Lessons from the Flood # 1: I care.

So, after Ondoy and everything else that happened, I realized one thing (out of the many things).

I care.

I talked about my being apathetic a couple of months ago, when things are still…well, normal. This is sort of the post that is a follow up on that, and I honestly still don’t know how to write it down correctly…but let me try.

Ever since Former President Cory Aquino passed away, I’ve felt a bit disturbed. Not disturbed because of her death, but disturbed at how I’ve been acting for the past 23 years of my life. Like I said, I’m never the one to make a stand or care about what happens around me, unless it affected me directly. I rarely care about politics, or elections and all those stuff. I used to say it’s because I don’t believe in anything anymore and it’s my right not to care, but now as I look back, I realized that it’s just plain laziness to care about these things.

So when Cory passed away, I felt that I owed her something. Here’s a woman who did everything in her power so I will be born in a freer country. Here’s someone who held onto her ideals and cared about the country and her fellowmen, even if it feels like its hopeless. I never knew her personally, but I felt like I have to respond to that, to rise up to some kind of challenge and somehow say that what she did way back and up to her death wasn’t wasted.

So by August, I finally shook a bit of my apathetic self — the one who said she’d never vote — and went to our municipal hall to register.

Now, registering is another story in itself, so let’s skip that. When I first got that piece of paper that signifies I am now a registered voter, it didn’t feel like it was a big deal first. Until a couple of days later, I realized how much power that little piece of paper has. It meant I had a voice. I had a say in what happens in the country. It gave me a reason to care, because I realized how important my vote would be in 2010. It may be just one vote, but sometimes it takes only one vote to make a whole lot of difference.

I was determined to make sure that my vote would count and I’d vote for someone who would have the country’s best interests at heart. I thought that that determination was enough…but God had to bring another circumstance in my life to make me think more.

I guess we can say God literally used waters to wake me up even more. It’s one thing to be a volunteer to help the victims of a calamity. Being a victim changes everything. As a volunteer you want to try to help relieve other people even if it’s only temporary. As a victim, your main concern becomes finding a permanent solution to prevent what has happened. A lot of the permanent solution may lie with the victim/survivor itself — like move out from an area that always gets flooded and into someplace safer, like Tucson apartments — but there’s a lot more that the government can do given their resources.

And I want someone who can help give a permanent solution. Not just a band-aid, but an actual fix.

It’s highly idealistic, I know, but that’s really not my point. The point is, because of the flood, I’ve learned to care even more. I am determined to make my vote count, and to make sure I use my power to do my best to help put the right person in the positions in 2010.

Not only that, but I’ll be doing what I can do help to make things better. I will start taking a stand, even if it means I’ll be shot down at some point. It’s because I care. And if every single one of us would care about something, well, I’m pretty sure a lot of amazing things will happen. We just have to choose to care.

I remember one line that I got from a YFC conference years ago that struck me: If you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything.

I don’t want to fall for everything anymore.

Because of the flood, I will start caring.