The gift of tears
By Farah G. Decano
This review was posted almost in unison by affected viewers of the latest viral Filipino movie, “Through Night and Day.” Overwhelmed by emotions, they took to various social media platforms to express whatever their tears represent. Watchers with muffled cries were thankful for a beautiful movie. How could they be grateful for anything that made them weep?
Simple. My theory is that these viewers identified with the story or with one or two of the characters. They were able to explore for themselves the profundity and intricacies of the varying emotions unfolded by each character. The viewers were able to rediscover the euphoria of love, the tenderness of friendship, the folly of pride, the angst of conflicting passions, the desolation of heartbreaks, and the pain of letting go.
For the unaffected, they merely scratched their heads; approached the film cerebrally; and laughed at those who sobbed and later wondered, what did they miss?
Now, let us look beyond the movie. Focus on the realities of our present circumstances.
Unemployment is on a steep rise. So is the number of COVID cases. Our economy is on its downward trend. Yet, the government seems to have other priorities that have no direct relation to addressing the effects of the pandemic. How many children are going hungry and begging for food nowadays? What about the elderly people? How many of them are getting proper medical attention? What about the women stuck in violent relationships at home? Are they being assisted?
Heartlessness is growing. It is unfortunate that it seems to be starting with our so-called leaders. We hear of some local government units abandoning their returning residents to rot elsewhere. To each his/her own seems to be the growing policy. People are learning to ignore others’ plea for help and pay attention only to their own needs. Businesses lay off employees in order to protect depletion of assets. Human resource is beginning to be dispensable. Seems like, the only way to survive this abysmal chaos is to numb our hearts.
Do you still find your eyes blurry with tears in the midst of all these anguish, distress, and affliction?
If yes, good. It is a gift.
Shedding tears does not necessarily mean something wretched, disdainful, or agonizing. Aside from being the first sign of life, our cries indicate our capacity for sympathy.
The tears we shed during a movie and for what we observe around us must impel us to make our lives and others’ better. They must not just flow down our cheeks to be wiped away and forgotten. Our tears must shake and propel us to do something.
As an employer, my family gave little increases in staff benefits during these difficult times. “You should not have done that, Farah,” said a very shrewd businessman. “Your staff should also bear the brunt of the crisis,” he added.
Such callousness. That was my thought bubble when I heard his remark. How many more hard blows could the poor receive? Isn’t this the time for those with sufficient or more resources to cushion the impact of COVID on the vulnerable underprivileged?
Yes, this is the time we call on those who have a little extra to bear the thousand cuts of these unusual times. The poor have nothing anymore to bleed. These are the times when we check where our heart lies. Let us shed tears, be generous, and bring back our humanity.
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