Monday, October 13, 2008

The Hate Trap

“ Now, everybody, switch back to laughter mode.” Eva was trying her best to bring the party back to its cheerful ambiance.

“Would the next one who would offer a toast come forward.” She called.

“ My turn!” shouted Betty as she inched towards the front.

“ Alright! I say let us move on with the parade of witches.” said Eva in a jest.

The gloomy silence was punctured by thunderous laughter.

As Eva had wished, the show went on. The “witches” were on a roll.

Betty gave me boxes of Belgian chocolates.

“Beware of witches bearing gifts”. Someone shouted. Everyone laughed. Betty rode on the humor train. “Now!” she said. “Unless you take that comment back, I have to ask everybody to return the box of chocolates that I sneaked into each ones bag as my way of saying I love you all”.

“Oh! Betty you are so sweet. In the name of the group, I say consider the comment as never been uttered.” said Eva in a way so adorable Betty could not resist giving her a hug. “Thank you, Eva. I love you“ was all she could muster.

“Come on Betty! You know how chocolates can bring out the best in us” replied Eva and everybody laughed.

“But wait, girls did everyone get her chocolates because if someone didn’t, I say go hang the witch!” Eva was just trying to move the humor crescendo to its peak. She could see that the chocolate munch time party had already started.

I was really amazed at how everyone except me could manage to give animated laughter in response to Eva’s punch line with chocolates still in their mouth. I had a hard time as it was trying to make sure I would not burst into laughter letting go of icky chocolate showers from my mouth. But then again, perhaps it was part of the social graces they have to learn.

Regina gave me a rocking chair music box. I loved that music box. It kept alive in my memories that chair incident with Regina and each time I remember, I could not help but smile. Life has got a funny twist and turn. Who would have thought that ruminations of an incident which made a mockery of your person could solicit smile on your face when you would start to view the experience from another light.

Lourdes did not give me boxes of gums as I expected. I did not know what to do with tons of bubble gums if she did. Instead, she gave me a bag of hair care products. It must have cost her a fortune. Hair care products were not within the access of ordinary folks during that time. I remember that the laundry soap I used to wash my clothes was the same soap I used in taking a bath and in washing my hair. Lourdes without intending to had introduced me into my first adventure of living on a style I could not afford.

The "witches" all thanked me in their testimonial for keeping faith in them; for helping them discover the nice girls that lay hiding within themselves. They were all given wild ovations which they rightly deserved.

I knew I thanked them back but I wish I knew then what the imprints in my being the whole experience with them would have. If I did, I could have articulated my gratitude in ways that transcended mere words.

My dad never got tired impressing on me not to stoop so low as to hate others. “Hate warps your being” he said. “It stifles the good within you and does not allow such goodness to shine through.”

It was not easy living those words in my life. There were many times I have fallen into the hate trap. There were people who came into my life who at some point I wished would not have come crossing my path. But I would only have to look back into my experience with Rebecca, Betty, Regina and Lourdes and many others to know that I should not allow hate to find roots in my heart.


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  2. I have always felt the word "hate" should be banned from the English language! When my kid's used the word, I would always warn them how strong a word it is and to be careful saying it.
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story!

  3. "Hate warps your being"

    how very true. Loved this post.

    It is very hard to give up hate sometimes. Recently there were these terror attacks in Mumbai and hate is one of the first emotions we get, but yes it stops us from thinking straight, it stops us from working effectively to find solutions, it warps our being!

  4. Blog Analysis #1: Before the Sun Sets
    The implied thesis as I saw it is that through believing in yourself and appreciating what you have, you can achieve great friendships and leave something very memorable in your wake as you age.

    The blog "Before the Sun Sets" is a very well written one, and it is written mostly in the style of a story. The writer, known on the site as Julehya, is a ninety year old woman from the Philippines. Her blog is a chronicle of her life, spanning from her childhood to the present. Clearly, her writings tell of a time long past, but some truths she has to tell still ring true today. Julehya grew up in the Philippines where missionaries were frequent visitors. She moved to the city from the mountains, and had to adjust to a totally new lifestyle there. She attended a school funded by missionaries, and she worked in a convent for the nuns in the summertime (Juleyha). She does not write much concerning the political perspectives of that time, but she does reveal some things in the way of religion and social attitudes. Though she was in school around eighty years ago, it seems that the attitudes of grade school children were similar to when I was a child. Growing up, neither Julehya nor I had very much money. Therefore, we wore hand-me-down clothes and were picked on at school for it.
    The main theme in Juleyha's blog seems to be friendship. In the beginning, she was nervous about making friends. As time passed, she came to make friends and spent a great deal of time laughing with them. In this way, we are very similar. However, since we come from different times and different cultures, we have many differences as well. She speaks of different social classes in her childhood, and of how they were treated in different ways. Today in America this is true to an extent, but not to the extreme that it was in the Philippines in the early 20th century.
    Juleyha writes her posts like a storyteller, with the quality you would see in a novel. She describes people and places in great detail, including herself and her emotional responses to these people, places, and even events. The only reason there would be to doubt her truthfulness is that her writing is of such high quality and it is so interesting. I do not believe that she is not telling the truth. She just wants people to hear the story of her life.
    The writer's stated purpose for the blog is telling her life story to anyone who wishes to hear it. I believe she wants people to remember her culture and the lessons she has learned throughout her life. She wants her grandchildren to have something to look back on and learn something about her and their heritage. She wishes to pass on the wisdom she has gained through experience from friends and family during her ninety years on Earth. The words of her father, "hate warps your being," (Julehya) stayed with her through her life, and allowed her to live a full life and make good friends.
    The writer communicates her childhood so effectively and even uses pictures of her own to show the topics she is talking about and how they have changed. The way she describes her feelings on subjects are so detailed and well expressed that she gives a definite sense of honesty in her writing. The intended audience seems to be people interested in reading about the life of an ordinary girl 75 years ago, and also her descendants. I believe that this blog is very well written, and relates to young women and the friendships they make in their childhood. Friendship lasts a long time, and even people who are very different can be the best of friends. When you are gone, make sure you leave behind a legacy that can help people to learn and grow.Thank you for sharing and great job!