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HONORING MY MOTHER: Going your own way

WALKING back home one early morning after a short jog, I happened to pass our neighbor’s little kid in front of their house, busy tinkering with his bike. After greeting him with a good morning, I excitedly complimented him on his classic-looking new toy. At this, he frowned and explained rather unhappily it was a girl’s bike and, to prove his point then proceeded to show me the pink decals and the white-sided tires. 

So what? I replied. The important thing is, unlike other kids whose parents couldn’t buy their children one, you have to be thankful you have a bicycle that’s in very good condition, unlike those rusty and old creaky BMXs we see about. At this, his frown slowly lifted, and his face lit up. He beamed finally and loudly proclaimed, Yeah! 

I reckon, it’s not easy getting through kids and at the same time pleasing them these days. But what does that tell you? At least, bike-boy’s case is a far cry from what I’m used to seeing whenever we pass by toy stores during some weekends. In the eyes of many, what may seem cute and entertaining is almost like entering a battleground. Kids bawling, with some already sprawled on the floor, protesting at their parents’ choice of what to buy them. Some run about defiantly with swords in hand while yayas and family members run after them in the maze of the store. 

Compare this to the scenario inside any game arcade where, despite the din from all the lighted machines screaming in your ears all at once, there’s that contrasted look of peaceful satisfaction in almost all the faces who are deep in concentration with both hands at the game consoles. Zen in action or dopamine in the flesh? 

Meanwhile, there appears to be no mystery when one observes a baby without the gift of choice yet. Bring anything within reach, and instinctively, they’ll grab at it and excitedly explore whatever is in their hands (while adults cry out, no, no dirty!). Being sponge-like, that’s their nature. On the other hand, it’s also natural that one eventually becomes what one takes in or what’s given to them. 

I suspect we must know we have a role in all that transpires, starting from those particular moments of pure innocence in babies everywhere up to whatever surprises they turn out in the present. 

Yet, there’s no judgment at all waiting at the end here. Despite what one may have observed, many are still grateful for whatever blessings come their way. I’m just thinking, if in the future, there was ever a game that required one to be bold, who among these two will gladly take the popular path instead of the one less traveled?


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