ILOILO City, Dec. 24, 2015 – As the social media has been awash with messages of excitement after a Filipina had won the Miss Universe title, an educator is reminding parents and teachers to help the youth aspire for higher values instead of focusing on good looks.
“More than a face of beauty, aspire for the ‘face of mercy’,” said Gabriel Abayon, an educational psychologist and author of the recently-published textbook “Fundamentals of Personal Development”.
The educator, who is currently teaching in PAREF- Westbridge School for Boys in Iloilo City, supported his observation on the fact that beauty pageants have become very popular in the Philippines that hundreds are held every year, ranging from small-town beauty contests to international tilts.
“Sadly, many young people are focusing more on what is external like good looks, having a toned-physique, getting many likes on facebook, wearing the latest fashion, and many more. It is important to remind them that there is more to one’s image than meets the eye.”
More than just good image
According to Abayon, more than just acquiring a good image, “personal development entails the acquisition of deep self-knowledge, self-understanding, and understanding of others; and making good decisions through character education.”
For the educator, the real “make-over” of a person is a process that is achieved not through cosmetic surgery but by a continuous process of formation and conversion.
“We have to shift our attention to more important aspects of life, more than the physical and psychological aspects, the most important ingredient of development is spiritual faith rooted in the core of our existence,” Abayon emphasized.
“Parents and educators should help the youth not only to believe but to live the faith to achieve a happy life,” he stressed.
Educating the youth: a work of mercy
In the context of the Jubilee of Mercy, the educator pointed out that caring for the proper education of the youth can be counted as one of the important acts of Christian solidarity.
“Among the spiritual works of mercy that involve the spiritual welfare of one’s neighbor, counseling the doubtful and instructing the ignorant are proofs of charity we can show to everyone, and especially to the youth who are most vulnerable,” Abayon said.
“The young people are in a very impressionable stage in life. Instructing those who are in their formative years about the truths of our faith is a work of mercy that has fundamental importance,” the educator underlined. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCPNews)