With both decision and discretion PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 13:55



This is the ideal way to behave and to tackle the many issues and challenges in life. We have to be decisive but at the same time prudent, driven but also sober, focused on the essentials yet open to things in general and flexible enough to adapt to varying and unexpected situations.

That is why we need to sit down, reflect and meditate, make plans and strategies. We obviously have to make the appropriate changes and revisions along the way as the need arises. We should also have a good grip of the proper priorities we ought to have.

While our material and natural needs may have to be immediately attended to, we have to keep in mind that our spiritual needs and supernatural goals hold greater importance and should be given the proper attention. We should learn how to cruise in these tricky waters of the material and the spiritual, the natural and the supernatural, the temporal and the eternal.

With all the technological advances we now have, we cannot deny the fact that we are always tempted to try them, spending precious time and exploring the plethora of possibilities with them.

The urge to “carpe diem” gets ever stronger, often milking us dry of our creative juices, etc.

This is a good development, of course, but only if we are prepared for it, adequately equipped and clear as to their ultimate purpose. Otherwise, we would just be blown and swept away by the storm of novelties and curiosities they offer.

Thus, while they help us to be more driven in life, they also ask us, nay, require us to be properly grounded. A certain kind of sobriety and discretion is needed, since our tendency to be intoxicated is now always teased and provoked.

The other day, someone told me how concerned he was since his high school daughter already has more than a thousand friends on Facebook, most of them male admirers, and they come not only from the city and the province, but also from the rest of the country and even outside.

That’s a new problem that is asking for new ways of how to be prompt and effective in dispensing parental guidance, while observing the requirements of prudence and understanding for the young one involved. New house rules have to be made to adapt to the new situation.

I told him to regulate the time his daughter spends on the Internet, and to see to it that she studies and prays and that family gatherings, like eating together, having after-meal get-togethers, going to Mass together, etc. should be fostered.

Besides, frequent direct personal chats and bonding moments should be encouraged between parents and children so that criteria, suggestions and corrections can be made punctually.

I myself have to be careful not to spend too much time on the Internet. Now that I have 5000 friends on Facebook, I have to see to it that I have a clear idea what to do and how much time I can spend every time I open my account.

Obviously, to be able to handle this situation properly, a certain detachment from things and self-discipline are needed. If we do not yet have these capabilities, I suggest that we restrain ourselves strictly from using the new technologies at what they call “open time.” Or that we need to be closely guarded and supervised.

But we have to consider this new phenomenon as a good challenge and occasion to develop many appropriate virtues. We have to branch out into new ways of cultivating these virtues like decision and discretion. For sure, the old and traditional forms and ways of these virtues need to be updated.

This may involve a lot of effort at discerning, since the sensitivities and attitudes of the young ones, like the millennials and the succeeding generations, will definitely be different from those of the previous generations.

In this, some collective and consensual study and consultation would be most advisable, and an increasingly interdisciplinary approach would have to be resorted to. We need to be prepared for this new challenge before it overruns us and ruins what we so far have accomplished through the previous eras and generations.

We who belong to the older generation should never feel out of place in this challenge. In fact, we have a crucial role to play, but we have to realize also that we need to know as thoroughly as possible the current and forthcoming developments.

As they say, we should always flow with the times, never lagging behind. This is how we can keep ourselves young even as our age advances.