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Friday, September 20, 2019
DAVAO

Lizada: ForgetMeNot

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BELIEVE it or not, there is a member of the X-Men named ForgetMeNot. His special power is that nobody can remember he exists. The only person who knows him is Professor X who places a psychic reminder in his brain to remind him that ForgetMeNot exists.

That power of ForgetMeNot is intriguing. One can even say that it can be both bad and good. Not knowing you can exist can be frightening and yet also liberating. Think about it.

If no one knows you exist can be scary for obvious reasons. You live your life and no one knows you are alive. You would meander through life as some phantom ghost and people will just see through you. Your aches will be your own and your sorrows will be solitary. So will your joys and celebrations. No one knows, only you. No attachments, no promises. The French playwright Honore de Balzac said "Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine." One of the most compelling needs of a person is companionship, the need to be with someone. To share one's existence. To have worth and meaning. And if we follow John Donne, we are not islands. But is that all bad?

It is bliss to be alone. The solitude can be comforting and liberating. No one to bother you, no one to compare yourself to. No jerks to deal with. One thing that I enjoy is having a meal by myself. I look forward to the time I spend alone. I sit and do a crossword or write or listen to music with headphones. The emptiness reveals a lot. Meaning or worth does not depend on the other person. You are your worth. Of course all these things can only be possible if one thing is true. Philosopher Jean Paul Sarte wrote "If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company."

There is the rub. Are you at ease with yourself? Can you be alone but not lonely? Can you wander through a day in some cocoon and still find happiness in that? Can your invisible cloak be a haven? Do you like yourself?

The idea of anonymity can be terrifying but it can also be redeeming. The great thing about being anonymous is invisibility.

In the book Housekeeping, the author Marilynne Robinson wrote "It was a source of both terror and comfort to me then that I often seemed invisible -- incompletely and minimally existent, in fact. It seemed to me that I made no impact on the world, and that in exchange I was privileged to watch it unawares."

Would you choose to be invisible? Do you have the strength to be no one? Can you be a ForgetMeNot?


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