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Seeking Public Office

The nearer election day draws, the more deafening the racket becomes.



What motivates a man to seek public office? That is a question begging for an answer given the messy times that we are in and the fast-approaching election.

“I want to help the poor, the weak and the voiceless.”

“I know a better way of running this country.”

“I will immediately dismiss from office and hold accountable the ruffians, the scoundrels, the corrupt, the power-trippers and the self-aggrandizers.”

“I will clean the Aegean stables of government of the dirt, the muck and the smoke that smother the country as a result of criminal negligence, inaction and conspiracy.”

These are promises and pronouncements that dominate the social and political landscape which intensify ad nausea as election time nears. The racket increases in proportion to its distance to election day. The nearer election day draws, the more deafening the racket becomes.

Stripped of their verbosity, these utterances reveal the plausible reason that pushes one to seek public office. I see “craving for power” as the motivating factor — the power to make changes for a better Philippines (or a better-off me?) Power is good as it can be bad. It is good if it is exercised to promote the people’s welfare.

It is bad if it is wielded to advance self-interest at the expense of the common good. Power blinds and it can misdirect one to the wrong turn at the fork of the road where half of it leads to righteousness and the other half to wickedness. Indeed, power can be a blessing or a curse.

Hope springs eternal, so it is said. There is always salvation beyond the troubled horizon. Hardship resulting from misuse or abuse of power is not permanent.

One day, from out of the maze and haze shall emerge a man (or a woman, if you will) whose destiny it will be, to unify the fractured groups, political or otherwise, to work as one to heal the nation’s wounds and to make true brothers of us all.

Moderating Influence
It is about time that religious groups of all persuasions exercise their moderating influence on those entangled in a disagreement shimmering red with anger, acrimony and bitterness.

While some postulate that stepping into such a fray by religious institutions is meddling and would be violative of the principle of “separation between church and state,” some believe otherwise because they claim that there should never, never be a separation between God and state. This is so because it is from the goodness of God that the state draws its goodness. It is the love of God that is invoked. It is His help that is sought.

Heroes and Frontliners
We call them modern heroes and yet we treat them like peons. A hyperbole perhaps (at least the second part of the statement) but bristling with ample erudition to trigger a discussion.

Public health frontliners know they risk infection and even death in attending to patients sick with the coronavirus bunched in crowded quarters and under less than ideal conditions, but they persist with amazing doggedness. If I were to comment on the dedication, tenacity and courage of these frontliners, three words would sum it all: DUTY, SERVICE, SACRIFICE.

Devotion to DUTY; Unspeakable SERVICE; Readiness to SACRIFICE. Our frontliners have them all.

What more can anyone ask for?

Quotation of the Day
“The day you stop burning with love, someone will die of cold.”