“Be the change that you want to see in the world.” That is what Mahatma Ghandi reminds us to be. It is ourselves that we should pay attention to. The world follows its natural order. Whatever alteration happens in between, it is all because of us. We cannot expect a peaceful world if within ourselves peace is absent.
Clean and orderly society starts from our well-organized rooms and offices. To avoid war is an illusion if we ourselves love conflict. Man-made calamities determine how we take care of our mother earth. There is no such thing as chance. Nothing happens by chance. Who and what we determine the becoming of our world. Therefore, in changing the world, begin in changing yourself.
That is the principle of life that Filipinos fail to live out. We keep on marching on the streets shouting our dissatisfaction of the government. We don’t get tired with demonstrations and rallies. But, time and time again, we keep on voting for corrupt politicians. On the other side of the coin, too, politicians don’t like to see people conduct rallies and demonstrations against them. But, time and time again, they keep on doing things against the welfare of the people.
Perhaps, the problem is not the corrupt politicians but the people who keep on voting for them. Perhaps, the problem is not people but the politicians who keep on doing things for their own selfish satisfaction. What I am saying is that, it may be about time to take a pause and examine ourselves. There has to be something within us that we should look into before addressing the bigger problems in society. That perhaps is what it means to be the change in the world.
However, self-blame is a misguided interpretation of what I am trying to say here. Yes, who and what we determine the becoming of our world, of our country in particular. But, that does not mean that we should stop correcting the unfathomable poor service of our public servants. Are we to let them plunder even more the country that we live in? Is our silence, self-reflection, or self-blame the best thing to do?
That will be no more than participating in the dirty works of our elected leaders. The sacrifices of our heroes are not meant to be wasted. They are too sacred to be in vain. The blood they shed symbolizes the sufferings of our ancestors. Their untimely death gives life the freedom we enjoy nowadays. We cannot let some “wanna be” great leaders of today devalue the lives that were offered for this country. We have to do something. Indifference is not an option. Every Filipino is obliged to do something.
“Every Filipinos” applies to our elected leaders too. They must not act as people different from those they govern. The sense of belongingness must not be overlooked. They must their duty without the façade of pretension. Otherwise, there is no point at being a leader with no people to lead upon. I may sound like I am on nobody’s side, but that again is a misguided interpretation.
I am actually on somebody’s side, that is, I am on the side of the Filipino people. The leaders and the people alike are my concerns. Everyone must give the best version of himself/herself. Apart from the best version of our self is nothing else but mediocrity. The country deserves the best of our self.