Who’s Fault Is It? The Mess We’re In as a Country and as a People …

Children Learn What They Live

Some are blaming it on the PDAF, while others blame it on the System. How about you?

Ako simple lang ang pagkakaintindi sa mga nangyayari. Most of us have not overcome the natural tendency to put our individual interests over the interests of the greater majority. Because of this, we end up taking care of ourselves first (thus our interest), and the rest comes in second, third, so on and so forth. The problem is worst when the taking care of self interest happens at the expense of the general public, and the best example of this is the widespread and seemingly hopeless corruption in the government.

In a much smaller scale however, and seldom unnoticed, or maybe unrealized (like nobody thinks there’s anything wrong with it …) this has been around for so long, even as old as time. At home, for example, this is evident when siblings fight over toys, clothes, use of household appliance like the TV, or who gets to control the remote control, the play station, or the multimedia player. Who usually dominates on such situations? Isn’t it the older children? Why? Because Ate’s and Kuya’s believe that they have all the right because they are older. When the parents are not around, the Ate’s and Kuya’s (though not all) order the younger ones to do the chores at home, all because they are “older” and are “mightier”.  And they get away with it because the younger ones are either threatened by the older ones “Pag may magsumbong, lagot!) or because the parents themselves tell the younger ones to “obey” and “follow” what the Kuya’s and Ate’s say” because they know better.  Between spouses, who dominates in the relationship? Is it the men or the women? I think the issue is beyond gender; it’s more on who’s more “influential”, who has more money, who earns more, or who is stronger.

So where’s the connection?

Everything begins at home, with our parents and our siblings. Our beliefs, principles, and values are shaped at home by our parents and by our siblings. Then we learn more about it when we go to school, from our teachers and from school administrators. We are also influenced by our classmates and our friends as we grow up with them. But the basics like honesty, respect, hard work, diligence, kindness, generosity – all these are FIRST taught, learned, and practiced at home. Our parents are our FIRST teachers.

The way I see it, somehow somewhere, something went wrong, that’s why we are all in this mess. We are now reaping the fruits of what has been recognized as moral degeneration. Our society has double standards in almost anything, and it all boils down to this: I, me, and myself above anything and anyone.

So where do we begin the long process of change? We can begin at home, with ourselves and our children. We can start by being true to ourselves and accepting that there is a problem, that we are part of the problem, that we have contributed to the problem, but that we can do something to change things for the better. How? We can begin by teaching our children the values we want them to live by, and we can start now, from where we are. We can teach them starting TODAY by being honest to others, by not throwing our trash just about anywhere, by obeying traffic rules even if others will not, by being courteous to others … by living the very values we are teaching. We can teach by example.

Blaming anyone can lead to change, but I think what can make the greatest difference is taking responsibility and taking action, by changing ourselves and our families … and then inspiring others to do the same.

We may not harvest what we will plant today, not in our lifetime anymore as many of us are already old. But let’s start just the same, for the sake of the rising generation, our posterity – yours and mine!

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