Friday, July 07, 2006

I was on my way to have a smoke today at work when I come across Val, a friendly face at work. I called his name as I usually do, "Val," I holler. He gives his own unique smile, and as we start walking together in the same direction, he says, "Now I want to talk to you. You are better now. When you were a janitor, you were agressive, and I was scared of you. Now I want to talk to you. You look like a scientist now. You're smart, and I see you're better. Now I feel better talking to you."

Much as I wanted to pretend, I know what he's saying. It is a statement of fact, a quiet observation by him of my soul that shines out in the way I talk, I dress, I stand, I walk, and especially how I reveal myself through my eyes. I then replied, "Well, if what you say is true, then why did you not help me?" He shrugs the comment off, but I kept on it, "Val, why did you not help me?" As I posed the question half-baked in the nature of comical relief, he answers, "That's you who have to iron it out yourself!" he says jeeringly, "'...not my problem." :)

As we separate our ways, him going about his work, and I doing my own stuff, I retort back to him while giving the 'I'm hurt' look. "Shame on you Val!" I said half-jokingly again, "You did not help me!"...

...It is true that the primary solver of a problem is oneself. However, in the complex nature of human relationships, we open ourselves to others, and in the process, we do (we do!!!) expect others to lend us a hand when we're in trouble. We get hurt when we are left alone to our own defenses. Come to think of it, nobody should be left alone ---nobody. Whatever it takes, we are all in this together. Of course, nobody can do anything to somebody who do not let others affect them. This is just the sad fate of affairs sometimes. But us helping to create an environment of support should be there nevertheless. That is our responsibility.

While I was putting it on him that he did not help me, I really didn't expect it to come from him. I was just merely teasing. But underneath the conversation, there is the moral lesson we all must learn ---that we should always find our way to extend a hand, make something constructive, create conditions of support, be there for each other. And, if we are the recipient of the gesture, we must find our way to open ourselves and let them help us, feel our pain, share and be brave enough to admit to our own weakness, for we are really only human.

While I sat on the sidewalk inhaling my first smoke, I forgave myself for not being brave enough to open up. For shutting myself off from the world and hurting others in the process, even the people I love. I promised myself not to do this ever again. Recently, a very dear friend told me, "If you need to run away and be alone, do so. But please, please, please. Don't take too long of a time to come back." I promised her that I won't, if she promised that she'll always be there for me. And of course, she said yes... because she can never resist me. (haha! ngek!)

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