Remembering September 11

By: Madrileña de la Cerna September 09,2017 - 09:24 PM


Tomorrow is the 16th anniversary of the September 11 attack that taught us deep lessons about life, humanity and ourselves that will never make it into a history book. One lesson we learned is that there is no such thing as “far away.” We saw the relationship between the other side of the world and our own personal lives. There was the awakening of the idea of global connectedness for us. We were also exposed to the love and support of people all over the world.

September 11 taught us that what happens in one place has ripple effects that extend across the globe. We should never stop looking out into the world and paying attention to issues, cultures and global realities different from our own. We should never stop recognizing that it’s our common humanity and our capacity for empathy that connect us all.

No one can put a timeline on healing. Healing from trauma in any form can take an unpredictable amount of time. The scars aren’t always obvious and they usually can’t be erased with a quick fix. That’s why we have to be able to look beyond what we can immediately see to be compassionate, understanding and supportive of those who have been hurt — for as long as it takes.

Behind every major headline is one person’s story begging to be heard. September 11 helped us to think of every major story in the headlines — the mass genocide, hunger and injustice that we hear about every day — as one person’s story. Remembering this lesson can grow our hearts a thousand times and inspire true empathy.

Our values will always be challenged in times of chaos. And that’s exactly when they matter most. In the face of fear and chaos, it’s vital to hold on to our values tightly. It may be difficult, but that’s when those values are most at risk.

There is a never-ending supply of good in the world. In the midst of terrible times, the good in people continues to shine.

* * *

Postscript to my column last week on tutorial program for junior public high school students in the barangay is the feedback from the barangay captain of Barangay Luz, Cebu City, who saw the program “as not only good but also sustainable.” He reported that the youth in the barangay already represent their schools in quiz bowls because those who used to have difficulties in Math and English are now performing well.

The barangay expressed their need of organizations like KA.T.ON that can give their time and effort without requiring any payment from the barangay who also give their 100 percent support to their program by giving them a venue for the tutorial, and a list of those who are interested to participate.

One of the tutees found difficulty in Math but joining the seven cycles, he was able to join a Math competition and is grateful for the tutors who never left him alone but helped him until the competition by giving him practice exercises to solve.

For the tutors, whenever the tutees tell them that they got high scores in their English test and passed the exam when they couldn’t pass it before gives them a sense of fulfillment, a boost, that drive. It “gives me the fuel, that inspiration to go on with life” says a BS Education major in Math and Physics volunteer for six cycles.

The tutorial program seeks partnership with educational institutions. Educational institutions endorse students who are interested to volunteer to junior public high schools students in either Math or English. Volunteers come from various disciplines, such as communication arts, psychology, engineering, math and physics. Education students, most specially, are able to gain valuable on-the-ground experience for their future career. While college students are primarily the focus for the volunteer program, many young professionals who have the heart of volunteerism have also committed their time and energies to tutor in the barangay.

With the additional of four more barangays, the services of the retired teachers are waiting to be tapped.

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TAGS: 1, 11, bombing, humanity, plane, Remembering, September
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