Oxford Languages defines outlier as “a person or thing situated away or detached from the main body or system , and differing from all other members of a particular group or set.” In effect, outliers provide value in every situation as they represent natural variations of thought processes that we consider normal.
I believe as a social historian that we need outliers in our midst — to question the status quo, to provide answers to controversial issues, to provide the challenge to the comforable and, more importantly, to jog us into action whenever an uncomfortable truth is presented to us.
To build an involved and better society, we need to be part of the solution. We need to be part of the support system — be the influencers to mentor and guide the mindsets of the weak, the confused, the egotists, the philosophers and the know it alls. We need to reach out to everyone to engage and challenge them to think bigger, to get out of their comfortable zones, and be an outlier.
Yes, let us be outliers as we dream big. Let us be fearless. Let us challenge those who accept things as it is. Let us be the outliers to provide the magic of change because when we work on our dreams, these dreams translate into action and the action becomes reality.
A case in point is the issue just brought into our attention by noted journalist Tony Lopez who says that one out of two children in school do not know how to read and write. This is a tragic state of affairs in our country today. We have to challenge the current administration to focus on this problem and engage every adult Filipino to take action and be part of the solution.
As outliers, let us be responsible for two young children, tutor them into taking interest in writing and reading. It is when these students are able to write and read that they will realize the vast opportunities open to them. The spectacle of poverty will be removed in their future and the world will be their oyster.
Let us work with the Department of Education and encourage VP/ DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte to take action. She can mandate each school in the country to assign one teacher for every five students and patiently teach them how to write and read.
The joy of knowing and discovering how to write and read will give these children the power that rests in their crowns. It will jumpstart a whole new culture of intelligent, happy and responsible young Filipinos that will usher in the golden age of education in our country. Let us use this challenge as our call to action. There is no time to waste.
We can only truly call ourselves patriots when we have achieved this dream. Let the magic begin. Let the spirit of an outlier be within us NOW. Let us take charge and educate the young Filipinos. It is doable.
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