This was the oration piece of Theodore Ablaza back in our high school days. He was the lead author, while I provided some insights. We hope you enjoy!
From the Youth of the Land
I speak from the youth of the land; of the youth which Jose Rizal said to be the hope of this nation and as the voice of the youth speaks, a query – a query so fundamental yet direct to the heart – is asked: How does one define the value of honesty? Is it through the actions that we think can change the world or just through the petty dictionary that secludes and boxes our ideal minds? We are the masterpieces of God’s infinite wisdom and we don’t have the right to do less than what He expects of us.
Honesty begins with the letter H, which stands for humans and ends with Y, for you and me. Isn’t it a coincidence that this happened? Maybe the One above knows why. This is commonly known as a virtue so easy to say, yet, so hard to follow. This is what drives you to be the best man the world has known. This is what pushes you to give back what is not yours or even to say even the smallest of truths. This is what defines your character made in the image and likeness of God.
In the desert there are so many traps. All the roads look the same that sometimes the wrong roads look real because of realistic illusions in this world. There are always two roads to choose from: the road of the kings, which is the path of thorns, but give you the glorifying success and the normal road, which gives you comfort, but leaves you just that, a mediocre person able to find the treasure and the fulfillment of your purpose in life.
Our culture is rich. Yes, very enriched with influences coming from both the east and west. But sadly, the road our culture adapted is more of the easy one, in short, a dishonest one. Maybe, we took the one more traveled by. The one that contained false truths and glittering objects that are not really gold.
Weak. Our country before surely began as a nation pure and clean and fresh. Sick. As the years go and time travels, we become worse and our lives are like patients on the hospital bed waiting for medicines. There are times when we tire ourselves of doing good and it seems that we can’t do anything good already. Are we so injured that we can’t stand on the grounds of truth? We are on the verge of becoming dead people. Death and destruction are not far away. Will we wait for our lungs to be burned with those smokes of dirty works? The road which we started will continue moving if we don’t do some u-turning as soon as possible.
Sometimes, we say some things best, when we say nothing at all. Ironic it may seem but action truly does work more effectively than the words we play with and those that exit the dirty mouth of men. Again, we go back to the point, honesty is what drives us…to not cheat during examinations; to give back the right change to the person manning the sari-sari store;
Honesty is telling where you are when your mom or dad calls to ask where you are at that moment; admitting that you’ve committed small, much more, larger misdeeds; Picking-up a lost item and returning it to the owner; Being as transparent to everyone as possible; Standing up for what is true and never for the wrong. Always keep in mind to be honest even if others are not; even if others will not; even if others cannot.
Right now, we are already doing something to improve the country’s status on dishonesty somehow. We are addressing the issue and making it our advocacy. The earth where we live in, is such a small world. We can make our voices heard, I’m pretty sure. News and important advocacies spread out easily to all people except for those who really intend not to hear it. On the other hand, we should remember that to become the ideal nation we all dream to have requires a team effort. We can’t change the country using I. We can only improve if we use…us.
Honesty is the key to our success as a nation for progress. Those who are not enlightened by the limitless possibilities of this world end up being puppets of their own fears but those who become their very own alchemist in their sense. One somehow finds a way to transmute lead to gold and find the essence of his life. That is what it means to choose the road of the kings – to go against your own fears and mediocrities and be the best you can to find the philosopher’s stone within your disposal and somehow, just somehow, turn yourself into the greatest creature God had ever created.
But in the end, it doesn’t matter if you choose the wrong road which is full of traps and dishonesty because if you fail, the Consuming Fire from the Almighty God will envelop your entire being and as you fall to the ashes and then rise again, and all of your flames of passion burning again for a phoenix is destined to be greater than before without words and thoughts, just plain actions. And after you’re reborn, you’ll somehow find the way the way of the kings for it is stated that as long as you knock the doors will be opened for you and all of the universe will conspire to grant you that one wish – to be the best individual and the best nation which is once again new, and fresh and enlightened.