COMING BACK, GIV­ING BACK

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

DEX­TER E. PANGILI­NAN

IN this sea­son of grad­u­a­tions, grad­u­ates are en­joined to stay and serve the coun­try. Yet, with the ex­o­dus of the best and bright­est from our shores, we can­not ac­cuse them of trea­son.

We leave home for many reasons. Some leave to get a bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion, oth­ers for fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion. Some leave for bet­ter pro­fes­sional op­por­tu­ni­ties, oth­ers to pro­vide fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity for their fam­i­lies. Some leave for ad­ven­ture. Some, for a bet­ter fu­ture. And oth­ers, still, leave to pur­sue dreams— dreams that nec­es­sar­ily take them away from home.

In­deed, there is mas­sive brain drain that could re­sult from the bur­geon­ing num­ber of Filipinos leav­ing our shores for jobs over­seas. To­day, it is no longer a the­ory. It is a reality.

And yet, while we lament the loss, we would not com­pel our grad­u­ates to stay. On the con­trary, I would en­cour­age them to leave the com­forts of home and to step far and be­yond their com­fort zones. There is much to see, ex­pe­ri­ence and learn from other shores. There is much to com­pre­hend about other countries and cul­tures. They will gain much more from leav­ing than from stay­ing out of a mis­guided sense of love of coun­try.

But as much as we would en­cour­age our grad­u­ates to leave, we would also en­cour­age them to come back. Leave home. Go out and learn from the best and the bright­est in the world. But come back. And give back to the nation that has nur­tured you from birth.

When a grad­u­ate leaves home, his or her world be­comes larger, views be­come broader. In the process, some of them will be­come bet­ter and braver hu­man be­ings. So leave home grad­u­ate, you must— if you feel that leav­ing will make you a more com­pe­tent and com­pas­sion­ate per­son. And then come back and be a bet­ter em­ployee, em­ployer, en­tre­pre­neur, ex­ec­u­tive, ad­min­is­tra­tor, pro­fes­sional, com­mu­nity mem­ber, leader, cit­i­zen.

Choos­ing to leave home doesn’t make a grad­u­ate a traitor or a turn­coat. But choos­ing to come back and give back makes him or her a true pa­triot.

--oOo-

The au­thor is Ad­min­is­tra­tive Assistant III, Per­son­nel Sec­tion, DepEd Di­vi­sion of Pam­panga

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