The problem with being tagged as “mataray” is that you never seem to get out of it no matter how “good” you try to become.
Or maybe the real problem is- you try so hard to change the way people think of you, not realizing you know yourself better to even succumb to the pressure of change.
I’ve been tagged as such for as long as I can imagine. In fact, I’m yet to meet that one person who would tell me that his or her first impression of me is that I’m kind.
I don’t take pride in being regarded to as “mataray”. It’s not something you get used to and be proud about.
Truth is, it’s difficult to handle it sometimes.
Because there will come a day when you just want to be good, and people will always doubt if you’re being true. Because there will be times you wouldn’t have the energy, the will or the desire to fight back- and people will laugh and say you’re being “mataray” is nothing after all.
But what people don’t understand is that when you start tagging others as bad people- you box them in a way. When you close your mind to thinking that this person will never do you any good just because you heard he or she’s evil- you limit the opportunity to get to know that person.
It’s not really my loss when others refuse to know me beyond the kind of reputation others have been trying so hard to build for myself.
Because I think, that I build my own reputation.
I would admit that I really am “mataray,” but I’m not like that all the time. I wouldn’t deny that I have been bad- but I’m not bad everyday.
And I would say I am tough and brave and I can put you into shame if I wanted to, but there’s always a choice to rise above the pettiness of things.
I can always choose my battles.
When you start to age, it’s somehow imperative to age wiser. Otherwise, there’s no point in growing old if how you look at and how you do things don’t change overtime.
When I was younger, I wouldn’t mind picking a fight with the most famous girls in school. When I became a teenager, I’d spend all my energy dropping hurtful words to people I dislike. And as years went by, I moved on from being talkative when I’m mad- to being quiet and nonchalant.
I wouldn’t say that today, I have matured enough not to pick a fight. I can still choose to call you and hurt you with things I’ll say if I feel you’ve been acting weird and you needed someone frank enough to tell you that. I’m not really two-faced but I can be one if I wanted to.
The problem is, I have realized in life, being “mataray” or trying to be one is not the benchmark of being brave.
Sure we can shout at each other, wash our dirty linen in public. We can do all that, but at the end of it all can you truly say you were right, you were strong- and I was weak and I was wrong?
There’s always a right place and time to be bad- and you don’t learn that overnight.
It has never been my habit to go around telling people I’m good, because I know I’m not.
Well, who among us is entirely good anyway without a little evilness even in our minds?
But yes, I know of people who despite being obviously coward, can go around and say they are nice. Or make themselves appear they are one.
Well, the good thing about being tagged as “mataray,” is that you can be one without even trying. You don’t have to pretend you’re strong enough coz people already think of you as being that. On the other hand, you can also be weak and be made fun of, when others succeed to make you feel inferior at times. Only that in the end, despite being weak- you will always be known as the “mataray” one. You will, in the mind of others, always be the evil one.
Because the society we live in is so immature, that it does not forgive nor forget how they’ve come to know you. And they will refuse to think others may even be worse than you- just because they weren’t tagged negatively in any way.
My Mom told me as early as 2nd grade that I have to learn how to choose my battles. Simply put she said, “anak hindi mo kailangan patulan lahat.”
Coz truth is, while I’m known to be “mataray,” I don’t engage in public scandal. I never had the habit of putting people into shame. It’s not my thing to wash dirty linen in public. I can talk and write things like this for as much as I want- and you can only second guess if I was talking about you. Or if I was even talking about anything specific after all.
I guess what’s pitiful is not the fact that you learned something valuable and true from your mom and put it into action. It’s not pitiful to choose to do what is right.
It’s not pitiful to keep quiet rather than live the next days of your life defending yourself for being loud and well, cheap.
What is pitiful is to see the “good” ones try so hard to make you appear bad, just because they didn’t understand what you truly meant.
What is pitiful is to see the “good” ones try so hard to be an inch like you, to prove something to themselves. What is pitiful are not mothers who have children like me, but mothers who have children pretending to be good in front of them.
The world can say anything about me – and it’s always my choice to act accordingly.
And if it was my choice not to pick a fight with you,
it’s my way of being brave and good- at the right place and time. =)
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