Survival of the Fittest

Charles Darwin. 1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in....
Survival of the Fittest taught by Charles Darwin. Some animal behavior could also be seen in competing humans.

The popular core belief of Darwinian Theory of Evolution: survival of the fittest. In the academic life of college students, the theory applies well.

College students enrolled in high-courses feel this trend of belief. As I see it, ‘Survival of the Fittest’ means basically two things: surviving the academic quota imposed by their department for staying in the course, and, the said system has a strong inevitable tendency to push the students for a competition.

The first truth is a well-said fact, no need for further elaborations. But the second one – really calls for some needed explanation, exploration, and observation. Competition itself is not bad – and I call that healthy competition. But competition to the expense of wilful sacrificing the good of others – isn’t good – in fact it slowly destroys the basic philosophy of education, which is learning, or change for the better. If students in some ways behave like animals in the Darwinian concept of striving to be fit for survival, then the cause for education is already defeated.

Unhealthy competition naturally comes from pride – almost always. Slowly too, it has the power to destroy relationships, and build walls among individuals, though these same people call each other as ‘friends’.

This article could not be finished now, and purposely I will not. A term paper could be written on this topic.

Studying is Very Tiring

Global City Innovative College students inside...
Smile! You are in college!

That is unless we find it to be joyful. Imagine the everyday tasks that students are facing, specifically the college students who are not the typical ones. I mean those who truly aspire to get high grades and academic standing for a variety of reasons.

Listening and reading alone with optimal comprehension inside the classroom are truly exhausting, much more if accompanied with writing, solving, and analysis. Taking down notes from a stuttering or mispronouncing instructor is a challenge not only for the mind but also for the heart as you might easily lose patience. Having to research with only a very few reference materials in the library calls for a competitive and greedy spirit if not faced rightly. The long hours spent in making reviewers, memorizing, and then forgetting those information – the cycle of quizzes – could be quite tiring, especially for those who do not have proper study habits and correct usage of time.  Not to mention financial and heart problems. The tears and the aches, as anyone may call it.

That is unless we find it to be joyful. Unless we do it with our hearts. If we find purpose and real meaning in everything that we do, then the burden is lifted up and we find renewed energy as we face each task, no matter how big they might be. If you are a visionary, you may know a fraction of what I am saying. But it is more than that. Religiosity aside, it cannot be denied the fact that everything will return in our attitude and thinking about our Creator. If we know our God, and have the right relationship with Him, then it is probable that we see and perceive things differently – that is, under God’s very own perspective. In that alone we find purpose. In that way alone true meaning emerges from our every action.

(Ps 16:11) Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

College Life Reboot

College life includes books. Just like its open pages, my life once again will be open to many.

I call reboot as a God-given favor to live up your ‘past’ life again, only this time with the blessedness of having the chance to live it out better.

I first entered college by the year 2001, taking up Hotel and Restaurant Management, then shifted to an engineering course due to parental pressures – but was cut short in a month, thanks to my crazy attitude of doing awful things just for the sake of getting attention. After a semester of an emotional ill-rest, I then pursued a computer technician course under a popular IT-College school, and after a semester shifted to computer science course, and I managed to finish that two-year course in 2004. Those years were full of blood – not literal blood, but the heart that flows out with pain due to a broken relationship with my God.

Year 2007, I pursued Pastoral Studies in a Bible College, hoping and believing that I am called to the full-time pastoral ministry. After five years of hardships, I finished the seminary studies – I was then looking vaguely for the ministerial life.

But my heart was not ready. I was caught up by the many bothers of life, by some of the little luxuries which are my weaknesses. So I abandoned the first ‘full-time’ ministry given to me after a few weeks – it was really puzzling – and I also believed that God was offering me a new direction in life.

Afterwards, the decision to study in secular college again. It was never an easy decision, in fact it was my most painful decision to date.

Long before the classes formally begin, I was determined to make this one, a ‘second chance’, a lot better than before. I was telling myself that I have to surpass the past spirituality that I showed during my former years in both secular and biblical college. I thought, this is the time for ‘redemption.’ I was really feeling nervous, and had some good feelings of reminiscing my past college life. It was like I am travelling to the past by a time machine – only the year and the day won’t change in the calendar.

The classes begin. I could easily see that God’s favor is upon me. I am not experiencing the same pain and rejection (by now) that I have experienced before. I could also see that God draws people to me, so I could minister to them. But in my heart an old foe arises – Mr. Pride.

With God’s help, I will still be able to do a lot better this time.