Fr. Roy Cimagala
Senior citizens like myself may start feeling that our lives are already made and that there is not much more that can be done in this life. In a sense, we have reason to think and feel that way. But in another sense, we should be careful of being trapped by that attitude, because whether we like it or not, there is actually still a lot more to be done and should be done.
We just have to keep on moving, keeping pace with today’s developments that definitely are galloping like mad. It may not be easy, but we all know that one important law of our life is that not all things are easy, and the difficult ones are actually the ones that usually matter. We should be game enough to play and dance the many twists and turns of life.
The other day, I was in the company of young men, usually labeled as yuppies, who in their young age appear to have already achieved a lot. They were talking about things that sounded too technical to me.
I was very impressed, and I suddenly remem-bered those words from the song, “What a won-derful world”: I see babies cry / and I watched them grow / They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know…
Just the same, we have to try to keep pace with the new develop-ments without forgetting to impart the many precious lessons we have also learned in our own time. The inter-generational relation should be kept alive and vibrant. A lot of good for all parties involved can be derived from such effort.
In this regard, I guess the initiative should come from us, the elderly ones. Instead of distancing ourselves from the young ones, we should approach them and ask them to teach us the new technologies. I suppose they would feel good to do that favor to their elders.
It’s in this kind of situation that while the young ones can teach us the modern technologies, we can also show them in different ways the more important values that should guide the young ones in their life.
In that way, the journey of life becomes more meaningful and fruitful. We avoid that some people get behind in the real march of progress, which is not simply toward more earthly welfare, wealth and power but more toward our heavenly goal.
This will require openness of mind and heart among us, the seniors, continuing to humble ourselves so as to be of service to the young ones. We need to try to learn their language and ways, even if we ourselves have our own. We should try to avoid getting siloed in the culture of our own generation. We have to learn to reach out, to network with them.
We should be thrilled when they show us the many possibilities of the digital world, but let’s also thrill them with the real challenges and adventure of the spiritual and moral life. I am sure they will appreciate that if we know how to do our part.
That’s why we should make sure that our own personal life is in order, one that is solidly built upon the foundations of the essential values and virtues in life. Fr. Roy Cimagala is Chaplain, Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE), Talamban, Cebu City, Email: roycimagala@ gmail.com