3 C’s Up Close and Personal
Lorenzo Mangubat (H3, GS Xavier Awardee SY 2002 – 2003)
This speech was delivered during the Grade School Assembly as part of the activities for the Search for the Xavier Awardee.
All of you have heard the 6C’s formally defined before. You’ve probably seen it in a powerpoint presentation, read it on the XS website or in your HSC. Then, you sit down somewhere and ask yourself, “what do they all mean?”
I am here to tell you about the 3 C’s- Culture, Community and Compassion- the way I myself perceive and understand them.
I will start with Culture. There is a book I really love entitled The Celestine Prophecy where Chapter Two talks about “The Longer Now.” All of us did not just come to be out of nowhere. The way you think, act and speak has evolved from how your ancestors thought, acted and spoke. Think of two great journeys, one of your forefathers and the other of the Jesuits, and how these two journeys have intertwined to bring about the Xavier Community, how they have established you. You may not even know it, but many of your values have been the values of your forefathers generations back. These values have survived the test of time and have found themselves into your way of life. The same goes for the way you see things, the way you behave, and simply everything about you. Whether you like it or not, you are part of history. Being a man of culture is about appreciating all this and everything else that has influenced you. Then, you learn to appreciate who you’ve become: a descendant of a Chinese-Filipino race that has entered Philippine society with a role to play. Culture is all about knowing who you are.
Your identity makes you a part of a Community. As a person of community, you cannot think of yourself as an isolated being. Whatever you do, whether it’s good or bad, whether you try to conceal it or not, your actions will always affect others in more ways than one. You may think that a secret private crime will not hurt anyone, especially if no one even knows! But even such actions form who you are, and who you are will determine how you deal with others. Cheating may not hurt your classmate directly as much as your trying to be better than everyone else no matter what. It cannot be denied that we do not live in a vacuum. But who would want to anyway? Human beings have the natural desire to belong to something. Hence, we have barkadas and cliques. But a man of community does not seek to be part of something exclusive. Rather, he seeks to be part of a society that is as inclusive as can be. As men of community we must include even those whom we hate. To do so takes the ability to see others for who they really are. Do not look at the bullying classmate; instead, look at him as one who has been bullied himself, and needs to bully others just to regain the self-esteem that was once stolen from him. Do not look at your nagging mother, but your mother who is always joyful for your joys, and hurtful for your pains. We must treat people in such manner because we, as men of Community, will always be part of this greater whole.
Yet, we cannot stop at merely being part of the Community. We must have Compassion. There are people, who because of the way society is structured, cannot help themselves, like the kid who knocks on your car window and tries to sell you sampaguita or the blind man playing his guitar by the sidewalk, hoping for passersby to toss a few coins into his guitar case. It is so easy to think that such people are poor simply because they are lazy, but that is just not the case. Many of them are victims of social sins that, even though they possess the drive to uplift themselves, are just not given the opportunity to do so. But then, is that kind of situation applicable only to the poor? What about perhaps a classmate whom you find excessively quiet and reclusive. Perhaps he has a dilemma he cannot solve on his own. And you? There must have been a time wherein you felt like you were faced with a challenge, and you needed someone’s help to overcome it. Compassion calls us to be there for each other because we cannot live alone. Do not be afraid of not having the skills or talents to help someone. You do not need to be perfect. In fact, it is through your imperfection that you will be able to reach out to others who are imperfect like you. This is Compassion: to know that somewhere out there, a person needs you.
As I was sharing with you my personal perspective on the 3 C’s, I’m sure many of you thought of your own experiences that were related to what I was talking about. The most interesting part of that is each one of you thought of your own unique experiences. Hence, I cannot give you a step-by-step guide on how to live out these C’s. Because we all have different experiences, each of us is called to live the C’s out in our own unique way. Look into yourself, look around you and find what you alone are called to do, because for each of you is a special life path that only you can live to the fullest. What does it take for you to have these C’s? You tell me.
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