By Apolinario Villalobos
The best way to realize or put into practice our purpose in life is by befriending the needy…reaching out to them. The needy do not need millions or thousands or hundreds of pesos. All they need are handfuls of rice, few pieces of coins, old but still wearable clothes, slippers, and so many other things that most of us just throw away or leave to rot in the backyard or stockroom.
But many people WOULD RATHER befriend affluent or influential people who are friends of their friends, friends of these friends, still friends of these friends, and so on. They exert all efforts to find connections that they can use to realize their selfish motive of riding on the fame or worse, benefit from the financial affluence of other people. Sometimes this happens during the christening of children. Some parents endeavor to include influential people in the long list of godparents, for obvious reasons already mentioned, other than what is expected of them as “second parents” of the godchildren. Along this line, some couples, also, ask friends who know mayors or barangay chairmen or other local officials to stand as sponsors during their wedding, for the same aforementioned reason. In other words, many would like to befriend people for selfish motives, most especially, for prestige and financial security.
In this regard, even the mass weddings sponsored by mayors, and which are viewed by many as done with sincerity, are in fact used as a political tool. For delicadeza’s sake, the mayor could have just spent for the snacks and pay the honorarium of the conducting priest or pastor or minister, AND ASSIGN ANY OF HIS NON-POLITICAL STAFF TO STAND AS SPONSOR, PERHAPS, THE REGISTER OF DEEDS, CHIEF OF THE REVENUE OFFICE, ETC. What happens is that, when election time comes, these “inaanak” become the campaigners for their “ninong mayor”…a puking reality! Truth is, there is not even a slight trace of sincere friendship out of the said “connection”, as several days after the ceremony, the “ninong mayor” may not even remember the names of those for whom he stood as “ninong”. This is about “mass wedding”, not the wedding of people who are personal acquaintances of the mayor. This happens most often in slum areas and barangays or remote villages and towns. So, there’s your “friendly” mayor just because he is sponsoring “mass wedding” using people’s money!
Prestige and security in life can be possibly achieved even without employing make-believe friendship with prominent personalities. True friendship with a REAL PURPOSE should be initiated by a person with utmost sincerity without any taint of selfishness. On the other hand, those who belong to the lower stratum of society should never dream of gaining the friendship of people who belong to the upper, and whom they do not know personally. One should endeavor to earn recognition instead of gaining it through connections. To call people who do not know you personally as “friends” is embarrassing enough. In plain language it is “name dropping”. It should also be noted that friendship is supposed to be a “two-way” relationship…with sincerity from both sides.