Pay Attention to the Others

We live in a prospective society. There is no surprise to that. As humans, we have the tendency to view ourselves as the center of the universe where our needs and thoughts are above anything else. We see people as machines, as tools, and as stepping stones to be a pace closer to our goals.

But what does Ricoeur suggest? He emphasized that the task of philosophy is to inject an ethical perspective in this prospective society. He challenged all of us to be Other-oriented, as I put it in David Foster Wallace’s words; to stray away from the water, that is, our natural default setting.

How exactly can we do that? Simple. By going through our everyday actions with the goal of having a life lived for others, and with others.

Let us start with people who, without us noticing it, make life tremendously easy for us.

We can begin by appreciating and paying more attention to our yayas who cook our heavenly breakfast for us, manongs who drive us to school everyday without fail, the guards who enthusiastically greet and open the doors for us in school, blockmates who tirelessly explain the lessons and discussions we did not get from spacing out in class, the maintenance personnel who makes sure the bathrooms are clean for us to use, and the list goes on.

Notice the little things, and every single person you meet. Further, be men and women for Others – a fitting hallmark of Ateneans. It would make a whole lot of difference, trust Ricoeur.


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