Rizal and the Youth Today

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“Youth is a flower-bed that is to bear rich fruit and must accumulate wealth for its descendants.” Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Jose Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda is the Philippines’ national hero. He is also a writer, a scientist, a doctor, an artist, a teacher, an activist and much more. A Gemini born on June 19, 1861 in Calamba, Laguna and studied in the most prestigious schools in Manila and Europe. A hyper polyglot, conversant in 22 languages, reason why he became such a creative poet and novelist. A man who altered the path of Philippine history, Rizal’s literary works has opened the minds of Filipino people to fight for their rights in their own country. He inspired most of our revolutionary organizers by exposing the arrogance and tyranny of the Spanish clergy. His communal annotations on Spanish rule formed the basis of literature that encouraged armed revolutionaries and diplomatic reformist. For his anti-Spanish literary works, he was exiled, incarcerated and executed on December 30, 1896. He was a martyr, a hero at a very young age of 35. To the youth of today, who is Dr. Jose P. Rizal? Is he a role model for the Filipino youth? Is he still being remembered the way a national hero should be? Is he an inspiration to the younger generations? What is his legacy? What is his relevance today? Dr. J. P. Rizal, describing the youth as the Philippines’ hope of tomorrow, should follow his vision of a genuine liberty and democracy for the Filipino people and a deep love for your country. The Spaniards are gone, the Americans gave us independence but yes, we are still prisoners. Prisoners of our almighty politicians who have managed to ravaged our country of its pride and treasure. Those elected officials who made a sham of our democratic system and making us believe that social inequality is the norm for the weak and underprivileged. The Filipino youth should take a stand and generate a new approach to free our country of these dishonest individuals and the manner in which the so-called politicians are managing our motherland. Like Rizal, one need not be a politician to motivate people to make changes to a decaying society. Rizal’s popularity did not encourage him to run for any government post because he believes it is more effective to know the sentiment of the people if you are actually with the people. Contrary to our present condition where politicians and high ranking government officials have their own little world away from reality. Dr. J. P. Rizal believes that to effect any changes to the government, we should first change ourselves, which is what Dr. Rizal did. He improved himself first to show the world that he is capable and qualified to interact with local and foreign leaders. This can only be possible if our youth can concentrate more on their studies and develop their knowledge on the present condition of our society rather than wasting their time indulging in useless activities. How can you convince people to change when you have not even changed yourself? You can only effectively influence your community if you have experienced the condition you are trying to justify. Every youth should be his own Rizal and should live the life of Rizal. A life of honor and love for the country, accomplishment of ambitions and ideas, life with pride and self-respect, passion to stand out, capitalize on your ability and respect to your peers. The younger generation should live to a standard of rational and great courage, much the same way as Rizal. There have been a lot of people who tried to emulate and convinced the Filipinos that they are the new Rizal’s. The hero that will save the country and its citizens from poverty and oppression, the pretentious leaders of the third world who encouraged us to support them and follow their every command because it is for our own good. The modern Joan of Arc who would fight for our rights and die for our freedom. Sad to say that these conceited leaders did not last long because...
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