This evening I went to a grocery shop just outside the village where I live. It was raining hard and the thunders were roaring like crazy. Thankfully I brought with me my big black umbrella which my mom bought in Baclaran last December. Upon arriving at the store, I put the umbrella in the rack. A lot of the other umbrellas were the smaller and fold-able types. It was only mine and another blue umbrella which were the big ones. And as I am confident that my umbrella was safe in the store’s rack as it always was in the past, I proceed buying groceries without hesitation or what.
After around half an hour of going to and fro the shop, I finally had my groceries: four bottles of 500 ml Coke along with some canned fruits and cereal drinks. As I am shopping in Pasig City, plastic bags were not allowed. So the guy at the counter had to put my groceries in a paper bag. I was a bit worried because it was raining hard that the paper bags might get wet and all my stuffs would spill out.
Thankfully, in my mind, I brought a big umbrella with me.
But when I went to the rack near the door, my umbrella was missing. A few seconds later, a guy put his black umbrella in the rack which I thought he must have mistook my umbrella and returned it. But it appeared that he didn’t because he gave a second look when I took his umbrella and upon closer inspection I realized that it was not mine.
When I realized that my uimbrella was indeed missing. I called the guard of the store. He was quite old. Around his forties or early fifties. But he too was clueless of its whereabouts. Clueless because he spent doing something in the grocery section and was not in his post, which should have been in the front door where the rack was.
The guard spent around five minutes mumbling where my umbrella was. Then there was another five minutes or so of saying this or that costumer might have took my umbrella.
In my head, ‘it was because you’re not in your post that is why you didn’t see who has taken it!’
I must admit that I was about to blow my top at the time. The typical me must have rant and rant for the mishap. But thankfully I didn’t. I was raging mad inside but kept cool on the outside. And thankfully because I refused to speak for a while that I was able to step back and see on top of the situation.
I thought, ‘what was the purpose of staying here if the umbrella could not be retrieved?’
‘Will it do me any good if I get mad at the guard?’
‘Is my 100 pesos umbrella worth the argument that I would put up with him?’
My immediate reaction to those questions was to buy an umbrella and leave. I did ask the guard where to buy an umbrella and he showed me politely what they have. But I didn’t like it cause the design were for girls! So he guided me to a fastfood outlet that was selling an umbrella with the company’s name on it.
He said ‘sir dito ho sa kabila may payong, mura lang ho’. I agreed to go out. But on the way I told him that what happened to me should be a lesson to them. They should have numbers or tags for each umbrella left in the rack as was usually done in many establishments.
So finally I bought the umbrella at the fastfood and left. I should have eaten at that fastfood as planned, but I’m still brewing hot at the time that I had to leave to cool down.
It was when I was already away that I realized that I did the right thing. But laughed at myself for keeping my temper cool more than what I used to.
The incident brought me to the realization that ‘peace’ can’t be done by looking at the injury incurred or the wrong that was done. Rather peace lies in finding a common ground where each and everyone involved can benefit. Where solutions are sought and improvements are thought of.
In the case of my lost umbrella, it was hopefully the improvement in the way umbrellas are left out in the rack that will become our common ground.
However, I also realized that when dealing with a misunderstanding or when we are wronged, it is always good to say things gently, which was exactly the message at the Church service I attended last Sunday. We must remember that we are dealing with people; not animals or machines that can’t be hurt by words.
In fact, if we are gentle and polite enough, we will realize that the people who have wronged us are seeking ways to repair the damage they’ve done. Something which is natural for human beings; for men are naturally inclined to do good.
This realization helped me actualized what I have learned from God’s words. Not that I wanted to boast it. But to just say that we can only made good of the lessons we’ve learned if we practice them in our lives.
It is because in doing not in thinking that good can be done.
So to the person who took my umbrella, I got irritated but I thank you.
I didn’t know that the loss of my umbrella was a blessing in disguise.
Urban Dead (n.d.). Umbrella accessory. Retrieved from http://wiki.urbandead.com/index.php/Umbrella_(Accessory)