Andres is very excited. He heard that Carlos Esteban, the Great Reformist, was in town. Andres has always wanted to meet and interview the man for the local paper. He had been with the paper for a few years now but it seems like he was not getting anywhere.
He heard of Carlos Esteban when he was young. The Great Carlos was said to be a smart man who was born to lead people. He was among the most popular boy in high school but was not able to finish his college education because of his active involvement to student activism. It was said that when the Great Carlos started to talk, people had no choice but to listen. He quoted books like he was reading a comic series.
He knew history and the history of that history. He knew politics, he knew science, he knew art and he composed essays and poetries like he was eating popcorn in a movie house. He was everywhere. He went to places to enlighten people. He showed them what they can do. He changed lives and he made history of himself.
Why did he do that? Andres wanted to know.
He wanted to meet the man to find out how he came to be so wise. What books he read, what types of movies he watched, what kind of people he talked to. What was the secret behind his popularity.
Finally, Andres got his chance. An old friend arranged his meeting with the Great Reformist. He didn’t waste time, he asked the most important question of all..
“Well, Carlos, being a great reformist that you are, why do you do the things that you do?”
Carlos looked at him with amused eyes and answered.
“What do you think?”
“Well.. I don’t know…”
“Because I can…”
That’s it? No humanitarian reasons. No vows of selflessness. No perpetual search for enlightenment.
“That’s it?” asked Andres.
“Why, what do you expect?”
With his bright and alert eyes, Carlos looked around and said..
“Why else would someone do the things he does? It’s because he can do it. And if you know you can do something, you feel the need to make things happen. You stand up, you speak your mind because you know you have something to say. And when people don’t hear you, you speak louder because you want them to listen.
“When you know you have it in you, you feel obligated to make a difference. When you see something wrong, you feel the need to make it right. People may love you for it but more might hate you for it, but you still do what you think you have to, because doing otherwise will make you hate yourself even more. It’s not about money or fame, it’s about filling a role designed for you, no matter how small that role is.
“I could have been a dancer or an actor, but then again, I don’t have the talent for those. I was born to manipulate words and turn them into action. Maybe someday I would regret it or maybe not. But no matter how my life turned out, I did what I was capable of doing and that is something you can’t say about everybody.”
Andres sat for hours. The Great Reformist had long gone. He already moved to another place to do what he had to do. Andres was left with a blank sheet of paper but with a new sense of direction.
He went home and went straight to the attic. He dug out his old guitar, brought out his cell phone and gave his old band mates a call.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)