I WATCHED the Indian film 3 Idiots (2009) because of a friend’s relentless nagging. I have never been a fan of Bollywood films, but I must admit that its story has a philosophical and existential dimension that makes great sense when applied in life.

The movie tells the story of three college friends, Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad, Farhan Qureshi, and Raju Rastogi, and how their friendship survives the challenges across time, especially the materialism that is eating up the younger generations.

The movie shows how young people eagerly embrace the rat race of modern life in order to accumulate wealth and fulfill their ambitions. It shows how today’s generation chase success at the expense of missing the essence of life.

In the end, the protagonists in the movie realize that they have spent too much time chasing things that do not really matter.

Simplicity and modesty have always been overlooked in the drive toward affluence and success. Society values immensely personal accomplishment and economic wealth often to the relegation of human values and virtues.

That is why young adults today chase success just for the sake of chasing success. They’re worldly and cynical. They don’t trust other people since they look at them as competitors.

Even friends are sacrificed in the drive toward success and more success.

Because their dreams are shallow, today’s generation are also shallow. Their crass materialism makes them prey to narrow-mindedness and a life of vice. They miss out on the beauty of life because they miss out on the core of existence.

I initially fell for this kind of mentality, but I have found out that real success does not necessarily mean being at the top and beating others, but simply being happy with what one has and valuing the things that should be valued, like family and friends.

Natural Sciences research director heads ORD

The point is that people tend to be so focused on their career goals to the extent that they miss the reasons why they’re trying to excel in the first place.

Born on Christmas Eve

I was born on Christmas Eve so I am always excited when the Yuletide season comes.

I guess a great part of the excitement comes from the impression that everyone is in a joyful mood which I easily connect to my birthday. Of course, it’s a naïve assumption.

My mother often tells me that whenever I caught her setting up the Christmas tree when I was still young, I would ask her, “Mama, birthday ko na ulit?

I soon grew up and found that the joy of the season has something to do with another person’s birthday, not mine. But of course, since our birthday follows one after the other, I still feel the season is as much mine as His.

Happy birthday, Jesus! Merry Christmas, dear readers!


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