Thursday, April 12, 2007

To capture the imagination of our people

From Manolo's blog, I was directed to AlterNation101 blog. The last sentence on the blog caught my attention and it said ‘”But we just have to do something!” This is the reason why the writer is going to vote for Ang Kapatiran. This kind of reasoning won’t help our cause to achieve our dream Philippines. It is a very typical middle class mindset.

I have already expressed my views here and here that it is not yet the right time for Ang Kapatiran to participate in this coming electoral exercise. I even started a thread in their forum with the title "hindi pa hinog" but has now disappeared. Ang Kapatiran is not yet prepared and still has nothing to show for and that the public is not yet ready with their kind of politics. Unfortunately, this “para may magawa” attitude must be what made them decide to take part in this election. All the resources, time, talent and energy will just go to waste. They may be aware that it will take divine intervention for at least one of them to make it to the top 12. But still they went for it because they "have to do something".

We have to do something and so Gawad Kalinga was born. We have to do something and so we have Books for the Barrios, Rock Ed Philippines, Gilas, Tulong Pinoy, Yabang Pinoy, People Power, HOPE etc. The Rotary, the Jaycees, the Kiwanis, the thousands of foundations, the various group and personal initiatives, there is always something that we do for others. There is really nothing wrong in creating movements, pursuing causes that will help alleviate the suffering of our people. I am all for it. But if we really, really want to achieve our dream Phlippines, we have to think beyond “to do something” mindset. We need to capture the imagination of our people. But nobody, no one among us in the middle class, the so called intellegentsia, has tried to find a way to capture the imagination of our people. We prefer to remain in our comfort zones, writing blogs, making comments and reklamo, expressing our thoughts and opinioin, forming groups and movements, writing letters to editors and of course, sharing our material excess when the opportunity presents itself.

In our own little and big way, we have done so much. When calamities hit us, we come together to help the victims. Support pour in from around the globe. Medical and dental missions are regular civic activities. Pondong Pinoy is doing quite well. As Mr. Montelibano said in his column, our sense of generosity is overwhelming. Agreed. But how come this sense of generosity is not translated into collective action except during calamities? This sense of generosity may even blind us with the belief that we have already done something. The sad part is that our sense of generosity remains on the personal level. The attitude “I have more so I have to help the poor” attitude has to be transcended and turned into “I am a Filipino, that is why I am helping my fellow Filipino”. If only there are some (but preferably a lot of) sense of patriotism in our sense of generosity, then all of the various initiatives around us will have a greater impact. Our oneness as a people will be bonded by this sense of generosity. Unfortunately, even in our sense of generosity, it is to each his own.

So we go back to the “we have to do something” attitude, a mediocre level sense of generosity. We have lots and lots of this. The Ang Kapatiran’s participation in this election is a reflection of this mindset. If we will always see things from this perspective, don’t expect change to happen. The trapos will continue to dominate our political landscape. For change to happen, we need, we should, we must capture the imagination of our people. That is the only way to go. Hopefully, this blog will be a tool in that direction. I believe we can start it with something like, “Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas!”


nursing1998 said...

It looks like 'TULONG PINOY' has ceased to exist since 2005.

I don't want to even check the others; baka nawala na rin.

Sef said...

Capture the imagination of the People...?

Given this corrupt media environment, how would you propose to do that?

Black Spot said...

I wonder what you mean my mediocre generosity. The problem with the poorer people is that you will always give them cold cash? If it's not cold cash does that mean mediocre generosity. You can't give all your money to one sector or to the poor you have to leave some for yourself and for your future too. But if you do that that does not mean you are less generous.

pinoy said...

nursing - that would be unfortunate if TULONG PINOY has ceased to exist. i'm sure there are more like Kilusang Sagip Pilipinas and ivolunteer.

sef - my response is in your blog.

black spot - in my opinion, there are different levels of generosity. it is the attitude "we have to do something" that I call mediocre. it is the act of doing something for the sake of doing something. no, i am not espousing that we should be giving more but to raise the level of the reason why people give from "I have more and you have none so I help you" to "I am a Filipino and I help you because you are a fellow Filipino".