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There was this one day in October that my professor told us his life story: about his family, about his situation when he was young, about making his life worth even under so much pressure.

He likes telling us stories about his days when he was still a student, when he started working and meeting people who have helped him get through all the struggles he faced. Well, he really likes making us cry.

That day, he told us about his relationship with his mother. His mother was sick, so even when he was attending college, he had to check her every now and then. He took care of her; made sure she was okay – that her sickness did not get the best of her whole physique. He fed her, bathed her, cleaned her up – and these, sometimes he felt, were unappreciated.

But it was not a problem, because it remained a fact that she was his mother. He knew she loved him; and he loved her, too, very, very much.

I keep on learning so much from my professor: lessons in life, in studying, in love. That particular day, he gave us lessons that are inked in our minds (and these are retained perhaps because most of us cried that day).

He told us that even in the most grieve situations, on days when we are so down and feel tortured (mentally, physically, emotionally), we must not pity ourselves. Pity is the worst feeling we can feel for ourselves. We are so much more than what we feel pity for.

“You should learn how, and when to say ‘No,'” he also said. Most of the time, we find ourselves doing what pleases others, knowing that it could cost us more than what we can offer. Well, that can’t go on. It was hard for him to say no, but he had to (whatever it was). And so it must be the same for us. This decision could change the way some people see us, but this decision will make us stronger. Our no’s will define our strengths; our willingness to prioritize ourselves when we really, really need to.

Then he told us, “You can love a person; though the person may not love you. But you are happy.” Of all the things I learned during the 2-year almost-relationship with a friend, this was the most important. And this will always be important. Explains why we are happy loving people today; people who cannot even look back to see the sincerity in our eyes every time they walk away. #waitsumobrafeelsko

Then he said, “There is beauty in sacrifice.” He retold stories of how he sacrificed and suffered all for his love for his parents. Everyone started tearing up. Every heart started breaking slowly. But he iterated again the point of beauty in sacrifice. It is torture to be unloved; or to be unappreciated; but when we do things in and for love, it is beautiful. It is special; it is important.

And so he ended that day’s discussion by telling us that while our parents, our family, and everyone we love can still understand what we mean to say, we should tell them that we love them – now, now that it isn’t late yet. Let them know the things they may not understand one day – when they grow old, when they get sick, when they can no longer remember, and when we go separate ways.

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