Nothing but a royal pain in the you-know-where | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

When I started to write this, there was a crisis on Edsa. It’s over now. Or is it? We prayed for no provocateurs. And it turns out there were none, or if there were any at all, they did not “provoke.” We asked for and got a peaceful resolution.


The fallout was far from harmless, and the rumble has not quite died down. In the aftermath, we are reminded that political noise is not edifying, that it is ugly and totally repulsive.


What happened (or didn’t happen) on our historical Highway 54? Was it all hype by an overzealous media and no substance?


For five nights, emotions were tense and volatile. I hope that in the cold light of day, they succeeded in bringing in a sane, sober and constructive understanding of the matter.


I wish it had all been settled quietly, without aggravating the hundreds of thousands of innocent people who missed out on a well-deserved long weekend and instead were stuck in mind-boggling traffic.


For those keeping score, there were no winners. There were, in fact, more losers than anyone could have predicted, and they lost, big time. Some thought this was the moment to seize, but they miscalculated. Pity.


I am waiting to hear that someone has offered an apology for having inconvenienced the general public. No? How about for the garbage?


At the height of it, my friend called from somewhere in Greenhills. We were supposed to meet for lunch. She was wondering how many were at the rally. As if it mattered!


The scene didn’t bother me as much as the collateral nonsense it caused. Frankly, I was disappointed, disillusioned. It left a very bad taste in my mouth. My writer-friend said: “It was nothing but a royal pain in the you-know-where.” Yes, it was!


Good news


My friend recently got a call from her welder, a simple man from Pampanga who makes metal holders for her flower shop. The man was in tears and told her about his seven-year-old daughter being bullied by a teacher.


The child, an intelligent and perhaps precocious little girl, was asked to correct her own quiz paper and, finding she had forgotten to answer the last four questions, proceeded to fill in the blanks. She told her teacher about it. The teacher went ballistic, called her a cheater and many other derogatory names, humiliated her in front of her classmates and told the rest of the faculty about it. She also inflicted physical pain on the child.


The little girl became withdrawn, uncommunicative, and started talking about suicide. Her parents were desperate and sought my friend’s help.


Now my “bestie” is a busy lady. She could have made up an excuse or just sent them to someone else for help and called it a day. Isn’t that what we normally do? We can’t be bothered!


How often have we passed up an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life?


Instead, she took up the cudgels for a family in distress. Her heart broke for the child. She looked for a lawyer. The lawyer wrote several letters to the school with warnings about the legal consequences of the crimes committed. A conference was called with the child, her parents, the teachers and the principal.


All the parents wanted was an apology from the teacher so that their daughter could recover her lost dignity and hopefully become her normal self again.


The father, an uneducated welder, was asked to speak. He stood beside his wife and child and spoke gently. He held nothing back. Before he was done, everyone, including my friend, was weeping. One by one, the teachers went to the child and her parents, and apologized.


At last report, the little girl is happily back in school. The chastised teacher has been given another chance to do better.


What would have happened if my friend had decided it was too hot or too rainy, and stayed home?


I tell you the story to say this: When someone needs you, please take that extra step, go the extra mile.


Bring change into someone’s life. Make a difference. You won’t regret it.


To forgive


It was quiet last Sunday when my favorite pastor preached on forgiveness. It hit close to home. I heard many people clearing their throats, fidgeting in their seats.


Why is it so hard to forgive? Why do we hold on so tightly to the memory of an offense? We grieve alone in the darkness while whoever offended us goes on with life oblivious to our misery.


We are told to forgive even when there is no apology, never mind if the culprit is not sorry. This is difficult but not impossible.


Un-forgiveness is a poison that we take in small daily doses. We drink it consciously, in between tiny nibbles of anger and bitterness, all the time hoping that the offender dies. Stupid, isn’t it?


I have learned that until you have forgiven, you can’t have peace. You cannot imagine how liberating it is to at last cut off and be free of that rotting, festering bond of hatred that has paralyzed you and leave that dank and putrid prison of your own making.


To forgive is deliberate. It is not an accidental act. It is a decision to let it go, now.


But many of us put it off. We wait. We think we have all the time in the world. We don’t!

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