The first happy childhood memories about Easter celebration was the Easter Egg Hunt. When we were a lot, lot, lot, lot (tell me when to stop) younger, this usually meant our elders boiling about 4 to 5 dozen eggs on Black Saturday, then they gathered around an Arthurian sized round table, paint brush and water color in hand, and design the eggs away. There were traditional Easter egg patterns of pastel or earthy colors, to faces of celebrities, usually the Beatles (they were easiest to put on an egg, and my uncles and aunts were fans).
Of course, our elders hid this from us. Because part of the fun of our childhood was the belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and the Easter Bunny. And we had those memories down to a T.
Come Easter Sunday morning, we woke up to two live white rabbits roaming around in a huge garden, all our grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts as audience in a porch, while we siblings and cousins as the egg hunters. And since there were live bunnies roaming the garden with us, so was our true belief that they do lay eggs on Easter, no matter if they were hard boiled ones.
Again, we stress that we did this in an open garden, under the sun, with actual plants, rocks, grass, and cat poop, all together making the total Easter experience.
Fast forward to our parental generation, when it was our kid’s turn for the Easter egg hunt experience. But wow!!!!! It was totally different.
They hunted eggs in malls, fast food chains, hotels, restaurants, birthday parties, and other air conditioned venues. And our pampering was totally different. No sunlight, playing in the dirt, perspiration, AND no live rabbits, just 6’4″ fiberglass models standing around in a corner next to an equally fiberglass bee, clown, or chicken (no advertising here). We didn’t want them to get sick or dirty now wouldn’t we?
Fast forward to this Easter. Our children are all grown up. Some of them have jobs, a family, and kids of their own. And for the first time ever in my memory, NO EASTER EGG HUNT!!!! What’s worse. NO GOING OUT!!!!!!
What the heck happened???? Instead of two live white rabbits or six foot tall mascot bunnies, we now have a killer virus roaming around!!!!! One mere exposure to it, and you may die!!!!
In a matter of two generations only, we have pilfered, plundered, abused, Mother Nature so much, that she fought back. She fought back with such intensity that 6.4 billion people are now at her mercy. Clueless. Unprepared. Headless chickens, us all.
Go back to our Easter childhood story above. What did you notice? Well didn’t you see what was important back then?
It was the simplicity of life wasn’t it? Remember that before Easter Sunday, there was a Maundy Thursday, a Good Friday, and a Black Saturday. What did we do then? The answer was to PRAY and REFLECT. There was nothing to do then. And there were conservative grandparents, great grandparents, and parents, who made sure that you did.
Suddenly, our parental and grand parental generation shifted our priorities. We started putting our vacation time as the most important thing during the Holy Week. It started simply. Swimming in nearby resorts as Cavite and Laguna, or trekking up north to Baguio. Or staying home renting betamax and vhs tapes It seemed innocent. No harm done. Family still together. Polaroid cameras, film machines, and picnic food in tow.
But, the good old-fashioned values started to erode. Our grand parents died. Then some of our generation also went. Bringing with them our traditional spiritual ties and traditions that bound us together. Remember. Physical AND spiritual ties.
Technology leap frogged. International travel became within reach of the ordinary person. Focus of life was no longer on that simple garden Easter egg hunt breaking the Holy Week sabbatical. The world’s people became self centered. And opinionated. Worse. People became attached only electronically, not personally, and certainly not spiritually.
Where do we go next? Korea? Thailand? Japan? The USA? What do we eat? Who are we with and who did we meet along the way? Are you hurt by this so far?
And because of such sophistication, everything, every little aspect of our lives, is now recorded. The food we eat, the places we go to, even our spirituality was recorded. Holy week ceremonies were recorded, so much so that most of us became camera men of rituals instead of praying for ourselves and others. And what takes the cake? Even our SCANDALS are recorded. Geeeeeshh.
Whether you chastise me or not doesn’t matter. The end result of all of these is this.
People became meaner. You can see that in every forum, comment, about anything. Politics, video scandals, personal problems, sports loyalties, catfights, dogfight. It’s just FIGHT everything and everyone. If they are not for you, they are against you. No middle ground.
People became greedier. I need this. I want to go here. I want these clothes. I want a big house. I want an SUV. I want a hot partner. And I want it better than the others. No satisfaction, no limits.
So people became liers. And this precisely against one of the most important cornerstones of our Faith. “I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life. Nobody goes to the FATHER except through ME” Jesus Christ, quote, unquote.
However, there are those who STILL embody the very simple teachings of that original Easter egg hunt value formation. Our front liners and back liners. Doctors, nurses, medical staff, orderlies, janitors, garbage collectors, guards, grocery workers, wet market stall owners and workers, utilities workers, bankers (closest to my heart), and others whom I failed to mention.
Even some of those in LGUs, the police, the firemen, soldiers, and a very few well-meaning politicians.
And of course our La Sallian community. I mean we are in the forefront of this fight. Our doctors and medical staff (some of whom heroically passed away), our shelter programs, our donation efforts, our PPE production and distribution, our psychiatric and psychological counseling services, our spiritual services. You name it, we are there.
My humble contribution has a little bit to do with the psychology, the psychiatry. I write for you to have something to read. Hey, we’re all stuck, remember? But why write only to entertain when we can do so to inform, to guide, to teach, to learn, to reflect? I can only hope that I help.
Happy Easter La Sallians and the world as well. Remember the values taught by a good old fashioned Easter egg hunt.
Live Jesus in our hearts!!!!!