In loving memory of CPT Mario Buising Mortega Sr., USAFFE, VET (1920-2004)
In loving memory of CLR Roberto Laudet Mortega (1946-2008)
On So-Called Worthless Time-Slashing
myragrace - Tuesday, Mar 7, 2006, 8:03 PM“I sent the vision flying. I opened my eyes and let them rove over the peeling plaster ceiling of this neglected place, over the indifferent metal decorations that were so modern and utterly meaningless…”
The faint beep of my cell phone separated me from Anne Rice’s idyllic world of visions, ghosts, dead husbands and frustrated necrophiliac violinists.
“Hi, Myra. I’m sorry. I totally forgot about Mom’s thingie today. Don’t worry, I’m on my way.”
He is on his way. Okay, no problem. In an hour’s time he should be here. So I went back to page 142 of Anne Rice’s, “Violin” as I chomped down my lunch. It was twelve noon.
Four hours later, I was still in Jollibee, down to the last fifty pages of my book, still waiting for my friend and getting a hell lot of suspicious glances from the crew. He said he’d come, so I decided to wait.
Don’t get me wrong. I never liked waiting. I find it such a useless act, as you pass time doing nothing. And the thing is, most of the time, you are not even sure whether what you're waiting for will come, which makes it more frustrating.
Surprisingly, it's something that we do practically all the time: we wait in line at fast food chains, we wait for our date to arrive, we wait for that perfect person to enter into our lives etc. Waiting it seems, is so much important that not only are we willing to give a chunk of our precious time to it, but are lives tend to depend on it as well. Take for example, a man convicted of a crime. He is sentenced to life imprisonment. And what does he do all the time he is in jail? Wait. Wait that the sentence be lifted, wait for some wealthy family member to bail him out, wait for a miracle that may never happen, and wait for his sentence to be over as he checks the remaining days off his little calendar, if ever he is lucky enough to have one.
For me it's such a meaningless act. It's so passive, and it never seems to bring any good to anybody.
However, upon reading "Waiting for Godot", I realize that waiting actually has a purpose. It affirms our beliefs. it may be as superficial as waiting for your server in hopes that he’ll give you food, or as important as waiting for your scholarship grant to get accepted in order to stay in the university. In my case, I believed that my friend would arrive, even if it meant slashing a total of five hours off my time to prove it. Nevertheless, these beliefs constitute a big part of our lives; and they do so because in one way or another, it gives our lives meaning. By waiting, we say that what we believe in must be true because we are willing to give a portion of our lives doing nothing , in order to prove that what we believe in must be correct. And this assertion is important already, as it assures us that at least we have a belief that gives life meaning, in one way or another, whether it's true or not. For waiting puts our convictions to the test, and if ever, whatever we are waiting for does not re-surface, then that must mean that our convictions are wrong, and must turn to a new one. However, that is a different matter altogether, and for now I am content to say that waiting presupposes that we have beliefs, which give our lives meaning. And having beliefs, at least just for now, is enough.
Hmmm...now that I've pondered on it, waiting is not so bad after all. And yeah, after four hours of reading (and finally finishing the dang book in the process) and an hour of strolling down the mall, my friend actually did show up, and we ended up having the time of our lives.