REFLECTION: Let’s go on dreaming PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 11:43

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

That’s what Pope Francis encouraged us to do when he met with the families in the Mall of Asia last January 16. “It’s important to dream in the family,” he said. “All mothers and fathers dream of their sons and daughters in the womb for 9 months. They dream of how they will be. It isn’t possible to have a family without such dreams...”

We can never say enough about the importance of the family, about the fundamental and most strategic role it plays in one’s life and in that of society in general. Let’s hope that we never stop dreaming about our respective families, because it is through it that families can cope with the complicated challenges of our times.

This was, more or less, the take-home message I got after attending a Family Congress recently. I was there not as a speaker but simply as a listener, and to give company to Archbishop Jose Palma and the main guest speaker, Dr. Bernardo Villegas.

Dr. Villegas was my economics teacher when I was still studying in La Salle. I already know his calibre as an economist and teacher. He was great, and he showed it once again in that congress with his most insightful discussion on the Filipino family that is supposed to be on the way to a first-world future.

He said that the Philippines now enjoys a high growth rate that he believes will be sustained and will most likely even increase because the proper economic drivers are already in place, namely the remittances of our OFWs, the income we get from BPOs and KPOs, and the thriving domestic tourism we are having these days.

But most importantly, he was one of those who changed my life because of the way he was and continues to be—brilliant but not proud, very knowledgeable but always simple, with a good sense of humor, sometimes mischievous, but always oozing with goodness.

At one point of his talk, he said that the Philippine economy is already quite stable such that its progress can be sustained irrespective of whoever sits in Malacanang, whether it is Vice Ganda or Binay.

Anyway, he mentioned about how families should always be protected and strengthened against some economic or social forces and developments that can undermine them. He also touched on how the family should be properly anchored on faith.

But what caught my attention the most was a comment during the panel discussion toward the end of the congress. Someone suggested that parents should be more sensitive to the different changes that children go through as they grow from infancy to toddler to middle child-age, to puberty, to teener and young adult. Parents need to change strategies in dealing with their children as they go through these stages.

Though I know there are such stages of development with their corresponding distinctive characteristics, I never really gave much thought about how each stage is different from the others, and how children ought to be treated in these different stages. What I heard was a great learning moment for me.

I am happy to note that there are now a good number of couples, all of them professionals in the different fields, who are willing to spare part of their precious time to go into more serious study about this concern, and to share their findings with other parents. Indeed, the family is worth all this effort and sacrifice.

I am praying that this interest can be sustained and acquire more strength and coverage. I dream that helpful information about marriage and family life can continually be brought out in the media for everyone to know, learn or simply be reminded. We are now living in very challenging times, with new developments popping up rapidly.

We need to make adjustments in our way of life and outlook. What was helpful and effective before obviously should not be set aside, but rather be more polished, more updated to take in the inputs of the new things coming our way these days.

That’s why we have to keep on dreaming. We should never tire, much less, be afraid because of the difficulties. If we are properly rooted on God and on our faith as well as on the flowing developments of our world, we will always have reason to hope and find ways to cope with the challenges.

In fact, not only cope with the challenges, but also to take advantage of them to attain a greater perfection of our own lives, both humanly and supernaturally.