By Fr. Cyrain Cabueñas
THE CYNICAL and those who have been long accustomed to the ways of a number of uncaring leaders of the land, are quick to blame the country’s flawed development policies and inept officials every time they see signs of squalor, neglect, and corrupt practices specially in backwater municipalities. Some would even take to the social media and have a field day bashing any unpopular or undesirable politician, or so they claim.
Being critical of the powers that be can be a sign of a healthy democracy specially if it is for a good cause. It is even laudable for we need check and balance every now and then. Credibility involves accountability. Thus reporting any anomaly is a must and it is not for the faint of heart.
But mud slinging for one’s vested interest is gross irresponsibility. Perhaps one has simply been bypassed but it can be a sign of crab mentality or simply a person who had obviously missed out on his toilet training and should not be taken seriously. All bark, no bite.
Unfortunately, this has been a trend in our country. We treat people in authority like royalty. Many are surrounded with lap dogs all the time who see them as inexhaustible sources of income and perks. Some would even go on bended knee before politicians as if their very lives depended on them. No wonder some would bathe in ego glorification and would enjoy cult-like following.
One Senator is like this. His was an against-all-odds story that showed how he clawed out his way out of the misery that defined his childhood and succeeded beyond his mom’s wildest dreams. His latest set back in his boxing career shows that he is no longer superman but a shadow of his former self. Some detractors say he should hang up his gloves for good and that his talent in governance is as good or as minimal as his basketball and English. But he could care less. He is long past the point where he should legitimately care about other people’s opinion. Thus he can continue surrounding himself with friends and advisers who are not the sharpest tools in the shed and perennial freeloaders and we cannot fault the guy.
In Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, the nobleman Cassius says to Brutus: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Yes, Juan dela Cruz has been a lackey of many colonizers but he does not have to remain inferior forever. The strivers, the ones willing to scrap and claw and get a little dirty and sweat the small stuff eventually get a shot at fortune and fame. The fault lies with Juan de la Cruz alter ego, Juan Tamad. A massive time waster, inclined to make any small effort impossible, glorifies mediocre lifestyle, no discipline, thinks and acts on a pygmy scale, happy-go-lucky, and gloats on the misfortune of others.
Can we not carry our burden with dignity and without fanfare? We can help cut through the stigma of being lesser breed and can turn our lives around or we are doomed to remain dreamers.