Monday, January 25, 2010

Making sense of "auditory torture"

It's easy to forget that being a faithful and generous Christian in everyday life will always consist in more than fulfilling what's usually referred to as the "Sunday obligation," in praying for the good health of others, being truthful and sincere in whatever dealings one has, in helping the poor in practical ways, and other instances that are often emphasized whenever the faith is taught or discussed.

For the umpteenth time, I was reminded just a few minutes ago that opportunities to practice virtues to a heroic degree can crop up even in the most mundane situations. It can be funny, but it really takes patience to put up with loud off-key singing, especially when it happens regularly, such as every Saturday.

As I wrote that first paragraph, some guy in the videoke place near our home was singing (and it's not even Saturday today) "I don't want to miss a thing" -- and he was even trying, unsuccessfully though, to sound like Steven Tyler judging from his attempts at wailing and vocal improvisations the Aerosmith frontman is known for. But the guy was painfully off-key. So when he got to "...don't wanna close my eyes, I don't wanna fall asleep 'cause I miss you, babe..." I tried hard not to cringe, keeping in mind that this, too, shall pass.

Without considering the ascetical struggle, very uncomfortable situations like the off-key auditory assault would be complete and utter nonsense. But thankfully, there's such a thing as "redemptive suffering." What would otherwise be purely torture at least can take on some meaning and garner some merit, for those who know and believe in the eternal value that can be had even from the most seemingly insignificant things.

Hence, even minutes of being subjected to the videoke wonder boys -- who sometimes belt out a string of Tagalog rap songs -- or to the canned laughter of less-than-cool radio stations, or even the annoying showbizy manner of talking that plagues FM radio jocks who are more suited to doing AM stints, can be transformed into supernaturally productive moments. Who knew?

So, the next time I find myself being assaulted by the sound of loud jukebox hits or the less-than-elegant radio banter in broken-English-with-attempted-American-twang, I'll do away with the grimace and do my best to break into a smile, while probably singing along to a few lines myself -- all the while remembering those who can benefit from such a small sacrifice on my part. After all, in the economy of salvation, nothing goes to waste.

* Photo from


petrufied said...

haha makes every morning listening to AM radio gabfest all worthwhile. XD

sunnyday said...

Yeah, even if sometimes there's nothing good to learn in those gabfests you tell me about. They even dish out wrong info!

I just realized, having to listen to music or radio talk that one finds very annoying can really be a good "workout" for the soul :-) Talk about mortifying the senses!

WillyJ said...

Right, right you are. You can offer up your tortured feelings for the poor souls suffering in purgatory. No kidding. Also I think enduring some of the aggravation would lighten up your own purification times as well, while even here on earth. But what about those who can't tolerate the abuse, so they have to be considerate too. Why oh why, don't they tone down the volume or enclose themselves in soundproof rooms where they can't assault everyone within a mile's radius :-(

sunnyday said...

I wonder about that, too, Willy. Is there a sociological explanation for that? For a time, the driver of our next-door neighbor habitually played the car stereo so loudly every morning while cleaning the car -- with the doors open.

The driver of another neighbor did the same thing (another time period; thank God, or else the two stereos would have tried to outdo each other).

Then from time to time, jeepney drivers park their vehicles on our street (this is another story altogether). While waiting (I don't know what for), these drivers like to crank up the volume of their radios, letting the entire block listen in on some AM fare -- whether it's a talk show or music.

One friend theorized that it may be out of a desire to show off. Another said maybe the drivers are hard of hearing. Yet another figured out that some drivers are possibly doing it out of a willingness to "share" the music.

Whatever the reason, I sure wish people would let good manners and charity prevail.

R.O. said...

I guess some people simply choose to be rude and selfish, as in, "It's my own pleasure that matters; who cares how others will be affected?" If this is indeed the case, I will perhaps choose to imagine I have tweens or kiddies as neighbors, and they'll grow up someday. Or I'll tell their 'parents' in a way that they are becoming a bother. Or, if I am naughty, I'll probably do the extreme: tit for tat. Turn up the volume to the max with my own version of My Way or Don't Wanna Lose a Theng. Tee-hee.

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