Virtue, Truth, and Wine

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image I’ve been meaning to post something last week, but I got sidetracked. I rambled about excellence, and that might have been foolish of me because I fell into a trap. According to Paulo Coelho, a warrior of the light can talk to his demons and win just by letting it do the talking; afterwards, he should just walk away. I didn’t do that. I brandished the virtue of excellence at my demons, and accosted them with dagger-like words propelled by righteous indignation. Perhaps, they learned Paulo’s trick; they just sat there and listened. Then, they put the naked truth — that people won’t seek excellence the way I would because they’re not me — in front of me. It made me fume. I swore. I slandered others. And I swore some more. Thus, I’ve lost the good fight. It’s not a total loss, though. Through that day, I realized that instead of criticizing others, I just need to accept the harsh truths. Also, I need to turn my theoretical virtues into real action, not just proclaiming them. It could have saved me a lot of anguish. Now, I’ll resolve to do better. On a lighter note, I went out for drinks with a lady friend. We talked. We shared some intimate details, and though I know it was platonic, I felt glad that I can still get a lady to go out with me.

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Quail Eggshells in Blue Bowl

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Quail Eggshells in Blue Bowl

So many people worried about Humpty Dumpty — even the horses who wouldn’t usually care about eggs — but maybe, they misunderstood him. He might have known what most chefs know: eggs can make more magic when they’re cracked and broken in a bowl, even quail eggs.

Thinking about Suicide

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I think that despair should be dealt with optimism; isolation with companionship; a cry for help with a resounding ā€œIā€™m listening.ā€

Yesterday morning, while watching Masterchef Philippines, I heard a tragic news bulletin. A woman jumped to her death from a tall building. According to the field correspondent, the building administrators tried to stop her, but they were unable to. When she hit the pavement below, her body literally fell apart, her head, disintegrated, rendering her unidentifiable. All I could do while listening to the news was to cover my mouth and shake my head in disbelief.

My mom was the first to react. She said, “So many people are dying, trying desperately to buy more time through drugs and doctors. This woman just threw hers away just like that.”

I knew that there was bitterness in her remark. She knows that her time with me and my family was drastically shortened because of diabetes and its accompanying complications. I can just imagine how she feels about it; to her, it’s really unfair.

On the other hand, I was trained to consider other people’s perspective. Coming from a psychology background, I can bet that the woman in the news thought that it’s her only way out of whatever hounded her to jump. A lost love? Family dishonor? Seemingly endless debt? Despair over a diagnosis that might have been equal to a death sentence? I can just imagine the possibilities. While I understand how a person can arrive there — at the edge of a ledge — I can’t condone suicide.

While it’s such a big responsibility, I wish that I could have been there to try to talk her out of it. I wish that I or someone, anyone, stopped her with a smile, a friendly hello, and a sincere question: why? I know that it’s simplistic — almost not a try at all — but I think that despair should be dealt with optimism; isolation with companionship; a cry for help with a resounding “I’m listening.” I don’t know if it’ll work, but it sure beats panic and worry, negative emotions that might have been the very things that she wanted to jump away from.

But it’s too late. She already jumped.

The next best thing that we could do to keep things like that from happening is to help each other be happy.