DEAR READER, I can promise to be candid. However, I cannot be impartial. I think it’s not an opinion when I say that rejection stings, even more so when it’s from your own family. 

Last July, Nonito Donaire Jr. lost to Alejandro Santiago via unanimous decision for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight championship. Donaire, coming off a TKO loss to Naoya Inoue, was looking to make history as the oldest bantamweight champion in history at 40 years of age.  

“The greatness of one’s life and its work may be reflected through the eyes of those who support us.”

To add insult to injury his father Nonito Sr. predicted that his son would lose the bout via KO. This only adds fuel to the longstanding flame as Nonito Sr. who used to train his son now trains “…guys to beat me n teach me a lesson n predict I’m going to get koed just so he can point n laugh.” According to his son.  

Nonito Sr. was in his son’s corner at the start of his rise to fame in 2007 winning the first of his nine world titles. Their union would prove to be turbulent as they would split and reconcile over the years, with their last fight together in 2021. After that, he was replaced by Nonito Jr’s wife, Rachel, as trainer. Shortly after their split, he started training Reymart Gaballo, while calling his son ungrateful. Nonito Jr. had the last laugh then as he defeated Gaballo in convincing fashion to defend his title in the same year. 

Now what am I getting at here? Well, dear reader, as much as there is information out in the open, only the Donaires can patch up things in their family. But what is undeniable is how much it hurts for a child to be rejected by their own family. We’ve all at one point experienced this whether it was a simple thing that they cannot give us or to steer us away from a passion that we loved dearly. 

“Nooit, neen, nimmer” translating from Dutch means “No, nay, never” the words of rejection painter Vincent Van Gogh faced from his family as their growing disapproval of his actions forced him to be estranged with them till his demise, leaving only his brother Theo to support him through thick and thin. If there’s ever a silver lining between their stories it’s that they have a supporter who’s there for them.  

In everything, a supporter is one of the most crucial persosn to have by your side. Whether you’re a painter like Van Gogh, or an athlete like Donaire Jr., you need someone. Besides the recognition, a supporter is validation of yourself. The greatness of one’s life and its work may be reflected through the eyes of those who support us. Though not all of us are blessed to have an unconditional supporter like Theo (Van Gogh), I hope dear reader, we can be the pillar of support for those who need it.  

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