Monday, June 24, 2013

Debt of Gratitude (Utang-na-loob)

This is part of the text I delivered during our 9th annual contract signing of the CNHS 65 Scholarship Foundation.

What is Debt of Gratitude? You owe this debt of gratitude to your parents. Your mother carried you in her womb for 9 months. Your parents took care of you; they clothed you, fed you, gave you a roof over your head and sent you to school. Can you repay the debt of gratitude you owe them? No, you cannot pay back your debt of gratitude to them with gold, money, or any tangible things on earth. Debt of gratitude cannot be repaid. According to a Malayan Proverb, “one can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.” Debt of gratitude is for life, it cannot be repaid and you carry this on throughout your living days.

Your character is a reflection of how you were brought up by your parents. You are the mirror-image of your parents. The way how you think about gratitude mirrors the character of your parents. Good virtue starts at home.

Your present status, your education, you owe it to the Foundation. We are not seeking any repayment. We just expect plain recognition from you. Recognize your debt of gratitude to the Foundation, not just vanish into thin air after all the help we extended to you. A simple thank you from time to time will suffice. A regular communication with your benefactors will do.

“Gratitude is the least of the virtues, but ingratitude is the worst of all vices.” – Thomas Fuller

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.” – Cicero

Fuller’s and Cicero’s definition of gratitude is somewhat conflicting, for Fuller it is the “least of the virtues” and to Cicero it is “the greatest”, nonetheless the meanings of the message they impart are somewhat the same.

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” – Henri Frederic Amiel

Debt of gratitude cannot be repaid. Dala ninyo ito habang buhay, you carry this on for life.

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