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Friday, November 15, 2013

of zippers and typhoons

in countries which experiences pronounced cold and hot season, it is not uncommon for people to wear jackets during the cold ones. i happen to be in one of those countries and as a common man, i wore a jacket, a leather one. it gave me the warmth specially needed in an 11degree weather.

as we were walking to the station, i tried to open up the jacket and to my surprise (or rather to my expectations) the zipper wont budge. it was stuck. i kept on telling this to my coworker who i came with. as i was trying to open it, it only got tighter and closer to my neck. this time i got a little panicky. i know that trains are hot and jam-packed, good ingredients for me to sweat a lot and probably panic some more. while riding the train, i tried to open the damn zipper the whole time. and my coworker beside me was so indifferent (i don't know if she was thinking of something to the point that she wouldn't bother). i asked her to help me. and she did. it opened up a bit enough for me feel a bit better. and i was thankful. but it still wont open all the way she said. and then she returned to her indifferent state. it was frustrating really. somehow, i felt helpless and alone while walking to the office. i continually tried to unzip with my indifferent coworker beside me. so close yet so far, i knew then that i was alone and will suffer alone in this. i stayed stuck for 30mins or so. a simple word of encouragement would have been better but nopes. i couldn't blame her though for it was all my fault why i wore that damn jacket.

while i was in this helpless state, i couldn't help but wonder how the typhoon yolanda (haiyan) victims felt back home in the philippines. i'm not saying that this is even comparable to their sufferings, not at all. the difference is beyond compare. but here is my analogy.

when i got in that trouble, i wasn't expecting any help at first. but somehow it came to a point when the trouble was prolonged and i wished even for simple gestures of people around. that feeling when you are desperate but the people around just don't care or just chose to ignore your suffering is the worst feeling. now imagine the typhoon victims. probably at first, they were trying to stay strong and tried to solve their own misery. but as the days progressed on and the sufferings continued, i think most of them are at the point where even a simple help would mean a lot. of course, a bigger help would be better but at least don't be indifferent. the victims should feel that they are not alone in this trial, that this will come to pass, that we can do this together one way or another. the whole filipino people should at least care and show sympathy. the victims need hope, they need to feel cared for.i knew in the back of my head that for the worst, i could just cut out the zipper and sacrifice the jacket for me to get free. but these victims have no last alternative. how could they possibly get out of this situation with the least damage? it is virtually impossible... makes it even a stronger reason for all of us to extend help in any way we can. these victims will need years to rebuild (and recover) and they will need our support to do so. do not be idle and indifferent, HELP IN ANY WAY YOU CAN!!! i know that all of us will emerge stronger and fitter to face all battles ahead after all of this.

as for my minute battle, i ended up using soap from our office toilet before the zipper opened. my sufferings immediately vanished but a lesson is forever etched in my heart -- i choose to be a citizen of the world who cares for his fellowmen. somehow, people need simple tragedies of their own to learn life lessons. mine just happened to be with a zipper.

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mentors out of innocence


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