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EN | A STEP CLOSER

by Phillipine editorial staff

Ruth R. Galera – Davao City, Philippines

Ruth Galera is a student-journalist of Francisco Bustamante National High School (FBNHS) for almost four years. In her first year in the school publication, she became the junior editor-in-chief of Ang Diwa (Official Filipino School Publication of FBNHS). The following year, she bacame the senior EIC of both English and Filipino School Publication of FBNHS. During her term, both Ang Diwa and The Viewpoint became the most awarded school paper in Region XI. Right now, she is now in her second year in college taking Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW). Being a student-journalist for four years is quite hard but I would say that I didn’t regret joining the school publication way back in high school because it taught me on how to write an article/story, I learned the basic skills in lay-outing and most especially it gave me an opportunity to see the reality through journalism.

Even problems are a map towards a resolution.

Going online, a lot of technical problems could occur. Inaudible voices and blurry faces pausing in the screen are still unavoidable, even with the strongest internet connection. Important meetings could be interrupted. Thus, despite the present challenges, determined people still managed to make things possible – the Run4Unity event: an activity that conquered doubts and distance.

Promoted by the Teens4Unity all around the world, Run4Unity follows the Golden Rule in building and promoting peace through a moment of silence called “InTime4Peace.” Though plagued with obstacles, they have always been a part of the United World Week. It is a time to showcase new ideas and initiatives of the United World Project (UWP). Beyond helping everyone understand and work through their differences, the UWP aims to involve young people from every part of the world as they deepen the reality of universal brotherhood.

This is the second Run4Unity conducted online since the onset of the pandemic. The Teens4Unity managed to work hand in hand for the activity to be successful. Their efforts did not go in vain as one Philippines from the three major islands (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) participated in the event.

Paying the price

They all came together for one purpose: to bring people together despite distance and diversity. Planned and organized by the hands of assistants Gen 2, Gen 3 and Teens4Unity in the Philippines for only a month, the event was still a success. In fact, the Run4Unity Facebook live had 225 reactions, 215 comments, 102 shares, and 2.1k views as of May 5, 2021. Three distinctive Gens truly made a difference.

In times of crisis, grace is something people often ask with their palms laid open in the air. Time, effort, manpower and resources might not have been that easy to acquire in this activity but ease and satisfaction is still evident with the participants’ faces. Chiara Lubich once said, “People must be ready to pay for grace and give their lives for it if that’s what they desire.” Evidently, the participants hurdled all costs and this is them preparing for that grace; paying the price.

Cost of Unity

Moving the lens to a bigger matter, hunger is indeed an existing problem of today. In fact, 821 million people lay on their cold sheets at night, clutching their gurgling stomachs. In addition, 20 billion more people will suffer the same fate by the year 2050, if this trend continues. Though some do manage to put something in their mouths, it obviously doesn’t appease their hunger — It just helps them survive another day.

Aiming to lessen and eventually eliminate this problem, building new and stronger ties are a necessary first step to unite people in untying the knot. Simply with this online bridge-building session, citizens from various places and countries are given an opportunity to connect and create new relationships. This doesn’t only conquer distance and racial differences but it also creates harmony. This is something that demands a great deal of time and effort; the cost of bringing people together. In these times, unity is no longer asked as just a sweet promise. It’s a necessity.

Humans value things around them differently. One might see money as vital as air, some might prefer luxury and yet others might just simply want anything that is for the greater good. Though people who aim for unity still certainly have a long way to go, their desire can truly be achieved with the government and its citizens, the students, and the private and public sectors’ collaboration.

Problems indeed are a map towards a resolution. Despite causing temporary worldwide dysfunction, the pandemic managed to give some helpful realizations to people. This situation gave people a time to pause and look at the world around them. It made them dare to care. Even if there are things that still are difficult to achieve now, with more citizens, especially the youth that are aware and conscious of society’s true needs, the solutions might be just around the corner. We run for unity and now, in achieving that goal – we are a step closer.

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