can be fixed if we combine all our efforts through a little sacrifice. A crisis teaches us that we ought to look at our troubles collectively instead of individually. We are a society of men and we ought to look at rebuilding as a team. As mothers, fathers, children or even as generals, working together creates better solutions and, most of all, it helps us to deal with hardship better.

“Aangat tayo” … such reassuring words of hope not just for one but for many. In dealing with a crisis, the best attitude is one that enables us to go outside of ourselves. It’s like passing that bar of soap so that everyone else around you gets clean.a



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