PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Thursday, August 03, 2006

 

Serious about being serious


A friend once advised me, “Don't take life seriously.”

The advice struck me as wimpy, no offense meant to my well-meaning friend. I agree: Life is serious business, we only live once, and we shouldn’t be serious about ourselves; after all, we’re just an insignificant speck in the universe. But we should always be serious about life.

My friend’s general attitude about life has a name: apathy. It is the same attitude displayed by so many people so that the evils of this world stays the same. Unjust social structures and poor human behavior stay an entrenched part of our lifestyle because we don't take these things seriously. Things that are the very cause of hopelessness and despair and apathy remain in place, creating a vicious cycle because we don't take these things seriously.

Not taking things seriously is a cousin to we don’t care. True, we are not God, we are not omniscient and we are not omnipotent. But we can do something. The little that each hand can do, when done in synchrony and when eventually summed up, becomes so big it can change the world for the better. We are not God but God entrusted us to be our brother’s keeper. We cannot live this life as though our life is our own. We should mind our own business but only about personal business; when it comes to public life and welfare, we are duty-bound to take part, to contribute in our own respective capacities.

So that at the end of our life, when we are asked to take account of the things we have done, we are ready to answer that all we did was serve. We made ourselves of service to others, not in a lukewarm way but with all our heart. We treated life as serious matter, even as we’re aware that at the end of it, we were at best puny instruments.

At the end of our life, we hope to hear a satisfied God saying, “Well done.”

11.11.2001


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