The Truths about Development Work

March 7, 2017
Amy Melissa Malaluan The Truths Behind Development Work

There comes a point in our lives when we see ourselves at a crossroad– a point where we get confused of what we really want to do and where we want our paths to lead. In the previous month, what occupied my mind was more of where I really want to take my career, and of whether I want to continue my almost ten-year contribution with this development world.

Our task in the development work is becoming more and more complex as we face more issues apart from finding ways to help some of our fellow Filipinos move out of poverty. Climate change comes into play; environmental degradation, disasters, and even a more competitive landscape are all now taken into consideration when we develop our projects and strategies.

With the pressures of work and of our performance targets, and the challenge to continue to matter, some of us may sometimes lose track of the purpose of why we, who are working for development, chose to be in this business of helping other people. Oftentimes, most of us seem to get distracted that we tend to miss out on the deeper meaning of service and the true essence of working together. With our desire to remain relevant despite the changing times, we may have started to build walls, mark our ‘territories’, and belittle the capabilities of others. We hurt ourselves and the ones we closely work with in the process.

It is bothering. But I want to stay here. Since I was a child, I have always been firm of my desire to help others in my own little ways. So as I continue to be unsettled by these, I am thankful to be given the chance to pause and reflect: In whatever line of work we are in, why are we called to serve?

I am thankful to share some of my realizations about development work, or in whichever role we are called for:

The good that we do is a grace that does not come from any of us, but from God who is the reason of our existence. We are instruments.

The real motivation can be found in what we are all called to do, which is to love others – may they be the people in need or the people we work with and the people we are surrounded with.

Lastly, the best end-goal we can set is seeking God and winning His favor.

With our hearts and minds fixed on the prize of winning the Lord, we may be able to walk the talk and live our lives filled with hope and love for others– not only for the communities that we serve but even for those whose performance targets seem to compete with ours. We will someday reap the benefits of our hard works and His graces will overflow so that all of the gifts from above will enable us to give each Filipino a greater opportunity to live a decent life.

Now, as we in this development world continue to think of ways to continue to matter, and encourage others to do their part so that all of us will grow together, may we be guided by the light that can be found in living a life with God– a life fruitful, purposeful, and dedicated for others.

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;  24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

Photo Credit: Oji Tenorio

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