“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or otherwise he hand you over to the judge.” —Matthew 5:25

“FLIRT” and “cheap”—the stinging descriptions I received back in high school. The transition from an exclusive private girls’ school to a public science high school was difficult for me. I found the girls in public school more mean. There were a few people from the opposite sex who were courting me, and since I didn’t know how to deal with boys, the girls found it appropriate to say in hushed tones, but loud enough so I could hear, that I was easy to get.

I also found the boys rude—lacking all manners of gentleness. I found them rowdy and unscrupulous. They made awful comments about the way I looked and made the class join in taunting me. I was that untidy and self-conscious girl who hid behind her long hair and bangs. “Mahangin ba sa labas?,” they would ask me and laugh at my Tweety-like voice. There was even a time when a boy hit me on the face with a small box of floor wax.

One time, I overheard some of my classmates talking behind my back. They said that I was out of their league and so they would not let me get into their circle. I didn’t know what made them say that but I guess it was the way I dressed or acted that made me earn their disapproval.

Often garbed in eccentric clothes, I would always get snide comments and funny looks because of the way I expressed myself. There were countless times I was driven to tears. In those times I plotted revenge. I planned to leave the place where I grew up and study somewhere else for college. To go where I could change and grow, so I could surprise my classmates when I return. I prayed that they marry early and become unsuccessful so that I could have the last laugh.

Alumni affairs office gets new head

But time softened the pain and dulled my memories. I realized that I was too concerned about what other people thought of me. I was wrong to think that I had always been good and that no one appreciated me; that I was a saint and other people were wicked and rascals.

Seeing myself squarely, I felt remorse over my situation. Because of my narcissism, I harbored my self-pity over the years.

Reflecting on my predicament made me think of Jesus’ parables on forgiveness. Forgive others as God and others have forgiven you. By forgiving, I would be freeing myself from the cycle of hatred and bitterness. If every moment of my life I would suffer from these people, I would cease to grow. I would be singing the same old sad song. If I would demand payment up to the last cent of what had been done to me, then I would be as much accountable to God and to others.

Now, I pursue my studies not only for myself but for my classmates who may need me someday. I do not anymore live according to the principle of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” but according to the law of forgiveness.

Prayer: Dear God, I know I have been wrong in assuming the worst in others. It has blinded me to my own faults and shortcomings. Please remind me always to see the good in other people. Thank you also for the difficult times for it is in those moments when I learned more about myself and my ability to love and forgive. Amen

Cut Benedict XVI some leash

Marianne Clarisse P. Lim is a journalism junior from the Faculty of Arts and Letters.


  1. Very inspiring and right to the point. I pray that GOD will have mercy on me and I too can be forgiven of my sins. Ultimately HE has the last word but in this world I also pray for forgiveness to those I wronged.


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