Be the Change

It is a dis­hear­ten­ing fact that I live in a co­unt­ry where peo­ple be­little them­selves when it comes to their ab­il­ity to create chan­ge. It is even more dis­hear­ten­ing that in times of dis­tress, the Filipino peo­ple choose to not rise up and use their co­untless God-given rights as means of em­power­ment.

These rights, which peo­ple of sever­al co­unt­ries envy, are more than en­ough to bring our ail­ing co­unt­ry an al­levia­tion. Yet most in­dividu­als use these rights not for the good of our na­tion, but rath­er to violate Her constitution.

But what irks me most about the co­unt­ry is how often we ig­nore sim­ple rules. No jaywalk­ing should mean no jaywalk­ing. When the stop light is red, there should­n’t even be a single vehic­le cross­ing that white line. No lit­ter­ing should mean just that. And is it rea­l­ly that dif­ficult to find a re­stroom, that we (and some women for that fact) just de­cide to urinate at whatev­er wall, post, or open canal we see? Maybe it’s be­cause we have to pay to even just use pub­lic re­strooms right? And when walk­ing on the streets, is it too much to ask for an “ex­cuse me” in­stead of bump­ing and shov­ing with­out the “I’m sorry” af­terwards? I know a lot of you know what I’m talk­ing about. And I’m not try­ing to make generaliza­tions, but let’s face it, we as a peo­ple are not dis­cip­lined.

Howev­er, this is mere­ly my own op­in­ion. This op­in­ion does not apply to all Filipinos, as at­tested by the fact that a small han­d­ful of in­dividu­als wholehear­ted­ly un­derstand the true mean­ing of being uni­ted in pro­gress. This small han­d­ful of in­dividu­als un­derstand the cur­rent status of our co­unt­ry and have a full grasp on the pro­p­er ide­als and mor­als of a tried na­tion. This group of open-minded and log­ical Filipinos pos­sess the think­ing, which the co­unt­ry needs in order to lift her out of dark­ness.

Most Filipinos say, “we want chan­ge.” Even more Filipinos shout, “we need chan­ge!” Yet in the face of ad­vers­ity, the Filipino peo­ple fail in ex­er­cis­ing their rights and just say, “we can’t.” The ideal Filipino would neith­er say nor shout about the chan­ge they wish to see, but rath­er would simp­ly go out and do some­th­ing about it.

Every­one knows that chan­ge is in­evit­able. Howev­er, it re­quires the pro­p­er “push” in order to get the ball roll­ing, so-to-speak. The con­cepts that chan­ge is hard to come by and that chan­ge is too big of a task to be ac­complis­hed by just one in­dividu­al, are cer­tain­ly false mis­con­cep­tions.

Every per­son has the willpow­er to in­itiate a com­plete soci­al trans­for­ma­tion, one small step at a time. Each step may be some­th­ing sim­ple, or each step may be a bit more com­plex. But our co­unt­ry and its peo­ple can­not af­ford to be any more com­pla­cent than it al­ready is. We are on the brink of com­plete un­derac­hieve­ment on a glob­al scale; a rath­er em­bar­rass­ing fact given the numb­er of re­sour­ces our co­unt­ry pos­sesses.

Be pro­ac­tive, be re­spon­sible, and be an ad­vocate for soci­al chan­ge.

For every oc­cas­ion that you walk past a homeless man, ig­nore that small piece of trash, for­get to say ex­cuse me, please and thank you… you un­der­value the power of small acts of kind­ness. And ul­timate­ly, you un­der­value your own capabil­ity of in­spir­ing chan­ge.

The idea of creat­ing a chan­ge does not al­ways have to start on a large scale. The small spark of hope in each in­dividu­al, is more than en­ough to ig­nite and re­kindle the soci­al flame of em­power­ing the mas­ses. It is with­in these small acts of kind­ness wherein we, as a society, can lig­ht­en the burd­en of our fel­low Filipinos, even for just a brief mo­ment.

I am no one speci­al, I’m not fam­ous or rich or whatev­er, so I cer­tain­ly do not have much of an in­flu­ence on the en­tire co­unt­ry. But if there’s some­th­ing I do pos­sess, is that I have the drive and the pass­ion of want­ing to see any sort of im­prove­ment in this co­unt­ry. Wheth­er it be in the qual­ity of life, the gover­nance of our de­moc­ra­cy, or even the rise of our economy.

This is the land of my an­ces­tors and my cur­rent home. I can­not stand on the sidelines and watch it be put to waste by its very own peo­ple. Even if I may be young and just a mere student, I will do all I can to em­pow­er my genera­tion in work­ing towards soci­al chan­ge. It isn’t just the co­untry’s fu­ture at stake, but rath­er my en­tire fu­ture as well.

It’s high time to let your voice be heard. It has been long over­due for the peo­ple to fin­al­ly wake up and rea­l­ize that the govern­ment can­not face the chal­lenges of the na­tion on its own. Every ef­fective govern­ing body in the in­ter­nation­al scene has loyal­ty and ac­tive par­ticipa­tion from the gover­ned. Be­cause ul­timate­ly, the peo­ple are the ones who rule them­selves and have the power to lead the co­unt­ry.

I still have high hopes for this co­unt­ry and I have com­plete faith to its peo­ple. I look for­ward to the day when the co­unt­ry can once again stand among the elites of the world and wear its col­ors high and proud. And I cer­tain­ly look for­ward to the day when I can honest­ly and shameless­ly say that I love this co­unt­ry and I am proud to be a Filipino.


About The Filipino Servant

Kent Ryan Masing, Author of The Filipino Servant

Posted on August 28, 2012, in Buhay Pilipino. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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