Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wazzup Pilipinas Original Short Stories Series: A Place for Solitary

Wazzup Pilipinas!

“People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.” ― Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council

“A Place for Solitary” can be categorized as a story that follows the Existentialism theory because it teaches us how sinful people are in nature and how these sins affect their lives. It also shows the differences of people’s attitudes and beliefs and how people should take responsibility in their actions. The story also showed how people evaluate a certain situation as right or wrong or good or bad depending on his or her perspective.

The most evident characteristic of existentialism in the story is the author’s confusion about how the world goes, why does things keep on happening to him/her and why these people around him/her act that way towards him/her. It shows that people’s experiences and observations are in contrast on what’s constant in our world today.

Please read below and enjoy our short story for the day.

Man. Man is the root of all evil.

This has been my belief for years now. For 20 years of existence here in this world, I have been continuously experiencing cases of abuse, interrogation, rejection and ignorance. These experiences are the ones that has been the root cause of all my problems. And these problems are always involved with the people around me. Every person in this world has their own unique personality. They have their own beliefs, ethics, likes, dislikes, and character. But there is a distinct attitude that these people have in common – their sense of pride.

A lot of people think, or should I say, almost everyone in this world thinks that they are better than everybody else. They think that they have the freedom to say and do whatever they want because of this feeling of superiority within them. This pride given to us is often abused by people and that’s why a lot of misunderstandings are happening among us. This pride instilled in us is the reason why we get confused with other people’s opinions. We always stand up for what we believe in and we rarely open our minds to what other people think.

I therefore conclude that we, people, create our own problems. We make our lives more complicated and confusing.

How did I come up with this kind of hypothesis? I’ve proven this with what happened the past few days. It all started in a normal day at school.

Yesterday, we were asked to form groups, each group having four members, for our project in our History subject. It was a presentation about the different continents of the world, each group will have an assigned continent for them to study and present. I was excited at first, since I’ll get to do this with my friends. But then, my teacher asked me to be grouped with other students. I didn’t agree with my teacher that time but in the end, I had no choice but to obey her. I was grouped with the students with the least potential in that subject because my teacher said that I could help uplift their grades if I would be the leader of their group. I was really feeling anxious about my group mates but I just tried to understand the situation since this was a favor from my teacher.

We were the second group to present so I immediately asked my group mates how we are going to present our project. One of my group mates suddenly pleaded to me if I could do the project on my own because they need to practice for their upcoming performance in the culminating activity of our school. I rejected their offer since it would be difficult for me to do our project all by myself, but my two other group mates also begged for my approval. In the end, I allowed them to have their practice and agreed to do our project all by myself. I felt guilty for letting them do that to me but then, it would be a selfish act not to agree. It was the reason why my teacher grouped me with them anyway.

After class, I went to my friends to tell them about our group project. I was the only one who was not included in their group so I decided to ask help from them. I told them about the agreement between me and my group mates and they immediately agreed to help me with our project. I was very happy that my friends were very eager to help me even though they have their own project to work on but then, one of my friends asked me if I could buy them some food to eat before we start working on my group’s project. At first, I was doubtful if I could accommodate all of their expenses, but since they were my friends and they promised to help me with the project. I agreed. It would be unfair if they would get nothing in return for such a compassionate act.

We decided to eat at a restaurant nearby, and luckily, my budget was just enough for all of our expenses. We were all feeling happy and satisfied with what we have eaten on our way to my house then suddenly, one of my friends gasped upon reading a text message. I asked her why she reacted that way and she told me that my teacher just texted her and told her that there was a change in schedule regarding the presentation of our projects and they will be the first one to present instead of the last. I was also shocked upon hearing that and I told them that if it’s okay if we’ll do both of our projects together. But they all disagreed and told me that it would be better if they would just do their project all by themselves so that they would be able to focus on their own project and be able to accomplish it on time. I was very upset when they rejected my offer but then again, I have no right to complain since I was the one asking the favor from them.

When I arrived at home, I immediately went straight to my computer to start with the project. Since I was feeling a little disappointed and stressed with what happened at school earlier, I opened my blog first to check if there were some updates in my recent post. As I scroll down the home page, I saw pictures of my group mates at the mall posted an hour ago. I really felt furious upon seeing this because I trusted them and I thought that they will be worthy of my help, but they ended up fooling me for that. Another picture that made me more infuriated was a picture that was posted a few seconds ago. It was a picture of my friends having fun at the party of one of my classmates. I really got mad at them for hiding this from me and also for fooling me to treat them. I thought that they can be trusted and I can depend on them whenever I needed help. Our friendship was just a big joke after all.

Since I got agitated with all of those pictures that I saw, I immediately logged out my blog and started to do our project. I promised myself to focus on what I am supposed to accomplish and disregard all the negativity brought by those people. As I was doing our project, my brother asked me to help him with his assignment. I was so busy doing our project so I told him that I can’t. My brother suddenly cried out loud and told my parents about what happened. I told them that I just can’t do it because I’m doing something more important than that and I don’t have enough time to still help him with his homework. My parents got mad at me for being so selfish and insensitive. They told me that I have forgotten my responsibilities as a sibling and also as their child. They also got disappointed for spending all the money that they gave me for the entire week.

Because of this, they asked me to stay away from them for the mean time. Part of my punishment would be not having any money for the rest of the week. I really wanted to object and be mad at them that time, but then I thought, they would not consider those reasons that I would be giving them. They wouldn’t understand what I’m going through because they don’t know what happened at school in the first place. I had no choice but to leave and proceed to my room where I cried as much as I can.

All of the frustrations and disappointments inside of me were too much to be handled. I really wanted to give up that time. Because of those extreme emotions that I was feeling that time, I prayed and asked the Lord if I could just live alone…if I could be transferred in a world without people. In that way, I could live peacefully and would not feel the same way as to what I have been experiencing here on earth. I just could not stand how people try to manipulate others and how they become so selfish that it affects others. I prayed for those things several times and suddenly, I felt my vision getting blurry and I started feeling dizzy and nauseous. I was having no control of my mind and also with my actions so I just gave in.

When I feel my consciousness coming back, I noticed that I was in a circus full of rides and booths. There were a lot of food stalls and games in there. I also noticed that the circus was quiet, the rides were not moving and there were no people in it. At first, I felt scared because I have no idea how I got here in the first place, but then I realized that since there are no people around, I could do whatever I want. I could eat and play as much as I want, without restrictions, without complaints, without anyone who would reject and manipulate my life. I have absolute freedom in this place. The Lord granted my wish. This is what it feels like to have an answered prayer. Carefree and relieved.

I explored the circus and I was able to do a lot of things; I ate a lot of food, played a lot games, stole a lot of balloons and more. The only thing that I was not able to do is to try the rides. Neither one of the rides wasn’t moving so I tried to operate the machine involved. I tried to open a lot of switches, pushed a lot of buttons and entered a lot of codes, but none of it worked.

Suddenly, I noticed that one of the rides started moving but it wasn’t moving at a normal speed. It moved too quickly and it started producing flames of fire. The fire spread throughout the entire ride so I started to run as fast as I could. Since I was in a circus, I was in an open space so it was difficult for me to find a room to hide. The fire was spreading so quickly but luckily, I found the room where the staffs keep their things. I immediately went inside and stayed there for a while.

But what I didn’t know was that I wasn’t able to do anything to stop the fire from spreading so after some time, I felt the heat spreading from the outside of the room. Steam suddenly came in room and that’s when I started to panic and searched for another room to hide. The heat started to become more intense that made me feel suffocated so I had left with no choice but to go outside.

I tried to go out from the back door because that’s the safest way out. The view when I came outside was one of the most traumatic incidents I’ve ever had. I saw my parents, my brother, my friends, even my group mates, lying on the ground, their clothes drenched in blood, eyes wide open, dead. I really don’t know how to react that time. Surely, I wanted them out of my life. I don’t want to be with them anymore, but not like this. I wasn’t expecting that if my wish would be granted, others will be affected.

I was still in shock when I noticed that the fire was coming near my direction. I knew that I need to run but I decided not to because living in solitary would be useless if it would lead to the death of others. I just let the fire run through my skin and through my veins and soon, I felt as numb as a statue.

I felt someone nudging my arm several times, and when I opened my eyes, I saw my brother, shouting for me to wake up. I was supposed to be irritated at what he is doing but instead I hugged him and told him that whenever he needs help, I’ll be there for him. My brother got confused with the way I treated him after our quarrel but he just gave in.

After our dramatic scene, we went downstairs to have our supper. Upon my arrival at our dining area, I immediately hugged my parents and told them that I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done and I also promised to be a responsible daughter to them. I also talked to my friends and my group mates to clean things up among us, and I told them that I am not a person that can be abused and used anytime they want. They agreed and immediately apologized to me. I accepted their apology because everyone deserves to be forgiven.

After that strange dream of mine, I started to reflect on myself and to the people around me. Was that dream a sign from the Lord? Is he trying to deliver some sort of message to me? I tried to unlock a lot of possibilities and I ended up with this conclusion, that people are sinful in nature, but these sins can be eliminated through our life experiences. We just have to accept that no one is perfect and that everybody makes mistakes.

People make mistakes not because they just wanted to or for others to be led in a harmful situation but because they have their own reasons just to defend themselves. People encounter a lot of problems and sometimes, the only solution to their problems is to ask help from someone, but other people let their pride ruin them so instead of asking for help, they tend to fool or scare others to easily get what they wanted.

Lastly, I realized that we should learn how to forgive others. In life, it is not very easy to forgive someone’s wrongdoing, so to be able to decide if he or she is worthy to be forgiven, we should ask them about it; what are the causes or factors that led them to do that kind of act to you. If you think that it is very hard to accept and forgive, give yourself some time and space and soon, you will be able to forgive that person. Forgiveness is very essential to our lives because if we do not learn how to forgive, this might cause damage not only to your relationship with that person, but also with yourself and with the Lord.

Contributed by Raeya Genevieve Barsaga

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1 comment:

  1. I believe in the saying that "no man is an island". Whatever people do to you, you may feel bad for a moment. But later on, you must take time to realize the reasons why it happened and forgive them. Above all, you cannot hate your family that much because whatever happens, they're always there for you, especially your parents. Over all, I could say that this is a very good story. By reading this, you will be able to realize a lot of things and make you think of the people around you. It sure is very hard to lose someone very important to you. So you must appreciate them and make them know how much you love them. Awesome work! Great job!! :)


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