Sometimes, I like to take 2 week breaks from reading political news. Instead of updating myself on so and so scandal, I just carry on with reading business world/mirror, the environment, movies, music, and the rest of non-political culture. Sure the first two have political aspects to them, but reading on employment and energy calm my scientific brain so much more than the bruhahaha of politics. Everyone’s trying to pull each other down in Philippine politics, it makes me sick. To make matters worse, people in power are so dumb at making excuses (wait, there not supposed to make excuses in the first place!), it adds to my daily stress.

Take First Gentleman Mike Arroyo’s health excuses for not showing up to the Senate Inquiry on the World Bank allegations. Evasiveness has always been FG’s strong suite when it comes to controversy. And although respecting another life’s health is also another issue in this matter, what we really need to look at is the endless excuses that have been publicized by the government. Let’s not forget PGMA’s “lapse of judgement.” Such an excuse is so insulting to a brain with the most basic common sense!

But you see, that’s the problem. We put up with these excuses and make so much of our own that it’s become a part of Filipino culture. We don’t know how to own up to our shortcomings and mistakes–instead, we find a way to reason out. Wouldn’t it be more noble for one to have balls/ovaries and own up to the truth?

In school, we’ve all had our own share of excuses from people. As an editor for a publication, all I EVER hear is, majors to study for and papers to write as an excuse for their late submissions. Uhm, gee, I’m a student too, and so are my co-editors. We all have that problem and still, we do our best to get the job done. Case in point, a memorable conversation between probationary staff member Robert* and my art editor (Art Ed is asking why there hasn’t been any output from him):

Robert: I’m so sorry, but I haven’t been resting for the past two weeks.
Art Ed: Excuse me, I haven’t been resting for months.

Tarayness aside, it shouldn’t be about being busier than the other either. You signed up for that responsibility, so own it. It’s not that hard to understand. Reading the political news and hearing details of people’s “busy”-ness makes me realize that the matters at hand are SO SIMPLE, yet the excuses just complicate things. Maybe it’s the way too structured mode of Western thought we’ve fallen for over the years. I really wish we’d get back to our Asian roots, where things are not as pretentious or wordy: Zen is an attitude of directness and simplicity, born of an awareness of one’s own nature. (Graham 1963) And if you want a Christian perspective–ever heard Jesus make any excuses to the Pharisees?

The excuses will always be endless. But saying them and reasoning out won’t get the job done any faster or better. So please, whether you’re in office evading allegations or a student dramatizing his/her academic requirements, don’t forget that there’s still so much to be done. Just admit to your mistake and move forward. It would make you look a lot less stupid too.

*Name has been changed because knowing this person is embarassing enough.


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