SPECKS OF LIFE: Oh, Peace, why art thou so elusive?

Do I sound Shakespearean?

Sometimes one can sound poetic as he gropes for the proper prose to match his writing style.

Today, I want to quote a great African-American leader who stood tall in the parliament of the streets and whose death by an assassin’s bullet paved the way for the granting of equal rights and the dismantling of prejudice and discrimination against colored people, notably black Americans.

Martin Luther King said, in his famous oration at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Just when the third round of peace talks in Rome between the Left and the GRP was about to produce a major break-through, unpleasant news developments about ceasefire violations broke the air of confidence.

Without anymore dissecting the whys and wherefores of the ugly accusations that emanated from both camps, I would rather analyze the wisdom of King’s message which I find very relevant under these circumstances.

Do our leaders today have a clear vision of the future they are trying to build for the next generation and those still to come?

Do our children and today’s generation deserve the kind of government and public service they are getting from their leaders?

If the answers to both questions are negative, then the people’s expectations of the future are getting dimmer and dimmer by the day.

This piece is not referring to the incumbent Duterte administration but to all the layers of different political regimes that occupied the central authority that is Malacanang. This piece is directed to all our national leaders – elected and appointed – who developed beer bellies by slouching comfortably on their neatly foamed executive chairs while safely ensconced inside their air-conditioned offices.

Where have they been amiss?

To be frank, I don’t have the right answer(s) But I will essay one or two guesses.

Perhaps, they did not have the same dream as Martin Luther King.

Perhaps, they were not even dreamers at all.

There was no clarity in their approaches. No direction. Thus, no progress.

Their agenda of governance did not benefit the people but their pockets

There were no meaningful activities that had impacted the lives of the millions of ordinary citizens and if there were any, this was not sustained for the succeeding generations.

Thus, the peace that temporarily reigned was torn apart by dissatisfaction, disappointment, disservice.

Peace was further wrecked by greed, avarice, power play, usurpation of the people’s freedoms.

Corruption stealthily grew its roots though slowly and gradually swallowed up our society that is now mired deep in our national consciousness.

Peace cannot settle and dwell in a culture that nurtures negative vibes and negative characteristics.

Peace, to be discovered and nourished, must begin from a dream. (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) God bless the Philippines!

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