The first of May, 2024

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Ballescas - The Freeman

A number of them slept in their jeeps. Many others like them against franchise consolidation are determined to continue their street protest. What is more important now/today?

Jeepney modernization or the survival of jeepney drivers and their families? Can there not be a happy compromise between government and the jeepney drivers? Where is the Supreme Court?

Do the justices not see the beleaguered jeepney drivers awaiting their restraining order vs. the government’s modernization scheme? How many more jeepney drivers/ their families will need to go without meals/homes/ and hope before the justices can finally decide?

Remember our jeepney drivers this first day/month of May, 2024. And all other workers throughout our country/our world who are alienated from their labor/from their humanity by unjust/unequal social processes/structures.

Until today, humans continue to be alienated from their labor, so far removed from what human labor should genuinely be.

From Karl Marx: "The whole of what is called world history is nothing but the creation of man by human labor, and the emergence of nature for man; he therefore has the evident/irrefutable proof of his self-creation/of his own origins."

“Productive life” is “life creating life. In the type of life activity resides the whole character of a species, its species-character; and free/conscious activity is the species-character of human beings.”

“Labor is the self-expression of man, an expression of his individual physical/mental powers. In this process of genuine activity man develops himself, becomes himself; work is not only a means to an end - the product - but an end in itself, the meaningful expression of human energy; hence work is enjoyable.”

This May 1st, how many of the world’s laborers will agree that their labor is enjoyable/ productive/ an expression of their humanity, their species-beingness?

When will all our laborers and their labor be accorded dignity? Soon/very soon, we pray.

The Church reminds us that the merry month of flower offerings and rosary/prayers for Mama Mary starts today!

May 1 also celebrates/honors workers, as exemplified by St. Joseph who offered his labor, a blessing from God, for his family. His labor also served as a model for his Son, Jesus Christ, to follow.

Mass celebrant, Fr. Tito Caluag, SJ, also reminded all to consider labor as co-creation with God - as Genesis 1-24-31describes:

“And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock/the creatures that move along the ground/and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.

God made the wild animals/the livestock/and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock/all the wild animals/ over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male/female he created them.

God blessed them, said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth/all the birds in the sky/all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.”

And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening/there was morning—the sixth day.

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