Monday, September 1, 2008

MY EARLY TASTE OF UNFAIRNESS AND INJUSTICE

At some future time, the past may come back to our memory. If one has a happy past, pleasant memories will certainly brighten his day.

But woe to him whose past is full of bitterness. If his past comes to his mind again, chances are he will be affected negatively.

In my particular case, there are many past incidents that are not worth recalling. They oftentimes give me resentment and similar painful feelings. One of those bad memories was my early taste of unfairness and injustice in grade school.

I was in the fifth grade then and as I came in late for school, I failed to join our class in the flag-raising ceremony.

I remember, during that time, the flag-raising ceremony was regularly held on the school ground fronting our town's main thoroughfare. When it was going on, vehicles and non-school personnel as well as other outsiders did not stop as the National Anthem was being sung.

As I was standing on the side of the road opposite our school, waiting for the singing of the National Anthem to be finished, Berto, a schoolmate and neighbor who was likewise late suddenly came and pulled me by my left hand with such a strong force that caused me to run with him or I would not only lose my balance but might even be hit by oncoming vehicles.

From a distance, and near her office, the school principal’s roving eyes caught us running across the street until we stopped near the main gate of the school.

When the flag-raising ceremony was over and all of us had proceeded to our respective classrooms, my Adviser and I got an order from the highest authority of the school to report to her office where we found the latter raging in anger. I was a timid boy then and did not usually answer back whenever school authorities scolded me for whatever reason. After telling my Adviser that she saw Berto and me running on the street during the flag-raising ceremony, the Principal instructed her to drop me in my “Good Manners and Right Conduct” subject. Upon returning to our classroom, my Adviser scolded me in front of the class putting me in great embarrassment.

Following what the school principal had said, that grading period, my Adviser gave me a grade of 70 in my character education subject. I was one of the top ten students in academic standing and that incident most likely was a giant factor why I failed to make it in the honor roll.

That incident not only gave me great embarrassment but even lowered my self-esteem. It gave both school teachers and schoolmates a negative opinion of myself. I wished I could express my sentiment then but I felt I had no voice. I did not know where to go or whom to see to release the negative feelings in me.

I was indeed treated very unfairly and unjustly.

First, I was aware of what was going on and knew how I was to behave or respond to the occasion. I knew I shouldn’t run as the National Anthem was being sung that was why I was standing at attention even if I was outside of the school campus. But that foolish boy pulled me by my left hand and it was a natural response and reaction to run with him, or I’d lose my balance or, worse, be hit by oncoming vehicles.

Second, almost everyone outside of the school campus was moving. Why were we singled out as offenders—if ever we were indeed offenders?

Third, even the school principal herself was inattentive to the flag-raising ceremony that was then going on or she would have not noticed what transpired outside of the school compound. I could only guess that in the whole duration of the occasion, her eyes as well as her heart and mind were preoccupied with things outside of the area of her concern. I believe she was the one who did not treat the singing of our national anthem with respect.

Anyway, that incident happened so very long ago. I just wonder why such an unpleasant memory keeps on haunting me. Have I not forgiven those who had unfairly and unjustly treated me?

As much as possible, I’d like to write about experiences that will tend to inspire readers. Things that will make them smile.

But I believe putting this sort of painful experience in writing is justified. Rosemarie, that popular blogger, left a comment in my “On Blogging” post telling me that writing can be therapeutic. That motivated and encouraged me to write about that incident. But even long before she left that comment, I’ve been experiencing a great urge to write about that unpleasant experience. I believe spilling out this bitterness inside of me through writing will help drive this unpleasant memory out of my system. And I trust my intuition.

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