I’ve never really been a soccer fan. Even when there was a World Cup game ongoing at Deluxe a few weekends ago, I was busy tapping my feet waiting for it to end so we can start dancing.
However, no one, not even me, is spared from the disappointing news that French loss to the Italians, especially after Zinedine Zidane head-butted Italy’s Marco Materazzi, causing him to be sent off in extra time and causing Italy’s win via a penalty shootout.
The cause of his bull-oriented act: Repeated harsh insults about Ziddane’s mother and sister.
“I would rather have taken a punch in the jaw than have heard that,” Ziddane told the Canal Plus channel, stressing that Materazzi’s language was “very harsh,” and that he repeated the insults several times. “Above all, I’m human.”
He also said he doesn’t regret his actions, as regretting them would mean Materazzi’s claims were valid.
Which makes me think, who is right, and who is wrong?
The one who provokes, or the one who can’t keep cool and just had to react to that provocation?
“My act is not forgivable,” Zidane said. “But they must also punish the true guilty party, and the guilty party is the one who provokes.”
But how about taking the high road?
Imagine, if Zidane just let it go, kept his cool, and stayed within the game, he probably would’ve helped the French win the World Cup — a spectacular end to his dazzling career. Sure, the insult would’ve been said, but forgotten in the frenzy of a World Cup win!
Eat that, Materazzi! As they say, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but no words will ever hurt me.”
But he didn’t.
He lost his temper… 😦
I remember when I was a child, my father punished us by asking us to raise both hands straight up for hours at a time. Some people would spank their kids or ask them to kneel over rock salt, but no… my father was more original and command us to stand in front of him and raise both hands up — straight up.
Don’t laugh because heck, that starts to hurt after 5 minutes… and we’d sometimes do it 3 hours at a time.
All the while, listening to my dad’s sermon over and over…
My dad can really speak.
He should’ve been a preacher.
I remember when I was around 11, I mistakenly plugged the 110-W air freshener to a 220-W slot, and broke it. God, that was a marathon. We started at 10:30PM and ended close to 3AM.
All the while with my hands up in the air.
But the hands, I can take.
It’s my father’s words that I can’t.
He would call me names, names that I can’t even write down without breaking down.
And they hurt.
Wouldn’t it hurt if your own dad called you names?
It hurts even more because 1) they’re not true at all (and the Libran side of me cannot accept unfair statements) and 2) how can you say that to a preteen?!
I would remain stoic and block my ears to his words, but after over 30 minutes, it would start — my breaking down.
I would cry, and cry and cry. Finally, when the punishment is over, I’d rush to my room, lock the door and cry until my mom comes out to comfort me.
This is what she said: “Dad can say all that bullshit, and only him can only do something like this. Think of him as a training for life. In life, there will be people who will bullshit you. They will say mean things, in front of you and behind your back. But you will be strong, because you have heard the worst that people can ever say to you, and have lived through it. You can handle it better than other people.”
In my tear-stricken face, I’d reply, “But mom, his claims are unfair. I don’t think anybody deserves this type of treatment.”
“That’s right, but your dad is your dad. He will not change and he is like that,” she sighs. “He says hurtful things when he is mad, but he doesn’t mean it. After that, he feels bad anyway, and try to compensates for it. He wll sleep and when he wakes up, he forgets his anger and the fact tha the said all those things to you.”
“But they still hurt,” I cried. “They hurt so badly.”
“Yes, they hurt,” my mom said. “But you have to learn how to let words run off your back because they are NOT true. You have to siphon what is real, and what is just made up in verge of anger. Block what is untrue and learn from what is.”
Sigh, sometimes, I wonder how I end up still being a happy and optimistic person. But I always credit my mom for it. And yes, my quick forgetfulness of my anger, which doesn’t last for more than half a day.
“No one can bullsh*t you as your dad does,” she said. “Take this as a learning experience. Let bullsh*t roll off your back.”
Yes, the words will hurt. We are just human after all.
But in my limited life, I’ve learned that people will talk sh*t about you all the time. They will do it to incite you to anger, to provoke you, and to hurt you. They do it because that’s all they can do, without being arrested. They’ll try to hurt you to the very core.
And no matter what they say, if you react to that provokation, THEY WIN.
Sure, Materazzi probably publicly apologizes for his insults. But inside, don’t you think he’s gloating that his team won, and he was probably instrumental for such a dramatic win?
In the end, he won.
The Italian team won.
So who’s the winner — and who’s the loser?
But it’s not the game, some may see. It’s the principle involved, and honor… if a man badmouths my mom, my child, my wife or whatever… I need to defend their honor and head-butt them!
Yes, but we pick the battles we fight.
Personally, I don’t think what Zidane did was right or wrong. I don’t think he has anything to feel regret about, and his actions weren’t unfounded.
Anybody would’ve reacted the same if somebody probably said, “Your mother’s a whore, go fuck your mother,” or something like that.
But why be like anybody?
Reacting immediately in anger would often cause disasterous results. It cost Zidane and his team the World Cup, and in the real world, it may also cause you to lose your job, lose things you value, be kicked out in a pub, be ostracized in society…
You ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”
If you really think hard about it, most often than not, the answer is: “No.”
So think again, before you decide to react in anger.
Try to keep your cool.
And if you fail, that’s okay… you’re human.
But choose our battle and get them back in another way that’ll hurt.
Ziddane could’ve won the World Cup for France and be set in history.
My dad practically destroyed another guy’s career months after an insult (Okay, so my dad is vengeful).
A friend forced someone who was talking behind his back to quit his job and transfer to another industry because nobody would hire him anymore.
Look, I am not encouraging people to take revenge. But my main point is, if you can, keep your cool.
There’s nothing wrong with losing a battle — but winning the war.
Some rants, just humor me:
* God must really hate me — our PR forum with a confirmed 20 attendees will be postponed due to the impending storm. Damnit!
Since the storm’s coming tonight, guess kitesurfing this weekend is off as well. Double bummer.
* Secondly, just called the Korean embassy. Filipinos need 3 working days to apply for a visa so if I apply today, I can only get it on Tuesday! Goodbye S. Korea weekend! And what’s worse, I can’t do it next weekened cause I already promised DN that I’d be here for our beach outing on the Eastern shores! Boo! Hoo! 😦
Oh well, at least I get to wear my sexy black bikini that I’d been dying to wear!!!
* And despite the typhoon, I betcha that we still have work tomorrow! Groan!!! Someone is really playing jokes on me!!!