Tuesday, November 15, 2005

On a clear day, you could see forever...

The second semester is up and running. I barely enjoyed the semestral break. Boy oh boy! Still got no time for myself (as usual), and it does suffice that I had this few stolen minutes to write this sorta’ entry.

Recently I was invited as a panel of reactor in a Bioethics seminar sponsored by the College. Public speaking isn’t my forte. I would have preferred prepared, written, planned speeches than spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment reactions about topics I knew nothing of. Having two (2) very distinguished speakers in the field of Medical Ethics and Clinical Psychology (as the main speakers), tens of Professors and Clinical Instructors who I adore and respect so much, hundreds of students and colleagues listening to my ranting, the Dean and the Assistant Dean of the College, with the presence of my hypercritical Religious Adviser—and with less than 5 minutes to integrate the 4-hour-long talk into forming coherent words and sentences—everything seems to be a blur, a cerebral frenzy, and an intellectual disarray.

To add to the insult, the topic of the seminar is one I abhor and detest. It’s not a nursing/medical breakthrough. Nor a clinical update. Not even a career path consultation. It’s something that is beyond my capability and powers as a person. Somewhat bioethical, yet purely exasperating…

The topic? “Love and Sexuality in a World of Diversity.”

It is a torture. No! Probably more of a personal attack.

The first speaker talks about the “Psychosexual Dimension of Human Personality.” Freudian associations and fixations is the gist. Issues of homosexuality, pornography, and sexual perversions are discussed as deviations from normalcy. The second speaker discussed “Dehumanizing Human Love and Sexuality” and focused on masturbation, homosexuality (again), fornication, same-sex marriages, and thousandloads of sexual stuffs all integrated in a talk that all I am hearing are the words “hell,” “abomination,” “abnormal,” “immoral,” and many others I can no longer recall and have no plans of doing so.

What in this world have I done to suffer all of these pains and tortures?

As if hearing all the judgments and prejudices aren’t hurtful enough, I am supposed to react constructively to this speech? What am I thinking when a good professor asked me to make a speech regarding this topic and accepted it after some serious deliberations? Saying something unconstructive about the topic will only mean one thing—personal DOOM (and to tell you, damnation is what my professors practice best).

Armed with my usual self-confidence, pink long-sleeves polo, periwinkle tie and charcoal trousers, I relayed my speech calmly, still with a lot of nerves, but not an idea out of place. Everything I said is within the limits of morality and decency. Though I mispronounced a word or two, the thought of my speech is fantastic. No, fantastic is an understatement. Fabulous and perfection are the words I prefer to use. Never in my life have I imagined speaking such words with grace and composure. Perhaps, the speech might have been instrumental in my self-expression as a human sexual person. Then suddenly, it’s not that bad at all.

The following is my truncated speech (taken from several resource off books, Web, citations, and speeches):

“The development of a healthy and mature understanding of sexuality is a necessary element to growth in wisdom and grace. Without a proper appreciation of sexuality individuals may be kept from healthy development of self and/or accepting the responsibility that goes along with the gift of sexuality. Sexuality serves the development of human persons by calling us to full openness of being, to a continued discovery and expression of each person’s unique self.

“Human sexuality is that way of being in, and relating to, the world as a person. A true integration of sexuality is a continuing process, as Mr. *** said, as its development starts from infancy and is a dynamic process up until our adulthood. Sexuality is a drive that permeates as well as influences every aspect of an individual’s life. In other words, sexuality is a dimension of a total person.

“It is vital to understand the tension between understanding Sexuality as Bad/Burden, and Sexuality as Good/Blessing. Sexuality can be destructive, abusive, exploitative and dehumanizing. It can also be creative, passionate, freeing, mutual, and loving. The truth of sexuality is that it has the potential to be a destructive power or a creative power. A progressing sense of sexual maturity ensues when an individual works towards developing a good healthy, realistic sense of self, while also realizing a good healthy realistic sense of others.

“Sexuality is a power which is relational, corresponding to our capacity to love. It reaches beyond self to another. As human beings to give and receive love, to feel love and to express love is innate in our nature. While pleasure may come easy, as Dra. **** said earlier through masturbation, fornication, and loveless sexual acts, there is an emotional aspect that many of us forget. Real love is more a matter of mutual giving than personal gratification. Love is a mysterious, complex and sometimes painful human emotion, where ecstasy comes through personal bonding more than physical stimulation. Future and present trends may well address various physical aspects of human relationships; but I doubt that it will satisfy the longings of our souls.

“Thank you and have a good day.”

The reaction of the audience is sort of a mixed bag. So does the professors (with a lot of blank stares with blunt affects, and some smiles and gestures of encouragement). I have expected this kind of feedback and I am not expecting anything more. To hell are the retorts. I stated my points, they are all mine, nothing more and nothing less, so bear with it.

But what is inspiring that afternoon are the commendations the main speakers told me. “You speak very well, it’s very good” and “What’s your name? I’m looking forward to talk to you soon personally” in verbatim. It was then that everything began to sink in my consciousness. I must be a good speaker, I told myself. And everything becomes lucid Like a clear day, I could well see forever.

What have I learn from the seminar? Just the same old, same old. I’d still prefer to be the stubborn, experimental person who I loved and adored inside-out. Still a person with a lot of dreams of finding my significant other who will stay and fight with my battles. Still a man with an imperfect mind and wishes, living in this world of immorality, inconsistency and flaws. A man who will love and feel. Still imperfect but striving to be pure and happy in this world of “sham, drudgery and broken dreams.” And a lover who would never settle for anything less.

Thank you and have a good day.

The affair was posted as an article from The Varsitarian (released November 25, 2005, page 3). Copies are available at the UST Varsitarian Office.