Tuesday, June 22, 2010

being slow: the pros and the cons

i was once accused in public, my accuser pointing his finger at me in front of my entire high school class, for an act that i did not do. someone wrote an anonymous letter to our class adviser, implicating numerous students who allegedly cheated in their exams. needless to say, our teacher was not happy and wanted to speak to the letter's author to verify its claims. of course, no one fessed up, that would have been social suicide, and in high school, that was as good as death itself.

my "perfect" class soon found itself sinking in a soup of paranoia. the ones whose names were in the letter remained stoic, defiant of the preposterous allegations while the rest began to talk amongst themselves, discussing their theories, gossiping. in the midst of all this, a rather vocal classmate of mine took it as his duty to rid our glorious class of this stain and regain our impeccable reputation again. he was to flush out the weasel by (and his ingenious plan was) asking everyone who HONESTLY, imploring on GOD as our witness, who did not write the letter, to stand up... hoping the guilty party will remain seated.

naturally, everyone stood. not believing how absolutely STUPID this idea was, i took my time to stand. my lag in participation however caught my over-zealous classmate's eye, and with his finger of condemnation, like a spanish inquisitor, he declares that I WAS TO BLAME. i was half way to standing. i recall looking at him, his smug look, his round head bobbing gently, obviously well pleased with himself. i could not make anything of the moment. i often visit this day in my head and question, what else could i have done differently?

my entire class' gaze was suddenly onto me. some threw looks of disgust, some of shock, some of curiosity. i was being judged. i had not spoken a word yet, probably caught in the same shock as some people who were surprised to learn that i was the culprit. a few seconds later, someone asked "why do you say it was jamie?" my classmate answered "because he was the last to get up." in the same speed as i was judged, i was also vindicated as my entire class eased up as it dawned on them too how STUPID we were all acting. in no time, we were back to our relaxed mood, as if nothing had happened... two people however remained alert, obviously changed by these events. one of them was me. i never trusted my classmates again. the other, my accuser. he was still adamant that it was me.

i recall going home that day and telling my brother what had happened. in almost at an instant, my dragon-brother was already plotting revenge. i however recall feeling utterly indifferent. i knew in my head, i really shouldnt be acting so coolly about this, yet however, could not muster the appropriate emotions to handle it. all i could do was acknowledge the fact that i was wronged, and that i felt hurt that i was wronged.

not too long ago, i was reminded of this incident in high school as i was wronged again.

i did not get angry. i did not react. all i did was sat there as my person got attacked, as i sat frozen in disbelief as to what i was hearing. i now recall the moment playing in this almost slow motion scene, as the words rolled off his tongue, as the words tumbled toward me. i recall the look of his face, the wincing of his eyes, the curl in his lips, the flaring of his gesturing fingers. i remember the strike of offense, the tone of condescension, the pinch of sorrow, followed by an overwhelming numbness.

i think i am blessed of being slow to anger. great peace is achieved because of this. i think my offenders are also being shown mercy for my God knows what i am truly capable of.