THE RAISED eyebrows, the calculating head-to-toe then toe-to-head eye movement, the smirk, and, of course, the condescending facial expression—it’s the kind of look that a self-proclaimed pro would give a newbie, a look that says “You don’t know what you have gotten yourself into and I would revel in seeing you suffer.”

I know that look because I have given it a couple of times. I have also seen my friends do this, sizing up somebody else and judging the person solely based on what they see. But behind the instances when I threw this intimidating glance at someone, I admit that I also cower under this gaze and I will probably feel that way until someone finds that I am good enough to work with them and for them.

I suppose that we all have to go through this face of being weighed worthy of something. I think of this now more than ever, having just graduated.

Nothing seems more straining than the pressure of finding a decent job, especially when everybody else seems to already have one, or at least scurrying from one company to another in the hopes of getting hired.

I’d like to say the same goes for me, but it’s not. And THE look plays a part in why I happen not to be out there.

Wearing corporate attire while holding your resume warrants a few haughty looks from those already employed, especially from those who think too highly of themselves. It seems that they are belittling you without even saying a word.

For others, however, it’s even worse. Aside from constantly getting THE look, they are being made fun of and sometimes it comes to a point when they mock themselves, ashamed of who they are and what they do.

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Another Easter reflection

This happens because there are people who look down on minimum wage earners a.k.a. the blue collar workers. Those who ridicule people who do manual labor, instantly judging them as belonging to the lower class and therefore, not to be regarded whatsoever. There are those who cringe at the possibility of mingling with them lest they be associated with this kind of people, these “nobody-s.”

What does that say about us as a nation then?

Nothing, I suppose. Because we are not a nation; at least not in the “spiritual” sense. When French philosopher and writer Ernest Renan defined what a nation is, he said that it is “a group of people who decided to live together…had done great things in the past and who wanted to do more in the future.”

We hardly want to “live together” as almost every single one of us hopes to migrate somewhere, someday. We want to leave this forsaken country and find greener pasture anywhere but here.

The “great things” we did in the past like the peaceful EDSA Revolution and the fight for freedom of our heroes died for during the Spanish colonization are just stories of the past, lessons we learn in school and then forget just as soon as we learn about them.

We are like millions of puzzle pieces which cannot be put together because we all like to be bigger picture, nobody wants to just be a piece of the picture.

In the past few years, a few slips and (racist) slurs united us a nation. Who would forget Chip Tsao, that writer from Hong Kong, who said that we are a nation of servants? Or that Desperate Housewives episode where Teri Hatcher’s character Susan Mayer who, while in the middle of a medical consultation, wanted to check the diplomas of her doctors “because I want to make sure that they’re not from some med school in the Philippines.”

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Seremonya ng pagtatapos

We, at least most of us, were outraged and refused to be looked down on by these people. We fought back, defended our people and asked for apologies to be offered. We felt like we do not deserve to be insulted by these people.

Looking at it now, it seems ironic that we fight back when we are being degraded but we shamelessly put down our own people, our own selves, our blood brothers and sisters. We don’t want to be given THE look because we want to be the ones giving it.

In the end, while we are busy looking down on us, the whole world is busy developing themselves, helping their own people and then looking down on us.

1 COMMENT

  1. I like this article – especially this line: We are like millions of puzzle pieces which cannot be put together because we all like to be bigger picture, nobody wants to just be a piece of the picture.

    Well, it’s true, isn’t it? I want to be a ‘bigger picture’ too. Maybe that’s because I grew up in a society wherein many are looked down upon. Naturally, I want to be someone people’d look up to.

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