one beautiful Saturday, i took extra time to drive around my village to appreciate big, beautiful houses and to snoop around for some houses and lots for sale. out of nowhere, my eyes happened to spot on this newly renovated house [which was not for sale], made in today’s modern Mediterranean-inspired architecture, but the traces of an old structure still surfaced despite the renovation.
looking at the house, i also noticed some fully grown and aged ornamental flowering trees planted around the compound, which reminded me of the smell of the Kalachuchi trees planted all around our ancestral home [which today is reduced to ruins], where i grew up. i could not help but reminisce my pleasant childhood days spent in that house; but on the contrary, i was starting to shiver at the flash of an instant thought that old houses come with an old-school family that exercises false authority, with younger generations practically BOWING and KISSING THE ASSES of their silly elders.
Grrr!!! I HATE AUTHORITY! it is the number one thing i abhor, and people who exercise authority on me are number one in my criminal hitlist. to this day, i am constantly on guard against people who want to HOLD ME BY THE NECK and PULL ME BY THE TAIL. no matter who they are, I WILL NEVER LET THEM. should they force themselves into me, I WILL KILL THEM.
i don’t know why. must i be an old soul, who occupied some authoritative post in my past life? or was i too subservient and a victim of power trippers then?
i grew up in a conservatively catholic family [too bad], and as early as in my childhood days, i was already mindful of authoritarians — my father as well as all other elders: aunts, uncles [spare my mother and my grandparents for they did love me too much], teachers, etc. — who imposed their “power” upon me and my cousins. as a child with a mind limited to candy and toy issues, i let them be and accepted the fact that they were “big.” yes, powerless as i was, what could i do but just accept the beatups, hard hits, and physical injury coming from grown-up people and just wallow in pain with all the wounds and bruises?
physically abused i was, yes; but the good thing, as early as my toddler days, i already had this full tendency to fight for my rights and to pursue arguments to the bitter end, and that made me that “little bitch” who was condemned at school because i did talk back to my DUMB teachers and did not spare any of them and their stupidity. little as i was, i did not also spare my dad as well as the rest of my folks from those “talk-backs” because as early as then, i knew when i was on the right foot and when i was not [oh yeah, even as a child, i was VERY righteous and logical, and i knew i was thinking straight]. all this gives me reason to believe all the more that i am indeed an old soul.
as i grew up to be a teenager, little by little, i developed COMPLETE REPUGNANCE and hostility toward all these power trippers, my father topping the charts. my hatred for my dad was what drove me to do my best at school and to promise myself that someday, i will be a fully grown professional, and i will get back at all these people; after all, they say, “hate sustains man.” this, together with Edgar Allan Poe’s “the cask of amontillado,” motivated all my struggles to be the person i wanted to become.
and indeed, the days of glory came. i metamorphosed into a fully grown professional, developed a sane and reasonable intellectual mind, and got totally independent to the point of fully sustaining myself in a decent lifestyle. however, until now, a lot of questions regarding “authority” and “power tripping” still ring in my mind.
firstly, is all this a “king-subject” issue? my Mom used to tell me that “you have to be king of your own domain to be free,” as i did long for freedom at a very early point. i get to ask, WHY? why do i have to be king? can’t i just COEXIST with people who can respect my privacy and individuality? for hell’s sake, we’re NOT a flock of goats or sheep here where one bigger animal has to rule! we’re human beings with sane minds!
He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak. – Michel de Montaigne (French Philosopher and Writer. 1533–1592)
blame it on the NARROW-MINDEDNESS of the Filipino culture. this value of “paggalang” [respect a.k.a. kiss-ass] has been overemphasized, to the extent of allowing power trip. to what extent does it have to be practiced? is it to the extent of submitting to FALSE AUTHORITY? is it to the extent of submitting to FOOLISH IDEAS just because these came from some OLDER person or a person higher in rank? i think the word “respect” has to be utterly redefined. if you look up the meaning of this term in a deeper context, it never means “submission” to any false and senseless authority. it is just unfortunate that the definition of this term has gone to really ridiculous extents, as to how i hear it from the “old-school” people in my family [e.g., talking back, defying orders (no matter how stupid), and questioning the decision of some elderly even if it affects the welfare of the whole family ARE ALL A CRIME (hell no!)].
secondly, this fourth of the christian god’s 10 commandments to HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER. this commandment came from the old testament, which has been horrendously interpreted by thick-skulled church authorities over the decades. yes, respecting one’s parents may be noble. our parents labored to make us whole [oh well yes, for those responsible parents, Satan forsake those who entered parenthood but did not fulfill parental obligations]. however, in cases when our parents exercise glaring stupidity, it is also our responsibility as their children to call their attention and to tell them they are WRONG. whoever says that this DENSELY INTERPRETED commandment should encompass other members of the family (e.g., brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, older cousins), DUMB teachers and school authorities, and people at work who are higher in rank but showcase a gallery of jerky management practices? who says this all? it is the pathetic OLD-SCHOOL FILIPINO, who was influenced by selfish and cruel SPANISH FRIARS who colonized the Filipinos using that stupid cross.
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. – Albert Einstein
it is ultimately wrong to instill in a child’s mind that asserting himself, fighting for his rights, and protecting himself from cruelty and abuse ARE AGAINST THE LAWS OF GOD AND SOCIETY. it is wrong to make him feel “HE IS BAD” (moreso, disrespectful) just because he answers back in all rationality. most importantly, it is wrong to teach him that OLDER PEOPLE CAN SAY AND DO WHAT THEY WANT because this will make him join the cohort of a million stupid power trippers when he grows up and, thus, foster DAMAGE to the generation next to him.
it gives me the CREEPS to think about how the older generation thinks when it comes to authority and power. wondering about the ins and outs of that pathetic state of mind sends me shivers down my spine. gosh, HOW COULD THEY? and where has the real meaning of RESPECT gone? RESPECT IS EARNED. it is not something imposed, it is not something taught, and it is not something gained from physical assault or punishment. IT IS EARNED WHEN IT IS GIVEN. and once it is mutually given, PRODUCTIVITY and HARMONY, in all aspects, take good place, and there is no more need for false authority and power tripping.
And there i was, instead of feeling good about that drive, in an instant, i found myself heading straight home and telling myself, I’D RATHER NOT HAVE A BIG, BEAUTIFUL HOUSE for as long as i am free.