irrevocable thoughts on irrevocability

have you experienced playing a game of monkey-monkey or tag when you were a kid? or perhaps a game of dama or chess? these are games of extremely different nature, since the first two i mentioned are games of physical activity, while the latter two mainly involve mental pursuits. yet there is a common rule among all four games, that which is called: touch-move.

the touch-move rule reminds me of a term called irrevocability. in legal parlance, when something is irrevocable it means you can never take it back. the word you have given has already been the end all and be all. neither could you do or say something contrary to your original pronouncement (we call that estopped – when you are estopped you are precluded from taking back your words or from doing something contrary to an act you have already done). in other words, when something is pronounced irrevocable, it shall remain that way forever and ever. (unless it is a product of a defective agreement or contract). thus the person who gives his irrevocable consent to an act (or ommission) forever waives his right to take it back.

the thought of irrevocability scares and comforts me at the same time for such a concept has its pro’s and con’s.

wouldn’t it be scary if one gives his consent to a contract that he wasn’t able to give full thought to? (kumbaga, parang improvident plea in crimpro). an irrevocable consent given is scary coz one who gives it has no other recourse but to suffer from the consequences of his original decision. he has no other choice but to go along with the words he was able to spew out. since the agreement has become binding (di mo naman masabing vitiated ang consent), it can never be taken back.

on the other hand, to enter into an irrevocable contract is comforting. in my opinion, it offers protection to the party who is sure that he doesn’t ever want out of the agreement. it provides said party a safety net, a comfort zone, from which he can proceed and perform other obligations and create other contracts, some of which are premised on the one originally created.

so what’s my point in this entire discussion? wla lang. siguro dapat talaga nag-iingat sa mga kontratang pinapasukan. lalo na sa mga commitment na pinag-d-decide-an. maging sa mga salitang binibitawan. tipong say only what you mean, what you could truly commit yourself to doing. take care of what could be impliedly construed through your acts and omissions, as well. and consequently, mean every word that you say.

naisip ko ‘to in the light of people around me who seem to have experienced negative consequences as a result of the commitments they plunged into. and i cite the following as examples of irrevocable commitments (you may not agree with me if you deem that marriage, as a commitment is a revocable one):
1. the other night, we had dinner with a couple who are very close family friends. for the very first time, my tita confided their marital problems to me. (isip ko, before they tied the knot, kinilala kaya muna ng tita ko ang tito ko?)
2. yesterday, i had lunch with my best gal pals in my former job. not having met for quite some time, we talked about a lot of things, and some of our conversation topics touched on the topic of marriage. kasi one of us – not me – is beckoning that stage in life anew. what do i mean? baka mag-remarry sya. and the guy naman has commitment issues – nawa, ma-resolve para happy ending. (isip ko, sa first marriage ng friend ko, she wasn’t able to fully take into consideration her compatibility with her ex-husband. ngayon, i hope she takes into account the 2nd guy’s character, not just his potentials)
3. after lunch naman, ate babes, arlyn and ate alms were asking me about annulment and separation of property nitty-gritties. of course, i was glad and more than willing to answer their Qs. after all, na-r-review din ako sa persons & family relations ko. (of course, i gave this disclaimer na bawal akong magbigay ng legal advice coz i’m not yet a lawyer). basically, some of ’em were having marital disputes and they needed to know what the law had to say on such things (pwede naman yon di ba? parang paralegal churva lang?). (isip ko, lahat ba ng mga kinakasal/sinasakal kaya, naiiisip ba nila ang full implications ng commitments nila? kung ganun, bakit may mga marriages na di nag-w-work-out at hinahanapan na lang ng mga technical defects so they could get out of it? or could it be na talagang merong oversight in such commitments?)

in these cases-in-point, i doubt if these friends of mine ever imagined the sour outcomes of the commitments they plunged themselves into. could it be possible that when those commitments were entered into, consent was given through rose-colored glasses? could it be that they weren’t able to truly reflect on the full implications of their decisions? could it be that they decided only based on emotions? on what seemed to be before them?

the cases i gave are but mere examples of a particular type of irrevocable commitment. i believe they serve as a caveat to me in my own dealings – both on personal and professional levels. in my opinion, no decision is really revocable. with the lapse or passage of time, you can’t just take things or words back. after all, one could never return to the past and undo acts/omissions or un-say what has been said. and even if one could later on say or do something to alter a previous decision, every step already has positive or adverse consequences – consequences that have bearing not just on the life of the ultimate decision-maker, but also on the affairs of those around him. sans, i emphasize the importance of well-thought of choices. i, myself, do not want to decide on things haphazardly. and if in the past, i may have been guilty of such a charge, definitely, i do not want to tread that very same path all over again.

yet how does one strike a balance between decisiveness and impulsiveness? how could one become truly rational while not losing sight of authenticity to emotions? aaaahhh…those indeed are the questions. for devoid of such balance, unless these questions are answered, one would most likely end up experiencing the cons of irrevocability.

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