Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Archive for September, 2012

Casting the First Stone (and a bit of a movie reflection from “The Mistress”)

I find that my movie night out with a friend last Friday was so unusual. I’m no cheezy romantic, but for the sake of destressing from our normal reality, we watched “The Mistress”. Believe me, this is the first time I watched a Pinoy romance in cinemas. šŸ™‚

The story begins with the pretty tailor Sari meeting the architect JD. And in order not to spoil the rest of the story, I’ll just run through to say there was an attraction, a pursuit, a surprise, a conflict and an ending (haha…because the point of this writing is not the John Llyod-Bea pair up).

The movie though, reflects one slice of reality. It made me think a lot on judging others and ourselves.

Bea Alonzo’s character, Sari, is not the typical selfish, villainous-type of mistress that was usually portrayed in traditional media. Her family’s breadwinner, she makes sure she could provide everything they need to survive. Despite of her simple and giving nature, no one would think of her as a mistress of Rico Torres, a rich, old tycoon and CEO of a huge telecom company…this one, of course, disappointed John Lloyd Cruz’s character, JD. Yet, after five years of being the other woman, she did not abuse the old man’s kindness, more so being spoiled.

So, who the victim here? Actually, all of us can be like Sari. It’s surprising how good people can hide some dark secrets. Shocking, but true. It’s easy to condemn the bearer of the closet when the skeleton inside jumps out. In this world though, we’re all prone to fall into deep sin…even the most “righteous” of people.

When JD asks Sari what if she had never met Rico Torres, and everything on earth is OK. When they close their eyes, it made them see themselves ending together. But then, Sari asks, “Pwede bang magkatotoo ang kunyari lang? (Can something we have pretended become a reality?)” That one choice she made turned her away from that one thing that she could have been hoping at that point in time.

We all have choices and no law stops us from picking the path we take. However, the consequence arrives at the end of the road. We can’t judge Sari for choosing to be a mistress just because she wanted to gain something. But she was trapped in the choice she had made. In the end, after all the conflict, she had to let go…as her affair ended in a tragic turn.

I find that there’s a little of Sari inside of us. We might be seen as good people and yet there are bits of secrets so dark that can turn off anybody when found out. We can be trapped in the choices that we make, no matter how we are taught to obey these rules and laws. One fatal attraction can become a deadly blow, if not to us, to the people around us. We can all be victims of our choices. And yet, who are we to judge others who try to keep their skeletons in their closets?

When the Pharisees brought an adulterous woman before Jesus (John 8:2-11), He did not decide just like the rest of the crowd. As he was challenged to answer on what to do on her since the Law of Moses says that such a person be stone, He gave them an equally challenging answer instead, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

I wonder how this present day society would react when the Lord Himself would tell us the same. We’re used to social media bashing, vengeful reactions, and negative speculations when we have not seen the other side of the story, at all. Are we that “righteous” to think that we are above the rest of the condemned? Aren’t we condemned along with the rest of the sinful society, too?

And yet, in His grace, Jesus told the woman “Go, and sin no more”. That’s grace. She did not deserve it and yet He gave it.

In all of us, there is both goodness and wickedness. We are all victims to a fallen world and to our condemned selves. Yet, we can’t just point a finger to a fellow brother who is just as filthy as we are. And yet, here’s a God who gives His grace to wretched man. It’s just up to us to go for it and to give up our wretchedness. And yet, our fellow man needs help, too. Who, then, would be willing to cast the first stone?

The Cause of Critical Thinking

This society is tired of thinking. For the cause of knowing things and bringing them to conclusion, we tend to speculate instead of digging deeper due to our lack of perseverance to find the unadulterated truth. Most views are results of quick conclusions. Just like our digestive system, our minds are tired of digesting every information forced into us. We have no time to think things over. We have to move on.

I must admit it’s sometimes tiring talking and listening to people who make up senseless conclusions to an issue. People tend to get what they see, and don’t take time to understand the other side of an issue. Well, we wouldn’t have much time at all, as we have to move on to another issue.

Media awaiting for the remains of Sec. Jesse Robredo at Malacanang. Speculations that his aid left him in the plane carelessly floated through social media. Yet, these speculations were silenced when his wife, Atty. Leni Robredo, thanked his aid Jun Abrasado for being her husband’s protector.

There are times that people would ask me or my fellow reporter, on a certain issue. When Sec. Jesse Robredo died in a plane crash, a few people asked me hoping to confirm that the plane crash’s lone survivor, his aid Jun Abrasado, was the primary suspect at all. By my observation, even though they asked me, they already have a conclusion drawn into their brains. And no matter how you tell them that the investigation’s not over yet, they’d stand on their original cause: he is the suspect.

Tragically, the majority is satisfied with speculations. What 86% of the population nods at, that’s final and execucatory. When the issue has died and when the unaired side has come up, no one seems to care, for judgment has been finalized.

And yes, we have moved on, to speculate on another issue.

I wonder if everyone would silence down and think about things will truth and understanding dawn into us. We love to speculate for we love to blame. Even though we don’t have a first hand on issues, it’s natural for many to point the blame at someone (just like in Jun Abrasado’s case) in order to prove that we are better than the accused. Oh, and we are tired of thinking things (and reactions) over. We think we are intelligent enough to say what we think in an issue. But when we shut up and think of what we have speculated and said, it was not for good at all – it was just another demolition job to a single person or to society itself.

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3 says. I must admit I am not careful with my words all the time. But when we are careful with our mouths and think over what we see and hear, I believe there’s no reason to speculate and talk senselessly. Talking senseless things is an end to the prudent soul and this bring us to the loss – and perhaps, death – of knowledge. Ending up in speculation will cause us to cease from pushing for further knowledge of things around us, and stop us from pursuing the truth the Lord wants us to know. Besides, when we do, our brains will not be exercised well, causing us not to be productive in thinking.

It’s not easy to teach society to unlearn and learn. In our pride, we hastily conclude things. In order to do so, I guess there has to be a destruction of the order of norms that we have known and has been perversed for generations. One painful wake-up call must be a cause for us to think and rethink…instead of blaming and speculating, which fools usually do.

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