Courage amid Yolanda havoc

(This article was written by Mr. Rodolfo Manuel Tamayo (HS Soc. Sci. Subject Area Coordinator), edited by Ms. Sharon Bibliotica (HS English Teacher), and delivered by Samantha Co (7-Courage) at the Ateneo de Iloilo-SMCS High School Flag Ceremony, November 18, 2013.)

Ambrose Redmoon once said, “Courage is not the absence of fear; but rather, the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
Fellow Ateneans, Super typhoon Yolanda had surely set most of us, if not all, scurrying from fear. But we overcame such fear because we remember. We remember that over the years we have fought different trials and threats to our vey living. We remember that in a year, not only 1 or 2 typhoons strike our country, but 20 or more. We remember that natural calamities like typhoons and earthquakes as well as other glitches like war and corruption threatened us not once but a number of times. We remember that none of these threats had taken away our will to survive and hope for a better tomorrow. And we remember that what matters most is we have the courage to face these threats so that in the end we still and will always stand tall and strong.
Undeniably, there are people in our country, especially here in the Visayas, whose hopes are already flickering.  Not only are their properties lost, but the very sources of living, the homes which have been witnesses to many laughter and triumph over trials of each family, and most especially, loved ones were lost.
And with hope and strength slowly fading, we ask ourselves: To whom do these victims cling on? To the government? Yes! To their families in other places? Yes! But most importantly, these victims draw their strength not only to God but also to us, people who were kept safe from such devastation, because they know that we are offering our prayers to them and exerting all our efforts to help them restore their strength and pick up their lives once more.
My fellow Ateneans, what we have been doing since the past week to help in the relief and rehabilitation operations for the victims of Yolanda are definitely the very acts of courage.
It is an act of courage to wake up early in the morning, and pack all needed goods to be given to the victims. It is an act of courage to carry all these heavy goods, others heavier than our weight, to school.
It is an act of courage to save an amount for our snacks so that we could give to our Blue Spoon program.
It is an act of courage to spend a minute or two each day in silent prayer for the suffering victims of typhoon Yolanda. It is courage when we juggle our time studying our lessons and working on our assignments while helping in the packing of goods.
And most importantly, it is courage to forget about our pride and step lowly and beg to people just so we could gather an amount needed for the rehabilitation operations.
Courage is what makes humans special in this world. Where other animals will run away in the face of danger, humans can have the courage to stand, even in the face of death. Even the Greeks say that courage makes humans greater than the gods, for the gods do not need courage, since they were immortal. Only humans, who face death every day, can be courageous. So, I challenge you, my fellow Ateneans:
Let’s muster our courage to do what we must always do.
Let’s have courage to be what we must always be

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