Again, I’m seeing the Happy card being played a lot these days. Filipinos can’t get enough of that card. It’s a poor man’s Ace. You can’t make yourself rich overnight, but you can certainly make yourself “happy” in the next minute. And so that is why “Happy” is de facto the buzzword of the Loser community. It also explains why buying a Lotto ticket is the Filipinos’ favourite investment strategy — because the hard work, innovative thinking, foresight, and consistency that underpin real efforts to accumulate wealth are concepts alien to Filipinos.
It is easy to retreat to the “happiness” metric when all other success indicators suck. That’s the loser approach to rationalising one’s existence. There’s a a simple colloquial term that encapsulates that attitude: sour grapes.
I don’t have a Mercedes Benz and an airconditioner but, hey, I’m happy with my wretched existence and remain thankful to “God”.
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[Cue in that idiotic “Happy” song…]
Easy and comfy nebulous retreats that give losers that warm fuzzy feeling. Lots of people have made millions of dollars selling bullshit that makes losers feel like winners — self-help books and sappy new-age BS (not to mention religious dogma that promises everything to the dead and nothing to the living) that get into idiots’ heads via their limbic systems rather than cerebral cortices.
You wonder why the Philippines continues to fail? It is because Filipinos have been led to believe that simply being “happy” makes them “winners”. That is a nice philosophy to live by — when you are happy being a loser for the rest of your existence, that is.
Without a doubt, Filipinos love to smile. But what does the Filipino smile actually mean? Apparently, not what it appears to mean. According to a United Nations “World Happiness Report”, the Philippines cannot be considered to be among the world’s happiest countries. The report, which was based on a ranking of 156 countries, put the Philippines at the 103rd spot ranking below basketcases like Namibia, Iraq, and Nigeria.
Interestingly Scandinavian countries disproportionately topped the “Happy” list and, in Asia, famously stoic countries like Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea made decent showings. It is interesting because Filipinos have always seen themselves as a charmed and “blessed” race leading a peachy existence in a rich land while deriding these affluent steely societies as ill-humoured suicidals.
One can’t be a success when one is as self-absorbed as Filipinos are. Too local and inward-looking. That’s what Pinoys are. No wonder Filipinos’ aspirations to be “world class” and “globally integrated” are never realised. Filipinos don’t see themselves as members of the global community. They see themselves as the global community’s employees.
Loser mentality = Pinoy culture
That’s the simple equation that beats all the economists’ fancy financial models that try to make sense of why the Philippines continues to fail.
When one’s mind has been taken over by the Loser Mentality virus, perimeter walls that block input to clear thinking begin rise around one’s intellectual faculties. And where there is no openness to input, the willingness and courage to face reality begins to atrophy. You can see those walls around the Filipino mind in action in most comment threads on online forums all over the Net. When realities about the Pinoy Condition are put on the table, the response is overwhelmingly emotional and, specifically, denial. The preferred approach is to attack the messenger rather than address the message using compelling ideas.
The late former American First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was said to have said:
Small minds discuss people;
Average minds discuss events;
Great minds discuss ideas.
Throw an idea at a Filipino and you get thrown back an inquiry on your personal circumstances. That’s Pinoy “Debate” 101. Re-direct the debate to personalities rather than ideas. It is a reflection of the dysfunctional National “Debate” that sees Napoles Lists as the centrepiece of criminal investigations rather than hard traceable evidence as the key focus.
To behold a society such as the Philippines’ is to understand the forces that keep millions of people deeply-mired in Third World standards of living.
There is nothing in the Philippines that could save it. Not its civilian government, not its military, not its “activists” and, most certainly, not its own people.
One, of course, can “choose” to be “happy”. Because being happy is easy.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.