Be unitive, not
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
July 2, 2020
I DIDNíT realize that a
joke video I shared sometime ago on social media would resonate with
so many people. It was about a fellow who wondered why a wife rushed
to cremate her husband when he only started to have a fever.
Some people told me that
with couples under lockdown, some tension and conflict become
unavoidable. ďThey know that their commitment to each other,Ē
someone told me in jest, ďshould be Ďtill death do us part.í But it
should not be 24/7 that they be together.Ē
Indeed, itís undeniable
that seeing each other the whole day, let alone, for an indefinite
number of days, can create friction. We are all notorious for that.
We seem helpless before that tendency. But itís a challenge we have
to face and learn to handle well. And the current quarantine
dispensation is a good occasion to do that. We actually have a
golden opportunity in our hands to learn something very precious.
I was just both amused and
disturbed that in the social media these days, some funny conflicts
and useless squabbling over unimportant matters are playing out. A
young doctor, for example, bashes a public official over a matter of
prudence about what proper steps and measures are supposed to be
taken regarding our protection from the Covid, triggering a chain of
similar reactions. And things like this seem to be sprouting in many
It cannot be denied that
all this can be an effect of the unfamiliar and uncomfortable
situation brought about by this quarantine thing. People become
irritable. Egos get easily rubbed, especially if thereís some public
image to protect and project. Patience gets over-stretched and
becomes a costly commodity.
To a third party quite
detached from the issues involved, it is clear that everyone has a
point, except that the tone and manner of presenting and reacting to
things get exaggerated. One overreacts to a view expressed by
another person, and the person also overreacts in response. Itís
like the Law of Talion being played out, and before you know it you
have an explosive situation over something that is really nothing.
We have to learn to calm
down, respecting each otherís opinions. We cannot avoid differences.
Thatís part of being human. But letís not forget that at the end of
the day we all are in the same boat. We have to care for one
another. We float or sink depending on how we behave toward each
When we are sober, keeping
our emotions under control, we can actually sort out our differences
quite well. And even in those instances when our differences cannot
be reconciled, we can always manage to disagree in an agreeable
Letís make use of this
Covid-caused quarantine lifestyle to learn to be more patient, more
understanding and caring towards others. Yes, letís learn to be more
humble, because all this useless quarrels are at bottom a matter of
pride and vanity.
Letís learn how not to get
tired seeing the same faces the whole day. In fact, letís be
accepting of everybody, regardless of how one is, warts and all.
Never allow critical thoughts and grudges to stay long in us. On the
contrary, letís be ever creative and inventive in showing our love,
concern, affection for everybody, being quick to understand and to
When we notice that we
want to distance ourselves from someone, then it is a clear sign
that we have a problem, and that problem has to be solved with Godís
grace and our effort.
The same attitude should
be kept when we are in some public discussion or engagement. We have
to be careful with our emotions, and letís see to it that our
humility is kept strong and vibrant especially when we are
misunderstood or mistreated.
Our foremost concern is
that we foster unity always, never allowing any signs of
divisiveness to creep in, as much as possible!