Tonight, just before closing my eyes to sleep, I was hit by this immense awareness of my opportunities in life.
One year ago, I was dragging myself to perform a job that felt like a dead end. One year later, I actually feel that life is starting to make sense in my own greener pastures.
Rami Malek’s speech in the Emmys came into mind.
Opportunity — a circumstance that makes it possible to do something.
Everything that has happened in the past twelve months leading to this specific moment was because of opportunity. The only reason I had a shot at improving my situation was because of opportunity.
I had the opportunity to change jobs because my college education has provided me the necessary skills to venture into writing. Furthermore, I was able to think and decide the way I did only because I was born to a middle class Filipino family of hardworking parents and self-sufficient siblings, at a time when the internet was just invented.
Opportunity is a gift that keeps on giving without even asking for it. It is handed to us by our privileges and presents itself when the occasion rises. All we have to do is to grab it.
I ponder where my opportunities came from and I gradually felt myself shrinking, until I was just ultimately a speck in the universe at the mercy of the Divine hand who controls the grand scheme of things and decided to grant me the opportunity to do what I do and have what I have.
It’s a humbling experience because I actually don’t get to take credit for anything. Somehow, I got lucky when the universe raffled opportunity and found my name on it.
The roof above my head and the clothes behind my back, the job I am fulfilled to do and the paycheck every two weeks, the education to fuel my dreams and the resources to actualize them — all thanks to opportunity.
It forces me to believe that every single person with a set of opportunities unavailable to most people must have a specific role that only he can fulfill. We don’t enter this world in a seemingly randomized manner. We don’t get to have these privileges just so we can have better chances at a good life than others.
Our opportunities put us in a place where we have to give our best shots in making the world a better place. We already have an unfair advantage in life. We ought to put them into a purposeful use. What are we doing with our education? With our access to the sciences and the arts? With our full comprehension of our rights? With our great opportunities come the glaring responsibility that we have the leverage to do something.
Somewhere there exists a prolific writer or an Olympian — maybe stuck in a call center job who has to pay for her younger brother’s tuition, maybe working in the rice fields who has to walk three hours to school, maybe knocking on windshields, selling sampaguita in the streets because he never held a pen and paper in his life.
We owe it to them.
They could have been the next great thinkers and revolutionaries of our lifetime, even smarter, more skilled and talented than we are, but they never had the same opportunity easily handed to people like us.
After we check our privileges, let’s follow suit on our opportunities. We can’t have the gall to waste them. The things we take for granted are another person’s prayers at night.