We only think of people superficially. We reduce them to simple images, simple bodies. Somebody called on my office phone this morning and asked for a fellow worker, I told the person that the one she was asking for is unavailable.
The lady on the phone then requested that she’d leave a message for my workmate. Her message was this, “Ma’am, secretary diay ni sa Brgy. Del Carmen, paki-ingon kang Ma’am na ang streetlight dapit sa ilaha kay na -taud na” And I thought of this message for awhile. Why would my workmate request such thing? I was thinking that maybe it was for her daughter. I knew she had a teenage daughter schooling at this local higschool, and prolly she had thought of their street. The lights must have been damaged in there. I was just guessing.
And here, I thought of my workmate’s story. We all have back-stories and I’d like to imagine and think of the reason behind every action that we do. Nobody would take time to think about these things anymore. Guilty of reducing people to mere bodies, these days, we do not take time to understand and investigate anymore. We do not have time to listen to the real stories and not the reel stories. We are too busy thinking about our selves, our family, our jobs, that we tend to forget other people have their own lives too. But life goes on anyway.
I wish unlearning selfishness and self-centeredness were that easy. But it takes time and perseverance to think and do these things. It would require much effort and a whole lot of dying to self. This we cannot do alone.
I thought of the back-stories and how I have always been so eager to listen to backstories. I am always interested. But I constantly ask myself, I would always wonder why. Is this borne out of selfishness too?
Last October 8th was a monumental day for all of us. My dad lead Tay Ciano’s burial. Tears fell as we saw our brothers and sisters paying their last goodbye to their beloved. Death is inevitable. The physical life has been interrupted and is no longer continued. But I believe Christians have the privilege to continue life in glorified bodies. Death is just an interruption for all of us.
Later that day, we all had to collect all of our feelings of sorrow to shift to another monumental event. Dad officiated the Ray and Chai wedding at 4. We rejoiced and celebrated. Tears of sorrow shifted to tears of joy. As Tay Ciano’s physical life ended, two people began their life together. This was another story to tell about soon.
Every day, I encounter good stories. Stories with moral lessons and stories that are just mere retelling.
I thought of the things that used to matter to me. I thought of the times I was so selfish that I forget that these walking bodies are not mere membranes, but they are people with souls and stories and problems and debts and tuition fees. Life was not meant to be lived in solitary.
We were built to share.