Last Saturday, I hurried to the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi knowing that I need to settle certain responsibilities there. But when I got there, I was surprised with the amount of people standing under the rain inside the church grounds. Instantly, I knew there was a relief operation going on.
With my purpose forgotten, I decided to meet my friends who were in charge of the distribution. On my way to where they were, I overheard two guys talking to each other about a priest in the parish. I know they were joking, referring to him as someone he's obviously not, but it got to me that I had to turn back and glare at them. Hopefully, they noticed what I did because they were too busy snickering to themselves.
Letting it go anyway, I headed to where my friends are. As I stood at the entrance of the multi-purpose hall where all the commotions were happening, I looked at the people. The person in-charge of handing the bags of goods were just beside us so it's kinda difficult not to notice the reactions of the recipients.
The first thing I noticed was that there were people who were asking for more than what they should receive. The distribution follows a 1 bag : 1 ticket ratio. This was strictly followed because there were just enough relief goods to give away. But of course, some people had to counter that they need more. I'm sorry that I'm not sorry that the parish staffs were strict not to give in to that.
I also noticed some people being too demanding, saying that the lines should have been more organized or faster or there should have been more bags to give away.
Honestly... That crept me out. I wonder how people can still be very demanding at times like that. I have a lot to say but I think it's better that I don't. So let me just focus on one thing that somehow eased away the annoyance:
FAITH IN HUMANITY RESTORED
When I heard this from an old lady, I realized that there is still hope in humanity.
Saying 'thank you' and actually meaning is kind of rare among Filipinos nowadays. During times I observe people from public vehicles, streets or events, it saddens me that there are not many anymore who knows how to value others' efforts. It rattles whenever I think that perhaps, we're all starting to lack that one essential thing: the feeling of gratitude.
To be honest, I pity a society whose people don't know how to feel grateful. To me, a community like that is merely a group of people lifelessly depending on others to breathe - like if the person they feed off disappears, they'll die to themselves - clueless as to how beautiful it is to relish the fruits of their actual labor.
I don't know if I'm making it clear, but let me just emphasize that working in the ministry for more than a decade has taught me that occasionally receiving material things in appreciation for what we do is not really as compensating (for the lack of better word) as hearing someone actually say 'thank you'.
That is why I feel a lot better knowing that in this place where I live in, there are still people who know how to give back despite having none at all. I see them as people who honestly deserved to be given more.
I know I'm just being too serious about it, but I feel like for this world to be a better place, it is essential that we all discover the value of gratitude. It's not difficult to say it and mean it, anyway; so I wish more people, especially Filipinos, would be like that old lady. If that will happen, the world will surely be brighter.