As a Knight of Rizal, one of our primary purposes is to promote and promulgate the teachings of Rizal. This was one of the things I looked forward to doing when I was newly knighted.
But after a few months, I realized that all the ceremonies and excitement of becoming a knight had yet to give me the skills I needed to spread Rizal’s ideas. This was because I didn’t know off-hand what those teachings were!
Whenever you stop anyone and ask what Rizal’s teachings were, you’re usually met with anecdotes, quotes, and references to his famous books. There isn’t a definitive, agreed-upon list of Rizal’s teachings available—at least not one that is easily accessible to me.
Perhaps the consensus is that there is no “standardizing” of Rizal’s teachings because there is so much he has taught us. Some lessons are even taken just from observing his life. The whole point of Rizal’s letters, books, diaries, and general legacy can’t be summed up in a few simple bullet points.
Still, as a knight, I believe I should have a basic list of Rizal’s teachings. There must be something I can use when I find myself in the fortunate position of discussing him.
Below are eight of Rizal’s teachings that I’ve learned based on my personal research:
1 – Education is One’s Armor
Education is essential to our lives; we need it to succeed and grow. Education has been a driving force in our lives, from our first steps in preschool to the example of Jose Rizal. Jose Rizal showed us how important a good education is in our society, and our parents told us to finish school.
He spent his whole life studying, which gave people in our country the strength to stand up for what they believed in. Rizal famously wrote, “Without education and liberty, which are the soil and the sun of man, no reform is possible, and no measure can give the desired result.” His message was that people need both education and personal freedom to live.
New research has also shown how vital education is in today’s world. People who don’t have the proper education may have to take low-paying jobs, but people with college degrees can choose which companies they want to work for. Education is a big part of how our lives will turn out, and it gives us the freedom to follow our dreams. We have to make the most of the chances that education gives us.
2 – Honor Your Motherland
Honor your country and the things it stands for. Jose Rizal was a hero in the Philippines. He spent his whole life serving his country and fighting against the wrongs done by the Spanish colonizers.
Rizal shows what it means to be dedicated to your country and its people by giving up a chance to live a luxurious life. Rizal’s acts of kindness should not be forgotten; our job is to carry on with what he started. We should remember and be grateful for what he and many other Filipinos gave up to protect our freedom.
There are still people who are ashamed of their roots and don’t care about the rich culture that our ancestors gave us. To stop this, we need to remember where we came from and try to learn more about our history. Only then can we remember the brave people who gave their lives for their country.
3 – Champion What’s Right
Rizal had solid beliefs and worked hard to free his people. He worked hard for political and social justice and led a group of reformers called Propaganda. Rizal wrote a lot for La Solidaridad and put out two books to show how the Spanish colonial authorities were wronging people.
His willingness to give up his life for the cause showed his bravery. Rizal’s life was guided by one idea: fighting for social justice. He thought everyone should be free and determined to ensure his own people were also free. He felt a democratic country was essential and worked to make it happen. He was a real hero for being willing to die for his cause.
He was a great man, so it makes sense that people respect and admire him. Rizal’s work and ideas are still around today. His dedication to freedom and justice is an example for all of us. We must keep working for social justice and always remember how hard Rizal worked and how brave he was.
4 – To Fight Without Violence
Jose Rizal is different from other national heroes because he wrote instead of fighting. He showed that you can get independence without violence, which Filipinos still think about today. His two books started a revolution that led to the first independent country in Asia.
Rizal’s legacy shows how important it is to solve problems without violence. He was a great example of the best parts of Filipino culture because he overcame difficulties in the most challenging situations and won. He proved that a pen can be more substantial than a sword and that written words can move people and do unimaginable damage.
Peace in the world must be a top priority, and Rizal’s life shows how to do this in a dignified and honorable way. Even now, his bravery and courage remind us of how powerful nonviolent methods can be and how long-lasting written words can be.
5 – Determine Your Goals
Rizal’s life shows how strong will and determination can be. Even though his application to the Ateneo de Manila was turned down, he kept going. He ended up getting rid of the Spanish colonists. He overcame problems and gave the nation hope that things could change.
His story shows us that we can do anything if we set our minds to it. No matter how challenging the task is, we must have the courage to keep going. If we keep working hard and don’t give up, luck will come our way eventually.
Rizal’s legacy reminds us that we can reach our goals if we never stop believing in ourselves and our abilities. We must fight back up, no matter how far we fall. So, let’s all learn from what Rizal did and never look back. Let’s keep going because we know success is possible.
6 – Choose Your Company
Jose Rizal had many skills, but his connections with others helped him get ahead. Jose could go to Central Madrid University thanks to the love and support of his family. Paciano, his brother, helped pay for his studies by providing a stipend.
His travels gave him a broader view of the world and helped him make friends, gain trust, and leave lasting impressions. Because he was friendly and charismatic, he had many friends. Rizal could always count on his friend Ferdinand Blumentritt. When forced to live away from his home country, Rizal found comfort in the company of his friends.
Rizal’s story shows us how important it is to build relationships with people we care about. Whether celebrating our successes or going through hard times, having people we can count on is vital. And in return, we can help people who need it and be friends with them.
7 – Treasure Your Time on Earth
Time is a valuable thing, and Rizal knew how important it was. Even though he didn’t have much money growing up, he could take multiple classes at Central Madrid University. Rizal also studied medicine, philosophy, letters, painting, and sculpture. Even though he was young when he died, Rizal had done a lot in his life.
Because of this, it’s more important than ever to make the most of our time and spend it on things that matter. By setting goals, we can stay on track and get a lot done in a short amount of time. This is what Rizal was all about. He spent a lot of time learning about the arts, languages, philosophy, and science to improve himself. Even though he was forced to live in Dapitan, he still took notes on the plants and animals there for other rebels.
Rizal’s life is an excellent example of how to make the most of our time. We can do this by getting a new hobby, meeting people who like the same things we do, or taking a class in the evening or online. Let’s stop watching TV and talking on the phone and start living!
8 – Be Generous to Your Fellowman
Rizal is an excellent example of how to work hard and keep going even when things get complicated. He lived a cheap life. Rizal skipped meals to pay the rent and gave up fun things to finish his medical schooling.
Even though he won the lottery in Dapitan, he used all his money to improve the city’s water and electricity systems. He also started a school where he taught and gave free medical care. We can all learn from how hard he works and how much he cares about helping people. Rizal tells us that success isn’t based on money or privilege but on how well a person can use their skills and resources.
Everyone should follow his example of self-discipline, hard work, and kindness. He was not only an intelligent scholar but also a good leader who was willing to put the needs of others before his own. People who work to improve the world will carry on their work.
The wonder of Dr. Jose Rizal is so expansive to encapsulate in a small list of talking points. However, as his successors in purpose, I think it is essential to begin our own list. Our goal is to spread and promote his teachings, so our list should help us do that.
Jose Rizal is the ultimate Filipino, but more than that, he is the foremost international ambassador of goodwill. His lessons are so universal that even countries he didn’t visit have taken it upon themselves to erect statues of him. Ultimately, it’s humbling to be his spokesperson and help improve the world.