Mar 2, 2014

On Desires and Frustrations

Was in three meetings last Friday after work. The first one was for our online magazine, the second was for a youth ministry then the last one was a debriefing, or should I say de-beer-fing, for our colleagues who went on a month long expedition/research in the provinces damaged by typhoons Yolanda and Pablo - Samar, Leyte, Panay Islands, Compostela Valley. 

There are two common denominators in the topics that were discussed in those meetings. The first is the desire for something greater. In the online magazine that we’re about to revive, the desire is to inspire the youth to act on their passions/idealism and to give them examples of people who have embraced causes bigger than their own. In the youth ministry, it’s about sustaining the fire that was ignited when the participants experienced the retreat. For our officemates who went on the one month project, it’s their desire to address the needs of the typhoon survivors in the most efficient and appropriate way possible.

The second common denominator is frustration. All have operational inefficiencies, but more importantly, it’s the frustration of seemingly being alone while taking on a task that is so daunting, in the face of darkness that is crippling the little “desire for something greater” that you have.

I remember giving a talk a few weeks ago to a group of young people who were about to embark on the steep journey of an IT startup. After being involved in at least 3 startups myself and being a curator of stories involving “successful” Filipinos under 25 years old, I want to cushion them on the frustrations I mentioned earlier.

Part of my talk was on what our philosophy teacher – Sir Calasanz - mentioned in his lecture about hope. “What we know always surpasses what we can say, and what we desire, what we can commit ourselves to, always surpasses what we know… We can do more than what we can know. We can commit ourselves, we can desire more than what we can know.”

I guess that’s what I want to say to the three groups that I had a meeting with last Friday, especially to our colleague who got so emotional brought by her anger towards the government. Frustrations will always be there, but it’s the extra-ordinary desire and commitment for something greater, which transcends even the boundaries of one’s consciousness, that will sustain the projects that we want to push through.

And if you’re frustrated that you’re limited by what you can do at this current moment, put you actions in the context of a bigger picture. Think of your work as a humble contribution to something that can last a lifetime. And just do good in the best possible way you can.

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