“To be or not to be…, that is the question.” I have always felt that there is more to this simple statement by Shakespeare than the mere fact of pondering over a decision. Shall I be for something, or against it? Should I support this project or criticize it? Should I be actively involved, or passively indifferent? If I just ignore the question, will it resolve itself?
This question comes into play as the debates, discussions, and comments on the pending RH Bill keep the media airwaves busy. We are told that the issue of life is one which deeply touches every person. After all, we are all alive, aren’t we? We are told that the family is the domestic church with the responsibility to uphold the sacredness of life whether the life in question is newly conceived in the mother’s womb, a victim of circumstances, a life handicapped or disabled physically or emotionally, a life immersed in difficulty, poverty, or bondage, or life in a vegetable-like coma waiting for death. Being told about something is different than fully believing in that something. And it is this difference that can help us answer Shakespeare’s question: “To be or not to be…”
I believe that Life in whatever stage or age is a miracle from God, and man should never arrogate to himself the decision to end it. Life is always a good. Unfortunately many times we do not look for the good in the other person, preferring to focus on what is wrong in that person. I believe that human life is sacred because from its beginning it involved the creative action of God.
It is, therefore, not enough to ignore the issues of Life – of contraception, abortion, murder, euthanasia, of pervasive immorality, unbridled sexuality, test-tube babies, unending poverty, and other concerns that threaten the sanctity of Life. It is not enough to be anti-this or anti-that! We have to offer something positive to counteract the negative. We must decide to act, and act NOW … not tomorrow or whenever we have a spare moment.
Promote the importance of family life and its responsibilities to family members and to the community. See to it that love is fostered in the family. Develop the spirit of sharing, caring and togetherness in the family circle. Instill discipline. Nourish an enduring love for God, for each other and our fellowmen. Look for the good in every thing. This list can go on and on…
For me, the question we must confront daily is not “to be or not to be for or against…” The key question is: “Is my love for God and my neighbor strong and courageous enough to focus on the good in Life and People instead of being influenced by the badness or wrongness in Life and People?” “Am I willing to step out in faith to embrace the Culture of Life and combat the Culture of Death?”
For me, the key is LOVE. Do I love life enough to protect it and nourish it … in my family, in my community, in my barangay, in my parish, in the environment, in our province, in our country?
Ninoy Aquino is a hero because he loved Life and took action to uphold it because he could. Can I do this? Am I strong and loving enough to uphold the Good, to uphold Life? Are you? Can you?