[Blueboard] Are We a Crowd or a Community?

homer hgalido at ateneo.edu
Tue Dec 5 10:20:55 PHT 2006


Are We a Crowd or a Community?


o borrow words from Fr. Danny Huang, S.J. in his talk in the recently concluded ISEW3 for non-teaching personnel, are we in the University a crowd, or a community?  From all I have seen in the past weeks, the answer comes to me without any need for empirical validation.  On that eventful day when close to 700 University members left their homes and busy schedules to stand as one Ignatian family at the Ateneo Grade School auditorium, I heard many greetings and saw the countless exchanges of smiles that conveyed genuine joy and bonding.  People were gracious and eager to help, and almost everyone you met exuded an attitude of hospitality, cheerfulness and camaraderie.

More than just another workshop, the ISEW3 served as a novel means to bring together the non-teaching community and unite everyone in spirit and purpose.  It rekindled the divine flame passed on to us by the First Companions, which we in turn will continue to hand over to the coming generations.  It was a reminder of who we truly are as an institution, and an inspiration to more fully live out the Jesuit ideals and be more actively involved in God's mission.  It was a call to see each one not just as a person performing a role, but as a human face to embrace and respect.  It was an impetus to combine our strengths, weaknesses and peculiarities, and work in harmony towards a single mission and vision.

Yes, we in the University indeed are a community.  We have gone a long way in building the bonds that unite us.  We have gone a long way in building the equity and core values that the Ateneo name represents.  Through time, our solidarity manifests interestingly in an intricate web of relationships.  Within the walls of the jam-packed auditorium were individuals who knew one another because they were either co-workers or neighbors, or because one was the student or classmate of the other, or perhaps because one was related to the friend of another, and so on.  After a while it no longer mattered what the origins of the relationships were.  It did not even matter whether the person you were talking to was a close friend for a dozen years, or a new acquaintance.  What mattered was the fact that everyone experienced an immense sense of oneness in a place we've learned to call home.

-   Freddie Manapat

In behalf of all non-teaching personnel, OMIOD thanks all those who volunteered their services, worked beyond their regular hours, donated in cash or in kind, and contributed in so many different ways to make ISEW3 truly a memorable and defining experience.

Thank you all for proving once again that we are ONE.
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