"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Friday, December 10, 2004


a text message from a friend:
wt f ur 2kng 2 me @ 12mdnyt n ur rum nd ur cp rng dwnstrs, i 2ld u 2 come bak nd u promisd; d prson on d fon 2ld u dat i died d previous nyt. wil u go bak 2 ur rum as u promisd?

translated from text speak, that's "what if you're talking to me at 12 midnight in your room and your cellular phone rung downstairs, i told you to come back and you promised; the person on the phone told you that i died the previous night. will you go back to your room as you promised?"

of course, i would go back to my room. but, would i go back simply because i promised? i know that my honest answer would be a no.

a promise can be fulfilled not because of the promise itself

there's a lot i can say about the given "what-if scenario" to present and/or explain my views.

first, if i were talking to a friend in my room and my cellphone would ring, i think that i wouldn't think of going downstairs to answer the midnight call if the conversation i'm having is going so well. i'd let the phone ring 'til its gonna empty its battery, and carry on with my conversation. if ever i'd decide on answering the call, i would ask my friend to go downstairs with me. from my point of view, a call made at midnight (especially if there's no special occasion like birthday) is not normal. i'd need a back up, hence, the friend has to go with me. besides, my cellphone would unlikely to be downstairs. yes, my room at home belongs to the second level, but i don't leave my cellphone "downstairs".

second, i think it's quite unfair for my part if the friend would ask me to "come back" when he/she already knows that he/she is already dead. if the person is someone close to me, then he/she would know that i would feel that way, and wouldn't even think of asking me to do something like that.

third, if i were told over the phone that a friend died, would i believe right away? of course not! i'd try to assess the information. who's calling? if the person died the previous night, why inform me (of all hours) at midnight? after all, it could just be a prank call.

but then, okay. what if i take the "what-if scenario" as is? would i go back to my room as promised?

as i've said, yes i would... but not simply because i promised.

in the given scenario, the promise was done right away and without much thought... and i can see the logic in that. the act of promising to go back to my room is easy to make. why is it easy to make? because it's easy to fulfill. why is it easy to fulfill? because it's natural for me to do just that: go back to my room. come to think of it, if i decide to go out of my room for awhile, i would naturally go back right away if i left my friend there (leaving a friend inside my room is highly unlikely, by the way). besides, my room is my own territory, my turf, my comfort zone. whatever happens, going back there does not involve effort or much thought, it's as if it's as natural as breathing. if a friend is waiting there, all the more reason that i would go there.

but what if the friend is "dead"? would i go back after knowing such info? yes, i'm going back. but i'm sure that my going back there would not be primarily driven by the promise. maybe it would be primarily driven by curiosity (to see if the friend is still there), maybe by the need to be in a place where somehow there is comfort, maybe by the need to be where i last "saw" the person...

see what i'm getting at?

i'd still be fulfilling the promise, but not because of the promise itself.


but what if going back to my room's not natural for me? what if the promise involved going far from a comfort zone instead of going back to it? what if the promise wouldn't be that easy to fulfill? would i still keep it?
i'd try to move heaven and earth.


i would try to move heaven and earth.

1 comment:

  1. aist, nka receive sab ko ana na message! ako jud answer kay dili nko kabalik kay kuyapan nko!

    originally posted on 12.14.04 - 12:05 pm using Haloscan comment board


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