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Are they guilty or not?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

          United States President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly to name his cabinet members this week. The first to be announced is Anthony Blinken to the post of Secretary of State. No, he is not a descendant of the popular grade school rhyme, Wynken, Blinken and Nod. The guy should expect some naughty puns on his name, but who cares? The position he is getting is a very important one, a lot of others would envy him. What’s in a name, anyway?

***

          COVID or  no COVID, the world is still bent on celebrating Christmas, and who can complain? Christmas is the birthday of Jesus Christ and I am sure everybody will be asking from Him the gift of the removal of the coronavirus, or the discovery of a sure cure for it. If everybody prays to the Child Jesus for its end, this pandemic will go away, never to affect the whole world again. Also, we should be proud of our people in our city and province who have been faithfully observing the protocols on mask-wearing that the COVID guru, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says is responsible for the reduction in cases, especially, in places where it is observed.

***

          I was touched by the news report about a man in Taguig, Rizal, who was caught and jailed for stealing diapers and milk from a store. Had he been stealing cash or jewelry, nobody would sympathize with him, but the items he took indicate that he must be a new father who could not afford to procure such needs on his own. I hope some kindhearted people will supply him with such needs and bail him out, or provide legal counsel for him. The man must be a jobless new parent, and the necessity of the item he stole is very obvious.

***

          Somehow, the report reminded me of a poem we were made to memorize and recite in first year high. The title was “Guilty or Not Guilty”, and I am sure many of my classmates still remember it, as I do. It was about a 15-year old girl, who looked as if she were only 10, who had been accused of stealing three loaves of bread from a bakeshop. When the judge asked her to answer if she was guilty or not, she broke into tears and explained that both her parents had died and she had a little brother and a sister who were hungry and asked for something to eat.

***

          Apparently the judge was not stonehearted, and the story ended with His Honor himself leading the child out of the courtroom. But how many similar stories are happening, not only in our country, but throughout the world these days? And with this pandemic still raging, one can only imagine how many orphans it has left, and what is being done for them. Do they, like the girl in the poem, also resort to stealing to feed their siblings? Does our state provide for them, and can they be identified? Think of this when you hear about young boy and girl snatchers, and pick-pockets, and do try to do something about them.

***

          Meanwhile, in the United States that has elected its first woman vice president, – and a woman of color at that – the president-elect Joe Biden, has, even before his inauguration, already started forming a group to work on the COVID pandemic that made their country one of the hardest hit in the world. I bet those who voted for him are happy because he had pounced immediately on their biggest problem, that the incumbent, and now soon-to-be ex-president Donald Trump seems to have ignored. But now he can no longer do that because his own son, Donald Junior, is infected, too.

***

          Isn’t it strange that the United States and the United Kingdom are among the worst-hit by this pandemic? Yes, reports say that vaccines have already been introduced and believed successful, but how can that matter to those already stricken? And will those produced be enough to immunize the entire world population? But perhaps this is only because their media is more efficient in taking records of cases and publishing them. In fact, because of the lack of reports on our side of the world, we do not even know how much damage the virus has done to our populations.

***

          But let us look forward to happier days and remember that Christmas is just about a month away, and let us hope and pray that the Lord Jesus will bless us with good health and protection from this pandemic and any others that may spring up. Let us plead that this will be His Christmas gift to mankind, wherever they may be. Meanwhile, let us focus more on Him this Christmas, and no longer on the celebrations and gift-giving that we have associated with his Holiest day of holidays.*

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