I am not even going to discuss politics. Not even the Reproductive Health Bill which is the reason why this national perfidy is taking place.
I am writing out of exasperation. Add disgust to that. And a feeling of utmost disillusionment.
I feel exasperated because this has been going on for weeks now and the level of discussion and argumentation has literally gone to the dogs. No, let us not insult our canine friends to show how cheap and low it got. Let us just say that I feel exasperated not only because of the brazenness exhibited by the events. I am even more dismayed by some reactions.
I am disgusted because this had to happen to people who should be the first to make sure that events like these do not and should not take place. If the very people who should serve as examples of civility, decency and just downright respect for what is right from what is wrong -- are the ones who foist their sense of (a) entitlement (b)ignorance or (c) unreasonable empowerment, then how do we expect anything better to happen to our country?
I feel disillusioned because the people who should be saying something are either keeping quiet or mumbling (whether apathetically or apologetically) that "it's all right" and that "we do this all the time" --- or worse, "what's the big deal?"
I am sorry, Sirs. But for me this is a big deal.
This is a big deal because people look up to your kind to embody the best and brightest of the country --- because you are wherever you are because we, the citizenry, placed you there.
This is a big deal because you give such casual statements, turn your backs on us and tell us to go fly a kite and not make an issue out of something that will be forgotten by the time Manny Pacquiao has another fight.
This is a big deal for me because I should respect the chosen individuals who have been privileged with the responsibility to make the laws of my country. I would like to think that you guys are there not out of birth right --- but because the people put you there to protect us --- and to tell us: This is the way we are going to do it and, as your Chief Executive has said over and over and over again, this time we are going to follow the narrow but straight road.
We are not tolerating bullshit. We are not allowing abuse of power. We are going catch, try and get rid of all the hoods and hoodlums with all the power and might that is given to us because of our positions.
In other words, you are the elders of the land. We look up to you because your actions should speak louder than your promises. Even your privilege speeches. Why do you think the country literally fell on its knees crying when Jesse Robredo left too soon? Because he didn't talk much. He just did what he had to do his way --- without drum rolls or chest beating.
OK. I should be the last to say that I am the paragon of good morals and that I aspire to be the next Filipino vying for canonization. That is not in my roster of present ambitions nor will it ever be a part of my bucket list. But I still believe that there is what is right ... from what is wrong.
I am exasperated, disgusted and disillusioned because I am a teacher.
I have been a lot of things --- but I enjoy being a teacher most.
I guess in everything we choose to do in life, we are all teachers.
We become teachers because others observe our actions, learn from our decisions even our mistakes and listen to our words.
Even politicians are teachers because the country sees how they conduct their affairs through their intelligence, wisdom and demeanor. The citizens look up to elected officials because they have been entrusted with the responsibility to draw the blueprint of the future of their constituents.
I am exasperated, disgusted and disillusioned because there is such irresponsibility and insensitivity with what is happening.
It is irresponsible to shrug off dishonesty and treat it like it's one of those things or that it is a fact of life. It is not only irresponsible but dangerous when the Elders of the Land are the ones saying this or not saying or doing anything at all to correct the mistakes.
It is insensitive because ... what moral authority can any teacher have if one of their students submits an assignment or a piece of research ripped off from another source without acknowledgement or attribution? How can a teacher say, "You are going to flunk this course because what you did was wrong ...and that this is cheating ... this is deplorable ... this is unacceptable?" What if the students looks at the teacher straight in the eye and replies, "But don't they do this all the time? So why is it such a crime when I do it?"
What sort of signals are we sending young people by all this calculating and strategic behavior?
Yes, we can laugh and make jokes about this.
We can create worldwide trends bashing allegedly guilty parties and make such ingenious memes to spread all over the internet to celebrate if not castrate personalities who we think have IQs that can challenge the depths of the Philippine Deep. We can try to outdo each other in concocting the cutest to the meanest jokes as if to immortalize this moment of buffoonery.
But we are not realizing the depth and scope of the consequences. We may be cringing with disgust or anger at the turn of recent events and refuse to be amused by the circus --- but what sort of messages are we sending to our kids?
That all this is just another bad joke?
That something wrong becomes right just because it is being done by so many at some time or the other? Worse, it is a practice within the sacred halls of power in the kingdom?
That the newly discovered Eleventh Commandment is Thou Shalt Not Get Caught while the Twelfth reads Thou Shalt Not Admit a Mistake Even When Caught With Your Skivvies Down Your Ankles?
That you can just turn around and ignore the allegations without confronting the issues and addressing the problems because one day people will get sick and tired talking about it ... and the problem will go away?
What is funny is that ... they are right. We forget too easily because another newsworthy event will eventually pop and all will be forgotten? Or almost. That in a year's time, no one will even remember these questions regarding propriety, honesty and ...even just good manners because other people have taken center stage and claimed the spotlight.
One day the laughter will die down ... and we will run out of jokes.
But the signals have been sent loud and clear to the population ... the young population.
Everything will be all right ... if you just wait long enough for everyone to forget that there was (once upon a time) THIS problem.
Now this got me thinking: all this numbness and shortness of memory will lead us to amorality. And that is far worse than just being immoral. That is when nobody give a damn about being right or wrong because we have surrendered all the distinction.
Instead, we just choose to laugh about it.