On my irrelevance?
Looking outside and watching the heavy rains pit-pat on my window pane, I counted the money I need for my children. Oh, what mattered to me then was the relief of the poor farmers who have been waiting for rain for the last seven months. Yes, the rain mattered.
Daily, I check my emails for interesting messages. The excitement has ceased but I remember back in the 70’s when the postman in blue would knock at my mom’s wooden picket fence and deliver letters. But none for me, all for mom Chicago cousins. Why should I care what’s happening in noisy Chicago, the cold weather, the green bucks?
Last week, I lost my priceless bangles. After the hysteria, I came to realize that I do not matter after all. Whoever got it or whatever happened to it, then it was not meant for me to be proud of. How insignificant I am. Two months ago, I was invited for a lecture, then I feel a little bit useful. But when Auau reminded me of the payment and how hesitant the payor is, then I concluded again, insignificant me?
But yesterday, I received the utility bills. Suddenly, I owe them and I am enjoined to visit the office and settle. But government has not paid me yet, hence I have to wait for another three days. I owe government so much. As I report for work every day, I am always expected to serve because I have my ID number, salary account number, GSIS policy number, Healthcard ID and many more. Did you ever realize that I have been de-minutized into a mere number, without which I cannot withdraw my salaries nor avail of similar benefits. I almost forgot, I have my house which I have been paying for the last fifteen years, and the collector says that the ten thousand balance may come easy for me.
I think, it is only LSDE that looks after me because of my columns. Yes, the publisher needs subscribers, and I am one. Like a store needs customers, a speaker needs listeners. I use others as surely as others use me. They are not my enemies but individuals trying to live and succeed, just as I am. Nevertheless, all those individuals added together make up the world, and the world is cruel.
At every stage of life, we yearn for recognition. As adults, our successes give us little pleasure unless sugar-coated by others’ admiration. If I wear red, there must be a man to notice me. What and who really matters? The gardener, the flowers that bloom or the delight of a visitor’s compliment? What is this craving for another’s eye to rest upon us?
Upon reflection, a desire for recognition seems absurd. Since we live in our own minds, why should we care what thoughts are in the minds of others? Are we so doubtful of our worth that others must attest to it? Conversely, are we so certain of our worth that others must bow down to it?
By: Dr. Nila L. Filamor
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