there was a moment back in college, more than a decade ago, that transformed my life in a profound way.
while walking the corridors of bellarmine hall, there was a note tacked onto the cork board. “volunteers needed,” it said.
back then, i was as lost as anyone else. you had all this energy to do something good… but there was no outlet to let all that goodness out.
some of my classmates joined the theater group. i did too, for a short while. but somehow, it wasn’t for me. the idea of acting or pretending… well, i wasn’t one to pretend. i was born to do concrete stuff.
some refused to grow up. they stuck to their barkada, treating them like they were the most important people in the world. they went and organized parties, raced cars, got the coolest stuff… not for me, i said. there is a world out there. i needed to find my place in it.
others stuck to their books. spending hours at the library, amassing such knowledge… a dialogue with them is like talking with an encyclopedia. they had all these esoteric theories and would talk about such intellectual stuff… talk was not for me. i was born to work with my hands.
volunteers needed, it said. and volunteer i did.
children with cancer. whoa that’s heavy stuff. and what?? we have to go to the hospital every wednesday morning? to play?
little by little, i got into it. it was like the kiwi movie on youtube. you build yourself up for something. maybe this was it for me. i jumped off the cliff… and began to live.
you get to know their likes and dislikes. you get to know what makes them smile. you get to know what scares them. you get to know how much your help means to them.
you see them happy, and you’re happy. when you don’t see them at the clinic, you’re even happier, because it meant they’re not needing such intensive treatment.
when they die… it crushes you.
you are really, really Sad for weeks. but eventually, because you too must grow, you get up and do it again. and do it so much better.
i might not have been able to cure any cancer. these children had doctors for that. they needed someone to help them understand their unique world. once they understood the concept of cancer, they get very angry. very withdrawn.
their parents blame themselves. such guilt. such unnecessary guilt.
and i just absorbed all that negative energy… and strived to change it into love and hope.
kything. the giving of self. it meant this constant striving to change all that is negative — into something glorious. anyone can change the world.
for me, it started with a message on the corkboard.
thank God for KYTHE.