Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Books We Read

   It’s not the tragedies we suffered, not the movies we loved, not the association of different communities that made us who or what we are today.  It’s the books we read that shaped our minds, honed our hearts and charted our future.  

In the late 60’s I read:

The Revolt of the Masses: The Story of Bonifacio and the Katipunan
by Teodoro Agoncillo

Struggle for National Democracy
by Jose Maria Sison

1. Quotations, 2.On Contradiction and
3. Selected Military Writings
All by Mao Tse-Tung

How the books changed me:

   I learned how Bonifacio’s revolution was thwarted.  I joined a nationalist student organization

   I saw firsthand the poverty of the masses by going to the slums and poor urban communities and countryside peasantry.

   I ran away from home and quit college to be a full time underground political activist.  I married a comrade.  

In the 70’s I read:

The Cinderella Complex: Women’s Hidden Fear of Independence
by Colette Dowling

The Assertive Woman by Nancy Austin and Stanlee Phelps

The New Executive Woman
by Marcille Williams

How the books changed me:

   I left my first husband because he refused to take me with him to the countryside like he used to.  He said it was for my safety.  I remarried.

   When my second husband saw what I was reading, he commented,  “Really?! You need assertiveness?!” He was being sarcastic.

   I joined and committed to the unorganized, disunited, exploited working class I fought to uplift. 

   In the 80’s I studied the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses.  If the order of the books were reversed, if I studied the Bible in the 60s, I would not have left my first husband. 

   “A wife is bound as long as her husband is alive. But if her husband should fall asleep in death, she is free to be married to whomever she wants, only in the Lord. But in my opinion, she is happier if she remains as she is; and I certainly think I also have God’s spirit.” (1 Corinthians 7:39-40)

   Paul says he’s got God’s spirit in saying so.  Jehovah’s spirit can’t be wrong.  I was never again as happy as I was with my first husband.

See also:

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