Suggested nation building New Year's resolutions for Filipinos
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-01-01

It is high time that we Filipinos realize that we cannot hope to improve our individual lot if our country continues to deteriorate. The lives and fortunes of all Filipinos are linked to the fortunes or misfortunes of our country.

Those mansions in Forbes Park, the Dasmariñas and Ayala Ala-bang Villages can be reduced to rubble if this country experiences a violent political upheaval. The rich can not possibly employ enough security personnel to protect themselves when the French Reign of Terror that followed the French Revolution happens here.

For too long, we Filipinos have buried our heads in the sand like ostriches and lived under the delusion that the poor will forever remain docile and unable to express their collective outrage. It will be just a matter of time when the poor and underprivileged will unleash their collective frustration, resentment and despair.

Most Filipinos are Christians and yet many of them close their hearts to the Christ commandment — “Whatever you do to the least of your brethren, you do unto me.”

In the face of the projected difficulties we will face this New Year (when the full brunt of the global financial meltdown is expected to unravel), perhaps we should collectively make some New Year resolutions that will save all of us from the dreaded social explosion.

Why don’t we consider adopting these two suggested national New Year resolutions?

Resolution 1: Let us learn the historical truth

We cannot be physically healed unless we determine what our real ailment is. If you are losing your eyesight because of diabetes, it is the diabetes that must be treated and not the eye.

In like manner, we cannot solve our national problems unless we know what our real national problems are. We are easily distracted towards wasting precious time and resources in addressing the side issues while disregarding the core problems. Too often, we are stuck on belaboring the unimportant while totally neglecting to address the most important issues and problems that are sinking our ship of state.

We must also know who our real heroes are and who our real quislings are. Our masses especially are prone to idolizing false heroes. Bogus heroes are listened to and emulated here while real heroes are even ostracized. The sweet talking but mentally and morally bankrupt candidates are elected while the most competent candidates with established integrity are glossed over by a largely ignorant electorate.

It is time for Filipinos to know and understand that much of the history they are being taught have been prepared by self-seeking colonial and neo-colonial powers. That is a slanted version of history that is designed to protect the quislings and neutralize the real heroes of our race. That is a version of history that is intended to keep the exploited Filipino in the dark so the exploitation can go on forever.

We have gotten tired of calls for national unity. But how can there be real national unity when many Filipinos do not even know the historical truth?

Resolution 2: Let us embrace our role as our brother’s keeper

Let us invest in our own personal security and that of our loved ones by removing the greatest national security threat in our country — grinding poverty. Only an idiot — one who does not know the truth — will think that our society is not at risk of suffering the prescription of history for the social imbalance we suffer from.

Every Filipino with the means to assist the least of his brethren must extend that act of charity that will eventually rid our society of its biggest national security threat. It is time we tempered the madness of materialism that has engulfed capitalist societies - that destructive attitude of “Me first and that has to be mine.”

We’ve seen how unmitigated greed has led to the global financial mess the whole world is now reeling from. Why don’t we consider adopting the Chiara Lubich model for a new capitalist paradigm — the Economy of Communion (EoC)? Lubich’s EoC fine-tuned capitalism to be able to promote an economy of sharing instead of the destructive economy of having.

And the best way to be our brother’s keeper is to shepherd our brother in need to exit from the generational cycle of poverty that plagues over 40% in our society. It is not good shepherding if our brother merely becomes reliant on our charity for the rest of his life. That keeps him forever trapped in that poverty syndrome.

The beauty of Chiara Lubich’s EoC is that it transforms the person in need into another person who will help the others in need. It offers the best means for attaining social justice that will result in national unity and harmony. EoC raises economic well-being by first raising personal dignity.

In the EoC experience (which is being practiced already by over 700 companies worldwide that are chalking remarkable accomplishments), the enlightenment and values reform, more than the material aid, have proven to be the most important inputs. More than the gold that you can put in a poor man’s pocket, it is what is lacking in his head and in his attitude in life that are in urgent need of rehab.

Let’s just concentrate on these two suggested New Year’s resolutions for the Filipino nation. Are you up to it?

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