Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
When I was about nine or ten, my parents bought a small aquarium for me and my siblings. After receiving our gift, my older brother brought me within him to the local pet shop in order to buy new fishes and accessories for the aquarium. We took a few goldfishes, a janitor fish, and some decorations but I recall buying for myself this white angel fish. I remember how mesmerized I was, as a child, of that beautiful creature. And even though it was not my first pet, I truly cherished it because I choose it myself.
Days passed that turned into weeks that turned into months, but no matter how long I had my pet fish it did not matter. My love for it never faded. Each day I came home from school, I would always rush just so i could get a glimpse of my pet and see how lovely it looked with all the other fishes in the pets and I would always feel assured that my angel fish was healthy and well-fed.
Then, that day came. My memory may seen a little hazy now but I remember that morning like it was just yesterday. It was still very early and I was about to get ready for school when my little sister woke me up. She said it was probably the janitor fish. Or the goldfishes might have been the culprits. Whatever. But, somehow, one of my beloved pet's fins got caught in between some of the toys and pebbles in the aquarium. Who knew such tranquil white pebbles could be so abrasive and cause my pet to bleed to death? the scene was horrific. I could not believe it. Just like that, my angel fish was dead.
That was a horrible day. There were too many question but not a lot of answers. How? Did I not take care of my pet enough? maybe, I forgot to feed it the night before. Maybe, we should have placed that janitor fish in there. Maybe, it fought with other fishes. And maybe, I should have put it away on its own bowl. Why? Was I not a good owner? Did I not love it enough?
Then, it dawned on me. No matter what I did, I never would have been able to bring that angel fish back. Yes, at first, it brought me much joy and excitement. But, like all other things in this world, pets depart too. Like that time, two years ago, when my grandmother left us after four years of trying to combat her thyroid cancer. Or last year, when one of my close aunts finally ended her battle with breast cancer, leaving us to look after her two daughters. A lot of questions did arise from those experiences. But, one thing I also realized is that someone's departure does not mean having to cut precious ties and becoming exceedingly bitter in the process. Letting go does not necessarily mean becoming too cynical about life either. In fact, it also teaches us how to become less selfish. For letting go after all, is also setting free.
I have heard many foreigners say that we Filipinos always get it wrong. When someone leaves, we ought not to say that he or she has "passed away". Instead, we should be more optimistic because even if we might not know where our loved ones go, we should still believe that they have "passed on" to much better places. Unknown to us, these places might seem, but their mystery must not dampen our hopes of being able to see our departed ones again.
Now that I think about it, maybe this is what pets are for. They teach us lessons early on in our lives. And what is even more interesting is that some of these are the most important ones we will ever have learn. For all its worth, I believe that my little angel fish was one of the first things that taught me the so-called "art of letting go". I never allowed its death to stop me form embracing other pets. Of course, other animals came after it. There were a couple of birds, some puppies, and other fishes too. But, the lessons I learned from that angel fish and how much i loved it will always stay with me. Someday, when my time comes, other people will also be setting me free and it might even still be a simple pet fish that will remind them how.
Let me start at the classroom. In the classroom, I can say that whenever a teacher announces a quiz or there is an exam, temptation always follow. Like, I am always tempted to cheat but I am not those who cheat without learning something because my cheating I do not always do. Next would be not listening to the teacher. There are really times that somethings bothers my mind that I can't concentrate. I can say that I look but I can't find, I hear but don't understand.
Upon leaving the classroom, greater temptations encounter me. One would be where could I spend my money. Will I spend it wisely or like that of a person that thinks that there is no tomorrow for the things he/she wants? But that's not the only problem. One great temptation for a teenager like me is, girls. It is normal for boys/men that they like someone or adore someone but it doesn't stop there because once a man/boy likes someone he tends to think of her more often thus making him think of lustful things to her and for me that is a big problem.
Lastly would be outside the campus. Once I get out of the school it's either apartment or Internet cafes of where will I go. It's because I actually don't live here, my source of entertainment is so limited at the apartment that I tend not to go home directly and I tend to spend much more time sitting playing games than studying. There is also this thing that really bothers me. I can attend to parties but I can't attend to a mass in church.
As for my conclusion, these temptations I cited above are only those which are common or should I say, that I experience these almost everyday. But, don't be dismayed for I am not totally overwhelmed by these. Most likely I want to do now is to overcome these and change myself and I hope I will be successful.