Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Few Good Men

Dearest Rosa,

I am very blessed to have you. After all these years of ups and downs, you are still the steadfast one to remain with me. You are but a piece of paper waiting to be inked out with letters yet you have made extraordinary things for me. I couldn’t count them anymore; you have given me much. But where’s Mr. Justice? I have forsaken you for some time despite everything. I am sorry.

But perhaps you’ll understand my schedule now and will still listen to me attentively. I have a family now, a baby’s coming up – hope she’s as pretty as her mom- and a lot of fatherly obligations that I have to fulfill. You don’t know how hard it is to be a father who tries to adjust to a different perspective in life, do you? Transition period can be tedious and you need a solid arm to push through. Nonetheless, it is still rewarding.

OK. Now, Listen.

Yesterday, while I was alone in the front tower with my underclass (both armed with lethal weapons) looking over a group of prisoners doing their garden plots, I couldn’t help but think how it is to be a prisoner? Will I be an obedient one or will I be one of the common hardheaded men discarded by society? It’s one of the questions that I always ask myself. While there is sheer pleasure in knowing that I am luckier enough in life to have freedom bounded by law, I cannot evade the thought that these men might be happier than I am. Some of them had already accepted their lots and try to live them out. For an ambitious man like me, I deem this impossible. But I could not deny that only those who knew they were wrong are the ones bound to accept the tragedies in life, of how cruel fate could be and how delightful it might turn out if you they are able to deal with it. In this case I guess, they are saved by grace that leads to their fate of eternal happiness. Ah! Yes, they are better than I am.

Take the example of one of the closest I have in prison, Teddy (not his real name). He was alleged for homicide after defending his family from the insurgents who tried to rob their homes of food. Being a father of three, he couldn’t bear to watch his children starve so he had no choice but to fight back. Since he is in better position, he had a better chance of striking his enemy. He shot them one by one with his pistol hidden under their table. Three fell, two escaped. Those three pleaded for his mercy and even apologized till their last breath. The others who escaped were the ones responsible for committing him in prison.

Right now, Teddy serves his second year of sentence. He isn’t like the rest of his company because he takes pride in what he did although he accepts that this is his tragic fate. He is still hopeful though to be released someday. For the mean time, while waiting for the final verdict, he immerses himself in the Bible to clean his thoughts, all for his wife and children.

Something telling me Rosa that this man can be better than I am. In fact, he did the right thing in one angle. He loved his family and sacrificed much for them. However, some would ask, if he was a good man why risk his luck in prison? Why did he not just leave the bandits on their business? And if he was a good man, where is he now to support his family? These questions are morally relevant. But in an instance when one is confronted with the desire to protect his family from being bullied by bandits, would you think you can develop a sound judgment? When gun barrels are directly pointed to your wife and children, would you not react? Ah! foolish he may be, but he alone had the courage to take a stand to what he believed to be moral.

Man like him crosses my path each day – some of them smiling, often pouting. I cannot blame them for I do not know how they feel. What is my business with them anyway? After all they are prisoners and I am to be respected for my position as their guard. But what I always forget is these men are “humans” – just like us, they breathe, they die. Just like us, they remain to be respected and treated well. There are so many Teddys in our society and we can never tell, they might be Better than us.

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