Wednesday, February 18, 2015

On the National Conversation

Trying times bring out the best and the worst in people and these are trying times indeed...

One should always presuppose something human about the State and the Philippine State being what it is, democratic, a healthy clash of opinions is a good sign.

I agree with those who disagree with me in that they like myself are free to express their thoughts on matters concerning the life of our State.

One should not be the judge of opinions other than one's own.

If your stand is stood on principles, then your opinions as a reflection of your convictions should outlast the opinions of the hasty and the reckless. 

However, when we start turning on each other as judges of each other's belief, things start to turn from sour to bitter. Because this makes it political. 

Let the facts shape our belief. Let the truth dictate our vision.

I believe our civics or basically the art of how we treat each other as citizens is grounded on the truths of our nationhood. Therefore, "our" national conversation should be generally conducted in the spirit of our civics.

We as a people talk all the time. 

We are free to do so by a freedom that is our right and responsibility - "free expression", it is called. Free expression as a form of participation in the life of our nation (and ultimately in the politics of our State) is what I refer to as our national conversation.

The Filipino media, our free press, are our gatekeepers as regards the national conversation which is why to impinge upon press freedoms is the beginning of the end of free expression in the nation.

Our government and its institutions are formally represented to the Filipino public by each its own public affairs representatives. Our press is the popular equivalent. This is important.

One who believes in free expression should also make the connection in his mind that press freedom is just as important and in his heart understand the reciprocity of its good.

It has been said that a state that begins burning its books ends up burning its own people.

In much the same fashion, any democratic government or for that matter, any free people not outraged at attacks on its own free press do not understand how free expression works and place themselves in peril of ultimately losing it. Indeed, we ought by knowledge of this be forewarned about the twin values of press freedom and free expression and live our freedoms accordingly.

Brother and sister Filipinos, we should care about the quality of the conversation we are having as a nation. 

To this end, I should laud our media people who are working hard to make all this talk a worthwhile thing to have for all of us.

I too believe the talk we should be having, for our national conversation to bear us good fruit, should be focused on quality. Our conversations about issues that matter should always honorably reflect, in spite of the sobering reality of so many woes, our highest ideals and beliefs.

Our national conversation serves the quest for truth, and truth in service of the people.

I think we should mostly be concerned with solutions to our problems and not on identifying problems we already have but fear to own... maybe because what once was a molehill has now turned into a granite mountain seemingly right before our minds.

When I say this conversation becomes political, I mean it in the sense of the politics that is exercised by our politicians in the formal government of our State.

We are not all politicians after all nor should we all desire to be. We are all citizens though and as not all of us are elected (by us) and set apart by popular mandate into those formal positions of public service within our Republic, our politics are basically expressed through the national conversation in support of the politics of our representative leadership in the formal government of our State.

If one would and takes this all a step further, one writes or contacts directly, his or her representations in the formal government of the State in the Executive, Legislative or Judiciary branches.

Politics are important and because it is, public participation in the political life of our Republic is vital.

All things political to our nation arises within the State from the soul and into soil of our nationhood... its science shaped and empowered by the art of our civics.

Not all of us are politicians, brothers and sisters, but all our politicians are citizens and to the extent that they are, all our politicians should be statesmen and stateswomen.

And those of us who should freely submit ourselves to their leadership ought duly and willingly participate in the national conversation.

In a democracy, we are all leaders.

As all good leaders know, all leaders learn the art of their leadership as followers. In a democracy, all of us too are basically led by the light of our own truth. Hence, leadership in the sense that it is democratic should know and understand that to lead and to follow are one and the same responsibility.

If we know and understand this, and if we trust in the decisiveness and clarity of our vision, all our talking will lead to the one walk - along the way of ascent that will lead us to the eventual and true awakening of all our national dreaming...

All our words should lead us (again and again) to the realization of the promised truths of our peace.

Because truth is truth and at the summit of our Republic Sky lay for all our hearts, the ideals drawn from our highest truths - of proven principles that enable us to conceive together a vision of the State that is always comprehensible to the Filipino soul no matter how different our opinions on the ground may be...

Actual proof of this is our written Constitution, this national document being a distillation of the Filipino spirit handed down to us in physical form. (Have we ever wondered why from one proceed the many and how from the many, one? Have we truly taken to heart its Preamble?)

I trust that leaders be responsible for their own truths and for speaking it out with respect of their own dignity and the dignity of other citizens not unlike them - being honorable Filipinos. 

And so we begin... again and again... while time is time. Till every question and answer become unto us all simultaneously one and the same thing...

Let us have a conversation as a nation... and let our free expression propel our democracy forward to the good of our Republic as a service to our nation and therefore, to the benefit of each and of all.

God bless the Philippines. Mabuhay po tayong lahat.