Vincent J. Celeste

Staying Single and Generative

At the age of 36, I tend to be responsible for other people especially the young. This made me reflect on “generativity.” This is significant to the life I chose, that I am concerned and committed to promote others’ well-being. As an adult who continually long for self-fulfillment, I feel responsible not only of myself but also of others. This is what struck me: I chose not to marry, yet be generative and creative. At least that’s the choice for now.

At this stage of my life, I find myself in a wider perspective in my chosen way of life. I share with the dream of the unmarried adults. Yet looking deep inside, I have dreams also to fulfill, for others, this time. I feel I’m growing old and I tend to look for my accomplishments, for legacy I can say, I was responsible for somebody. I’m almost at my middle life, but the daily life is giving me the eyes to see how others see the wisdom of being generative and creative in their lifestyles. One instance that gave me idea of reconsidering the life I have now was the encounter with this three-year old girl. It happened one day with children (Payatas dumpsite, Quezon City) when I heard her asking her young mother if I’m her father and why I was kind to her. I was mistaken to be her father. That made me silent for a moment and asked myself if I was acting like one to her. Learning that her father is in jail since her birthday, (And still be in jail for another ten years) I pity the child and her young mother. I felt concerned. I was becoming a parent. I taught her more with passion on how to hold her pencil, how to write and even read from that time on. That was the assigned apostolate and I am ready to give it up when I am called for other assignment.

With that experience, I started to look at myself more maturely, with lots of expectations and dreams. Though I still felt a young man’s way of looking at the world; youthful whims and naughtiness as a man. I am challenged more with my relationship with other people, even with the young students I have. My mind was reactive or even denying that I can be a father-figure to this child and I was insisting that I’m a happy-go-lucky bachelor and uncommitted. I was sad but the idea of being a father to her can be a good chance for me to express my self to that situation. On the other hand, I was happy of my experience, I became a father. But it doesn’t end there, I am becoming aware of what is intimacy.

Changes happened and are still happening. I have realized that I can let go of my egoistic dreams, to have my own legacy as a biological father to his children and a good husband to his wife. My relationship to other people is now being challenged, to both men and women, children and old alike. Being generative in everyday life through my community is already a multiplying factor for me. Laying ones life for another is a great wisdom I can learn from re-considering my present life. This affirms what I feel in my daily life as an educator, the warmth that I was able to express, not only to the students but also to the other children. Somehow the gradual recognition of my capacity to be a “parent” helps me to adapt more of myself; self-actualized through a bachelor life. I am becoming effective in little ways, with my presence and actions towards my work, towards others.

Being generative is a responsibility. It is an engagement (challenge) for me. Maybe God is calling me to be more creative with my relationship in order to attain and fulfill my own “generativity.” It is also breaking away from my old paradigm on how do I relate with other people, to be more intimate, giving time for others. I’m a new product of my time but somehow still trapped in old ways of being an adult. Giving time for myself and others by being spontaneous and sensitive will help me more attuned to the calling of everyday life as an ordinary person. I may have shown a father image to the young girl, but that experience needs further step for her to experience a good life and not forsaking her own biological father. But instead, appreciate that there is life being shared to her. Being faithful to God’s will and being keen to his words, I will be assured of being useful, not for my own fulfillment but for others.

Do you have some reflections to share? Please leave them below.