I’ve had 14 years worth of a Catholic education. I’ve lived 21 years of assurance, doubt, going to mass, missing mass, saying prayers too often, saying them too late, and not saying them at all. By normal standards I am not the best Catholic you could come across. But the past years have taught me one important thing about faith and morality—that being a good person is doing the simplest thing.
You see in our country, people are always complaining about the simplest matters. The simplest matters are never done right. You call a company on the phone and the receptionist is not informative at all. You go to a government hospital and they leave you alone to be sick until the doctor shows up. You ask a simple question very politely to a sales lady/information person/guard—and too often, you’ll get a snappy reply.
On a bigger scale, headlines emphasize how certain officials insist on bypassing standard procedures and denying accusation of corruption. Any excuse can be used to avoid investigation or punishment—health problems, house arrest instead of actual jail time, and executive orders. It may be easier said than done, but accounting for your wrong doings instead of avoiding them places more things in perspective and order.
Being too idealistic about transparency and accountancy is not realistic though. These people have already acquired the money and the power. They can get away with sending themselves off to a distant land or even killing their accusers just to move on with their decadent lifestyles. Being selfish and wrongly ambitious may taint your reputation to the thinking Filipino—but those thinking Filipinos are middle class working men, activists, and idealistic youth. What can they do to harm the powerful?
The recent approval of HR 1109 only emphasizes the obvious disregard and selfishness of such powerful officials. I watched the news today, hoping to get an update on it. The media did the right thing though, focusing on more pressing issues, such as the perpetual pathetic state of public education. By highlighting our ever present problems, it shows how unnecessary HR 1109 is. It is not the time to amend our constitution. I understand and see that there are laws which must be changed to fit the generation’s needs (take a look at the laws for women, hello!). But there is an upcoming election, thousands to employ, millions to feed, and millions to educate. The ambush of a constituent assembly does not reassure the rest of the nation of a secure future.
It is rushing into a life changing, long term act without considering the consequences. Considering the consequences of approving HR 1109 was taught in any Christian Living/Ethics/Religion grade school—think about others. Love your neighbour. In high school, we read Rizal and saw how even 2 centuries ago, we still have the same problems. The problems are deep but the solution is simple: Do the right thing. We know what the right thing to do is. Yet money and power makes people believe they can be above the mere mortals of doing what is just. But don’t we all face death, regardless of how much money or power we have yielded? Don’t we die too, despite killing others’ lives or futures for the sake of money or power?