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HONORING MY MOTHER | Hard as can be

IN case you may have noticed, a lot of people have been feeling a bit cocky these days, considering that we have already gone past that sickly feeling of uncertainty and fear caused by the pandemic. Goodbye and RIP Covid, a friend likes to say out loud, displaying his unmasked smile. Despite a still-sizable number of hesitant people indoors, the fact is, we may have actually moved on.  Validating ‘moved on’ further, it’s in the same fast lane as ‘Ergo, we have to make up for lost time, so hurry, hurry.’ As I’ve written a few articles back, “Everywhere one turns to nowadays, the signs to make haste are undeniably there.” As it is, this posture of waiting, a coy term for patience, clearly wears thin on people these days. 

I was in a jeepney the other day, sitting behind the driver and silently sharing the afternoon heat with everyone while our vehicle slowly transformed into a microwave oven while in traffic. A TV ad from long ago might have been trite at that moment: Take it easy, have a Juicy (referring to a popular chewing gum). But no, the driver in a really sour mood, could only offer a long stream of cussing aimed at the yellow clad traffic officer, the local government and the universe as a whole, multi-verse included. Add to that a steady drumroll as he pummeled the steering wheel with both fists.

A  few days later, I read on my favorite paper our local city mayor urging us Dabawenyos to be more patient ”in the face of the worsening traffic congestion during the yuletide season”. Quote unquote, have a Juicy indeed.

Then on social media, though I have consciously tried to manipulate my pages’ algorithm, I still get a sprinkle of rants from ragtag whiners and moaners whom I suspect, live inside the internet. Why so? Perhaps confirmation bias to these people kills all attempts at having a Christmas spirit. Not blaming them, or the driver for that matter, can really be a chill thing and I am at once reminded of Sophie Amalie and her method at dealing with such distractions: Did you know that it’s actually possible to say “I don’t know enough about this to have an opinion”?

Still it’s definitely hard at times to be balanced when confronted by such things. Oh sure, the Desiderata talks of some people as being vexations to the spirit and having their own stories. On the ground, it’s a totally different ballgame altogether. Enviously, I know of some blessed people who can really “go placidly amid the noise and haste…” even sleep soundly amid all that. Cool as she is, my partner’s among them and I wish I had their cucumber-like superpower.

As both a consolation and a temporary mantra, I remind myself it’s always different strokes for different folks always. One man’s floor is another man’s ceiling. Then I picture that guy with a silly grin on Mad magazine…What me worry?

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