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An Eternal Legacy

Her stances quiet, her leaps high, all centered to concentrate the universal gifts for the children.

This essay is dedicated to my dear children studying in the school where I graduated in elementary; to the next batch of students in my alma mater whose dreams I have seen in their bright eyes; to my high school classmates who inspired me to be better; and to every child I may be privileged to meet, touch and love in the future.

A collage of achievements.

A collage of achievements.

Did you know that it was Albert Einstein who made it possible to power up your cellphones, tablets, iphones and computers? But did you also know that he left us something far more important? He said that “education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”

So how did you train your brain during those 274 school days? Have you ever thought about it?

Let’s recall then. Enrollment period. You needed some school supplies: two sets of uniform and PE. Thick books on English, Math, Science and History. Those you have no choice but to buy, right? But wait. You also needed a school bag, a lunch bag, pens, erasers, crayons and shoes. Freedom at last! You can choose a bag printed with Ben 10, Elsa and Anna, Naruto, Disney Princesses and Avatar the last Airbender. A pencil case with your favorite design. Crayons 8, Jumbo crayons 16 or even crayons 96 with a built-in sharpener!

Yes. You had the power to choose. You were trained to choose for yourself. You got to show who you are. How did that make you feel? Glad? Powerful? Confident? Yup, me too. But let me tell you this: you also had to choose about more important things: whether to say that word, express that feeling, do that chore or homework, answer that question in the exam, use that plastic bag, share to that beggar or revive that plant.

Every choice you make always has a consequence. And you always take with you that huge responsibility for whatever happens next. Your choices create a change. That’s how powerful you can become.

So, how will you use this power of yours? Think about it.

Moving on. First day of school. You needed to learn a bunch of lessons. And every quarter, everything just got harder and tougher. You were required to pass 2 home works, 3 seat works, 4 quizzes, 1 long quiz and 1 grand project. And that’s at least per quarter per subject. Lord, will still there be time to sleep? How did that make you feel? Drained? Weak? Shookt? Yup, me too. But wait. Did you just stuff your bag with notebooks, pad papers and pens? There inside were all the weapons you needed to finish what you were asked for to do and to finish every responsibility to get you closer to learning new important lessons that you can use to make your future brighter. It was not easy at first. I know. But as things got tougher, you realized that you were more determined to face the harder things and to treat them as challenges instead. You took the time to look inside yourself. To discover what you have stuffed inside of you all those years: hard work, patience and perseverance. To realize what you are made of. When you notice that things are getting tougher, let me tell you this: you are on the right path. Because it will never be an easy journey.

So, what path are you on right now? Think about it.

Fast forward. You’re here on your recognition day. A list of things to do for the summer break fills the air. Beach? Out of the country get-away? Gaming? Netflix or movie marathon? How do those make you feel? Refreshed? Liberated? Excited? Yup, me too. But wait. How about the choices you have made? The path you have taken? What should you do with them? Weren’t you just trained to think? After all, that’s the meaning of true education. That is why you are here.

Keep this in mind. With the choices you have made and the path you have taken, you have made yourself responsible for every action you will take from now on. You have taken the oath to pass on the values compassion, justice, peace and truth. You have created yourself to be a good example to all and to be an inspiration to many.

Today a list of students is printed out to recognize their excellence. But let me tell you this: all of you have your own lists of achievements. With all your achievements, you all have equal responsibilities of shaping the Earth to be a better place for every living and non-living thing and for the next generation. You all have that power of choice and that challenging path to take.

Albert Einstein made it possible to power up your cellphones, tablets, iphones and computers. And he left us a very important lesson on education.

How about you?

Think about it, just as Einstein wanted us to.

We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in EVERYONE.

And as we let our own light shine, we consciously give others permission to do the same.

— Nelson Mandela

© 2019 Jillian Talavera