The Precious Present

A farewell to my Alma Mater…

Things are getting hard lately, it changed the whole aspect of my consciousness that it destroyed part of my perception and part of my judgment. It even cruised the wrong track for this column that I should be dealing with criticism according to students’ interests but it ended differently in accordance to my own interests. This isn’t about being egocentric, I just don’t have the wit anymore to give this column the touch that it should have. I don’t wanna be like Mr. Oh-so-good-trying-hard freak, so I just have to give you what’s best of me. So dear readers, please spare this one for me this final time.

Let me just share to you a story inspired by a book…

Once, there was an old man who lived alone in a little cabin. Everyday a little boy would always visit the old man to play and hear stories. One day, the child asked the old man.

“Pop, every birthday people are giving me gifts. There were cars, robots, swords and soldiers, and I am so happy about it.”

There was a twinkle in the boy’s eyes then he continued, “How about you Pop? What are your gifts during birthdays?”

The old man smiled, he grabbed the boy and placed him on the table.

“You know son, when I was just a child about your age, my father used to tell me on my birthdays that he had nothing to give me but the ‘precious present’. I used to cry every time he hadn’t given me any,” the old man laughed.

“It was then when I was a grown up that I realized that the ‘precious present’ is really real. That it was really the greatest present I have and I am receiving it every day.”

The boy’s eyes widened.

“Wow! Can you also give that to me?”

The old man laughed and held the boy down.

“Of course, just visit me each time and be a good boy.”

The boy hugged the old man and ran outside the door.

***

Years passed and the boy didn’t fail to visit the old man. But the boy got disappointed by the precious present. It’s been years already and the boy hadn’t received anything. The boy asked the old man again.

“Pop, it’s been ten years and I haven’t received any, is there really a precious present?”

“I guess you’re still young, but not young enough to understand. Each time that you are here, I’ve always given it to you. May be it’s time for you to understand what it really is. It’s always there; you just need to take it as yours.”

“I’m going to college and I might not visit you anymore. Please tell me what it is.”

The boy hugged the old man and bid goodbye.

***

More years passed and the boy became a lawyer. He visited the old man and asked again about the precious present.

“Pop, I am lawyer now but still I do not know what’s the ‘precious present’ is. Is it my diploma?”

“It is how you get your diploma,” answered the old man.

“Is it education?”

“It’s how you do your education.”

“Is it my family?”

“It’s how you lived with your family.”

The lawyer was upset. Still he had no clue about the ‘precious present’. He yelled to the old man and left the cabin without saying goodbye.

Again, more years passed, the lawyer got a family. He heard about the old man gotten sick. He decided to have a vacation at the old man’s place with his wife and baby to look over and care for the old man.

He arrived at the cabin grateful to see the old man sitting at the front porch. He quickly embraced the old man and begged for forgiveness. The old man so sick and weak can’t move a muscle and speak.

He had learned that the old man had been sitting there for almost four days without food and water, seemed that he spent his time looking at the scene outside like watching thousands of memories played by and waiting for the little boy to come again.

The lawyer cried, he had lots of answers in his mind and it seemed like that it is of no use, the old man can’t talk.

“Pop, I am so sorry. But I know what it is now,” he loosened his embrace and faced at the old man’s sorrow.

“The precious present. It is acceptance, it is happiness, forgiveness, love, me, my wife, my baby, this cabin, this life, – this day.”

Hearing the final word, the old man’s eyes brighten and a tear fell to his cheeks. Set aside the pain and weakness, the old man miraculously moved his hand to touched the lawyer’s shoulder and said in a husky whisper,

“Little boy, your precious present. It is now.”

With a curve of smile in the old man’s lips, he embraced his eternal rest.

***

Truly, the precious present is nothing but the present itself – the current time, what is now and the very moment you’re at.

Like the characters in the story, we always struggle in seeking the precious things of life. About the greatest things that we received or offer. We tend to give importance to material things, to our emotions and even to our thoughts. But we never recognized that the greatest gifts are the things that we already have but we never seen because it’s not meant to be seen. As what the little prince said, “What’s essential is invisible to the eye”. We just have to appreciate and understand things around us. And the first in line is-TIME.

To all the students, grab your present as a chance to change things and achieve your desires, there’s no harm in trying and spending time with failures is not a waste of time. To my dear teachers, it’s quite a long time isn’t it? But have the time to grace students the best learnings you could offer. Teaching is not sharing knowledge, but it’s changing students in the way you want them to be. To all the graduating students, finally, you’re almost there. At the tiniest little time you have left, spend it in creating memories you want to put in your pockets before leaving this college. For things will be different now, so take that precious present like it’s the last.

To every, I hope you like this precious present I offered to you.

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