Mabilis ba tayong maghusga sa ating kapwa? Madalas ba nating paniwalaan ang ating impresyon sa mga tao base sa kanilang kasuotan o estado sa buhay?
Isang kwento mula sa isang netizen ang magpapaalala sa atin na may higit pa sa mga bagay na nakikita ng mata, at ang bawat tao ay may kanya kanyang kwento sa buhay.
Eksena Sa Jollibee
Sa isang napakagandang post na ibinahagi ni Gelica Manuel Tulauan sa Facebook, siya ay kumakain sa Jollibee ng marinig nya ang isang ginang na nagsabi ng “Ano ba yan?! Ang baboy!. Ang tinutukoy ng ginang ay ang kalapit na mesa na may kalat na kanin, mga buto, at sauce.
“Miss, napansin mo ba sinong kumain dyan? Grabe! Parang kanin-baboy! Asal-iskwater naman. Nakakadiri.” Tanong ng ginang kay Gelica, at nagpatuloy ito sa pagsasalita tungkol sa kawalang-asal ng ibang kumakain sa fastfood. Inutusan ng ginang ang crew na linisin ang mesa, ngunit binanggit ng crew, na hindi pa tapos ang kumakain dito.
Si Mang Nestor
Lumabas mula sa CR ang isang matandang lalaki at naglakad papunta sa makalat na mesa. Sinabi ng ginang na “Hay, naku! Pakilipat na lang ako dun sa isang table. Nakakasuka talaga!”.
Si Gelica naman ay nanatili sa kanyang inuupuan, at nadurog ang kanyang puso ng makita kung bakit makalat ang mesa ng matanda. Ang kanyang mga kamay ay nanginginig na, at halos hindi nya maisubo ang pagkain ng walang tumatapon sa mesa.
Napansin ng matanda ang komosyon, at tinanong si Gelica kung bakit lumipat ang ginang sa kabilang mesa. Hindi alam ni Gelica ang isasagot kung kaya’t sinabi nyang hindi nya alam. Tinanong din ng matanda ang crew ang dahilan, ang sabi ng crew ay “Ah, wala po ‘yun. Nainitan lang po dito.”. Tumingin ang matanda kay Gelica, at nakangiting sinabing “ nainitan lang pala.” Ako nga pala si Nestor.
Mga kwento Ni Lolo Nestor
Nagsimulang magkwentuhan nila lolo Nestor at ni Gelica, at napag-alamang si Lolo Nestor ay mag-isa na lamang sa buhay. Ang kanyang pagkaing dala ay galing sa mga tira-tira sa simbahang kanyang pinupuntahan. Sa Jollibee sya kumakain dahil kaibigan nya na ang mga crew dito, at nkakahiram sya ng libreng plato at kubyertos.
Isang Physics teacher si lolo Nestor nung kanyang kabataan. At may ginawa rin syang War Tactics board game na ibinibenta sa Goodwill bookstore nung panahon nya. Marami pang kwento si lolo Nestor tungkol sa buhay nya, mga kwentong walang gustong makinig, mga kwentong magpapabago ng pagtingin natin sa kanya. Malungkot lamang at iilan lamang ang gustong huminto, at makinig sa mga kwento nya.
Katulad ni Lolo Nestor, tayong lahat ay may mga kwento din. Kung pakikinggan lang natin ang kwento ng isa’t-isa, mas maiintindihan natin ang buhay. At tungkol sa kabutihan, ang pagpapahiram ng plato at kubyertos, ang pagsisinungaling upang di masaktan ang kapwa, ang pakikipag-usap sa isang matandang nag-iisa sa buhay. Ito ay kabutihan ding maituturing.
Ang Viral Post
“Everyday, we encounter stories. Some of them more profound than what we had initially thought.
I was eating quietly at one of the shared tables in Jollibee Waltermart Makati earlier this evening when I heard one lady say, “Ano ba yan?! Ang baboy!” I looked up to find out what she’s referring to. The lady was sitting on the other side of the same table where I was at, and in front of her was a messy tray of food (plenty of rice spilt from the plate, bones and orange sauce scattered everywhere, etc. you get the picture). When she caught me staring, she asked, “Miss, napansin mo ba sinong kumain dyan? Grabe! Parang kanin-baboy! Asal-iskwater naman. Nakakadiri.” I told her no, I didn’t notice who was eating there because the tray was already there when I sat down.
She called the attention of one of the crews, but wasn’t noticed at first. So I helped her, and all the while she was ranting on and on about how the mess in front of her was so unappetising, she couldn’t possibly eat while seeing it. She said, “May mga tao talagang akala nila alila nila ‘tong mga fast food crew, e. Ako, malinis ako kumain sa ganitong lugar kasi alam ko ring mahirap ang trabaho nila.” What she said was right, in a way, so I just nodded and smiled while still waving at the crew to come to our table.
When the crew finally came over, the woman told him, “Pakilinis nga ‘to. Nakakasuka, e!” The crew asked her to wait a sec as he rushed to the restroom. When he came back, he said, “Ma’am, hindi pa raw po tapos.” And then, suddenly, I saw a frail old man walk out of the same restroom where the crew came from, and slowly made his way to our table. This old man was the one behind the messy tray.
The lady looked aghast as she stared at the old man who sat down in front of the mess and continued eating. She exclaimed, “Hay, naku! Pakilipat na lang ako dun sa isang table. Nakakasuka talaga!” Her tone was condescending and her voice was loud enough for the people around to turn their heads to our direction. She looked at me as she was making her way to the other table, as if she couldn’t fathom the idea of me continuing to eat so close to the old man and his mess of food.
Meanwhile, I stayed and (subtly) observed him. And my heart broke when I found out why there was so much mess around his plate—
His hands, as it turns out, were shaking terribly. He couldn’t put food into his mouth without the contents of the spoon spilling over.
Again, I was caught staring, this time by the old man. He asked me why the lady transferred to another table. I didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth, so I told him I didn’t know.
But it was obvious that it was bothering him, because after about 5mins, he asked the crew who transferred the lady the same question. The young crew, it seemed, also didn’t have the heart to tell him why. So he said, “Ah, wala po ‘yun. Nainitan lang po dito.”
The old man smiled, turned to me and said, “Nainitan lang daw pala.” I returned his smile, and started talking to him.
He told me his name was Nestor. He’s 66, and he’s living alone. The food he was eating were leftovers from the church where he attends service (that’s why it looked like “kanin-baboy” as the lady so kindly described). He said he sometimes eat inside Jollibee because the crew knew him, and they lend him plates, utensils, and give him water even if he doesn’t purchase food from the establishment. He seemed excited that a stranger such as myself was talking so freely with him, I think because he was used to keeping to himself. So I decided to stay a while longer even if I was already done eating, and conversed with him some more. We talked about how he used to be a Physics teacher in Bicol some 20+ years ago, how his mother loved Shakespeare, how he once invented a War Tactics board game which was sold in Goodwill Bookstores back in the day, and many other anecdotes from his long life.
You see, there are so many stories like these that we don’t care to learn about. We look at someone, see the “mess” in front of them, and quickly decide that they aren’t worth our time (or in this case, not even worth sharing a table with).
But everytime we fail to look beyond what our eyes can see, little by little, our vision becomes blurry. Until we lose sight of what truly matters. Until we turn completely blind to all the goodness and kindness in this world.
So, I guess, today’s little incident reminded me of how we should always try to look for the story. Because each person has one. A story so complex and painful and beautiful, with every piece giving you a more thorough understanding of the world.
But more importantly, it also reminded me of this quote from JM Barrie—“to always try to be a little kinder than necessary”, because we never really know what someone is going through. And like Mr. Tushman in the book “Wonder”, I have always loved this line, because as he so eloquently put: “We carry with us, human beings, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of kindness.”
So, next time you see someone’s “mess”, try to look closely. Or lend an open ear. Whether it is a friend or a mere stranger. Because the simple act of lending utensils to an old man. The little white lie to relieve him of his worries. A passing smile. A short conversation. The choice to tolerate and understand—this is kindness, too”
Everyday, we encounter stories. Some of them more profound than what we had initially thought.I was eating quietly at…