Newspapers, Chekhov and Personal Faith

It took a bucket of cold water from life to get me suddenly interested over reading newspapers and magazines like Newsweek, Time, and world news which I usually skipped for the comic section. I really find it embarrassing to not know about such things which are of interest to people. I felt dumb which was funny because I love reading books, but usually they’re not what one would say current events. That bucket of water was from my trainer, that’s when I found the distinctions between the words intelligent and smart. At least on the field, it means being intelligent on your product and being smart with people. It was fun and exciting, yes, I found out I wasn’t shy at all. Just lacking some experience in interacting with people. I mean, yeah, of course, I can interact with anyone and can start a conversation, which is very easy the problem then is how to maintain that conversation. The problems, people love basketball. I’m not interested in the game which might be funny because I’m a big guy who studies in _a_ __d_ _l___n_. So when people see me or hear about the school I came from, the first question they pop out is am I a varsity player. Second is if I know any of the new players, third is do I know who these so and so players are who played a so and so game. Sadly, much to their dismay I don’t play ball. So it was, I think I stopped the ball from rolling. I had no  – – – for years, I’ve upheld the belief that people who talk about ideas are “deeper” than the crowd who only talk about people. After getting three weeks as a med rep trainee, I’ve realized how every book I’ve read made no real sense if I couldn’t get any applicable skill that I can use from it.

For the many times that I’ve been afraid, nothing, i believe have gripped me with fear as the thought that I now was naked, blinded by the darkness of books, its light that kept me lost is now dimming. – – – for the first time in my life, I know that a great fear crept up to engulf my very self. I was naked, blinded by the darkness of books, its light that was once so bright, now dimming. The intelligence, insights and realizations I was so proud of were not enough to equip me for life. Perhaps, I had skipped a decade of socializing for the cold comfort of books. Not that it was wrong or anything, it was just so unbalanced. It is hard, very hard to admit that one had kept books not just for the fun of reading but for keeping people away. I thought, I thought that knowing much, knowing a lot about things people do not know will make one intelligent, but it isn’t so. I thought that by acting so deep, I would be deep. But in fact, I have swallowed a bitter pill that pushes away people. – – –

I read of life from Anton Chekhov’s short stories, about the harsh realities that plagued our society now had no difference from what the Russian had already written about. Even the so called peasants who lie and cheat, they are everywhere, even in us, all of us. Even if we strive to be good and upright, we will all still be plagued by it. Truly, in a sense no one can walk as the spirit in the flesh, but only by dying to ourselves can we be able to let the spirit walk in us that we may walk in spirit. But, the thought of giving up control is so alien, perhaps because of the many temptations, and a lot many of which we would not want to give up for. – – –

What positive thing can I get from this? If I compare myself to other people, I would either be proud or envious. So I’d rather compare myself to my past performance, even though it’s hard not to do the first two choices. In being unbalanced, I have known what my possible strengths are, what I can be good at. And it only confirms that if one is devoted in something, one would be prepared to make sacrifices, intentional or unintended. I learned that I can be good with the English language. I know that I have a better grasp of it than in pure Tagalog. From being foolish, one may become wise. It is a good trait that man can be so changeable, that he can still choose ways to build himself up. But as fickle as a flame on a candle each moment is a choice for us to be a fool wiser or be a wiser fool. – – –

April 2011


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