Posted by: junjeesj | July 20, 2009

LEARNING STILL

confucius

Confucius said, “At fifteen my mind was set on learning. At thirty my character had been formed. At forty I had no more perplexities. At fifty I knew the Mandate of Heaven (T’ienmin). At sixty I was at ease with whatever I heard… At seventy I could follow my heart’s desire without transgressing moral principles.” Analect 2:4


When I was in grade four, our homeroom teacher asked us to write on a sheet of paper our ambitions in life. I wrote: at the age of twenty-one, I am already a college graduate and have a stable job; at the age of twenty-three, I am already running my own business; at the age of twenty-five, I am already a millionaire; at the age of twenty-seven, I have already settled to married life. Now, I am already thirty years old. Did all these come true?

I would say that I graduated from college and had a wonderful job in a government institution at the age of twenty. After a year, I resigned to volunteer for a pastoral work caring for the youth. In this work, I was traveling here and abroad. I was twenty-three when I was assigned in Brunei Darussalam to head the Borneo-East Timor Mission Center of the organization that I was working with. My work was pastoral so I need to be discreet during my travels in these areas. Thus, at the immigration, my declaration was that I was a tourist and a business man. I celebrated my 25th birthday in four different countries. I was in Malaysia that time that my flight to Brunei was delayed for seven hours. The airline company gave us a pass to the executive lounge at the airport. It was luxurious. The accommodation was at best. The food was great, sumptuous and abundant. I availed a free massage service. I was enjoying the entertainment showcase. There was an unlimited access to the internet. When I got the Brunei, I had a late lunch birthday party prepared by my friends. Then, I had to rush for my flight back to the Philippines, transiting two hours in Singapore. I enjoyed another birthday party when I arrived home. At twenty-seven, I entered the Society of Jesus.

My ambitions was not literally realized. Yet, with my experiences, I could say I had them somehow realized. Whatever experiences that I have were fruits of my pursuit to achieving my goals, aims and objectives which were conceived when I was young. The analect 2:4 of Confucius was a list perhaps of his ambitions or experiences. What struck me was that Confucius’ sense of learning started at his early years and as time passed these learning was paying off. He just set his mind to learning and it benefited him with much profound maturity.

There is a saying in Filipino, “Namumunga ng santol ang puno ng santol.” It is so crucial what to dedicate your younger years to learn. The big time robbers started when they were young. The gold medalists in the Olympics started in their respective fields when they were very young. The greatest musicians started to hone their skills at a very very young age. This is the point of Confucius that if you want to enjoy life in “ren” begin learning “ren” when still young.

How is this related to me now? I am not young anymore. What Confucius was saying that the learning continues because the man continues to set goals for himself. Reflecting on it, I saw that my purpose continues; that it is a lifetime quest. I have settled to be a Jesuit, but I am still consistently challenged to grow in character, deepen my faith and strengthen the vows that I professed. This realization is making sense to what I am doing now. In the stage of formation that I am at, studying is even more important than doing my Jesuit apostolate. My present mission is to be formed and equipped for my future apostolate. All is preparation for any ministry that awaits for me.

At forty, I may already be a Jesuit priest. But, what is important for me are the lessons that I am/ will be learning through the process as I give myself to my present formation in the Society of Jesus. At fifty, I may have found my calling expressed in any Jesuit ministry. But, what is necessary for me are the relationships that I have built and have grown deeper. At sixty, I may be at the peak of my Jesuit life. But, what I value most are the love-fueled works directed towards the welfare of others who are poor and in need. At seventy, I may be retiring, dying or decaying. But, what I consider the greatest will be the memories captured by any works of goodness, love and sacrifice.

– Jun-G Bargayo, SJ –

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Responses

  1. one never stops learning, jun-g. once we start thinking we’ve learned everything and there’s nothing to add anymore, that’s when we start to stagnate and it’s downward from there. so keep on learning! 🙂

    hi luz! tama ka. learn and learn as you can. this is the right attitude to take. 😉

  2. ganda nmn po nito.

    Godbless po!

    salamat jorge!

  3. God puts the desires in our heart, we are able to push forward because of God who sustains us with his grace.

    heavy! hehehe… I agree…


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