Sunday, February 20, 2011

Remembering EDSA I, Let's Do What is Right

It took me two weeks to write this post.

Two weeks ago I was feeling really blue and my Dad visited me in my sleep. The first night he was just making funny faces to cheer me up, but I guess that didn't work too much so the next night he gave me marching orders. He drove me to a 'clubhouse' to meet with some people. On the way to the venue we were talking and he told me to write about honesty. "What about it Dad?" I asked. "Just write something about it," he replied. It was then that we reached the venue, so we got off the car. I was going to ask him more about his "assignment", but when I turned to ask him he had left and I just saw the tail end of the car.

I woke up from the dream when the phone rang. It was my Tita on the other end of the line and she just called to tell me that General Reyes had died by committing suicide. I didn't get it at first since I wasn't really following the news about the AFP issue, but I felt strange that my dream was somehow connected to current events. So I attempted to write my assignment, but it was only today that I realized what my Dad wanted me to share. It took a series of events to get my thoughts organized.

Do what is right. The opening line in the Gospel today was "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'" (Matthew 5:38). Fr. Luis explained that back then when someone killed one of your relatives, the clan would retaliate by killing everyone in the killer's clan. It was Moses who started to veer things away from that by teaching that life should be about love and relationships and not about hating your enemy. And in loving your neighbor you have to do what is right and not accept what is wrong.

Do not accept what is wrong. Yesterday my Mom told me a story about my Dad which she just recently found out. Dad apparently got a number of death threats when he was still in the judiciary. He once got a note from one of the accused in a case assigned to him. The accused stated in his note that my Dad should absolve him from the crime, if not he was going to be killed. My Dad just said that the hearing would proceed and he would decide based on the evidence.

My Mom would also receive phone calls about these threats. I remember being sent off to Baguio with my brother one Christmas season because of the threats my Dad was getting. My Dad never wavered and stuck to doing what was right. He was really stubborn about it and he continued to fight for it to the end.

Accepting what is wrong is not an excuse. Accepting something because it's "the trend" or because of the notion that "everybody's doing it" when is wrong compounds it. What is wrong, however which way you look at it, will never be right even though everyone else is doing it. White is white. Black is black. It happens all the time in many different levels, but when you look at it closely, it's just very basic. Do what is right because that is part and parcel of the golden rule, "Love your neighbor".