Everything we need to know from Kim Chiu's law of the classroom
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - May 24, 2020 - 12:00am

From the mouths of babes, we learn wisdom and discernment, the most fundamental and the most forgotten: To follow the law, to not leave the classroom, and when stray, to make amends, and rectify our errors. It’s a shame that we, adults and seniors, have to be reminded by a very young girl, Kim Chiu.

Those who make fun of her should be ashamed. They may be educated but have forgotten or simply neglected the most fundamental rules in life. Kim's analogy of the classroom refers really to life. And the law is the set of rules that God, our country, organizations, homes, and families formulated for the peace and good relations of all. Going out of the classroom is Kim's illustration of breaking the law, breaching protocol. She says when we violate the law, we need to rectify our wrongs.

Actually, Kim Chiu's edict is consistent with God's law: If you love me, you shall obey my commandments. Love God with all your mind, with all your heart and with all your being. Then, love your neighbor as you love yourself. The moment you violate these laws, you have gone out of the classroom, and need to rectify your errors. Kim's law of the classroom is also congruent with the law of human relations as enunciated in Article 19 of the Philippine Civil Code: Every person must, in the exercise of his rights, and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith. Whenever we violate the law, we stray outside the classroom.

Under the new normal, we need to go back to basics; wash our hands, wear our masks, keep our physical distance, stay home. The moment we breach the protocol, whether for convenience or plain stupidity, we deviate from the law. We go outside the classroom, and when we do, we endanger ourselves, we insult our teacher, which is the analogy for the government, our parents, and our political, religious, and social leaders. When we violate the law, we also damage the unity of the classroom or of society, or the nation. It breaks the good relations between the lawgiver and the follower, and also the relations between the lawbreaker and the other members of the organization or community.

Based on Kim’s template, the classroom is where peace, harmony, cooperation, respect and human dignity reside. It’s also the center of learning the lessons of life, and staying there makes us enabled, ennobled, empowered, and enhanced. The first classroom was the Garden of Eden, and the first violator of the law was Eve, then Adam. That’s why, by the sin of one man, the covenant between creator and created was broken, and humanity was exiled into this world. Hence, we are pilgrims here who have been ransomed by the blood of Christ. And our Lord is going away, after giving us a new advocate, the Paraclete, as told in today's gospel of St John, Chapter 17, verses 1 to 11. But he will come back already glorified by the Father.

There would have been less pains, fears, and conflicts had we opted to stay inside the classroom, and each time we went astray, humbled ourselves and made amends like prodigals sons, so we can be restored to our heritage of happy, peaceful and blessed life. I wish it were as simple as that. But Kim's discerning purity and mindful simplicity make us older folks feel guilty for our excesses and shortcomings, and most especially our plain stupidity.

KIM CHIU
Philstar
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