I’ve always been very active in both academics and extra and co-curricular activities. Partly because I grew up in a very demanding and competitive family and academic environment, and maybe because I always want to challenge myself to stretch the limits and do the impossible. Yes, although I’m not that short, I think I have the “Napoleonic complex,” o mas magandang sabihing, I ‘had’ one.
With all the stressful days, sleepless nights, tight competition, and ‘buwis-buhay’ stunts I’ve pulled off, I never knew I forgot one very important thing – to stop and think. It seemed that I was racing against time, and that there was no second to waste. There even came a point that sleeping was a luxury I couldn’t afford to give myself – the choleric, overly hardworking person that I am. And now I can honestly say, “I missed a lot. Sayang. If only I was able to treasure every moment, to realize all the things I’ve done and learn from each one of them, I could’ve grown more as a person.” Akala ko kasi noon, pag sobrang busy ka, eh cool ka na. Yung tipong wala ka laging tulog, mukha ka nang drug addict or zombie. Yun kasi ang uso samin. Pero hindi naman pala.
This is what makes the AYLC Experience a very life-changing and momentous experience for me. After more than 10 years of leadership and service, I have come to the realization that leading is not just about creating the best plans or getting the job done. It’s not just about success. It’s about making a difference – it may not be that big, but knowing that you’ve helped develop and inspire others to do good is all it takes.
The wakeup call I really needed
Getting into AYLC’s top 81 made me really happy and overwhelmed. But at the same time, it made me worry — to the point of questioning my worthiness. True, I’ve been overly active before, but that was BEFORE. Now that I’m in 4th year, I’ve already cut loose of all the ropes that tie me to every single leadership responsibility I’ve held most value for so long. Hindi ko din alam. Bigla na lang, hindi na ako active sa leadership positions. Maybe because I’ve already reached the top positions last year? Or maybe it’s my involuntary way of ‘giving up.’ Siguro nga.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned during the congress are that “There is NO EXCUSE not to serve” and “If you give up, they will.” I can say NATAMAAN TALAGA AKO, as in tagos hanggang buto. Kumbaga, na-‘in your face’ ako! To think that for a few months now, I have totally turned away from the very vision I set myself to pursue many years back. I guess, in one way or another, we all pass through this phase wherein we question even the very things we believe in. It pains me to think that I once became the person I so hated – apathetic and hopeless. And for realizing that, I am deeply grateful. If not for this Congress, edi hindi ako nagising sa pagtutulug-tulugan ko?
I believe it’s never too late to get back on track and continue the race. Medyo napag-iwanan na ako, OO, pero with dedication and blazing passion, alam kong kakayanin kong humabol. Wala namang deadline ang paggawa ng mabuti, kaya pwede pa talaga. 🙂
/Humingi ako ng tinapay, binigyan ako ng burger, may fries pa! :))
At dahil ang haba na din nitong composition ko, e lulubus-lubosin ko na. haha! Just wanted to share this short anecdote. Promise, this makes total sense! 🙂
As far as I could remember, it was starting this 2011 that I started including the “Lord, make me a vessel to spread your truth and love po. I want to make a difference and I want it to be in line with your will. Kayo na pong bahala sakin.” line in all my prayers. I don’t really recall how it all started, but I’m pretty sure ngayong taon ko lang dinasal to. Maybe it was partly because I hadn’t had enough confidence that I’d get in sa AYLC, and so I was asking God to give me other chances to help out and make a significant difference – kahit hindi through AYLC.
So ayun nga, simple lang naman ang hiningi ko sa Diyos – ang gawin nya akong instrument para gumawa ng mabuti. But never did I expect na ibibigay nya sa akin ang napaka-WOAHHH! na AYLC experience. It was actually only during our last workshop session at Caleruega that I realized this connection. Na sinagot na pala ni Lord ang dasal ko – at hindi lang basta binigay ang hinigi ko, dahil wala naman talaga akong hininging anything concrete – instead of giving me bread, binigyan Nya ako ng burger, at may fries pang kasama!
For every end is just a new beginning.
As leaders, we all have different molds. These vary based on our past experiences, learnings, and decisions. I can honestly say my mold before the Congress was not perfect, in fact there’s Coercive, Dictatorial Leader written all over it. But that was before. As the longest and most unforgettable 4-days passed, my mold slowly softened. Parang ice cream na natunaw completely. And I don’t regret it. Sabi nga sa isang movie nina Jackie Chan and Jet Li, “empty your cup.” Dahil sa pagkatunaw ng molde ko, I became more open and free to choose a new mold – the mold of servant-leadership. At sa pagpili ko ng bagong molde, wala akong pinagsisisihan. In a way, lahat tayo ay umalis sa Congress na may pagbabago. Now we all share the same mold, illuminated by the same light, and driven by one passion – to serve and make a difference. Salamat sa AYLC at na-realize kong wala akong karapatang sumuko dahil siguradong may pag-asa pa.
Natapos man ang masasayang araw natin sa Congress, hindi dito nagtatapos ang kani-kanyang responsibilidad natin para gumawa ng mabuti. As we go back to our different places of origin, we are called to blaze our respective trails and make a small difference in whatever way we possibly can. It is through our individual conscious efforts to try to influence others to be better – and to bring them to places they never thought they’d reach.
MISS KO NA KAYONG LAHAT. SOBRA. Kung pwede lang sanang ulitin lahat sa umpisa… Pero hindi, dahil marami pa tayong mas mahahalagang role sa buhay. Let us all shine – rock on, Kislap!
Gladyss Dhoreen Documento is taking up Bachelor in Integrated Marketing Communications at the University of Asia and the Pacific.