ENTERPRISING AND ENTREPRENEURIAL
By FR. ROY CIMAGALA
Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE)
Talamban, Cebu City
The good thing about problems and difficulties like what we are having now with the much-talked-about global financial crisis is that we can surface again an often ignored truth.
And that is that the human spirit can take on anything, even to the point of heroism and martyrdom. If one wills something, nothing from outside nor inside him can stop him from carrying out what he has decided to do. Much depends on how we use and turn our will.
This is how our spirit is. It has the capacity to be above the fluctuations, the ebb and flow of life, its unavoidable wear and tear. Though in our case, it is inseparably united to the body, it still can function according to its nature and rule the body. This is when we can talk of the spiritual man.
The problem is when we allow that spirit to be dominated by the law of the flesh, instead of having it the other way around. This is the challenge we have at the moment—how to make that human spirit rule the ups and downs of the flesh and the outside world.
As chaplain of a technical vocational school for boys, I clearly see the need to give a continuing and effective reason for the spirit of the boys to float and even take off. Their faith has to be nourished steadily.
This is a task that truly demands the art of brinkmanship. We have to go to the limits of reason and to other human devices to be able to infuse the needed hope and optimism to otherwise harassed souls.
It's also a very delicate task, because one has to enter into the interior life of the boys. One needs how to deal with their character and temperament, their psychological frame, their cultural upbringing, etc.
Given their youthfulness, the boys can be unstable and volatile, quickly alternating between buoyancy and lethargy, creativity and routine, razor-sharp interest and dulling indifference.
It's clear their spirit is not yet in full control of their own selves. They can easily be held captive by their moods and the fads and gimmicks outside. They are not yet with God's grace self-propelled. They have to be propped up most of the time.
Thus, we have implemented some kind of universal mentoring, that is, providing everyone with a mentor or a buddy with whom they can talk about all sorts of things.
But with the present global economic downturn where some of our boys now find difficulty in getting a job, there is great need to elicit in them their enterprising and entrepreneurial possibilities. Only those who work with faith and hope can survive any onslaught of trials.
For this, we have thought of pairing each one with a business mentor, no matter how modest the business may be. This is just to expose the boys to the real world of making business, of making money from any venture.
It's also a good way of snatching them from the claws of helplessness, always a threat to them given their background. It would be quite a blow to them if after all their sacrifices in trying to get some education, they'd see that everything just fell to futility.
Difficulties are actually challenges and occasions either to rise or fall, to win or lose. We should not allow these trials to just scare us. They should be confronted properly in a variety of ways.
One would be to generate an air of optimism. Everything that would contribute to making the atmosphere hopeful should be done. We have to be careful with our words and spontaneous reactions to negative developments.
This hope and optimism should be ably supported by a strong, solid spiritual life, first of all, and by practical plans and practicable strategies. There has to be a way of making more available quick and flexible retraining programs, for example, spearheaded by both government and NGOs.
The world nowadays is in faster flux. To effectively grapple with the challenges and possibilities, there has to be a tighter sense of solidarity and cooperation, a quicker transmission of ideas and translation of insights into action.
All of these should be deeply anchored on the true foundation of our life, God himself! Let's disabuse ourselves from thinking that with our cleverness and our resources, we can manage to solve problems. We have to begin and end with God always!