Optimism comes with age | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

What do you know? I’m an optimist! Well, that’s according to a test I took on Facebook. All questions are about the predominant color I see in something that comes up on the screen. That’s all.

My choices have shown me, by whatever science the test applies, to be an optimist, which my Oxford American dictionary defines as one with a “hopeful view or disposition, tendency or inclination to expect favorable outcome… belief that good must ultimately prevail over evil.”

What is quite ironic is that I took the test in the midst of all the sad things going on in our country, when there seems no reason to feel optimistic about anything if you’re no ally or troll for Duterte or a believer in him. Indeed, stranger things are happening everywhere; the world in general seems a nastier place than I recall.

Irregular circumstances

When Leila de Lima was arrested under such irregular circumstances, I felt some relief she would be placed inside Crame, believing she’d be safer there than anywhere else, betting the government wouldn’t risk another murder there.

Further hope sprang seeing three faces on television—de Lima’s legal defense team, three men descended from admirable fathers: Alex Padilla, Arlo Sanidad and Chel Diokno, sons, respectively, of Ambrosio Padilla, Pablo Sanidad, and Jose W. Diokno, who fought their own principled fights in their time.

But, somehow, I had a feeling the next target for demolition would be the spirit of Edsa, whose miraculous power every tyrant fears. The government held its own commemoration on the 24th inside Camp Aguinaldo and on the 25th splurged on a concert at the Luneta, an extravaganza featuring pro-administration entertainers. The idea, I suspect, was to confuse and break the habit of a united celebration.

On the day of Edsa itself, former President PNoy, Vice President Leni and their partymates went to the rally more in keeping with tradition, joining a mix of Edsa veterans and millennials at the Edsa monument. And, for while, things felt good again.

Then, the next day the Liberal Party senators were stripped of their chairmanships, which they probably had coming.

Heady feeling

It is difficult to imagine how anyone can feel optimistic at this point. Me, I try to recapture that heady nationalistic feeling at the original Edsa as we prayed together as one nation under one God. There were no strangers there.

If I may, I suggest we pray and sing together all the patriotic and memorable songs of Edsa at rallies, and tell and retell its stories. Let us also honor our Lady of Edsa, the true heroine who drove away a despot with not a drop of blood.

And how can I forget the legion of nuns whose presence at rallies always makes me feel safer? In the last rally, they were there again in good numbers, which reassured me I was in the right rally.

Deep sense

Perhaps to further lift our spirits, my husband and I escape to the movies, from which I drew some inspiration. The first one we saw was “The Arrival,” a science fiction which made good, deep sense. The aliens in the movie are far more advanced; they want to help us but humans distrust them initially.

There is, however, strangely enough, one human who can somehow get through to them—Louise. She apparently has been endowed with a God-given talent that allows her to see the future, and this makes her more than just the linguist and teacher she appears to be.

Unfortunately, that special gift has scared away her first husband. But if it were not for her and her special ability, the whole encounter could have been disastrous to the world, given the natural lack of trust between nations and the difference in their cultural approaches of dealing with a strange phenomenon.

I overheard someone comment inside the cinema, “Imagine if Trump were President at that time!”

This optimist has no worries. God would have arranged things way ahead of time: He’d have given us our Louise to make sure things go according to His plan—perfectly!

How bad, really, can things be if they are part of His perfect and loving plan?

Nevertheless, we mean to check in on Leila as soon as it can be arranged.

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