Thursday, December 6, 2007

Let us start the change we want to see

The following is an email I wrote in response to this statement from our La Salle brothers.

I am writing to share my opinion with regards to your statement I got from my inbox.

Like your group, I am also very much disturbed by the moral degeneration that has engulfed our society. Since the Hello Garci scandal, however, our sitiuation has gone from bad to worse. Everyday, it has been a regular fare to read on the news never ending scandals and charges of corruption. It appears that ethical practices become more alien to us as a people as time pass by. Unless we can find a way to arrest the moral disintegration, our country will really go nowhere.

The statement you made is your small contribution to somehow help arrest the moral disintegration. But it is also this small contribution that contributes to the continued moral disintegration. Ironic, isn't it?

Let me first say that I am on your side. We fight the same battle. My personal advocacy is good citizenship. You may want to visit my blog to understand more where I am coming from. The problem is the approach.

Morals being the issue, obviously, the problem is behavioral. It is our collective behavior that needs to be fixed. Behaviors are very, very difficult to change, to influence. What more if we talk of the collective behavior. But it can be done. Psychology is part of the solution.

Honesty, integrity and truthfulness are manifested through our behaviors. On how we deal and interact with other people. Corrupt practices are again seen through our behavior. In fact, most of our values in life are reflected on how we behave. Therefore, the need is on how to maintain the good behavioral patterns and eliminate the bad ones.

Our collective behavior is what we need to influence. That is our role as middle class Filipinos. We can influence. Unfortunately, the approach we are doing will never do the job of influencing behaviors.

Making statements and passing it forward through emails will not do the trick. Initiating online petitions will not get the job done. Marching to Manila Pen nor sending Pinoy Big Briber card to Malacanang cannot influence behavior. Even starting the change we can to see won't change a thing. The thousand of advocacies around us with Gawad Kalinga the most popular of them all are hardly making a dent. Why? Because no one or group or advocacy is trying to capture the imagination of our people.

Capturing the imagination of our people does not necessarily come from an individual. A campaign, if properly executed, can capture the imagination of our people. Capturing the imagination is a necessary ingredient to get the collective attention. Once we have the collective attention, then we can start to influence the collective mindset.

There are tens of thousands of us who are truly frustrated with all the events around us. Unfortunately, us, the educated, cannot even get our act together so do we expect to masses be moved in the moral revolution that we want to see. We become content with the small contributions we make like coming out with a statement. We already feel good about ourselves when we do small acts of heroism or random acts of kindness. We already feel satisfied when we share our views and values to our immediate social circle. We content ourselves in influencing others one Filipino at a time and that will take forever. Even our approach reflects mediocrity.

The middle class can easily create critical mass of good citizens if only there is a single campaign they may bring them together.

We need to have a critical mass of good citizens. That is the objective. We cannot change everybody. But a critical mass can influence the collective mindset. This critical mass need not be organized. They are just out there, waiting to be tapped, waiting to be moved, ready to take the extra step.

Revolutions are won when the idea or concept captures the imagination of our people. If it is a moral revolution that we seek, let us capture our people's imagination. It will only need a few dedicated individuals to execute this moral revolution.

Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas,

No comments: