Monday, July 04, 2005

[Blog Entry] Freedom, Mobile Phones


Before my grandfather passed away, he used to take strolls around the village despite his old age and the stroke that was plaguing him. My parents and uncles all gave him warnings, but he did not heed them. Once, he came home with a bleeding forehead, which was the result of losing consciousness while taking a walk. Yet that did not stop him from taking his daily strolls.

Of course my parents are giving me the same reprimands. Don’t walk too far. Don’t walk late at night. I’m not dying of a wasting sickness, yet the warnings stay the same. It’s not that I’m denying the danger. There’s always risk in any endeavor. All it takes for me to lose my life is to be unlucky. It could be a stray bullet, a drunk driver, or in the case of the Ortigas area, falling debris. Yet I sympathize with my grandfather. Walking gives me time to think, gives me time to reflect on who I am. I could live life forever in the shelter of my home, yet what kind of life would that be? Am I safe? Relatively. But would I find fulfillment? Life isn’t about just eating, sleeping, and staying alive. We need other things. What those are is best left to your discretion. But there are obviously some things which we must do, which define who we are, that despite the risks, we act upon.

Hey, I pray to God to thank him that I still have legs to walk on, that I continue to live despite my traveling constantly in the polluted streets of EDSA. I don’t regret not reprimanding my grandfather for taking his daily walks. If I were in his place, I wouldn’t stop either. Living life, after all, isn’t just about breathing and moving on from one day to the next.

Mobile Phones

One of the most useful features of mobile phones is the fact that you can make last minute plans. While that in itself isn’t bad, sometimes I feel it’s a burden on my part not to own a cellphone (I own two, by the way). More often than not, it’s not for my sake but for other people’s. When my parents initially offered me a mobile phone, I knew it was not for my sake (beware those bearing gifts!). It was a means for them to track me down.

At present, people have stood me up, whether it’s not meeting me at the arranged time and place, or arriving late or at the wrong place. In such scenarios, I’m glad I own a cellphone. Because I can track them down. Honestly, I’m not the type that breaks off appointments. I don’t break appointments. During rare circumstances, I’m late. That’s it. But other than that, I appear at the designated hour if I said that’s when we’ll meet. Yet it seems the easiest thing for mobile phone abuse is to break off appointments, arrive late, or simply harass other people who did what they’re supposed to do.

Not that mobile phones are all bad. There are lots of other benefits, such as keeping in touch with people, or sending each other endearments and reminders. But I’ll focus on the bad side, because hey, that’s where all the abuse is coming from. Just because you have a cellphone doesn’t mean you can arrive late for an appointment or make cancellations. It helps if you want to notify the other party, but that’s like the EDSA revolution: it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. It’s a problem that could have been avoided.

And then there’s people who don’t answer their phones or notify other people about sudden change of plans.

Honestly though, my cellphone is giving me high stress values, but I’d probably get more problems if I didn’t own one. It’s in the nature of people I meet to arrive late and break appointments. I usually arrive early, so that’s a double whammy for me. I’d do away with mobile phones all together if I could. But alas, the world isn’t perfect, and neither are my friends (or me for that matter).


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