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Sunday, April 05, 2020

In Search of Lessons: A Deep Introspection

In my previous article, I explicated how this pandemic would bring out the best and worst of people. Although my point purported to focus on the objectivity of it, I knew that the classification was probably more on the perspective of subjectivity rather than objectivity.

This Sunday, I am gifting myself with deep retrospection in search of lessons amidst chaos, suffering, and desensitized hearts.


ON POLITICS

Politics divide. The very nature is explicitly defined as, “the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.”


One of the most significant time in shaping my political principle started in college when I was chosen as a member of the Debate Team. It was an honor and also a huge responsibility. In hindsight, that was a defining moment learning how to build a strong proposition using substance of truth and evidence as the foundation of argument. The process was very structured and we were taught sensibly on how to use authoritative sources versus general understanding. Then I was elected as President of the Debate Society which further shaped my belief. Writing the Articles of Organization and By Laws often reminded me how we were bound by rules of law or else we would be transported back to the primitive world where the sword decided the law.

What cemented my principles on politics happened during my days as a student of Doctor of Jurisprudence. It could be summed up as upholding what’s true, just and fair based on the fundamentals of the laws of the land.

Politics is not always true, just and fair but its existence is governed by laws, no matter how ill-timed sometimes. Look at the division it caused to friends and families around the world. Social media is toxic because it was not designed for politics but for personal connection. Nobody acts as interlocutor and helps people lay argument which is based on logical consistency and factual accuracy. Everything is an opinion which makes it a perfect breeding ground for expression of ‘general understanding’ based on fake news, propaganda, and malicious intent. The result? Character attack when the other side could not engage in an intellectual discourse. 

ON POVERTY
I came from a family with 11 children. When we were all studying, life was hard. My father was clear about it, “I have nothing to leave you as a legacy except education.” The words were deeply embedded that I made sure to toil day and night to finish my studies. My Master’s Degree in Education is not a chip in my shoulder that I carry but an honor that I treasure. It is the fruit of hard work and personal sacrifices of my parents and older siblings.

essay on politics and poverty
One of the slums in Metro Manila depicting helplessness amidst poverty.

In one of the documentaries I watched, poverty is convenient for politics. I am not going to delve on this further (you may watch the videos here), except to say that where I came from, quality education is a privilege not a right. The effect is seen with the abundance of propagation of ignorance and chaos.

ON POWER

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

essay on politics and poverty

Politics gives you power. The sad thing about this, politics is based on a very old system. If you like watching the Game of Thrones, it is a mirror that reflects the true nature of politics and power. Idealists comes in with high hopes and promises only to be corrupted later on. Those who come out with unscathed principles are rare.

ON POSITIVITY
Yesterday, I was attacked personally and cursed for engaging on a post which I thought was a logical discourse. The comment embellished with hatred capitalized on the fact that; I commented in English, and I live in United States. I guess, if you are a Filipino and you speak in English AND you live in United States, you should be ashamed of it? The logic is incomprehensible. I was asked, “Who the ‘f (obscene word) are you?’ and, “You are dumb.” I could have opted to tell him that I have almost 300 awards on my name, educated kids around the world and taught them critical thinking skills and comprehension, and enumerate my educational qualifications. But, I chose not to reply.

My silence is not a sign of lack of knowledge but of wisdom to know when to speak. It was a humble time to remind myself that spreading positivity is a choice. My reply might be full of logical truth and substance of facts but by feeding his hatred, I would be forgetting the most essential thing in life and that is to spread positivity. The world is chaotic enough and the spirit of positivity is the best choice that I could embrace. It is a good thing to remember that, “Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.”

essay on politics and poverty

Politics divide. Power corrupts. Poverty is (usually) convenient for politics. However, it is imperative to remember, there’s power in positivity amidst the poverty of sound spirit and mind. Kindness is free. Compassion is a choice. 



Saturday, March 28, 2020

Five Important Thoughts to Ponder on the Corona Virus Pandemic

Ad meliora.” Toward better things.
coronavirus pandemic essay


The whole world is a massive Titanic ghastly sinking with the unprecedented spread of the virus infecting thousands of people. Even in the movie where everything is usually ostentatious, most Titanic passengers fend for themselves except for the violinists who continued playing amidst chaos and fight for survival. I am sure, majority of the people are feeling the same thing right now-fighting for survival. 

The situation is overwhelming and even the information could be suffocating especially if you are one of those forced to “stay home to stay safe”. Amidst this chaos, it is important to remind ourselves that Corona Virus pandemic will be over. It is not a question of ‘if’, but “when”.

This is indeed a scary time but my faith has not faltered at all. I am staying positive that this unforeseen events that we found ourselves are temporal and soon we would be back to normal (Although we might have a different perspective what’s normal when that time comes).

 1. KINDESS

Pandemic brings out the best and worst of people. The sudden closures of schools left so many families with dilemma how and when to get their next meals. Thankfully, officials jumped in and filled the needs of the community. When everything is falling and failing, kindness matters. Think about the first responders who are putting others before themselves. The world would be so lost without them to save us from this chaos. Then, there's the worst side of humanity- hoarding food, discrimination to people from Asian descent, and of course endless blaming as to whose fault it is. How are we coping up with the best and the worst of humanity? When this is all over, are we going to appreciate more our health providers? Are we going to be kinder on how we deal with workers at the grocery stores? Are we going to be more emphatic to other people from the other side of the world and be concern when things like this happen?

2. PRIORITIES

Happiness is usually equated with money and fame. To be catapulted in a situation where we did not have control was quite scary. Health and family are usually set aside to deal with the usual hustle and bustle of the daily lives- work, bills, travel, gadgets, and more bills. It took a virus to realign everything in our lives. Suddenly, we are thrown into oblivion without the movie theaters, restaurants, sports stadiums, and in some places even playgrounds were closed. We are forced to talk more to our friends, to our families, and to focus our energies on things which used not to matter. When this is all over, would there be a shift with the paradigm of where we focus our priorities?

3.  RELATIONSHIP

This morning, David and I went out to get some groceries for a relative whose husband is sick and been dealing with chemo. The hardest thing was dropping off the stuff and not being able to give each other a hug. Without a doubt, this pandemic separated families because of variety of reasons. Some health providers had to stay in a different place to protect their families. Some people had to work more hours to meet the demand of a panicking society. The saddest reality is the loss of thousands of families who would not even have the time to grieve. No man is an island. We need each other to survive. Relationship is a link that connects each of us. When this is all over, are we going to value more each member of our family and take each day as if it were the last?

4. RESPONSIBILITY

Suffrage is a right but it is also a responsibility. When this is all over,  we need to discern the important obligation bestowed upon us to choose the leaders of the society. When you are told to stay home, the whole responsibility of your survival is put on their shoulders. It is an important realization that we need leaders who care and leaders who have compassion to ordinary members of the society.

5. POSITIVITY

To feel like you’re suddenly drowning is a normal feeling. Cry if you must but never give up. Human kind has been in existence for millions of years. No virus would defeat us. Remember, when Pandora opened a jar left in her care containing sickness, death and many other unspecified evils which were then released into the world, one thing was left behind- HOPE.  Let us use the power of HOPE to look at the future with positivity. When this is all over, let us always remember the power of positivity and how it sees as through.

This, too, shall pass. Ad meliora. Toward better things.

Essay on Corona Virus pandemic



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Five Important Thoughts to Ponder on the Corona Virus Pandemic

“ Ad meliora .” Toward better things. The whole world is a massive Titanic ghastly sinking with the unprecedented spread of the v...