WE NEVER LEARN FROM PAST MISTAKES
By Apolinario Villalobos
Some legends of creation say that it took several errors before God was able to create man according to His likeness. Where He erred, he made amends. When man was finally settled in paradise, he erred by not following the instructions laid down by God for him to follow. Finally, despite having been driven out of paradise, man continued to err, never learning from his mistakes. God learned from His mistakes, but man did not and until now… refuses to.
In our case as a people in this part of Asia, we also seem to refuse to learn from past mistakes. Today, we are practically wallowing in miseries, and for that we are blaming the government. But who put those greedy people in their posts, anyway? We failed to put to good use one important tool of democracy – election. That tool is supposed to give us the power to choose the right people whoare expected to champion different causes of the various ethnic groups that comprise our proud race. That power puts everyone on equal footing regardless of social and financial status in our society. But we failed to seize the opportunity.
Many of us refuse to see the truth, thatour decisions come election time are swayed by either money or impression. When before, Filipinos in general look at electoral bribery with disgust and discussed only among close friends and used as a dirty accusation, after the Marcos administration, such subject has become a common topic during campaigns, with constituents comparing amounts given by candidates. On the other hand, those who belong to the financially better-off group of voters, rely on the eloquence of candidates in mumbling promises, aside from remarkability of tract record of family involvements in politics, a practice tagged as dynasty.
We are emotionally carried by sad stories of candidates about “martyred” father or mother for the sake of the country. We are captivated by fluently delivered speeches in different dialects. We are mesmerized by the seemingly permanent smile of pretty candidates. We are spellbound by the regal bearing of candidates who suddenly emerged from the glittering show business world. We are awed by the mathematical geniuses who promised billions for the government’s coffer if given the chance to steer the country towards the vast international economic arena.
And now, with the sorry state that our country is in, we blame those guys up there. As always, we forgot that the dictionary has such words as regret, mistake and lesson.