For the first time in 28 years, the CDA Central Office came up with the idea of having a retreat for all CDA Regional Directors. They said it is high time for all the Directors to come together for self-reflection and reconnecting with the Almighty. When you are in government service, you almost have no time for recharging due to the hectic demands of work, which they call, public service. You try to squeeze a ton of schedules to only 8 payable hours and it is physically and even spiritually draining. That’s why, as a director of a regional office, public service often spills over the weekend. And that’s why the demands of public service give you a ton of stress if you don’t have time for distressing moments, relaxation and reconnect with a higher power to regain your strength.
“Spiritual” events like these or retreats are best held in the mountains. In the Old Testament of the Bible, God usually deals with His people in the mountain tops. That’s where the expression “mountain-top experience” originated. Baguio City with its mountainous ambience is an ideal venue. I guess, the organizers have this in mind and are hoping that everybody is going to have that mountain top experience and will receive a special moment with God. Who knows, God will indeed reveal something. Due to unforeseen circumstances however, the activity was moved to another equally ideal venue, Tagaytay City.
Father Anton Pascual of Caritas Foundation and Radio Veritas was given the honors of facilitating the activity. He focused his discussion more on personal improvement especially on wellness, health and the importance of continuous learning. By this, he quoted Alvin Toffler who once wrote: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Father Anton, as he is popularly known, emphasized those three important words. Learn, unlearn and relearn. These are important ingredients in getting ahead in life. Right off, he started with the word, learn. We need to make it a habit to continuously learn. As a personal testimony, he claims that he sees to it that he reads a book at least once a month.
We also need to develop the habit of unlearning. Sometimes, we accumulated wrong knowledge over the years most notably, with the proliferation of fake news and information. Our knowledge may also have been rendered obsolete in these times of rapid development and change. And these factors influence our mindset and becomes imperfect or askew. Therefore, our mindset needs realignment. But in order to do that, we must be willing to unlearn.
The process of relearning completes the ingredients of becoming literate and relevant in this Information Age. We have to admit that we often forget. We forget a lot of things. As adults, our mind retention ability lasts for only 72 hours. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the importance of relearning.
Take time to ponder upon this quotation attributed to another great author, Mark Twain. “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” Think about it. The message is powerful. It can change you.