Quoting Spider man

“Some are rich because of fate and
Some are poor with no food on their plate
Some stand out while others blend
Some are fat and stout while some are thin
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most” -Kaleidoscope World by Francis M.

“Survival of the fittest”, an infamous line of one of the greatest thinker in the world of science and evolution Charles Darwin (as suggested by his colleague Herbert Spencer as an alternative for his former phrase natural selection). “Fittest” in this sense means “reproductive success” that whoever has the physical capabilities to survive and reproduce maybe considered the fittest and can survive. Or it can also be interpreted as those who master the way of surviving can outlast this world. But of course, throughout history it has been interpreted in so many different ways by different school of thinkers such as the Social Darwinist, the Creationist, Anarchists and etc.

Social Darwinist for example used this phrase into social, political and economic issues. One of their pioneering theory is that “the strong survive” which promotes the advantage of the strong ones or the “superior” and scrapping in the list of priorities the “weaker” ones because for them it’s just the way things are. These group of thinkers are under the system of “kill-or-be-killed” system that those who can’t keep up will be cut off from the equation. (www.wikipedia.com)

Personally, I totally disagree with this kind of thinking. In this kind of mentality, are we actually “living” if this would be the protocol of how we should live life in order to survive? Aren’t we losing our “humanness” if we believe in this? One of the critique of Social Darwinist is Peter Kropotkin, in his book Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution he interpreted “fittest” as not the strong individual outliving others but as the ones who learn to support and combine with the others in order to hand in hand survive. In this respect, emphasis on mutuality and sympathy is observed.

So if you ask why am I talking about science crap and supposedly what I should write in this blog is on my personal reflections in my internship. Well, its for the reason that my reflection is inspired by these “science craps”.

To begin my actual reflection (pun intended), I would like to have a recap about the organization I interned in for 200 hours. So I interned in Feed the Children Philippines, it is an international NGO whose mission and vision are anchored in the quest of creating a world where no child goes to bed hungry.

In my 200 hours I have been immersed and exposed to the noble causes of the organization. I was twice assigned in the field to gather stories on their scholars, I was asked to do narrative reports of all the scholars of the organization here in Cebu and I was asked to document the year end assessment of the organization. I am happy that I had able to extend my help to them but the lessons and experiences I received from them is way beyond what I had offered. I am blessed and thankful that I spent my 200 hours being part of a noble cause.

Kropotkin interpreted “survival to fittest” as a mutual aid between individuals. And I would give that a million thumbs up. It is when we became humans when we see others as humans, we know the feeling of being hungry, we know how cold it is to sleep outside in the roads without a bed, pillow or blanket and we know how thirsty it is to be not able to drink a clean water. We know the feeling, we all do. Yet only some sympathized with our brothers and sisters who have less or even nothing at all. Only some who even take a look at them, touch them and talk to them. Only some cares. In a world of 7 billion, not even a half enjoys the wonders of life. A lot are starving and dying and only some cares. Kim Kardashian gained a lot more attention than the hungry naked child in the streets crying. Kinain na tayo ng sistema.

As a political science student, I know that charities are exempted from tax thus a lot of billionaires engaged in charities so that they could escape tax payment although I am not intending to generalize. However, FEED taught me that charity is just a short term solution however I am not saying one should stop engaging in charities but if one wishes to help and elevate the lives of others then provide them with long term sustainable solution. One that could help them help themselves and not just to merely rely on temporary donations.

“Sustainability” is one of the key elements of FEED approach. They addresses hunger and malnutrition in all angles such as in education, clean water, food and nutrition and livelihood. They don’t give you food, they give the spoon, fork and plates to be used in order to eat. They don’t just provide but they guide. Providing is different from guiding. They don’t just give households nutritious food but they teach them how to grow nutritious food.

First few years of my college endeavor in the University of the Philippines Cebu, there is already a unspoken rule and embedded purpose in each Iskolar and that is to SERVE THE PEOPLE. Yet, sadly, in times of graduation only few students are engaged in noble causes. Many is now targeting to be part of large international and big companies that offer service with a an expensive amount. Still, serving the people but only to some and doesn’t encompass the majority of the population that is the poor people.

Every year we are told to produce research papers, but I realized that the trend in research papers is that we are looking into international politics, regional blocs and other high end crisis. And only few researches are produced that addresses the problems of the poor and the marginalized. Only few people who go to the communities and “actually” explained to them their situation and provide possible sustainable solutions to them. The poor people don’t even have food to eat how much more bother to read a lengthy research paper they understand. Some don’t even know how to read and write. It’s as if we are so inclined to whole world that we forgot our own people. We forgot who we are and who are our family.

I have seen and heard stories of children and their families in communities here in the Philippines. And I thank FEED for opening my eyes that there is a whole range of choices as to how to serve the people. It doesn’t mean that I will graduate from a prestigious university then I should work in a prestigious company. That the whole essence of my education is to find solutions to our nation’s problems and share those solutions with the actual people involved and not just limit myself within the four walls of a room or an office.

Serving the people is hard. It should be hard because if it is not then my whole UP education will be useless.

This is a message to all, especially to those who are given the chance to study in a university. It is our responsibility now. As the famous line of Uncle Ben in Spider man, “Great power comes with great responsibility.”