Thursday, October 28, 2010

where good citizenship begins

i was riding in a jeepney again on my way home at about 10 am. i happened to get the seat behind the driver. he was a young man of about 23 but his face looks older and it tells me he'd gone through a lot. well, this country of ours, after a lot centuries, is i think still underdeveloped. or, perhaps it can be stated this way: the elite class, the oligarchs, is first-world, the rest of us still third-world class. but, we were born in this brave, resilient country, so we have to face the trials of being a filipino. i say we are still in the process of evolving one true, great, selfless leader who will herd us all to a better life. if you are a believer of karma and reincarnation, it is said that it is you who determine the country where you will be reborn so that you can have better opportunities to undo the wrongs you have done in the past.

beside the driver, by his left side, sat a kid, a boy of about 4 or 5 years old. he was busily munching on some biscuits and sipping orange juice from a tetra pak. he couldn't care less about his dad. he knew he should not bother him while he was at his "office". i glanced at the rear view mirror in front of the driver. his son's image is reflected there, so innocent looking, bright eyes showing the look of hope, of a great future, one normally sees in children's eyes. i know the driver and i have had that look before when we were young. now time might have obliterated that hopeful look in our eyes, but "hope springs eternal in men's hearts".

after a while i heard the driver speak, he noticed the child is just sipping air out of the juice pack, "son, that's empty, throw it away!" he commanded. the child looked at him pleadingly, seemingly unwilling to part with his orange juice. then he slowly stood up and tried to reach over the back of the front seat. overhanging the back of the front seat was an empty engine oil plastic container with the the top lid cut off. this serves as garbage bin where backseat passengers can dispose of small trash. the driver slowed the vehicle down and with his left arm pulled his son down on the seat.

"just throw it outside!" he told the boy.

"outside? there?" the child pointed to the road.

"yes, there!" his father answered as he maneuvered the jeepney to a stop to pick up a passenger.

as the vehicle picked up speed again the boy let go of the juice pack. he laughed aloud when he saw it hit the road and cartwheeled carelessly. i looked back, the empty juice pack lies there in the middle of the road, along with some other trash thrown mindlessly by others. i remembered what i always say to friends, that, to make this country better we have to invest in the new generation, we need to give them better values than we have now. and this is not a good way of doing it. where the father, the mother, and the child or the children are, HOME IS THERE, and HOME IS WHERE GOOD CITIZENSHIP BEGINS.

the way to a better future for this country is to invest even in the small acts of good citizenship like disposing of trash. even more, the way to save this Great Mother Earth is to be mindful of this irresponsible little acts that accumulate over time and hurt her in the end, and, eventually hurt us. karma, the law of cause and effect. what you give, so shall you receive.

i, myself, was not a good citizen in that instance on that jeepney. what i should have done was to offer my help to the kid, to take the trash and drop it in that garbage container. i could have been a good example to him. yet, i just let the situation complete itself, so that i could write down something on this blog. what a shame! how selfish of me ...

what's the end of this story?

well, after a couple of minutes more the kid finished the biscuits and smilingly threw the plastic wrapper out into the street.

*** jeepney night trip is by my daughter, neysa saguid, copyright 2010.


Christopher Dos Santos said...

Very interesting post my brother. It is very understandable that you should have a connection to Karma. Your entire region is blessed with the peace which comes from this ideology. I say blessed because for the most part people in your region strive to set the stage for a graceful rebirth.

I do not believe in Karma as most do. In fact after much research and great consideration I feel it dies not fit with concepts of divinity as I understand. All religions use a carrot and stick (reward and punishment) to keep the devotion of the followers in check. Christians understand from the Bible heaven and hell. Muslims believe the Koran when Mohammed says the faithful man will be endowed with and honored place in Allah's house with 72 virgins to please his every need. Hindu and Buddhists use Karma and the cycle of rebirth as the carrot and stick.

Always the reward and punishment is decided by God as the individual passes from this plane of experience.

This ideology means that we accept that we are separate from God and from each other. Spiritual masters, scientific geniuses all point to a God which is not separate and they continually tell us we are ONE.

I would always accept a valid argument which disproves my belief structure. In fact I seek other points of view often.

How can personal Karma exist when we are all ONE. Moreover it is impossible to even consider this as truth when we unveil the illusions of time, space, physicality, birth and death.

Whatever argument is made one must always ask the primary question.

Does this argument stand up to the ONE?

Karma is biased toward fear my brother. Most people see Karma as a need to regulate their expression of reality in order to receive reward. There is no God which judges. There are no nasty next lives awaiting those who have chosen to experience what most would consider evil.

You may then say to yourself my brother, " What about Hitler and other terrible people? "

All is God, there is no expression which is not God. We live in a world of duality so we may choose experience, all experience. The beggars have chosen their path possibly so that they may experience compassion. Hitler chose his path possibly so that he may sacrifice himself to show the world how darkness oppresses. The hero we see on the coins in our pocket have chosen their path possibly to show us all the power of love and servitude.

We may come to understand that our true identity is the entirety of manifest experience. We are the beggar, the rapist, the hero. However few know what this truth really means. Deep esoteric concepts like this have been debated by philosophers for thousands of years. Such spiritual understanding is very hard to sort out until the primary illusions are released.

In Lak' esh, my brother site, fear veiled as love and good deeds...

sito saguid said...

as always let me thank you for this insightful comment, brother. i love that phrase you used --" strive to set the stage for a graceful rebirth."

this i believe is a key part of what we need to do as we keep on treading the path to Perfection.