A photo engraving of Andres Bonifacio, founder...

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If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.

– Abraham Maslow

Today, Filipinos celebrate Bonifacio Day.  Andres Bonifacio was a founder and leader of the Katipunan, an organization which was instrumental in establishing the independence of Filipinos from the Spaniards during the Philippine Revolution.  However, Gat Andres is not officially recognized as the first Philippine President. And even though Jose Rizal is officially recognized as the Philippine National Hero, Bonifacio is deemed by some sectors to be more deserving of the title because he actively waged war to attain independence.

This poses an important question:  How important is it to receive universal recognition?

Throughout history, great people have been revered and idolized, but they have not been officially recognized for their contributions.  Galileo Galilei played a major role in the advancement of science, but until now his accomplishments have been largely ignored due to religious opposition.  Ex-president Ferdinand Marcos still can’t be laid to rest at the Libingan ng mga Bayanieven if he has a right to be buried there as a former head of state, because of political reasons.  Even Floyd Mayweather Jr. wants to be universally recognized as the best boxer of his generation, which is why he is now calling out Manny Pacquiao to sign the fight contract for next year.  It seems as if one’s existence is never complete unless an official title is attributed to one’s name.

The problem with living to be recognized is that once recognition is achieved, it may end one’s quest towards reaching full potential.  For instance, if your ultimate goal is simply to be regarded by your children as a good provider, you may tend to simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labors when the kids finish school.  You may no longer have any desire to reach out to the community to touch other people’s lives.  But what if you continue to contribute to the community by sharing your success secrets?  By teaching other parents to be good providers, you could expand your potential and touch many more lives with your God-given talents.

Success is a journey, not a destination.  As long as we are here on earth, we have a sacred duty to pursue goals that will uplift mankind. Even Jesus Christ was not recognized in His lifetime, and until now not everyone recognizes Him as the Savior of mankind.  So if Jesus Christ is not universally recognized, what is the point in aiming for universal recognition?

The essence of man’s existence must not be hinged upon the recognition of other people.  As long as one continuously strives to live in the service of other people, even a never-ending quest is worth the time and effort.  In the end, the thirst for recognition can only be quenched by the unending love and blessings bestowed upon us by The One who created us.  He is the only one who can provide us with the recognition that we deserve.



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