Notes to Self, Arriane and Abbey, Rise Against, lyrics, handdrawn typography, set the world on fire, optimism, quote, life

Notes to Self : 21

“Don’t you remember when we were young and we wanted to set the world on fire? ‘Cause I still am. And I still do.” – Rise Against

Don’t forget what it feels like to be young & full of hope

Just last night, I was talking with a good friend who was telling me how she’s given up on the Philippine government system, how she’s seen all the dirt and corruption firsthand, how she’s absolutely fed up with how good people and businessmen were being cajoled into paying so much under-the-table fees, and no matter who our leader is, or how ‘good’ or ‘clean’ we think he is — it’s all going to be the same. Dirty, corrupt, until the end of time.

And I felt sad. A little because… part of what she’s saying is true.

There’s still a lot of corruption out there, especially in local governments and smaller departments. Especially small-fish employees who have been there all this time, who’ve grown old with the dirty system, and as long as they’re not getting caught (because we’re running after much bigger fish), just keep on doing what they’re doing. And yes, I am frustrated with that as well.

But that doesn’t take away the fact that there’s also so many good things happening elsewhere, in different forms.

Remember when I said that for too long, there have just been too many good Filipino people sitting on the sidelines? That whole ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’ phenomena? That’s slowly changing now.

Personally, I am so elated because there are so many good people and young ones who are now working for, or want to work for the government. You have to realize — that was obscenely rare two years ago.

Let’s set the world on fire – together

And then my friend goes, “Kayo na nga lang hope ko dun eh,” referring to me and my other friends who work in the government.

But here’s the thing: I don’t want to just stand for hope for other people. I mean, do you know how tiring (and how much pressure) that is?

What I want is for people to hope and work for change with me. You can’t just cheer me and a couple of other people on, and hope to God we make it better.

Change can’t come from one person alone. We have to have each others’ backs, you know? I got yours. Please have mine?

I love writing about these extremely cheesy feelings about my purpose – because it also serves as a reminder for myself. These posts are what I look back on during harder days, and I hope that they never fail to remind me of how young and hopeful and passionate and optimistic I feel right here, right at this moment.

As I said here in my talk, I hope that I never stop trying my damn hardest to make a difference, and leave this world a little better than how I first found it. And having the time of my life while I’m at it. :)

Words & photo edits by Arriane, illustration & photo by Abbey // See all Notes to Self here.

Notes to Self, Arriane and Abbey, Rise Against, lyrics, handdrawn typography, set the world on fire, optimism, quote, life

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