I have this really strict professor who, at the start of the semester, made us answer why we're in law school. Session after session, palapit na nang palapit ang turn ko to recite. I didn't have a decent answer. In fact, I was so sure I was going to make passing the exam an excuse.
It was during a private consultation with her that she finally asked me: so why are you here in law school?
I didn't know what got into me, but started spouting words that I guessed had always been in my subconscious all along.
I told her I was frustrated with how I see so many injustices, both within and beyond my areas of concern, that I couldn't just stop at knowing them. In fact, knowing these injustices made me hurt even more: it's in knowing and literally being powerless to do anything that you find yourself even more tortured. I explained how I couldn't believe our judicial system would allow private and closed lobbying at the expense of the oppressed. Or how all the other areas in the Philippines are backwards in terms of education, communication, technology, and business despite our country's potential.
She smiled. That smile meant so much to me. It was so much more than my first moment of redemption in law school. It was an affirmation of what even I didn't know about myself.
When I got home, I resigned from all my freelance jobs that paid me so much more than the regular Filipino wage earner. And then, for the first time, I hit the books without reluctance.