The Goodluck of Right Now

Our Mantra

Maaño, Pauline R.

ABM 11

           “When something bad happens to us, something good happens—often to someone else.” this has became Bartholomew’s mom’s mantra. Bartholomew tells us that his mom “could make small things seem miraculous” which was true as we read the novel. His mom’s mantra really has an effective power on how they cope up on their lives. On the beginning of the novel, Bartholomew has just lost his mother, and although he’s handling the situation well, everyone showed concern for his emotional well-being. Yes, we could say that he was depressed by the sudden situation but that just was normal for a person who was grieving. Perhaps, Bartholomew just needs a time to heal and a friend to cope up with.

            Bartholomew used to pretend a lot and it seems normal to him to do the latter. He admits that “pretending has always been easy for me. I have pretended my entire life.” Pretending has always been a coping mechanism for some people to escape their current problems. Bartholomew starts pretending when his mom was being infected by the vicious cancer cells. His mom always called him “Richard” in which he thought of “Richard Gere”, the favorite actor of his mom. It was kind of sad that his mom always called him Richard and could hardly remember his real name, Bartholomew. He pretends that he was strong and was confident but in reality, he was no one, a letdown, has a low self-esteem, a worthless man, was no Richard Gere and never in a million years would be. Pretending can actually help us in many ways. Just like what I’ve read from a social media, it states “fake it, ‘til you made it.” Bartholomew was good in contradicting the situations. He was the total opposite of his mom which was optimistic enough to see the good in everything. Sadly, people tend to focus too much on the negatives that they often forget the positives. We should teach to love ourselves, to not be cruel on the situation, and to believe that there’s always something good in everyone and everything. It is always love that is greater than anything else. If we start to act, and love what we do for who we are, we started to see things differently as we did before. Each of us has able to experience shortcomings because, obviously, it is inevitable. However, we shouldn’t see these as destruction, but a motivation to regain and rebuild ourselves again into whole, stronger, human being.

          Bartholomew’s mother being a Pollyanna really helped them in so many plausible ways. Her mouth and mind saying good things and believing that somehow it will happen helps her and her son to see things optimistically and to cope up with their lives even though it was a mess. And that is reality. No one is in charge of it. All we have to do was to accept it, our fate. Reality is the truth without the biased view of anyone. Albeit we cannot control or manipulate reality, we can create our OWN reality. If we believe on ourselves, that we are capable to do something, we could create a better and greater reality for ourselves. There would be times that reality on life won’t just happen the way we expect it to be. However, being surrounded by the people you love, giving and receiving love, would be much more satisfying than contemplating about realities. Right now is reality. And taking this perfect moment of right now is such an opportunity of us to begin and start off better.

           Bartholomew Neil fears he was a failure because he thought that he wasted his life doing nothing but to live with his mom. Our society nowadays determined success such as being rich and educated or having a diploma. However, Bartholomew has long been dependent to his mom all his life. When his mother died, he started to write to Richard Gere because he thought that they are one back when his mom called him Richard. He tells Richard everything that happened to him whether was it bad or good. Richard would knew him too well if ever he was reading Bartholomew’s letter, which was obviously did not happen. Bartholomew once said that Richard Gere is the only one person who knew him more than his mom. Richard Gere actually helped Bartholomew in a way no one can, without even trying. He was Bartholomew’s confidant. Little did he know, at the end of the novel, it was not “Richard Gere” whom his mom referring to when she was ill. It was his dad, Richard McNamee. If we ever need someone to talk to, just like what Bartholomew did when he decided to send letters to Richard, we can always have alternatives and not stick with the “not real person.” Find someone whom you can talk to freely and comfortably. Being open is such a great relief when you are feeling depressed. Or you can seek the church and read the words of God because he knew better. Better than anyone. The best listener and the greatest adviser of all time.

           When his mother died, and everyone was concerned, Father McNamee assigned Wendy to be his grief counselor. Wendy then told Bartholomew that he was “emotionally disturbed” from having a “codependent relationship.” Bartholomew’s mom raised him well with a good heart, but she also held him back. She let her son to depend on her on daily basis. She did not let him bloom in his own. Bartholomew grew as a loving man who was religious enough to attend mass regularly. But all of these results of Bartholomew’s biggest adjustment because all of his life, he solely used to take care and live with his mom which he was dependent on. Wendy, after weeks of being a therapist, she decided to quit because she considered herself as a failure, that she would not be an effective therapist to help Bartholomew over his grief as she has a lot of personal problems to deal with, that instead of helping him, it seems that the table had turned and Bartholomew had to help her instead. Bartholomew started to attend a group counseling that Wendy advise him. He was grouped with Max who was also grieving over his pet, Alice. He then discovered that the Girlbrarian, Elizabeth, the girl he always see at the library, the girl he could stare for hours, was Max’s sister. He got delighted by the possibility that he could know the Girlbrarian better. At the end, the three of them being fated to found each other, having different experiences but were able to relate to one another, became family and started a new life. As a Christian, I do believe that God has a plan for all of us. Something we deserved. We just have to wait and be patient for something better is about to turn our lives.

       Father McNamee defrocked himself from the church he was in after Bartholomew’s mom died. Maybe he cannot deal with depression he was feeling and guilt for having an affair on Bartholomew’s mom. He lived with Bartholomew, or perhaps, he felt obliged to do so as he was the father of him which they kept long ago. Father decided to have a trip to Canada with Bartholomew for him to meet his dad, (which is Father McNamee himself), which he thought was dead long ago. So it confused Bartholomew on what he should feel about this. They went to Canada together with Elizabeth and Max. Before they enter, a Canadian border asked them question such as where are you going? What do you do for a living? Business or pleasure? These questions made Bartholomew anxious and he thought “are those type of questions able to define us as people— measure our worth, our goodness, and whether or not we are safe visitors?” These questions do not actually matter because people can easily manipulate the answers by telling lies. One does not define by the questions thrown at them. You should define a person base on her character, her merit, how they behave, and how they see things perceptively.

           The Good Luck of Right Now is about how optimistic, resilient, and persuasive the characters are in a way that you, also, would gain optimism while reading the novel when you came to realize how resilient Bartholomew had become at the end.


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