Diamonds

A fascinating natural phenomena is the creation of a diamond. As we all know, diamonds are the hardest minerals here on earth, capable of scratching other lesser minerals and gems. But this beautiful, tenacious stone was once just a lump of coal, black, dirty and just useful for fuel. Under millions of years of fire and pressure, however, the unlovely black coal turns into the most-sought priceless gems of the world.

Epicureans, a group of philosophers who flourished in ancient Greece at about 307 BC believed that the road to life is the maximum gratification of the senses. So they isolated themselves from the world to live out their pleasure-seeking lives… I wonder if they ever found true happiness in their voluptuary approach to life. Maybe they were bothered why all their drink and food couldn’t satisfy all their longings, all their cravings. Why do I feel that something’s missing? They may have asked. And a void is created within them, and in the end, their hedonistic approach to life ultimately backfires against them.

That’s not right! This would be your reaction when you see a child being slapped for being disobedient. Can’t you see? Inside everyone there is a voice that calls out for change. And change can only be obtained throught the courage to fight. “Courage is the price life exacts for peace” so says Amelia Earhart. And fight what? The hard, cold hearts of the world who refuse to see what’s happening, who, like Epicureans, isolate themselves into their false utopias, searching in vain for peace they cannot find. A good Muslim friend shared to me the two types of jihad, holly war. The first one was war against those who threaten the Islamic faith, and the second one was the battle against the self. And as much as I hate to admit it, I have a cold heart, and it is my fight to transfrom it into the burning embers of love.

All the crazy things going around the world today happened in the past. The invasion of Lebanon is no new thing, the war going on between the Israelis and the Palestinians has gone for so long. The distressing situation of the African nations still isn’t solved, after all these years. The political situation of our country also hasn’t fared any better than the others, with us being second to Indonesia as the most corrupt countries in the world. (A joke was even said about this, saying that we paid Indonesia to be second!)

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” The world today may never learn, but the world of tomorrow will. It really sucks to feel useless at times. As I watch the news, I can only watch in horror all the things I see. Bear in mind that the news is edited, and that the real thing is a far cry from it. What we see is but the tip of the iceberg, but a portion of the truth, but one little story among the thousands. What can I do? Nothing but pray, and maybe of all the prayers said in the world today one will reach His ears and implore Him to help us. Right now I can pray and do my share. But tomorrow, I can do better. The world today may never learn, but the world of tomorrow will…

Which brings us back to the diamond. The diamond, although beautiful, is rough at first when it is harvested from the bosom of the Earth. Only a skilled diamond cutter can unleash a diamond’s true beauty, and realize the characteristic “fire” inside a diamond. In life, we transform ourselves into diamonds, and by the cutter’s hands become complete.

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    For people who love to think.

    Jian Carlo R. Narag, MD

    2005-2017

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