When would you call an act courageous and when would you call it stupid?
Let me tell you a story that has been handed down in my family for generations. People who hear it today have different reactions. Let me know yours.
What happened took place in the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation in World War II. My grandfather, Marcial, was a young man then who had a family of his own. His wife and children lived in a small house.
One day, a friend came to visit Marcial. It so happened that he was still out on errands. His wife told their visitor that Marcial was expected to return in a little while and so the visitor just decided to wait for him.
Suddenly Japanese soldiers barged into the house. There was a lot of commotion. They were apparently capturing all the fathers in the neighborhood. Since the visitor was the only man in Marcial’s home at that time, they thought that he was the head of the household and so they took him.
Marcial returned home soon after and his wife told him what had happened. His wife was trembling. Children were crying. Everyone was afraid of the Japanese. Simeon decided that it was not right that a guest in his own home who deserved his hospitality should take his place in danger. Despite his wife’s and children’s pleas, he immediately left the house again to run after the soldiers and his visitor in order to tell them that they’ve captured the wrong man.
My mother told me that his family never saw my grandfather nor his guest ever again since then.
So, what do you think?
My grandfather is not known by many. He is neither known as a legend nor a hero. He is just one of the many victims of war in our country’s history, but his story was passed on by my grandmother to my mother and then to me. I have told this story to younger relatives. Some admire my grandfather for his courage. Others criticize him for leaving his family. What do you think, is this a story of virtue or imprudence?