Reason To Believe










With the advent of social media we often read or hear about  sons or daughters garnering the highest honors and grades despite the poor economic condition of the family, a father working as a janitor, laborer or street sweeper or a mother doing the neighbors’ laundry supporting her children to school. Presumably, sufficient financial support to buy books and supplies equates good education. However, despite the odds  the utmost dreams of parents for  good education to a secured future  is now possible through the children. A good education as an investment was an opportunity some parents never had.

It was different with my mother. She pushes us into it subtly and without us knowing it. Because we change residence almost every year, we also change school every year. Most public schools entertain transferees a week after regular registration period.  That’s why each school year, I always make a dramatic entrance, as a transferee I register late, when all the kids are settled and seated on their chairs, when all the teachers have started with their first lessons, then here I come with my mother introducing me to my teacher. I would be  walking in front of my classmates with full pride and ego,  all eyes glued on me. Perhaps this yearly event  gave me self confidence, I was never shy nor timid in front of an audience.

Thus, as soon as I am shown  my seat,  my mother engages in a conversation with my teacher and most of the time it would be a monologue of superlatives how good and smart I am based on my performance from my last school. A brain only a mother could love. This forewarning compensates for my being late,  making sure that I am accepted and will be treated fairly.

This conversation at times is a bit embarassing and exaggerated, I wish she just leaves right away.  But these words coming from her  has  set the tone for my student life. There was a need to live up with all these expectations for the sake of my mothers’ words.   I have to study harder and raise my hands when a teacher asks a question.

Although I never took home medals and awards, I did good enough. I made history or my parents, rather.  It was easy to be smart and good, the hardest part is staying there. I cannot rest on my parents’ laurels.  Its time for me to find my own laurels.

The more I remember my mother saying I was smart or good, the more I felt those words putting me in a can, limiting my capacity. I become claustrophobic and imprisoned, I was trying to catch my breath. Those words pressured me to act  with common standards. It is telling me to do what everyone else does. And sometimes what everyone does are just enough to get by.

That’s when I decided I want to get out and be free.  Perhaps my mothers’ words  took a new and different meaning through the years. I didn’t want to get by. It wasn’t the financial or economic reward later in life, I am sure of that. We were never taught about money being the source of happines.

And those words instead found me writing. This new career  may not give me a mansion, but this may be part of what my mother used to say about me.

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