Thursday, May 03, 2007
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Standing Up in a Small Way

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
-Edmund Burke, Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)

I was on a routine errand run yesterday and I decided to take Bea with me. Paying our cable TV bills, there was a really long line, and this became an opportune time for Bea and I to talk about things. You see, Bea just came back from my sister's place, where she stayed for about five days.

Anyway, about 45 minutes into that "line adventure" and nearing the cashiers, a "person" just barged in ahead of an old guy a few persons behind me. The old guy protested, and even called the security guard. But the guard did not want trouble and just attempted to calm the old guy down.

And this brash "person" even had the gall to get angry at the old guy, saying his eyesight must be failing him and arguing that since there is no number system in place so the line was fair game.

That's where I drew the line. Even with Bea in tow, I called this guy out and told him how "thick-faced" and a "disgrace" (somehow, this did not capture the exact words I used, "Ang kapal ng mukha mo! Nakakahiya ka!") he was and I told him in no uncertain terms that I was not about to tolerate his barging in the line, especially when people already had been patiently waiting for their turn for a long time. He even looked at me menacingly, but I did not back down and I told him that if he continued, he'll face a mauling (not only from me, but also from the other burly men he cheated behind the line).

Other people were already heckling him by then and he had no choice but to leave. I think he did not even go to the end of the line. But since Bea witnessed all of these, I took time to explain it to her... and tried a draw a lesson from the experience.

You see, we could have let the incident slide, in the interest of "peace." And we Filipinos have a tendency to be docile, not wanting to rock the boat, even sacrificing justice and what is right right for "smooth interpersonal relationships" (which goes by the term pakikisama in these parts). Also, people have gone accustomed to the "best defense is offense" way of thinking, capitalizing of this seeming virtue that has now become our own undoing.

It is this trait that is exploited by the evil people in society. Try putting this in the context of the coming elections.

All it takes for this electoral process to become a farce is that we do nothing.

1 Objection(s):

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Arbet said...


I am having a hard time convincing those who wants to boycott (specially the youth) this coming elections. It is really hard convincing, appealing to their sense of duty. It seems our concept of values are really dying.

Thank you for this post. It inspires me more to show the people that voting is essential for all of us.


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