The last time I received a calling was in a call center. This is not lame wordplay; it’s a historical fact. At that time I hung up the receiver forever and took on the chalk and blackboard. I became a teacher, and it was a job I took on with much passion and gusto. I still do.
But those who know me know that my life isn’t about teaching. It’s a part of it — currently a huge one — but the day will come when I leave it behind. There is nothing more I wish than to be a public servant, in the broadest sense of the term. I value autonomy and self-determination, but ultimately I live for reasons other than myself. Thus I find satisfaction in work that utilizes my full range of talents and orients my life towards the other. Right now, teaching fits the bill.
Yet as the years wore on I began to feel that I could do more than teach. Of course, this is not to belittle the work. But as my range of talents and abilities widened, I began to feel that I could do more. Be more. And quite frankly, I am at that point in my life right now.
I am glad to take on the role of batch adviser and I am honored to have the loyalty of my AKSIS members. Both duties have allowed me to stretch the leadership muscles that have been in atrophy. The load I currently have is simply perfect, and I know I could do this job forever.
But we’re not on this Earth forever.
My aspiration to be a public servant hinges on the hope that I could contribute to the transformation of society, or if I feel more ambitious, that I lead this transformation. Though the past years made me more of a realist, it was only to the point that I began to realize that I can’t bring this change alone. I am reminded of this every time I step into a classroom. The yearning I see in my students’ faces reflect the yearning for transformation in every Filipino’s eyes.
Hence at one point I realized that the only way for me to do this was to join a coalition of some sort. A party. I know what my talents are and I know what I can contribute. It was only a matter of time before I discovered a group of individuals who share the same beliefs and aspirations I do.
To be frank, I never thought I would find them. As I learned more about them, everything simply fell into my place. They too believe in the upliftment of the working class. They aspire to bring our people deeper into the political process. They banner the ideals of justice, equality, and freedom. On my own I have learned theories, studied philosophies, and developed my own policy positions. In them I see the culmination of everything I have learned put into action. How can I not follow?
This is what a calling a sounds like. It has never been this clear, but not quite as clear as the choice I’m about to make.