My father is a very helpful man. In fact, he's too helpful for his own good.
My father has sent many to school. Some made him proud while some made him feel disappointed. He lent money to many people. Some used it well and paid him back while some squandered the money and purposely forgot their debts.
His helpfulness made us feel resentful in the past. He helped many people and yet his own family didn't really enjoy a life of "abundance." We were never in need but I also never felt we had excess. Growing up, we never owned a car even if we own an auto supply! I never once in my life felt rich. So, I really wondered why give the "little excess" for others to enjoy.
I saw the many abuses that came with a helpful heart. I became very wary of people and their intentions. I'm not very close to my relatives because I have seen the burden they have imposed on papa. I only maintain a very small circle of friends.
Sometimes I wonder why papa helps people even if it's not a guarantee that he will get anything in return. Occasionally, I wonder if he is trying to secure his place in heaven. I also hypothesize that there is a void in his life that he is trying to fill.
I never really understood papa...until last week.
One of the people papa helped was Marlon. I call him "Nong" Marlon as a sign of respect. He was a scholar of my father's foundation. He graduated medicine in UP Manila and completed his internship in PGH. Now, Nong Marlon is married and is a doctor in the US.
Last week, he sent me a message in Facebook. He is planning to donate to the construction of a new building in the UP College of Medicine.
He asked me if it's okay if he gives his donation under my dad's name. This means that instead of his name on the plaque mounted on the building wall, it will be the name of papa.
I was very surprised and honestly, very touched.
Nong Marlon is donating a very generous amount. As it is, it's very hard to just give that much money as donation. Most people would want to get their names out there at the very least. Instead, he decided to show his gratitude to my father in a more public and lasting way.
His gesture made me appreciate the helpfulness of papa. Perhaps 1% "success rate"makes everything worth it.
I know that every time you help someone, God smiles down from heaven. But it surely feels good to be acknowledged for your efforts.
I felt very touched and humbled that even if Nong Marlon already has a very good and happy life in the US, he never forgot about papa. He told me this...
"You're dad was there with me since I started med school until I graduated. He kept his promise. You should be very proud of him."
Grabe. When I read this, I cried.
Now, I understand why papa does what he does. He uses his blessings to change lives. And this creates a chain of goodness.