At lunchbreak today, I was going through my feed reader and checked out Paul Coelho’s UNESCO keynote address on the radicalization of youth at the crossroad. Well those who know me deeply would understand how I feel for these things. On the other hand, a new acquaintance IM'd me, after checking out my blog, saying that "it truly is fashionable to be espousing social causes like child rights, stop world hunger, ban land mines etc. these days" and hence, is that why I am on it… "trying to keep up with what’s in?" Indeed, the social landscape is changing across the globe but not in the context she meant. As for me, the cause for children is a very personal one. While I had always been actively involved in community work a few years back as a development planner, my work that has to do with programs on the protection of children’s rights truly began in the year 2005 with a project for UNICEF which encourages LGU-UNICEF collaboration on the development of Child-friendly cities in the Philippines. As I had always been involved as a writer for UN-related projects, I thought it was nothing new. For this one, I had the opportunity of working with local leaders and much later with locally-based global children’s organization like Save the Children and Global Fund for Children in Conflict mostly as writer and development planner. It was a way for me to deal with that certain grief of my own and I was then so sure, it was to be the path of change for me.
As I immersed myself in readings on the state of children – reading all I could get my hands on -- first in the Philippines, and then in Asia and then in the world, then I came to know in a personal way -- what I had known ever since -- that change is a long, lonely road. But getting involved in these things has stages. And I was then in a stage where I was too caught up in my own pain to be of any use to others. The problem was overwhelming, I was beginning to see how difficult and frustrating things were, and as Paul Coellho said "the feeling of powerlessness gripped me". Confound it with the fact that I could not make a change that way while I have my own issues and while resources were short even for me.
And so my involvement on this project came to a halt in 2007, along with many other community projects we had on the drawing board. Then one upset after another – a project I was to take on that farther away land was indefinitely shelved after all had seemed set, ready, go. The saddest part of that—and I cannot possibly recount here – is that failed trip failed in another way in terms of my "personal life". Because of that I had lost in the relationship arena by "default" and I had been told as a result of my no-show that I have put someone “on a spot more than he can say”. Restless, I had already been feeling like fish out of water where I was (well, I correct me there, I’m supposed to be a “river”) certain that something awaits me somewhere.
Then a year ago, I caught up with a close friend who was planning on a trip to Singapore. Next thing I found myself was deep in corporate work right here in cosmopolitan Singapore. What’s next for me, time alone can tell. Some really thought-provoking developments have turned up. I am trying to think straight and listen “to the universe” for some things I really have no control over. All I know is that, wherever life leads, I would like to come full circle to the meaningful work that I had once began and still wish to do. It's in my heart all the while.
Why am I sharing this? Because in a blog you are compelled to be honest in a beautiful way -- to process that honesty, stringing words together within context, sometimes with fresh eyes and new understanding, and in a well presented manner -- in case someone might pass by and share in the journey. Then, for myself – a communicator with an almost desperate longing to understand and be understood, you probably will never understand why one has to leave some of her private thoughts out in the open. I don’t have to tell you how often having to elaborate has gotten me into trouble. But for the personal sharing -- how useful and nice that I have something on here, a piece of my mind that I can come back to, a part of me that I sent like a prayer, out there in the random world somewhere.