A PSN Lenten retreat, Part 4

BY AND LARGE, I am pretty stubborn.

Because I do not concern myself with trivial and petty things, I can be pretty insistent on what I want.

Because I think like God, I know that what I feel strongly about is necessarily important.

And so I am purposive in everything that I do.

And so it seems that I always get what I want.

And so it seems I get everything exactly as I want them.

Or, I get away with everything.

*

Some people call my character just plain Stubbornness.

Others call it Courage.

Because it really does need courage and bravery to stick with your ideas in a world that more often says No than Yes.

It takes courage to do what is good.

Do what is right.

What is godly. Just. Truthful.

It takes a lot of courage to do what is right, and face rejection and disapproval.

*

I think of myself as a people pleaser.

But only if people are pleased with the things that I do.

If you like my kind of writing in the newspaper, I give you more of it.

I sort of think that I please you by doing what I do best.

But if you think that my writing is crappy, f*ck you!

Stop reading me.

Because I won’t change my style just to please you.

*

Which is to say, I stop being a people pleaser when people turn out to be complete assholes.

I won’t change the color of my hair to just please you.

I will write the way I do because I know what I am doing.

I am stubborn that way.

I am brave and courageous to think that I still serve some purpose even if my readers finally decide to reject and abandon me.

This courage, if you are smart like me, you would recognize as Fortitude, fortitudo.

*

Fortitude means courage in pain or adversity.

The word’s origin is Middle English.

Via French.

From Latin fortitudo.

From fortismeaning “strong”.

Which, of course, is the very essence of Peter Solis Nery standing strong despite adversity.

*

For almost two decades now, my newspaper writing has been criticized for its outlandish style and grand positioning.

Not a few readers have called me crazy, egotistical, delusional, self-aggrandizing.

And yet, and yet, I have remained strong, and survived my detractors year after year.

And year after year, season after season, my critics fall like dead flies by the wayside.

And with my stubborn fortitude, I forge on to be a writing icon who continues to intellectually stimulate the intellectual lot.

And only the intellectual lot.

Because I truly irritate the arrogant ignoramuses.

*

So yes, I got that fortitude.

And I can afford such fortitude because I know that I also comfort the afflicted, and disturb the comfortable when I write the way I do.

Although in my case, I mostly just entertain the afflicted, and inflict serious ego injuries to those superficial people who think that they should be in the newspaper stories instead of me.

In truth, there are no real adversaries for me.

But some people cannot stand that I am hailed as a hero, and not them.

Some people are not happy that I upstage them by just being me.

*

So, this is also my spiritual fortitudo:

I endeavor to entertain people, to make them laugh and smile, because I believe it is my calling to comfort those who mourn in this, our modern, world.

I feel that it is my unique and singular duty to entertain people with my writing because there is so much sad, and bad, news in the world we live in.

There is so much opinionated, and adulterated, opinions passed around like gospel truths.

Well, I am a humorist.

*

I am a selfless humorist.

Because most often, I make people laugh at the expense of myself.

But I am okay with that because deep in my heart this is what I believe in:

Big or small, there is always something we can do to make another person smile.

And I do it with my clever thoughts, stories, poems, and well-chosen words.

I string great and silly words to make people think.

And if my readers are honest, if they don’t have envy for me in their hearts, I can be pretty entertaining.

*

You see, in my most selfish and egocentric writing, the smart people can see that if there is no evil and malice in your heart, you can actually sing praises to yourself.

You can show love and compassion to yourself.

You can encourage and empower yourself.

Especially that the world is out to bring you down at every step of the way.

*

My late father used to criticize me for blowing my own horn too much, and too often.

He was a miserable man.

But in his old age, just years before he died, he realized that I was a good person because I do not hurt anybody when I blow my own horn.

I would think he even thought that I was a better person than he because I do not shut down anybody who wants to blow his own horn.

Well, I think that I am a great person because not only do I not hurt anybody, nor do I rain on their parade, I actually inspire and empower them to start blowing their own horns, and march their own parades.

*

I do what I do, and I stubbornly do what I do because nobody else does what I do best.

Nobody has the balls to be like Peter Solis Nery in the Ilonggo newspaper.

Nobody has the courage to face rejection, ridicule, and criticism in the degree of bravery and heroism that I have.

Nobody has my fortitudo.

Because nobody has my confident knowledge that I am doing God’s work of consoling God’s suffering people through my funny, irreverent writing.

*

People think that to do God’s work, one has to be grave and morose.

They cannot imagine a Laughing Christ.

F*ck these joyless Christians!

I am a humorist.

I am funny.

And I have Love and Joy in my heart. ([email protected]/PN)

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