I think that one of the reasons our country and our countrymen aren’t getting anywhere in terms of intellectual, economic and artistic development is because of our tendency to resort to excuses. Well, I’m not saying that I’m immune to this either. I can easily admit to the fact that I tend to make a lot of excuses myself when forced to do so. However, I will go on to note that while excuses can certainly make us feel better about ourselves, they’re not really going to solve anything in the long run.
Now, I’m going to show you five of favorite excuses that Filipinos tend to resort to and why each of them do more harm than good to our actual culture.
“It’s useless. Why Should I Bother?”
This is one of the more popular excuses used by the less privileged Pinoys out there. Like what I and a lot of other Realists here at GRP like to say, being poor is okay but staying poor is certainly not. I believe that each and every person can make a better person of him or her self if they would put some effort into being good people.
Unfortunately, that is often not the case here in the Philippines. Now, I am quite sure that there are a lot of poor people out there who started with just about nothing but managed to make something of themselves later on in life, but they are easily outnumbered by the countless impoverished schmucks who are either content or embrace being poor. These people seriously believe that the system or whatever powers that be rule the country are squarely against them (true-ish but not impossible to the determined and wise layman) and that they will not be able to rise out of poverty no matter what they do. Worse yet, the media with its neuron-destroying shows seems to hammer into the minds of our poor fellows that being poor is great and that being poor automatically makes them the “good guys” in any situation. Being poor, from their point of view and how the media seems to imply it to them, always makes them the protagonists in any issue despite the fact that they’re squatting on privately or publicly owned land, are ruining the environment with their garbage and refuse or are engaging in petty theft of resources like water and electricity.
Look people, mark my word, as long as you are alive, there will always be opportunities to improve yourself. The way up is difficult, it always is. The metaphor “going uphill” is very accurate because that’s exactly how progress works. The higher you go, the harder it gets, but it isn’t necessarily “useless”. Take note that J.K. Rowling, the highly successful author of Harry Potter could barely afford diapers for her child but through her determination and business sense, became one of the richest women in England.
“It’s not my problem!”
Another common issue with many Filipinos is their apathy. As long as something doesn’t affect them, they don’t seem to care all that much. It doesn’t matter if it’s about a hostage crisis, a devastating freak storm or the unjust massacre of people, as long as they aren’t directly affected, it doesn’t really matter.
Worse yet, there are people who actively cause problems for others thinking that it “isn’t their problem”. This includes people who steal resources like cable or electricity thinking that it isn’t really their problem so they tend to believe that they have every right to do so. The list just goes on and on.
When called out, many of the people who resort to this excuse tend to lash out angrily, saying that why should they get involved when it doesn’t concern them? What’s sad is that most Pinoys are usually more aware of celebrities and their shenanigans rather than issues that deserve more of their attention. Thanks to the media, Pinoys are more aware of cosmetic products used by Anne Curtis rather than the masked gunman standing outside their door, holding a good-sized sub-machine gun in one hand and a machete in the other.
Just so you know, when the Holocaust of World War II began, many of the victims had a similar mindset. The Jews didn’t care about the Gypsies, the Gypsies didn’t care about the homosexuals and the homosexuals didn’t care about the communists. They probably started caring when they were finally brought into concentration camps though but by then, it was already too late.
“It’s none of your business!”
A very oft-heard response from Pinoys who don’t want you ruining their fun. This is often closely followed by “walang basagan ng trip” (don’t ruin my fun) and “gusto lang naming tumawa” (we just want to laugh). I have often heard this sentiment from people who are too engrossed in their so-called entertainment or are busy being an annoyance to other people.
Well, yes, I believe that every person has the right to consume whatever media they like or do what they like but they are also expected to be responsible for what they do. Doing what you like is fine as long as you’re not breaking laws or being a thorn in the side of society.
As an example, I would like to cite once again the ever infamous Dong-Yan wedding which has been the cause of much ire for people. Look, I will say that they have a right to do what they want. They had every right to make their wedding as extravagant as they possibly could but it’s a different story when they went on to show it on just about every television across the country and had to block off roads that led to their venue. While it was completely irrelevant to the lives of most people, they shoved the wedding down people’s throats just to show off how lavish they were despite the fact that there were probably more important issues to discuss at the time such as the status of national projects and various dangers to society. What makes it worse is that they actually had to block off roads in an already traffic-saturated city that is supposedly the economic “heart” of the country and you can only imagine how many people arrived to work late, slowing production for some companies and how many expectant mothers had to give birth inside vehicles because of the traffic their wedding created.
“Everyone else is doing the same thing!”
Here’s another sad, sad excuse that Pinoys continue to make even today. Just because everyone is doing the same thing doesn’t make something “right”. Even the Bible condemns this kind of thought because if the society you’re in has horrible morals, then that means you are every bit as immoral as they are.
No one ever stops to think that if a lot of people are doing something wrong, then all the more reason that one should avoid doing it. Many people who like to litter like to make the same excuse until the rains come and flood their homes. Many people who steal electricity and cable also make the same excuse until something goes wrong with their connections and they either get electrocuted or their house catches fire.
If you’re really going to use this excuse time and time again, you might as well think about the following: Here’s something to mull over, did you know that a lot of people are murdered on a regular basis? Then I guess that since everyone else is committing acts of murder as we speak then that means that it must be right, right? So by all means, let’s start murdering each other!
“There’s always next time.”
Pinoys love to procrastinate. When given a task, they will try to delay it for as long as possible because there’s always plenty of time to do it. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons for our country’s continued stagnation.
Because we refuse to make any kind of progress even when it’s available to us, we lose any chance of making the Philippines a better country. The Philippines has a sad history of failed opportunities which is due to the fact that Pinoys don’t realize that opportunities will never be there forever. Sooner or later, something will change and that opportunity will no longer be available. Unless we can accept the fact that time is precious and that we, as a people, should cherish every second of it, then I fear our nation is ultimately doomed.
If you want an example, I can gladly cite the many government officials who insist that there is always time to take care of a problem whether it be fierce weather, brutal terrorists or economic issues. Unfortunately, I can point out that issues of the sort can change dramatically from moment to moment. So that fierce weather might arrive earlier than anticipated or the brutal terrorists might be at your doorstep by now or that all the foreign businessmen have left, leaving you and your livelihood bankrupt.
The time for excuses is over my fellow Filipinos. Let us take action now before it is too late. Help save the Philippines before she is utterly destroyed.
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