Over and Above

Posted: February 18, 2012 in One Two Pun
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There was a time when I seriously thought about pursuing law. I wanted to be a human rights’ lawyer, one who had more pro bono cases than one could count, who wore slippers with a suit to courtrooms just to be disrespectful, and who traveled to remote places in Mindanao to get “accidentally” killed in an ambush attack by a rival politician’s private army.

The night I told my mother I wanted to take up Political Science or Journalism in a state university, she told me she wouldn’t support me financially if I did what I said I would. Now I know I could’ve survived in the big city alone without any financial support from family but, apparently, being fifteen and a minor render one quite helpless when it comes to making big decisions like this. So, I went on to study Biology in a non-state university.  It had not been an easy track, of course, but then nothing is supposed to be easy, yeck. What made it all worthwhile was the knowledge that medicine could get things done, which ultimately lessens my frustration over things that seem innately uncontrollable.

The Law in this country frustrates a lot of people, doesn’t it? Corruption has becomes so common that people make it into a joke just to make it less serious. In fact, meeting a man with conscience and integrity in this system strikes me speechless, mouth open and tongue-tied. If I had pursued law, I bet I would’ve been one very angry beaver, the kind who violently slaps everyone in the face with her freaking tail all day, every day. Medicine can be the same way too, having personally lived with and seen government doctors live in eternal frustration over this country’s health system. However, medicine allows things to be done right now, the results of which cannot only be seen acutely but also in the long-term. The most important part is to see that there has been a change that has occurred, no matter how minimal, as a result of an action. As opposed to law, where the result of your blood, sweat, tears, and sleepless nights is usually the inevitable freedom of a criminal because of the patronage of a powerful politician, which sounds so corny but which I also know for a fact is a reality.

The Law frustrates me too but I know it’s there for a reason. Plus I would have probably made an awful lawyer. Spoken words and I are not good friends. Moreover, explaining things with my tongue to people, especially to those who have their minds already set anyway, frustrates and angers me even worse. And I probably would have gotten myself killed before I turned twenty-five. I never want to hear my mother say to my grave, “I told you so.”

In the end, I guess I did not really agree to medicine. I chose it over and above my desire to be, well, everything else, as well as my desire to be with my family, to be home, to travel the world, and, most importantly, to earn my own living. It’s killing me to have to depend on other people for finances, haha.  Medicine allows me to understand even if I cannot do anything about it, to do something about it even if I know I’m going to fail, to fail as long as I tried anyway but still understanding where I went wrong so I don’t make the same mistake again. So, during the times I get frustrated with it, this is what I tell myself, repeatedly – I chose this over and above everything else so, honey, kindly don’t screw it up.

Yes, I talk to myself in my head sometimes.


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