Saturday, January 5, 2013

Rizal's Mother, The Moth Story and You



I’ve been very weak throughout these years.  Emotionally, mentally and physically.  There are times even spiritually. I get tempted easily. I also cry and breakdown a lot. I easily get hurt.  And I try to seek revenge on those who hurt me or my loved ones. I’m trying to change. But we all have our kryptonite. No matter how strong we think we are, there are still those things that instantly trigger our weaknesses.  Some are guilty pleasures. Those that we try to avoid but we seem can’t.  We may be successful at times and when we think we’re durable enough to face them, they return to us hard and pushing us down to our knees while feeling helpless.


We were taught at school about the moth story that Teodora Alonzo told to the then young Jose Rizal, her son. According to well-known historian Dr. Ambeth Ocampo, when Lolay couldn't get Pepe to focus reading a Spanish book entitled "El Amigo de Los Ninos", she shifted in telling him a story. Then she succeeded taking Pepe's attention. 

Burning oil lamp
 




It's initially understood as a story of disobedience between a young lad and his elder. You probably are familiar with what happened to the young moth in the story. It got too attracted to the burning light of the oil lamp despite warnings from the older moth not to get too close to the fire. So its wings caught fire, burned and it died. While hearing the story from his mother, Rizal was actually watching the moths flying around their table lamp. And it indeed got too close to the fire and shared the fate of the young moth in the story.






Another angle that historians thought that could have affected Rizal's thinking was how daring the moth became to go beyond the limits. To search for further knowledge outside the norms and trying to go beyond its comfort zone while risking danger that goes with all of it. Which is actually what happened to Rizal for knowing too much and saying too much that he gained the ire of the nation's colonial government then which eventually put him to death.


There's definitely a lot of wisdom you can get from that simple moth story  and I think I can see another one. I can relate this to the usual overestimation of our own self-control. We always think that we are above our urges. We supposedly are. Though being around the trigger is never a good thing to test it. Just like how the moth enthralled by the beauty of the burning light, we will all get sucked into the fire if we continuously play with it.


It is like a temptation for a wrong relationship. Though fully aware of it being wrong, we hear people saying they are just trying to be friendly. Ignoring the risk of getting deeper into it thinking that they are in control, they continue with it.  And then got burned later as expected.



It's cool if you're burning like this.


Then there are youth starting out with vices thinking that it's just part of their "growing up years".  Pressured by peers, they tried it while thinking they can easily get out after the first try. They think they are strong and different. Because nothing happened at the first time, they tried again. And again.  And again. And they got burned.


Then there's someone who gets a business proposal. An illegal one. Just a one-time big-time thing as he's told. It will earn big bucks and very low risk of being caught at all. Salivating by the idea of huge amounts of money, he jumped in. And it happened as promised.  They earned big and didn't get caught. After a while, he was asked for another shot. It was good at first so the wall of hesitation slowly crumbled. Then it became a part of his system. He's gaining big and not getting caught.  Until he got burned.



Are you the young or the older moth?


The burning light is beautiful, tempting, attractive but always dangerous. We think that we are in control then we try to play around the fire until it becomes a habit too hard to break. It is always too late to notice that families get broken, people get addicted to vices and illegal doers get caught, arrested or get killed. It's always too late to realize that our wings are already burning.


I’m still trying to work around the kryptonites of my life.  I guess I’ll simply accept that I’m weak. If I’ll be more aware that I am too weak to face them or even just to get near them, then I might just go avoiding them at all. At the onset, I’ll be staying away. Because I am weak.  And by being conscious of my weaknesses, it will now become a part of my strength.









By the way, you can be the “older moth” and warn the others about the dangers of the fire by sharing this blog post. Thanks.

22 comments:

  1. by trying to avoid such things like what the older moth told to the young moth, one could impede his own growth. I'm not saying that we should all be dare devil but we should at least try. If we fail, then so be it. Start from where you fall and try again.

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    1. I agree that at times, we must leave our comfort zones to stretch our selves and know our limits. though I won't advise to do something which at first, we know that it's already wrong. Thanks for the comment bro.

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  2. as from your point of view..... playing with fire is always dangerous.... not unless you are a thrill seeker. but we must always remember that going beyond from the neutral ground will always lead you to no where but, like you say,"families get broken, people get addicted to vices and illegal doers get caught, arrested or get killed"

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  3. may naalala akong bible verses sa post mong ito...

    That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Cor. 12: 10

    at

    I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy 4:7

    kapag feeling ko, kailangan ko pampalakas ng loon at gusto ko na mag-quit. yng huli ang lagi kong sinasabi. parang mantra.

    mabuhay sa iyo! lahat tayo may kahinaan at may down moment. ang mahalaga we know ang ating kahinaan kaya mapaglalabanan natin ito gamit ang ating kalakasan.

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    Replies
    1. The verses you shared is indeed a good reminder of the race we are having on this earth. And that accepting our weaknesses and knowing that the Lord is there during those times we are down, it gives us strength to move on with our lives.

      Salamat Madam Hoshi. :)

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  4. very nice post!
    nakakahiya namang mag-tagalog dito lol :)

    naramdaman ko na yung unang paragraph ay tila isinulat para sa akin hehe, naka-relate agad ako, kaya naituloy ko ang pagbasa hanggang sa dulo,

    di ko akalain na marami pa lang pwedeng maging interpretasyon ang kwentong iyon tungkol sa gamo-gamo, nadagdagan pa ang realization tungkol dun matapos kong basahin ang post na ito.

    sana marami ang makabasa ng iyong ginawa, this is worth reading talaga (makapag-english ng konti haha)

    more power to u ignored genius!
    naisip ko na baka mga ignorante lang ang di magbabasa ng post na 'to lol :)

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    1. Hi Jep. :)

      naku, ok lang. marami akong posts na tagalog. hehehe.

      Salamat at nagustuhan mo ang post ko na ito. Marami talagang aral na puede tayong mapulot sa mga anecdotes at iba pang kwento sa buhay ng ating pambansang bayani. depende rin sa interpretasyon natin sa ating nalalaman at nababasa tungkol sa kanya.

      Salamat sa pagbisita. :)

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  5. i agree with Lawrence on his comment. mas madalas na kailangan nating mapaso para matuto. hapi nyu nyir pre!

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    1. Thanks pre. Happy new year. Ako rin, gusto ko rin ang sumubok ng mga bagay bagay. Failure is a great thing to learn from. Pero yung ibang bagay kasi, umpisa pa lang alam na nating failure na at may iba na nagiging habit na rin ang pagsubok sa bagay na mali.:)

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  6. Ang ganda naman ng mga comments nila. Tama yan, hindi mo malalaman na kaya mo palang gawin ang isang bagay kung hindi mo susubukan. Huwag matakot, dapat laban lng ng laban. Eh ano kung magfail ka, at least you gave your best shots. Kung hindi ka man magtagumpay sa laban mo today, tandaan na laging may bagong bukas na naghihintay para sa atin. Magtiwala lang tayo sa ating mga sarili at syempre, samahan din ng tamang dasal mula sa itaas.

    Happy Weekend parekoy!

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    1. Salamat Fiel. tama, tulad din ng mga nakalipas kong posts, ok din na mag-fail talaga tayo ng maraming beses. mas maaga mas ok.

      ganon din ang ilan sa aral ng kwento ng gamu-gamo. at yung ibang aral din, marami pa, marami talaga tayong mapupulot dito sa nangyari sa gamo gamo. Salamat and Happy new week hehehehe :)

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  7. And I wonder kung pinakinggan talaga ni Pepe 'yung payo ng kanyang ina. We all know that the most revered hero ng Pinas dabbled with fire. He joined the masonic lodge, which poisoned his mind. I think that is one that burned him. That also burnt our country, in a way, kasi naging poster boy siya ng mga Mason.

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    1. hehehe. very daring si Pepe e. gamit na gamit siya tuloy ngayon. Pero yun nga, parang dun sa isang blogpost ko na "sinong rizal", halos lahat ginagamit na ang mga salita niya at pangalan niya. depende sa convenience na lang ng gumagamit. nakakalimutan din ng iba na propagandista si Rizal at may mga agenda siya nung panahon na yun.

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    2. I agree. Sa panahon kasi ngayon mas madaling gumawa ng slogan kesa pag-aralan yung mga elemento na inilalagay sa slogan. Yung gumagamit kay Rizal bilang poster boy laban sa Simbahan ay ayaw tanggapin na si Rizal ay bumalik din sa Simbahan sa huli.

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  8. well said! sweet temptation is so hard to resist.

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  9. Best in English.. nosebleed pero madali namang unawain... ganda...masaya tumabay dito...

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    1. lols. natawa ako sa comment mo brad. Salamat. :)

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  10. Tama, we could be easily tempted with the "fires" of life. Hence the saying, "masarap ang bawal". I, too, have some things that enticed me to do something against my principles, yung iba, nasubukan ko, pero tulad ng sinabi mo, I already left before it sucks me bigtime.

    Pero ang makakuha ng blog award, isang fire din ba sa buhay natin? Hindi siguro, diba? Hehe. Isa ka kasi sa mga taong naniniwala akong pinaka-magaling magsulat. Kaya heto. http://thetoiletthoughts.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-liebster-blog-award-part-1.html

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    1. Salamat pareng vento. That's good. At least, nakontrol mo ang sarili mo before you got burned. :)

      Thanks din for the recognition. nakakataba ng puso. Dyahe rin, dalawa na kayong pinagkakautangan ko ni PinayThrillseeker ng award na ito. :-s

      Salamat salamat uli parekoy. :)

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. hi, as a literature teacher, i actually look at the action of the young moth in a positive way. i guess this is also how rizal looked at it. that is why he fought for the country's freedom (light) despite the danger of dying. thus, becoming a hero in the process.

    however, you are free to interpret in any way as that is the reason why literature is interesting.

    robert ordeneza

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