RADIO Veritas recently released an online survey on the Filipinos’ Level of Confidende towards 2021. This survey uses a stratified sample of 1,200 respondents nationwide for a +/- 3% margin of error (gathered through a text-based and online data gathering process) the survey’s information is indicative of the respondents’ Level of Confidence that the New Year (2021) will be much better than 2020, inclusive of the dates covering November 20 – December 20, 2020. Results of which are as follows:
When asked “How Confident are you that the New Year (2021) will be a much better year than 2020?” this nationwide survey reveals that only 31% (3 out of 10 Filipinos) feel Very Confident , while 48% (roughly 5 out of 10) feel Confident. The remaining 14% feel Somewhat Confident and 7% feel Not Confident . Though still a majority of around 79% (Very Confident & Confident response) remain positive towards the prospects of the New Year, those who feel only Confident outweigh those who feel Very Confident which is indicative of a fairly Cautious Optimism towards 2021. The remaining 21% (Somewhat Confident & Not Confident response) brings to light a somewhat negative outlook towards the New Year.
The experiences brought about by 2020 — our Taal Volcano eruption, Typhoons Ambo, Rolly, Siony and Ulysses plus this COVID-19 pandemic — has prompted our respondents to choose a somewhat CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM towards 2021. Hopeful yet guarded and tempered. As this idiom would suggest it is a feeling of general confidence regarding the New Year and its possible outcome coupled with a sense of readiness for possible difficulties or disappointment.
As such Fr. Anton CT Pascual (Radio Veritas President & CEO) remarks, “May this sense of optimism be an outpouring of grace to equip each and every one of us to be aware constantly of God’s presence, power and peace — Emmanuel, God is with us. Let us overcome the fear and helplessness during this pandemic crisis and be anointed by the spirit of POWER , LOVE and WISDOM that come from heaven. ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John 1:5).”
To maintain a positive outlook amidst overwhelming opposition brings to light the Christian virtue of hope. Christian hope unfolds our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. Hope is the sure and steadfast anchor of our dreams and aspirations where Jesus has gone as the forerunner on our behalf. And to be buoyed up by hope is to enable us to experience joy even under intense trials and struggles.
For us Catholic Christians, hope is the knowledge that we are being changed for the better as we trust in God’s promises (Romans 8:28). It is the conviction that no matter the circumstances, God’s plans for our lives are “for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11b NLT).
“Our time has a great need for hope! The young can no longer be robbed of hope. … The young need hope. It is necessary to offer concrete signs of hope to those who experience pain and suffering. Social organizations and associations, as well as individuals who strive towards acceptance and sharing, are generators of hope. Therefore, I exhort your Christian communities to be agents of solidarity, never to stop before those who, for mere personal interest, sow self-centeredness, violence and injustice. Oppose yourselves to the culture of death and be witnesses to the Gospel of life! May the light of God’s Word and the support of the Holy Spirit help you to look with new and willing eyes upon the new forms of poverty that drive so many young people and families to desperation” (Pope Francis).
In close analogy thereof, allow me to share to you this story shared by Roger William Thomas in the book, “Chicken Soup for the Soul”: A young child diagnosed with cancer went to his spiritual adviser to discuss his funeral. When it seemed that they had covered just about everything, Aunt Martie paused, looked up at Jim with a twinkle in her eye, and then added, “One more thing, preacher. When they bury me, I want my old Bible in one hand and a fork in the other.” “A fork?” Jim was sure he had heard everything, but this caught him by surprise. “Why do you want to be buried with a fork?” “I have been thinking about all of the church dinners and banquets that I attended through the years,” she explained. “I couldn’t begin to count them all. But one thing sticks in my mind. At those really nice get-togethers, when the meal was almost finished, a server or maybe the hostess would come by to collect the dirty dishes. I can hear the words now. Sometimes, at the best ones, somebody would lean over my shoulder and whisper, ‘You can keep your fork.’ And do you know what that meant? Dessert was coming!
“It didn’t mean a cup of Jell-O or pudding or even a dish of ice cream. You don’t need a fork for that. It meant the good stuff, like chocolate cake or cherry pie! When they told me I could keep my fork, I knew the best was yet to come!”
“That’s exactly what I want people to talk about at my funeral. Oh, they can talk about all the good times we had together. That would be nice.” “But when they walk by my casket and look at my pretty blue dress, I want them to turn to another and say, ‘Why the fork?’ That’s what I want you to say, I want you to tell them that I kept my fork because the best is yet to come.”
In Faith, we look at all our struggles either personal or political and say to ourselves … The best is yet to come!
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