I got an interesting call from an old friend. He wanted to vent.
“What do you do when someone does not give you a definite answer?”
It was about his house helpers and clerks at his place of business who can’t say anything without first uttering “medyo.” “It drives me crazy!” He sounded upset.
I laughed. I tried to explain that maybe because he has lived abroad for so many years, he has forgotten that the Filipino is by nature a bit shy, quite noncommittal, and too timid to make an absolutely sure statement. He is also not too confident. Hence, the use of “medyo.” It allows him some “wiggle room.”
Medio is a Spanish word which stands for medium or method, half or middle. It really depends on the context.
Question: Do our polls and surveys have a “medyo” blank to fill in for respondents who are neither here nor there?
Where is that good old, emphatic black or white? Is it now a thing of the past? Outmoded and overrun by so many gray areas? Is it that we feel comfortable (or comforted) when we sit on a fence, rather than jump in and take sides? Or is this part of today’s obsession with being politically correct?
Ask any young person what time something is scheduled, and you will get an answer with an “ish” at the end. Such as: “four-ish.” The “ish” allows you to come around four o’clock and still be on time. Infuriating!
In the news
The Taal alert level has come down a notch. Thank God. Many families have hurried back to their homes. I don’t blame them. Let us pray that Taal truly simmers down and finally goes to sleep. Forever?
It was a shocking Monday. The world woke up to the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s death. He was 41, a husband and father, basketball icon and a legend. His daughter died with him. Heartbreaking.
Jan. 27 marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Over 200 survivors and family members gathered to remember the 1.1 million who died there of starvation, from torture or killed in gas chambers. It was a sad day. Such painful memories.
Then there’s news from Washington. Emotions have been at an all-time high over the impeachment trial. Over lunch I eavesdropped on a heated discussion about accusations and alibis coming from “both sides of the aisle,” and about how the Republican defense has all but demolished the impeachment managers. Or so they think. Perception, after all, depends on which color you wear.
It is interesting to note that both parties seem so sure of victory. I believe America loses, either way. It is shameful.
The question remains, how can there be a fair trial without calling any witnesses? Frankly, I find it all very confusing. But I decided long ago that getting involved and all bent out of shape over politics is a pitiful waste of time. There is big money in lies. Truth does not sell. So why even bother?
Then I turn to the local news. Same story. Politics has its dirty finger in everything. Nothing is sacred anymore. And even as we face a deadly virus, the usual characters strut about, cocky and arrogant, pretending to know it all.
But God is not mocked.
A gem of a post
I found it online. It is beautifully written in Spanish by an elderly man who just lost his wife. His sons, a doctor and an engineer, visit to tell him that he needs to move to a home for the elderly.
I don’t know why, but I wept. I am not in the same circumstances. Not at all. But I felt the heart of my fellow anciano.I have translated some lines. The father writes:
“They came to talk to me about my future. I felt a chill down my back. They tried to convince me to move to a home for old folks. I reacted and said: The shadow of solitude does not frighten me. Neither does old age.
“I told them I resisted the idea of living in a refuge or a shelter.
“But eventually, I had no strength left to face their cold ingratitude.
“In no time at all, I see my life reduced to two suitcases. I am embarking toward another reality, a much harder one.
“It is our fault because we gave them all they wanted, whatever they asked for; instead of teaching them that they needed to work hard for what they want, like clean the house, do dishes. So that when they became adults they would know how to be responsible and grateful, and love their parents because they taught them how to be good children. “Gratitude must be forged, created. It does not come included in the hearts of humans, unless someone at the very start has instilled in them love and faith in God.
“I apologize for writing what I think, but they must realize that when they are old, they will want to be treated kindly by their children and grandchildren, and this is not acquired with money but with the goodness that has been planted deep in their hearts.“
I know these words will resonate in the hearts of people of age, like myself. My hope is that it also touches the younger ones whose hearts may be growing cold because of the distractions and exigencies of the times.