Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Where is the love?

Depending on what decade you were born, hearing "Where is the love?" is going to remind you of either a rap song with quite a timely reminder of the state of the world today, a tune from the 1970s, or this song from the late '90s. But neither prompted this piece that asks such a question.

About a week ago, I lost something.

I was going to wash my hands in the ladies' room so I took it off, placed it beside my bag, made a mental note to remember that it was there, hand-washed, hand-wiped, then did a few more things before heading out the door. Obviously, wearing the "finger piece" wasn't among them.

I remembered about it only when I was out of the mall already, on my way home, as I noted that something about my hand looked different.

"Where is it??" I thought, my heart sinking. Where is the love? I half-joked around, telling myself that it wasn't just any piece of jewelry but one that I tried to use as a reminder of sorts -- the reason for everything that's good in the world. The reason why we get back up again after falling into self-indulgence.

The thing that makes people put the interest of others above theirs.

The motivation for going against the grain when going with the flow would be so much easier.

The reason why we have saintly souls -- canonized or otherwise-- we celebrate and thank every year on November 1.

The reason why even though the self-sacrifice that happened on Calvary 2,000 years ago seems utterly insane, it makes sense.

And because of carelessness, the little reminder I would sometimes wear on my fingers was gone.

It wasn't that expensive, and I knew where to buy another piece. But I didn't buy another piece and I won't.

The experience later reminded me of a story one of my sisters mentioned about growing up. She said that the only time our mother would give her and our other siblings new pencils was upon being shown the little, almost completely used-up Mongol that needed replacement.

"Kaya kailangan mo talagang ingatan ang lapis mo at itatago mo hanggang ang liit-liit na. Hindi mo wawalain," she remarked.

I also thought of the instance related by an old friend who apparently knew how to take care of his things. He learned as a child not to take his toys for granted because of something his mom said while he was growing up -- something like "Ay, hindi kita ibibili ng bago kung di mo iingatan ang mga laruan mo!" (I won't buy you new ones if you don't take care of your toys!)"

If one knows that it will be easy to get a replacement -- whether it's a toy, pencil, piece of jewelry or anything else, even something of a much higher cost -- I think the tendency would be to take things for granted. Makes me wonder if it's the same when it comes to relationships... say, if people make it possible to escape the commitment involved in something that's meant to be life-long (say, marriage), would man hold on to that commitment with conviction?

One thing's for sure: even though the metal reminder on my finger is gone, it's no excuse not to engrave the word and everything it stands for in the heart.

As for getting a replacement, the lesson might be lost as soon as it's on my finger again. So, let the lesson remain. This may be an even stronger reminder of Love than a piece of metal can ever be.


petrufied said...

Aw you lost the "love"! :-( but great post hehe!! When i remove a ring to wash my hands, i put it in my pocket so if i forget to put it on i will still have it.

I learned of a friend of a friend who bought an iPhone and it got stolen then she bought a new one and it fell in the toilet :( you're right, if you know it's hard to replace you won't be so neglectful!

sunnyday said...

Yeah! Fail, fail, fail! My bag then even had a side pocket. I wonder why I didn't put it there instead. Sigh.

Oh well, iPhone huh?? Wow.

Anna Cosio said...

Same with petrufied here, I place my ring in my pocket when I wash my hands :) It's amazing how a simple and even a common experience was able to give you these insights. The "love" may be nowhere to be found now, but through this post, more people will get a better understanding of love and commitment. Wala ba silang tindang "commitment" ring, ate? Haha! Anhaba pala nun, lampas na sa kamay. :-P

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