What’s Wrong With Us? …and Other Questions
By Apolinario Villalobos
High intelligence quotient sets man apart from the rest of creatures of God that roam the planet earth. At the center of his “self” is supposedly, the conscience which guides him in his decisions. No creation of God is useless, even those that man regards as pest. How much more with us whom the Bible says, He created in His own image? We are like Him. And, because of that we are supposed to exude an image bursting with goodness. But what is wrong with us?
Without regard to what will happen next, some of us just let go of our lustful emotion that bring forth, what others call “unwanted” children. Unprepared mothers throw the innocent bundle of joy away – leave it in garbage dumps, in waiting sheds, or flush it down the toilet! What a crime in exchange for a few minutes of happiness! When allowed to grow, the child is neglected. Everyday we see many of them roaming the streets begging or picking morsels of food in garbage bins and dumps.
The lucky child who comes forth into this world with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth grows up pampered by his “loving” parents. These parents mistake pamper for love. They forgot that the growing child needs to be developed and this effort concerns all aspects of his personality. If a child grows in a pampered atmosphere, it will be ingrained in his consciousness that he can get anything what he wants. His childish demands overwhelm the values that the parents are supposed to teach him. Add to this the influence of the environment. A child who recognizes the golden arch that heralds fried chicken, spaghetti and burghers that appear on TV is cute. But is there an effort on the part of the parents to make the same child recognize and appreciate the taste of more nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables? Later on, the parents become frustrated as the same child would raise hell when served foods other than those advertised. Or the parents wonder how their child could become sick when he is fed everyday with spaghetti or hamburger or pizza or fried chicken etc. These are the poor “loving” parents who are now faced with sky-high cost of medicines and hospitalization for the child!
Prices of commodities are unpredictably rising. Everybody is complaining about the inadequacy of take home pays. Rallies and demonstrations are held with the wage as one of the issues. Some of those shouting to raise the wage are sporting high end cellphones with prices that range not less than 10 thousand pesos. Some of these guys go to coffee shops where a cup of the black hot beverage costs not less that 50 pesos. Some of these guys leave food on their plates (for the gods?) when eating in swank restaurants or fast foods joints. (I can say this because I know them, I have been with them for a long time.)
Why can’t these guys go straight to the agencies responsible in the formulation of wage standards or Department of Labor and Employment for an honest- to- goodness confrontation with the right people? Why march to Malacanang when the president is just waiting for the final bill to be signed into law after having been deliberated in the Congress and Senate? Why march along busy streets? Everybody already knows about the problem, but why create a situation that would exasperate others who are not part of the activity by causing heavy traffic? Or better, why not conduct press conferences so that matters are clearly laid out for the people to know via the radio, TV or dailies? Why shout the issues in front of the cameras? I wonder if they will still shout their tonsils out if the mediamen covering them have no cameras, just papers and pens.
Some mothers seem lazy to try other options to be able to cut on their home expenses. Yet, they pester their husbands for additional allowance. These same mothers never miss scheduled trips to beauty parlors for weekly make-over including the clipping of their nails complete with a paint-over using expensive polishes. One mother was seen on TV being interviewed about the issue on rising prices. As she wiped her tears, she inadvertently displayed her fingernails polished in blazing green with dots of black, one of the fingers with a sparkling ring and from her wrist dangled a gold bracelet.
Despite a small take home pay, why do some still have “enough” for several bottles of beer every Friday or Saturday and then cry their heart out on the day that they are supposed to pay the rent, electric and water bills, and kids’ tuition? Why do they always blame the government for the misfortune that befell them when they advertently left their provinces to live in depressed areas in Manila, supposedly to seek their fortune? Is it the government’s fault when their family bloats with many siblings because of lust? Is it the government’s fault why they miss some opportunities because they spend more time in street corners with their drinking buddies?
When shopping either for clothes or grocery, why can’t others check first those with drastically cut price, instead of going straight to the regularly-priced sections? Why insist on preparing meat-based meals almost every day of the week, when they can be alternated with fish and vegetables? At the end, they wonder why they have developed diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases and many other illnesses that manifest as they advance in age.
Home remedies in the form of condiments, herbs and vegetables that may prevent sicknesses are just waiting around for use anytime at very minimal costs. Vegetables considered before as just food, are now acknowledged as preventive cure for diseases. Others have information about this, but why do they refuse to try them? Why wait until diseases have developed into advanced stages in their bodies before they thought of trying the alternative preventions? Did they not anticipate the high cost of western medications taking a big slice of their budget? Well, realization and regrets always come late!
For office workers, Mondays are days of called-in sick leave, late arrival in the office and worst, outright absence, because the day before was Sunday – family day or gimmick day! Then, there’s the Friday sickness that again necessitates called-in excuses in the desire of some to start a long weekend. If they are serious with their jobs why not treat those days just like the rest of the work days? Why not accept the fact that work week is from Monday until Friday? Why not see to it that enough time for rest is allotted every Sunday even without sacrificing the gimmick or activities with the family? Where is their discipline?
Before the arrival of computers, students were contented with books, magazines, journals, newspapers and other printed materials as references for their research. Now, there is the internet which flashes information as soon as tags are encoded in search bars. The internet is a great bank of information that in one instance, the researcher can have as much information as he wanted. But why do students devote more time in browsing the pages of peers in social networks for posted photos, than enhance their knowledge on matters taken up in school by surfing for added information so that when asked for reports they will not scramble for these to be “copied and pasted” to comprise their submission? Why do professors allow them to just copy and paste their supposedly researched projects? Can’t they tell the difference between an honest-to-goodness write up and a copied one? Or are they guilty, too, of this crime called plagiarism? A question of a viewer about my blog on plagiarism is this: “what if the teacher plagiarizes the work of his student?” The viewer must be a student whose work was plagiarized by his teacher but could not do anything about it. I have yet to check the reactions and comments of other viewers. For now, all I could do is take a long heavy sigh.
Why do some people scramble for elected posts in the government? Why do they spend millions during the campaign period and deny this violation when found out by the COMELEC? Why do they hold on to their post when the COMELEC found a reason for them to come down due to violations? Is it because of the people’s money waiting for their taking without questions due to the loopholes in the control system of the agencies which are supposed to protect it? Or is it because the people themselves who are supposed to protect it are themselves involved?
Why do elected and appointed government officials blatantly deny their corrupt practices, an act that insults the intelligence of the Filipinos? Is it because they have a gut-feel that nothing will come out of the investigations being made? Is it because if a serious investigation shall be made, only a handful honest officials will be left? That this crisis situation shall never be allowed to happen? How in the world can all “truckloads” of testimonies be checked to prove the guilt of the lawmakers and officials? Are the investigators serious about the probes? or they hauled in those papers just for show!
What is wrong with the Congress? the Senate? the President? Why are long overdue bills not considered urgent, such as the one for Freedom of Information (FOI), hence, not enacted into law until now? Is it because with such law, the media and the ordinary citizens will be able to access more revealing records about malversed funds? Who are being protected? Has the Ninoy and Cory magic went puff that it can no longer lend sparkle to the image their son?
Why do we always blame God every time we stumble when we have all the choices to do what is good for us? What is wrong with us?