Skip to main content

What One Deserves



What does one do in order to get what he deserves? Is everything a matter of chance and luck, or does the world balance fates and lives, an invisible balance sheet as reference, absolute power in reserve, justice and equality its law. 

Nobody gets what he wants, they say, and that we only get what we give or deserve. I would be happy with that economic exchange, actually: there is equality, fairness, and a clear logic to it--and what are we without understanding? But that rarely occurs. I see dear ones suffering and, to my finite understanding, I am not aware of them hurting anyone. How does a teenager earn that? What did they do? Now, of course, we're smart people. We don't ask such questions whose answers we will never receive nor understand even if we do.

If I take a look at my life, I would not be able to say whether I won the lottery by luck or I earned the blessings I have. I'm afraid to answer that, to explain what I received and rationalize my condition. What I do know however, what I am certain of, is that I have been given much, well, too much, and there should be reason why that happened. Darn reason, there it goes again. All I know is that even if I am not able to express my gratitude as much I want or need to, I always thank people for what they have given me. I also know that these must be given anew--literally. Gifts given, always in excess and never deserved, are best received when they teach you how to also give. 

--But not to give back: we never are able to pay for what we are given, and to do so means pompously and without humility having to earn it again (retrospectively), and that is to cancel the gift as gift. To "pay it forward" means that I simply transfer gifts from hand to hand--I never owned it, I never wanted it.--When the point was to give even if you never received anything, or didn't have to, or even when you couldn't. To give from the innermost resources of one's heart without return or transfer, that is, without reason--always undeserved, never justified.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Fields of Amorsolo

The first National Artist in Philippine history, referred to warmly as the “Grand Old Man of Philippine Art,” Fernando Amorsolo (1892–1972) still stands today as a looming figure in Philippine art responsible for being one of the artists who helped define what we up to now visually imagine as essentially Filipino. The images of rural life, of golden fields below clear blue, blue skies; the smiles of farmers which diminish their weariness as they plant, harvest, and winnow rice;most especially the iconic figure of the Filipina maiden working in the fields—the beloved dalagang bukid--; these, I believe, even after generations of Filipino painters since Amorsolo, have remained in our hearts and memory. Amorsolo did what great masters do for their country: bestow upon it its own icons, represent its native beauty, that is, to give its people and lands an identity and a face. There are, however, as many intentions for art as there are works of art. And these intentions will always remain in…

Without Why (The Rose) II

Lifetime is a child at play; moving pieces in a game.
Kingship belongs to the child.

Heraclitus, Fragment 52


The child at play never asks itself why it plays. The child just plays; and if it could, it will play as long as possible, it will play throughout its life. See its delight and witness its smile.

If it would never go hungry or if the sun would never set it too will never leave its playmates and playthings. Time flies at play because it stops or suspends time. Time -- as we grownups only know too well -- is the culprit for order, schedules and priorities; yet for the child, there is no time, there is only bottomless play. It is we who impose that this or that should be done at this or that time. We stop the absurd and supposedly endless play ("He does nothing but play") because we insist that discipline, order and priorities be instilled in the child at an early age ("He needs to learn other things beside playing"). So that the child will become like us one da…

A Love Sooner than Later

BROWN PENNY William Butler YeatsI whispered, 'I am too young,' And then, 'I am old enough'; Wherefore I threw a penny To find out if I might love. 'Go and love, go and love, young man, If the lady be young and fair.' Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny, I am looped in the loops of her hair. O love is the crooked thing, There is nobody wise enough To find out all that is in it, For he would be thinking of love Till the stars had run away And the shadows eaten the moon. Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny, One cannot begin it too soon.

*
One cannot begin to love too soon--conversely, one should not love too late or in life's demise. That waiting for the "right time," or the "right person" to love, what are these but the cries or sighs of an unready, even tired, heart? One becomes ready only when one begins to understand love slowly (or again), and one understands love progressively when one, simply, performs the act of love. Love, like mos…