Warning: This post contains spoiler from The Good Wife Season 3 Episode 4
One scene from The Good Wife struck me.
Although, a lot of The Good Wife scenes strike me (most scenes just break me into tears)…
This one, in particular, is the most hard-hitting and timely.
I don’t mean to be pessimistic… I just mean to be realistic.
I think that we could learn a thing or two in this conversation.
It will help a lot of us get through (or get down from?) this dream-big-you-can-do-anything media hype
… and help us face reality.
Celeste: This is your dream! What happened to pursuing your dream?
Will: What happened work? Not everybody can pursue their dreams.
Someone has to work.
Celeste: That is so sad.
Will: No, not really.
Now, isn’t this just a light bulb moment from The Good Wife?
I just saw X-Men : First Class… and it was amazing!
Well, for people who know me very well, this is a predictable reaction for me. If you really knew me, you would know that I am prone to be biased to certain films based on the cast. And in this case, because of three people:
Kevin Bacon — I love him in Apollo13, Hollow Man, and Footloose!
January Jones — uh, Betty Draper… Mad Men… Need I say more?
JAMES McAVOY — I’m in love with this man! Love at first sight in one of my favorite movies, Becoming Jane, as Mr. Tom LeFroy.
Without bias, I still would say: The movie is great. Really. I am sure X-Men fans are not disappointed.
But before I get too distracted, I would like to share a “light bulb moment” I gathered from watching the film.
Just as the end credits were rolling, I could not contain myself and started sharing this realization with Ate Magsy and Ate Ces. I believe my exact words were:
“Alam nyo bang may Charles at Erik din sa Pilipinas?”
Oh yes. Our country has it’s own Professor X and Magneto. Guess who?
(Brace yourself. This might get too old school –literally)
It’s our very own heroes: Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio!
Guess which one is which.
I could not help but see Charles as Jose Rizal and Erik as Andres Bonifacio.
Just a little background… (let me regress a bit)
I remember when I was in college, I had two professors who had different beliefs on who should be the rightful National Hero for our country. (And believe me, when you’re studying in UP you should force yourself to make a stand on something because meeting with diverse people with diverse ideas can either make you fall for anything easily or can just give you a BIG headache.)
My Kas1 (Philippine History) professor believes that Rizal is an “American-named Hero”. She made us read a whole chapter regarding why this was so. It stated that Rizal really never wanted us to be free from the Spaniards.
“Rizal wanted Philippines to be a province of Spain.”
“Rizal wanted the Spanish language to be taught to all Filipinos.”
“Rizal wanted Philippines to be accepted by Spain as an equal.”
She was always putting Andres Bonifacio on a pedestal. She believes that Bonifacio should have been the National hero because he was the one who took “actions”.
“Bonifacio was the one who did not want to believe that a conqueror could ever make his slaves his equal.”
“Bonifacio decided the only way to be freed was to fight.”
The book she made us read also said that if it were not for Americans praising and cheering for Rizal, the Filipinos would have seen that Bonifacio’s fights were more helpful in regaining our freedom over Rizal’s philosophies. Most especially, my professor believes that Americans were just afraid of making Bonifacio an example because we might rebel against them during their occupation.
My PI100 (Rizal Studies) professor, on the other hand, believes in Rizal so much that it made me suspect she was one of his past girlfriends. And what was so ironic is that, she was the publisher of the book we were made to read in Kas1. She told us that when she was younger, she was an activist. She also believed in the same things my Kas1 professor believes in. When she got older, she said she had finally understood the impacts of Rizal’s work. So she taught us his works in the most meticulous manner that our class became more like a Philosophy class instead of a history class.
So how did an engineering student like me take all these contradicting information?
Sad to say, with apathy. I graduated the university without a stand on the matter.
I believe both had good points. I just did not decide on who had the better one.
Here I am, five years later, with a decision.
All thanks to the movie.
I saw Rizal in Professor X.
The way he believed that humans can co-exist with mutants peacefully is like Rizal believing that Philippines can be a province of Spain.
Professor X fights for the day that mutants will be accepted by the humans as equals the same way Rizal fought for us to be treated as an equal by Spain.
Then there is the Bonifacio in Magneto.
I am not saying that Bonifacio was a villain.
But we can compare the violent nature of their reactions to their oppressors. Both were poor and experienced the full extent of the sufferings of being tyrannized.
Unlike Charles and Rizal, Erik and Bonifacio did not have the luxury to have a clear head or an open mind to believe that balance can be achieved by co-existing. Maybe they had suffered too much to have had hope that compassion will be given to them in return. But even with these circumstances, one should never give in to anger. However hard it may seem, the high road is always to be the “better/bigger man”.
So this makes me a back up Rizal as our National Hero. Just like Professor X, he took the high road. In fact, when he was made aware of the plan of the Katipunan to launch a revolution, he objected to this project headed by Bonifacio saying that it would be suicide. Rizal stressed that the Katipunan leaders should do everything possible to prevent premature flow of native blood.
This made me think of a conversation between Professor X and Magneto:
Charles: Killing (Shawn) will not bring you peace.
Erik: Peace was never an option.
I believe peace is always an option. It’s just very hard to choose peace because chaos is inevitable.
Let me share another poem I learned from my mom.
It is called Desiderata by Max Ehrmann.
This one is probably my mom’s favorite (next is Footprints on the Sand, I guess) because she always have copies of this poem at home and at work.
When I was younger, I recall seeing this poem under the glass of her table top in her old office. I never read it at that time because it was printed on a cheesy art paper with old script font and flowers in the border (sooo not appealing to me). Plus, it seemed pretty boring because it was looooong (well, for a 10-yr old anyway).
Now that I am working, my mom helps me go through the ups and downs (especially the downs… the many many downs.). And every time I get depressed and think of quitting or doing something impulsive, I just talk to my mom.
She is like a hot beverage that soothes all the raging emotions.
Her advices and “words of wisdom” always makes me think straight and logical… helps me be pragmatic.
Most importantly, she makes me stay humble… she makes me come down from cloud nine.
When I finally read this poem, it made me think that maybe this is where she gets all this advices and outlook in life (aside from the best selling Holy Bible, of course).
So for everyone who are new to the “real world” or maybe already caught in the complicated web of life, read this carefully because it might just change you. Or at least, it might give you a new perspective in life.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Desiderata (n.) Anything desired; that of which the lack is felt; a want generally felt and acknowledge. Ma, thanks again! Hope this helps everyone prepping for the impending "bonus" season. :P
No matter how you carefully plan things, it will not always turn out the way you planned.
Don’t expect too much.
Always have backup plans.
Don’t care too much. But don’t be afraid to care. Just don’t expect others to care the same level you do.
Just give and expect with a level of tolerance.
If all else fails.. inooooooooom!
Make the workplace your second home.