In a world where new, young and fresh are what capture society’s attention, how do we value age and experience?
Is there a place in modern society for our aged?
Our Lolos and Lolas whose life experiences are priceless.
A veritable fountain of information from which we can mine and learn.
Or do we treat our Lolos and Lolas as accessories to our political correctness? Only taking them out for display when it aligns with the new world ‘woke-ness’?
Or do the young truly believe in the toxicity of our Filipino culture thereby tarring everything by the same brush?
We’ve seen it floating around in social media. The seemingly innocent and comedic relief about the tatak ng pagiging Pinoy.
Utang na loob;
Handaan kung piyesta.
Those are just some of the memes pervading our consciousness.
As if calling to mind a rebellion.
A rebellion to denounce and de-cry the ideologies that our own Lolo and Lolas have held dear.
Once again, I am no expert.
As a mother of a three-year old, I often think about how to distill our Filipino culture and shape the worldview of my son – inclusive of being both Filipino and Australian.
This I can effectively do by mining the experiences of our nakakatanda.
My husband’s Lola Lydia who is turning 100 this coming January often gives us nuggets of wisdom that stand the test of time.
The simple advice of not making rash decisions when angry (huwag kang magsalita nang patapos lalo na kung galit ka)
Aanhin ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo
What is the point of having grass (food) if the horse is dead.
Or in the words of my own Lola Goa – Mrs Maria Imperial y Competente – in Bikol.
Bubusongon ka ning Kagurangnan
The Lord will enforce His Divine Justice. As a way to remind me to be good when I was being pilya (naughty).
Paduman ka pa lang, pauli na kami.
(You’re just on your way but we’ve already been there and back.)
As a reminder that whenever I try to talk my way out of things, my Lola (and Mom) have already done the same in their youth.
Now, there is a richness to our culture that we cannot replicate elsewhere.
As much as society quests for the ever-elusive fountain of youth, the pressure to reinvent yourself to stay relevant.
There is beauty in accepting the passage of time.
A sense of wonder marked by living through life experiences which then in turn can inspire a generation.
Much like what I am doing now with my son.
There is a unique type of wisdom that comes with age.
It’s not an instant download.
It’s not a quick fix.
It’s not a swipe right.
It comes from witnessing a thousand sunrises.
It comes from smelling the first whiff of spring multiplied by hundreds
It comes from viewing the way the sea kisses the shore in the space of ten breaths.
This type of wisdom is lived.
Are your eyes open? Do you see this type of wisdom in your circle?
(For comments or feedback, email email@example.com)
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