Janelle Carrillo (Philippines) on How Life is a Fun Run

July 19, 2012

Some people say that life is a race. I say not quite. For me life is not a race, but a fun run. It is not about who finishes first, but who finishes it with joy and satisfaction.
To be able to participate in a fun run, you need some basic gears. And it is surprising to note that these things have some real life counterparts.

The shoes you wear signify excellence. Excellence has been instilled in us since we were young. We strive to be the best and we compete in order to be recognized as the greatest. But sometimes, we get so caught up in this rat-race of trying to be the richest and the most famous that we often forget what true excellence means. Surely, it is not about who has the best shoes, but who can perform his best given his old worn-out running gear.

Normally, fun runs include installations of booths that offer power drinks for the runners to make use of. These refreshing liquids symbolize the well of friendship. We draw from these wells to gain encouragement and inspiration from others who travel the same road as us. Friendship is the pool that keeps us going. It is a fact that a runner cannot go long without water, and one cannot also continue to live well without friends.

Above these two, however, is a runner’s most important gear: his eyes. Our eyes should lead us along the right path, and they stand for respect. Each one of us should be careful enough not to bump anyone along the way. Like our eyes, respect should enable us to see the beauty in everything and everyone around us. It should be given, and not demanded. It should be guarded as a rare treasure, for a runner without eyes would find it impossible to go on at all.

And so, in line with the spirit of fun runs, let me suggest a unique way to celebrate these values. My idea revolves around holding a fun run with a very social and global twist. Runners will be paired with physically disabled children (in wheelchairs). The pairs will go around a venue where booths representing different countries are set up. Each booth will showcase that country’s main attraction, be it a sport, a tourist place, or even a value. There would be tasks associated with these attractions that the pairs would need to accomplish. This event will teach the excellence of the different cultures, the friendship that should keep them going (especially between the runner and the disabled child), and the respect that should resonate between everyone. Moreover, it will provide hope for disabled children, as they will be able to “travel” the world and learn as much about it without their disability being a hindrance. This event will touch the different facets of sports, education, and culture, and it would be a brilliant showcase of how life is indeed one fun run.
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