I admire how Filipinos are forgiving, trusting, loyal, prayerful, hopeful and ever willing to give people chances.
The problem is, others take advantage of us and we end up victims of our traits and co-authors of our sad fate.
We get romanced by beautiful words; we rely too much on blind faith; we lose our common sense; we stop thinking outside the party colour; we fight for and invest all our trust on one person/party/entity instead of the truth – committing our loyalty to them instead of our people/country. We turn ourselves into fanatics instead of citizens
It’s no longer about giving others a “fair go” but about protecting own’s ego.
It’s no longer about prioritising unity but the endless exchanges of profanity.
It’s no longer about celebrating the values of self-disciple, respect and honesty.
Now, others think it’s ones right to impose their own “truth” and behave like a bully.
People these days feel entitled instead of appreciating hard work and being able.
I miss the time when gentlemen strived for excellence and politicians had no need for spending large sums of money for campaigning, and to delve into an expensive, deceptive and dirty marketing move; where one was compelled to hire strategists, media PR, trolls, package the candidate, create songs, and hit the opponents below the belt just to look good.
I miss the time when a man’s word was powerful and valuable enough to be a trade off for returned trust. Nowadays, we don’t even know who to approach because every one is busy pointing fingers, some suffering from selective amnesia and others drowning in their verbal diarrhoea of lies and double standards.
I miss the time when people were courteous with one another, when children were inspired by the words that came out of our leader’s mouth and where citizens were encouraged to unite and exercise traditions and customs that set us apart like “bayanihan”, “mano po”, etc. These days, we cringe at what comes out of the their mouth, questioning what happened to protecting our Filipino values and celebrating our unique traits?
We used to live in a society inspired by Rizal, Magsaysay, eloquent idealists, heroes and poets but it seems our love affair with ideology and freethinking have been replaced by idolatry or idol-ogy — a fanatic movement where one embraces the ideas of a person, no matter how twisted they are.
We now live in an era where drama, reality TV and bullying is a norm — it would seem that the rise of social media and The Kardashians, The Real Housewives, Jerry Springer, etc have contributed to the decline of human decency.
People desire progress and change; and that is great as long as we are prepared to be consistent, patient and strong enough to resist the temptation of sacrificing our core values. Because progress should not spell “settling for the comfortable or acceptable”, it’s an eternal commitment to excellence and accountability.
God, the supreme leader of all, commanded us to love one another and defined it in I Corinthians 13:4 – that we practice kindness. That love does not boast, dishonour others or delight in evil. That love is not proud, self-seeking and easily angered but rejoices with the truth.
Our great philosophers Plato and Aristotle identified the importance of moral compass (knowing he difference between the good and the bad) hence both played a crucial role in the development of ethics for a progressive society. Plato suggested four virtues: wisdom, courage, justice and temperance while Aristotle agreed and added generosity, truthfulness, friendliness and prudence.
Their studies led to the conclusion that “BEING GOOD IS A CHOICE” which raised the question “HOW SHALL WE LIVE?” And a possible answer could be by being good, instead of by doing good. The outcome of such a notion was the beginning of building an ethical system.
I could not imagine a society without laws, virtues, principles and code of conduct. Many people fought for rights, equality and inclusion that cover disability, race, religion, bullying, safety, harassment and more.
Each one of us has the moral obligation to preserve, at the very least, the philosophy of kindness, honesty and human dignity.
Constantly making excuses for bad manners is NOT a progressive change we need but an indicator of weakness such as lack of self-discipline and poor judgment. In this millennium leaders need to be the exemplary mentors not the primary violators of these virtues.
As Aristotle once said, “Quality is not an act, it is a habit. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but [also] a habit.”
Other post/s by Bless Salonga
- Random thoughts on Philippine heart-breaking news - July 23rd, 2016
- PCC Had A Ball With Bayanihan Splendour - June 25th, 2016
- Jovito Reyes Salonga: Embracing His Vision and Inspiration - June 3rd, 2016
- Marcos Sets Records - June 3rd, 2016
- Does the Philippines need a faith healer? - May 4th, 2016