What I Have to Put Up With

My salary was supposed to come in today. Guess what? It didn’t.

Right now I only have five pesos in my wallet. That’s not even enough to pay the pedicab driver for a ride home. I had to walk. All I had for lunch was a small bag of chips and a glass of water.

All things considered, I have a lot to be thankful for–at least I had good shoes that made the walk home comfortable. At least I had cold water and a warm sandwich waiting for me. At least my home isn’t too far from PSHS. At least someone is at home to help me. At least I have a God to pour out my heart to.

Still, this experience has shaken my already wavering faith in the government. I want to continue clinging on to hope, but it seems that the hope is dying or has died. I want to continue to teach to give hope to these children, to touch their minds and their lives, but how can I continue doing that in the name of a government that does not truly value people? So many people leave the country because they feel that the country does not care for them. I’ve always thought of myself as better than they, because I was able to stick to my guns and contribute to the country despite my meager earnings.

Right.

Now I see the wisdom in leaving the country. But I don’t want to. I’ve always felt that I didn’t amount to much in many ways. I wasn’t a good student, neither was I a good friend. I’m lousy at sports and I’m almost nominally a Christian. I fail in so many ways it isn’t funny, and I’m not even trying to be emo here. I just feel that way.

But then I started teaching, and I saw that God gave me one thing I’m good at. And I saw that the children were happy, they were learning, they were growing, and they were living. And I was happy.

Now I look at all this and I see that the government doesn’t really care about what I do and how hard I do it, so long as I make it look good. And now they do this. They make paltry excuses like “Oh, you’re just used to us paying you on the tenth instead of the fifteenth like everyone else. It really should be on the fifteenth.”

Yeah, tell that to my growling stomach. I thought it was more like they have to pay us every fifteen days so that we get our money twice a month. Of course, that won’t change a thing, because they don’t care. No one in the government really cares.  This isn’t even the first time, but this is the first time I really went hungry because I couldn’t buy anything worthwhile.

I don’t know what to make of this. I really don’t. Part of me wants to give up, but the other half wants to continue doing what’s right, sacrificing my very life for the future of these children. I want to be a hero, because it’s the only thing I can do well that will really count.

Nothing to Lose,

Your Black Lion

~ by J. R. R. Flores on July 10, 2007.

3 Responses to “What I Have to Put Up With”

  1. awww. i feel your pain, sir… but persist a little longer, please? so many people are leaving… will there be anyone left to help lift our country out of the state it’s in right now?

    and sir, you know that i always have extra food… i’m just a text away if you need any extra sustenance.😀

  2. I won’t mince words with you.
    I really don’t want to be jaded, but I have to survive. I want to get married (hah lol, that’s gonna happen), and I really can’t survive with a family on the pittance that I’m paid. It’s good for me now because I don’t pay rent and I often don’t even pay for meals at home, but seriously, if I’m going to have a family and I stay in PSHS, WE. WILL. STARVE.

  3. “I want to get married”-Sir Joey.
    Sir, I’ll lend you this book if you want. Or if you even see this comment. It’s by Dale Carnegie, just try reading it. Or fork over P10 000 for a ten-session course. I did.

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