May 29, 2024

Complaining and grumbling can become vices, which are obstacles to progress and peace.
Let us be on guard on complaining. According to Merriam-Webster, “to complain is to express grief, pain, or dissatisfaction.” It is “something that is the cause or subject of protest or outcry.”
Walk with the Israelites from Egypt to the Promise Land. Put our feet into the sandals of Moses and Aaron but equally our feet into the Israelites in exodus.
The Book of Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15 narrates the journey of Israel. The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron, who were constant in their mission. They kept clinging on divine providence after experiencing the series of complaints. They realized their helplessness but they did not end there. They looked up to God and pleaded for divine intervention.
On the other hand, the Israelites failed to see the goodness of God despite His provisions, maybe because they were engrossed with their sheer personal needs and continued to be dissatisfied.
Complaining and grumbling, when it becomes a daily practice, can be dangerous to the workplace. It will drag developments. It will break working relationships. It will add to negativities that will make the pandemic worse. It will make us ungrateful. It will make us bitter and judgmental. It will blind us eyes from the goodness of events and people and God.
The life of Gaspar Padawil, a senior high graduate of Sagada National High School has been an inspiration to his fellow youth.
Gaspar was confronted by anxiety and depression. His faith was tested and his life was dragged to deep anxiety.
What caused the anxiety? His brother, Patrolman Wilfred Padawil, was killed. Wilfred was a young policeman preparing for his wedding but this was shattered when he was shot dead. The promising public servant and a good dream ended. The family profoundly grieved for their loss.
Wilfred was a victim of terrorism, which caused more trouble. It challenged the mental health of his younger brother, Gaspar, who found himself at the brink of insanity. Gaspar suffered and was haunted by anxiety due to the loss. He started to isolate himself. Grief and anxiety started to eat his time and effort. He started to become selfish in a sense that he looked only at himself and neglected the rest. The pandemic that enforced lockdowns and quarantines made Gaspar’s life worse. His faith started to wane and his hope turned gray.
God intervened by touching gifted people and youth ministers. The Broken Guitar Project (BGP) was born amidst the pandemic. Gaspar found himself learning the guitar and ukulele at St. Joseph rectory. While learning the different musical instruments, he started to love serving the church through music and being an altar server. Unknowingly, he started to overcome anxiety and depression and more importantly, he inspired his fellow youth by being the chairperson of the Sagada Catholic Youth Ministry and a teacher.
Gaspar expressed his difficulties and challenges several times but he transcended to see the ultimate healer, God. He saw goodness in that predicament.
The BGP catered primarily to the young people of Sagada in the midst of the pandemic. Their energy was channeled through music. Many started with zero knowledge on musical instruments and after some months became the teachers. Amidst the odds, many unearthed their talents through the BGP and are now influencing others to process themselves from vices and eventually leave bad lifestyle. Equally, the BGP helped in spreading positivity through creativity.
A holistic mind will tell that we are not confronting a sheer virus but its impact to the social, spiritual, mental, and psychological aspects of the family.
The Basic Ecclesial Communities of Sagada experienced the evils of this pandemic, but transcended to see goodness in the difficult situation. The youth saw goodness amidst the pandemic. They responded to the BGP, which is currently catering to more youth even outside Sagada.
In this pandemic, let us see goodness in every situation instead of grumbling.
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