SPECKS OF LIFE: Transforming doubt into faith

There is so much at stake in our country today that we need to stand up and fight for Education is one. Equitable distribution of wealth is another. Social justice, peace and prosperity, brotherhood and unity.

But more than these basic realities, it is the quest for genuine freedom, where the voice of the people reigns supreme, that should prompt our collective action.

With freedom on the line, there should be a greater motivation for our people to strive harder, fight for their inherent constitutional rights and demand that government promptly deliver basic services to everyone.

The principle that government exists for the people and not vice versa should empower the citizens to take active part in governance.

This should be the sustaining motivation by all.

Past government administrations have but on the surface touched the fundamental needs of their constituencies. The negative thoughts that were left implanted in our minds because of their neglect, inefficiency and incompetence in governance produced scars of resentment, anger and indifference.

Doesn’t this tell us that the oft-stated “government of, for and by the people,” has shrunk into a meaningless “ism” – a myth, to say the least?

The faith of people in government is shaken to bits. Politicians who can swear by as many empty promises each one can make usually end up installed in office. The electorate doesn’t seem to mind at all, not anymore. The sweet-talking politician cum pseudo-leader has taken over the reins.

Shouldn’t we be glad and welcome the new wave of governance that has replaced the indolent, passive and corrupt regimes? Shouldn’t we raise our hands in hope and in joy that the neglected poor and under-privileged are now the focus of governance?

For the longest time, we have been living in doubt and in fear, in timidity and in bondage. For many decades – nay, centuries even –  these circumstances plagued us. Foreign powers and foreign business interests exploited not only our patrimony but also wilted our souls and spirits while our leaders merely looked the other way.

Let these ugly and sad experiences, traumatic and injurious as they were, awaken our sleeping souls and spirits and turn us into courageous freedom-fighters.

Let these circumstances transform our diffident attitudes into a wizened citizenry, educated by the difficult lessons we went through under centuries of foreign colonization.

Yes, let us transform our doubts into faith.

We must help each other, in a cooperative manner, to encourage and promote the active participation of its citizens in all aspects of community life.

This is the true meaning of people empowerment.

Let us teach our young people to resist foreign subjugation, to correctly identify themselves as Filipinos and not by any other identity. We are not the “little brown brothers” of anybody. We are our own.

“It does not matter what’s the color of your skin, what language do you speak, what religion you believe in. It is that we should all consider each other as human beings,” Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenager, uttered in a speech after accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.

Above all, have faith. (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!