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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Cards Life Dealt

I was reading The Inquirer's editorial Same Same and I can't help but wonder, if people can still think the same thing if only they could step back and look at the world not just from one point of view but if only they could play the insiders game and if only they could see this country from a macro point of view. I believe it stems from a lack of understanding of what goes on, of what is, instead of simply imagining it.

"This “same same” mentality ignores a statistical improbability: it simply can’t be true that every leader is, indeed, the same as every other. It also ignores a basic reality, which is, that there are no leaders where there are no followers. In other words, the “same same” mentality reflects more a refusal to take responsibility than an objective reality."
Well in case anybody has been sleeping in the last couple of years, let me spell it out. There are no leaders in this country. Let's not even start with the whole philosophical "too many are hungry". One simple fact that tells me with absolute certainty that there are no leaders in this country. 

I'll cite Weather.

Why weather? How many bloody storms does this country go to every single year? How many bloody times in a year, do the debate on who calls off classes just because there was rain in Metro Manila? How many bloody times has the disruption in weather in Manila caused untold losses in productivity? We're not yet even counting the disaster in the provinces where many lives, livelihood, crops, business, productivity is lost every single bloody year. How many times have the people hanged our Weather forecasters, made fun of them?

All we ever need to do is beef up our weather technology, isn't it? Haven't there been discussions on exactly that year, in year out and yet people act surprised when the weather boys and girls can't tell us how much rain is going to fall from the sky. How much would it take to beef up our technology compared to the untold damage in lives and in property not knowing could? Can't the Government fast track that as a national imperative?

How much would such an initiative cost? PHP200 Million? Don't Senators and Congressmen have that for their pork? Even if they did not, isn't it the role of the bean counters at the Department of Budget and Management or Finance and Treasury to figure out how to pay for all this because our country can't go on not having technology of such importance! Where is the political will for it and why has it taken so long to act upon this very simple, yet very matter?

We can't go on like that in a world where everything is done in lightning-pace. In a world where there are no longer weekends--- where everyone is doing business every single day. A day out because of disaster we might be able avoid or at the very least reduce our losses isn't being acted upon is just idiotic.

Our leaders worry about if a president cheats or not. Fine. no one in this country doubts that our system is a very flawed one. I get that. You get that. the garbage collector who picked up my garbage this morning gets that. Will kicking one very flawed and least loved president out right now, make things better, or simply keep this country in perpetual, "i blame her, she blames me"?

Please forgive the youth for learning the lessons of EDSA 2: nothing can be gained by destroying this nation's institution. Government is utterly useless. Only through hard work, by pursuing individual goals, by raising the standard of living through meritocracy can people's lives be changed, one person, one family at a time.

People talk about the cynicism of youth yet fail to see what we the young see in our elders. it leaves so much to be desired with "disappointment" such a light term to describe it all. The adults in this country have better start acting like adults. We can't have department heads like Gonzales talk like we were in the streets or something.
However, the youth’s turning away from active involvement in the political sphere, even if understandable, isn’t excusable. A society that rationalizes its refusal to exact accountability from its leaders is a society conspiring to excuse itself from the basic responsibilities of citizenship. This may make sense for the young who seek fulfillment not only in working, but dreaming of emigrating, abroad. Many more, though, may seek professional development abroad, but the fruits of their labor will be sent back home, just as there are those who are youthful today who fully intend to come home permanently when they shall have become old.
Every few years, there is such a thing called an "election". It's that time in every democracy where people cast their ballot and tell the whole world who they want to sit.

If a nation-state was a business it would be something like a performance review. in the case of a board of directors of a company, it would be the time when shareholders look at their profit or lack thereof and decide to vote to keep the current board, or find new ones. That's the proper forum to remove officials we don't like. that's the proper forum to voice our outrage.

Why not go to the streets? Did you see what Trillianes went through? His rhetoric like much of what the opposition is the same old same old. To be quite honest, I want a discussion of issues. Is Arroyo pro-choice? Is Estrada pro-choice? Is Arroyo pro-death penalty? Is Estrada pro-death penalty? Is Roxas pro-death? is Villar pro-death? How exactly are they differentiated? 

If elected, who will raise taxes? who will not? What economic measures are they going to put out? What are we going to do about national debt? why are continuously paying? I'd like to hear our leaders' views. What are people going to do about unemployment and underemployment?

The problem of Mindano has gone too long, hasn't it? Is there a plan in place to finally solve that? What would it take?

What are we going to do about energy independence? What plans are in place, if any?

With numerous precedents set by the Arroyo administration like that curfew PGMA imposed during that post-Trillanes debacle--- how will the next president proceed?

If not Arroyo's fault, it would be Erap's or Ramos' or Aquino.  See that's a huge problem! It's all about personality! It is either you are for Arroyo or not. It is either you are for Estrada or not. Where are the issues that differentiate one politician from another?  

Other than the same old rhetoric, what have the politicians in any camp, or what group-- civil society or whatnut done to improve the lives of our people other than to "bitch about" what's wrong in our society? 

I am not saying it isn't right to simply sweep off under the rug allegations of corruption, of cheating during the election of 2004. Between the choice of getting bog down by all that as opposed to figuring out what's next and how to actually improve the lives of future generations, i'd vote for the latter. We need to work!

Our people have been so blinded and bitter all our national life. We can not undo the past. we can not put spilled milk back into the bottle. We can not turn back the clock and say "EDSA 2" didn't happen. We can not turn back the clock and stop PGMA from ever running. Those things are not possible. What we can do is to ensure that it never happens again. But is anybody actually doing anything to go that route? 

Where are the laws to do that? Where are those people constantly marching on our streets crying what when they should be fighting for such change? Do you have a suggestion on how to make a better tomorrow other than the same old rhetoric?

We don't need blame, we need solutions.
What sort of country will their loved ones have, in the meantime? And to what sort of country will they come home to, eventually? When the youth say “they” are all the same, they obviously don’t include themselves. And if they are the majority (which they are) then it means the youth can seize the day―but don’t want to. They have judged, but refuse to be judged themselves.
The practically of the matter is that what our people need are jobs, not mindless rhetoric. What our people need is money to send the next generation to better schools so they can come out with better ideas for tomorrow. What our people need is to work. If our youth are off to find jobs in America, in Singapore, in Australia, or better pastures in Canada, so be it.

The best proof anybody--- be it the politician or be it some fringe group yelling at the top of their voice whatnut is wrong and should step down is to act. Do something for the people, for us, for a change. Can you do that? 

Our country has so many problems, often complex and we need serious people to solve them. The least we need is more pointing fingers. Truth be told, there need no reason to judge. What people don't get really is that there is no point in pointing blame whether it was the older generation's fault our nation's morality and our civility are in such sorry state or that we the youth think of them as all talk. Neither is the blame on a generation that does not subscribe to the Romanticism that EDSA was. It doesn't matter anymore. Truth is, pointing fingers isn't what we're suppose to be doing. What we need to be doing is building "what's next". The youth isn't apathetic. the youth is growing up! The youth is building their own lives based on what was handed to them and making do with the cards life has dealt. 

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