The Untold Fable 7/31/2008 05:36:00 PM

A mouse once found its way into a rat hole. Oblivious to the animosity of the rats that lived there (perhaps thinking that they are so much like him, since they essentially looked similar to him), he decided to partake of a small nibble of cheese from a pile in the corner. The rats just stared at the little mouse as he ate a little.

He thought he was indeed welcome in this company of other rodents thus he decided to ask, “Is it possible for me to taka a little to my children at home?”

“Take as much as you wish,” they obliged him.

As he was about to leave the entrance of the rat hole though, he heard them whisper to each other, “Who does he think he is, this lost mouse taking his fill amongst a company of rats?”

It was only then that he realized that he was never welcomed in the first place.

Moral of the story: Tongues only wag when the unwelcomed guest leaves.

Sometimes, the only way for you to find out how people really think about you is to be away for awhile. For sure, you will be the one talked about. That’s why at times, one is tempted to be the last one to leave the party so one hears all the grisly details about those who left first.

Maybe, there was another reason for me to have been given the chance to have that one-day-away break from the hospital. I finally found out the very same thing I had been long suspecting the whole time. There are people who loathe me. And now, I try to remember one of the last things the Father (Bishop Javier Echevarria, the Prelate of Opus Dei) told us before he left the get-together yesterday,”… not to keep grudges or resentments.” It’s hard and I will be lying if I say that I am not holding back my tears, but I will have to give it a try, with a sincere smile on my lips.

A Second Chance 7/22/2008 12:40:00 AM

I never knew I would be writing about her for this edition of the blog rounds, but I guess she deserves it because of giving me another chance...

~ 0 ~ 0 ~ 0 ~

It was almost 11 years ago when this high school freshmen did the unthinkable by literally kicking the shin of one irritating classmate. Naturally, she was shocked, and so were the 50 or so other classmates who saw it all happen while they were lining up for the next class. The consequences of that one act of passion redounded to many things, including possible expulsion.

Her homeroom adviser asked to speak to her. She was naturally nonchalant as they spoke about what happened, maybe she was still seething in anger at what the classmate had commented on in the first place which led to the incident. In the end, the adviser decided to issue no sanctions at all, not even a censure as the mildest warning.

Past forward to a few months later, when this high school student found herself sitting in the school auditorium and about to line up onstage to receive an award as an honor student. Suddenly, she found her homeroom adviser sitting behind her. She whispered, "You know, I fought for you to be here. They wanted to ban you from the honor roll this year for that incident, but I begged them to give you a second chance." The student didn't know what to say, but just nodded in agreement.

For the next three years, this student found herself in the high school auditorium, lining up on stage to be in the honor roll. Eventually, she graduated 3rd in a batch of 200-something.

On getting her credentials for college, she found no mention of that long-ago incident in her freshman year, even in recommendation letters for good conduct. Somehow, her homeroom adviser then had managed to convince everyone else to give her that clean slate, a real second chance.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from her college course in biology, finished medical school and is currently doing her residency training in radiology.

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Mrs. P isn't my favorite high school teacher. In fact, I think she is a little over the top at times... Over-acting is the word we often use to describe her. But on returning to my high school for our 10th year reunion last year, I wanted to see her, to formally thank her for that second chance a long time ago. I wanted to show her how things turned out afterwards for this once-upon-a-time short tempered teenager. Unfortunately, she was not around at that time. I guess this blog entry will serve as my tribute to her and a reminder to give erring individuals a second chance.

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(c. 2008)