i think i never really told you the frequent cause of my depression last year. twas because i had the gall to build a house for my parents, out of, brace yourself - my savings alone. i know, stupid, financial suicide. i was proud, we didn't have land title, so can't loan because no collateral. i managed to make ends meet. i can say i survived, battered and all. but that's not the reason for this post.
as part of the house interior finishing, we agreed on re-varnishing our narra dining set with light brown color. i figured we'd just varnish it with colorless kind (same with colorless nail polish). that was morning before i went to work. night time i got home and lo and behold! our dining set are all looking shiny and very dark brown!
i asked mom what happened. i thought we agreed on the shade already. she said, "yeah. saw that too. but then "sayang" naman ang varnish. P300 ($6) din yun. so we went ahead with it."
hayy... what is more "sayang", the P300 varnish or the years of eating at the wrong dining set color, staring, gulping at our bad choice? my chest was on a revolution.
often, in our quest for practicality, we do the unforgivable sin to ourselves, we settle. because it's "sayang naman". why is something that doesn't make us really happy "sayang"? what is so "sayang" with second best? this mentality bewilders me no end. where is the self-sacrificing, masochistic culture of "maraming masasaktan pag ginawa ko to" - "ako na lang magdusa wag lang sila -"pwede na to" stem from? genes? heroism? altruism? or is it from fear? fear of change, fear of admitting a mistake, fear of starting over. fear of confronting the truth and the consequences?
there's a study in the 1960s at the University of Pennsylvania where they researched on the effect of fear on behavior. they put dogs in chambers and gave them electric shocks. some dogs had no route of escape, but others could run safely to the other side. then all the dogs were put in chambers where they could escape. a funny thing happened. the dogs who had no escape route the first time did not behave as expected. instead of running to the other side of the chamber, they lay passively and endured the shocks. why did they not escape when they could? graduate student martin seligman, an esteemed psychologist, concluded that the dogs had learned to be helpless. ouch.
i am not helpless and i am not about to start learning it. and even if i did, i will do my best to un-learn it even if all my hair turn gray from doing so. plus, mygod! am afraid of electric shocks!!! i'd like to believe we are more evolved than that. so, this weekend, when i feel better and my flu is gone, am gonna raise my sleeves and be busy scrubbing off the wrong mentality/behavior of learned helplessness in the house and re-varnish our dining set. =)