My father shared this little story to me, allow me to share it to you in the hopes that you will find something good out of it.
There was once an old holy man living alone in the edge of a desert. There were once many hermits like him who lived there in self abnegation and in deep spiritual contemplation. However, one by one, all the others left, unable to take the cruel heat and the constant lack of food and water.
One day a young man went to the holy man for some wisdom and guidance. As he was about to leave, he asked the holy man “Honored sir, may I ask how come that you still stayed here even though others had already left?”
The holy man replied, “My dog saw a rabbit one day and chased it. The other dogs saw my dog running and so they ran after my dog. One by one the other dogs stopped until only my dog remained.”
The young man thought this over for awhile and yet could not find in it the answer to his question. “Honored sir, how would that story answer my question?”
“You see, young man, only my dog saw the rabbit,” replied the Holy man with a smile.
After telling this story my father asked me, “Do you see the rabbit? Or are you just running because you see others doing it? Find the reason first why you are doing what you are doing before you start running, or you will end up like the other dogs.”
The purity of an individual’s intentions in making a decision is one of the keys in making the right choice. I believe that in every decision we must give weight to the urgings of our conscience, thus, the constant struggle to do what is right is a personal war against our selves. Our actions, which are the manifestations of our decisions, should be directed for the nourishment of the soul and of others.
Some seek to be a man of success, but success at what price? Our aim should be to be of value and not merely to be successful; our life should give more value to the lives of others and to our being. Our existence should give something good to the lives of others, for in so doing we also give value to our lives.
There are things in life that we must accept. Death is one of those.
The moment we start to live, we also start to die. Death goes hand in hand with living. Death is ever constant and ever present. Unchangeable. Unbendable. Immutable. It will happen to us in due course, whether it be now or tomorrow or the next. Even the stars, in their vastness and brilliance and majesty, will ultimately die. We must accept death because it is a fact of life, just like we must accept that a rock is a rock and not a tree; because it is what it is, no matter how we believe or wish for it to be otherwise.
However, there are times when the death of someone makes it so much harder to accept than most. That someone whose radiant presence in our lives gives so much more vividness to our existence and their sudden absence from it casts us into utter darkness. That someone whose presence in our lives raised us to the very heights of being and their sudden absence left us desperately falling into complete sorrowful oblivion.
Jimnah Torrepalma was that kind of someone for so many whose lives he had touched and who he had shared his life with. He was a joyful soul with such a zest for life that his sudden death left us reeling in disbelief. He was so full of life and vibrance that the news of his death is still unbelievable to my ears. I remember him most as that boy who was constantly smiling mischievously and always had a ready grin for his friends.
I still remember chatting with him on Facebook when he just graduated from the Philippine Military Academy, I was so proud of him then and more so now. I am proud of him because he died doing what he loved; only a few could claim that and I can only aspire to go the way he did, God willing. Though, we grieve his early death – he could have been so much more, and he could have been with us a lot longer – I guess, it would be selfish for us to think that way. Maybe this is God’s way of honoring such a good man, after all, those who die young sins less; and as I know Jimnah, he sinned least of all.
In the end, we must accept. We must be at peace with his death, no matter how hard or painful it may be. We must strive to rise from our sorrow and banish the darkness of our despair.
To those that grieved his passing “Do not pity the dead. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.” The very truth that we are grieving his death is the greatest thing anyone could ever say, for it means that he has truly lived a life worth living for he has loved and we loved him back in turn.
This is for airing the things that we often forget and yet never truly forgotten, the things that we seldom give importance and yet fills our lives with more meaning and vibrance. This is for those thoughts that are rarely spoken aloud and yet in its hushed whisper it shouts out to our minds and resonates in our hearts.