Last August 3, I attended the 2nd Kapihan Session of the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation. I wasn't able to attend the first one because of day job duties.
I was the 4th one to arrive. Upon sitting down, someone approached me and we had this conversation (non-verbatim):
Him: Hi there. You seem new.
Myself: Yes, I wasn't able to attend the first one. And you are?
Him: (stated his name) Which org are you affiliated with?
Myself: (didn't think I needed an affiliation to attend but stated a lifestyle website I write for)
Him: Curious though, how did you get an invite?
Myself: Through a post at the Freelance Writer FB group.
Well, I didn't wonder why he got curious where I got my invite because 1) I'm currently based at Batangas so I'm not really visible at events in Manila, and 2) I'm not a blogging superstar / media personality. I'm just a person who blogs.
Which got me thinking, should I be here in the first place? Well, one of the reasons I was at Manila that day was because of the event, so I guess I should be there.
At the start of the program, the emcee asked the question What is greatness of spirit for you? and this was my answer:
This is the kind of question you do not hear often or contemplate about on ordinary days. Upon hearing the question, this got me thinking for a while.
We were the first ones to view the documentary Ripples of Change: Democracy and Governance. It featured RMAF's past awardees: Kiran Bedi and Aruna Roy (India), Sheila Coronel and Jesse Robredo (Philippines), Teten Masduki (Indonesia), and Won Soon Park (South Korea).
Looking back at my answer at the start of the program, these people embodied what I thought was the essence of greatness of spirit. They made remarkable contributions to their societies not for themselves but for the people of their country.
They were once ordinary members of their community but what set them apart from the others are commitment to take action, passion in instilling good governance among their countries, and strong will despite facing adversities. Through their respective fields of expertise, they made it happen.
After watching the documentary, I got to answer what I had in mind before the program started.
Should I be here in the first place?
Yes, I was supposed to be there. I may be just another Filipino who just happened to love blogging and sharing my thoughts through this blog and social media, but I am one who wants to spread greatness of spirit to you and all the people I encounter in everyday life. Maybe not as immensely as the RMAF Awardees, but in my own way.
RMAF members and Greatness of Spirit Ambassadors
(photo by Raffy Pedrajita)
On another note, the 2013 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees have been announced by RMAF:
There will be an Awardees Lecture Series as well as the Awarding Ceremony which you can attend by registering at http://www.rmaf.org.ph/newrmaf/onlineregistration.php.
How about you, how do you define greatness of spirit? How can you be a modern day hero?