We All Need To Be The Change We Want To See

Loving our neighbor is at the heart of rebuilding our nation

By Boogie Boydon

Editor’s note: This article was originally written for Ang Bagong Pinoy by the author. He has given us permission to re-publish it in this blog.

A sense of despair is in our midst. A growing feeling of helplessness and hopelessness pervades our day-to-day lives with more and more Filipinos quietly and patiently simply waiting for an opportunity to bolt from what they perceive as a God-forsaken nation on the brink of collapse. The inability to muster enough numbers to mount another People Power is taken by some as a sign of growing apathy within our ranks. Some people say that the apathy is actually a reflection of heightened mistrust and lack of confidence in our institutions of justice, law-enforcement and governance.

In 1987, American essayist James Fallows wrote that we have a “damaged culture” and went on to say that “because of (this) fragmentation, this lack of useful nationalism, people treat each other worse in the Philippines than in any other Asian country I have seen …” People bristled at his seemingly callous conclusions then but now that we seem to be facing a blank wall in trying to explain why and how this “damaged culture” came about, we find that our history of successive colonization that gave us a frail and confused consciousness to begin with, coupled with the decades of psychological cues we have imbued along the way to what we are now, are worthy of a second look.

I belong to a generation who grew up thinking that our problems will be solved by a masked and flying crusader, a “Darna” within our midst who can solve all our problems without us lifting a finger to do it ourselves. And so we vote to office our varied brands of “heroes” and place our full hope in them, only to be frustrated when they do not live up to our image of a “Lastikman” or a “Captain Barbell.” We do not realize that the solution to our problems could have been within our grasp to start with if only we took it upon ourselves to participate fully in the task of solving them.

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