GOS: Buzzword for the Youth

Your City Promdi attended a kapihan session titled "Translating Greatness of Spirit to Action" last June 1, 2013. It was organized by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Organization, the prestigious body that gives out the Ramon Magsaysay Award. I was part of a small group of advocacy online influencers who were interested in finding out what RMAF has in store for the public.

The whole time, we talked about Greatness of Spirit or GOS, which according to RMAF Advocacy Officer Kiel Fernandez, is that sum of values which is present in all of the Magsaysay awardees. It is very hard to define, and she said that telling stories of expressions of GOS is the best way to make people understand what it is. They had two awardees who sort of talked about their work, examples of GOS.

During the event, I met Sr. Eva Maamo, 1997 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee. She is a nun and a doctor who was able to train "barefoot doctors" out of indigenous peoples, which led directly to the decrease of incidence of diseases among the underserved communities all over the Philippines. She also leads medical missions up in the mountains, where she performs surgeries. She also invited us to the hospital that she runs with her nun-sisters, Our Lady of Peace Hospital, which gives affordable medical services to everyone. 

There was also a Skype chat with Ananda Galappatti from Sri Lanka, who talked about his experience of going back to his country from London and trying to provide better psychosocial response, care, and relief to his countrymen who were traumatized by war and natural calamities. He also said that he had set up a website where resources and tools for taking care of people's mental health can be found.

I think that both people were really very admirable. It's just hard to imagine how they came up with their solutions with very little resources and to effect such positive changes in the lives of so many people. It's very inspiring. Also, very humbling.

Your City Promdi thought that if this is what GOS can do for so many people, then it should be copied and shared and copied over and over. Everyone should know about it. I agree with the rest of the RMAF staff and the event participants that GOS should be part of the vocabulary and consciouness of the youth.

I really want to be a GOS Ambassador, someone who can help in spreading the word about it. I imagine if we can get just five people to live GOS--and RMAF and Sr. Eva and Ananda said it is possible even for ordinary people--then there's already a lot that we can do for others. To do good. The Greatness of Spirit message is very timely for Your City Promdi, too, because the next day during Mass, the homily was that the Christian mission is "to be broken in order to be shared." 

If we can just get more young people to believe in GOS, if they can learn to allow themselves to sacrifice for others, to be inconvenienced a little, so that other people may benefit, then I think that will make our part of the world a bit better than it used to be. It doesn't even matter if it's in the province or in the city, I think just being able to give something and to contribute is a very worthy cause.

P.S.: By the way, there are a lot of other examples of GOS in the RMAF website. They have a list there of all 296 awardees and their work and solutions, all the better to give out ideas for what we can do to pitch in.

P.P.S.: The Foundation's also on social media: @rmafoundation and www.facebook.com/rmafoundation


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