Today, we’re going to tackle the concept of “sacrifice”, a word too often used and abused by Filipino politicians. If you care to notice, this is probably what they claim to be their biggest points on why they would make good presidential candidates. For instance, there is President Aquino and his party calling the death of his mother a “sacrifice” on his part even though the man himself probably has the mind of a selfish 14-year-old. Then there’s Mar Roxas with his many photo ops carrying bags of onions, putting together school chairs, driving pedicabs and riding MRT’s which he seems to think of as “sacrifices” even though he seems to be a total dick in real life and has willingly screwed over the Yolanda survivors. Don’t forget there’s also Jejomar Binay who seems to think that giving away freebies will be accepted as a “sacrifice” even though most of these freebies are purchased using the common people’s money through ill-gotten wealth. Finally there’s Grace Poe who insists that her father’s death as well as her discarding of her American citizenship are “sacrifices” on her part.
Well heck. I believe ChinoF has pretty much enumerated how typical Pinoys misinterpret the meaning of “sacrifice”. I’m so sick and tired of listening to politicians whining on and on about their alleged “sacrifices” as well as typical Pinoys who like to flaunt their “sacrifices” to others. Indeed, for some, both politician and common citizen alike, making “sacrifices” seem to be the go-to excuse to be incompetent, careless or outright evil. It’s actually amazing, if you ask me, and most certainly not in a good way.
That’s why today, I’m going to define what sacrifice really means…
Sacrifices Must Be Done Willingly
First and foremost, sacrifices are a choice. They are things that are done consciously with full understanding of the terms involved. A good example of “sacrifice” in this regard would be the many sacrifices Oskar Schindler made to keep his Jewish workers safe. He knew that it was dangerous if he continued to give Jews safe haven and, if he was somehow caught, both he and his family would have had to suffer for it. But he did it anyway and his wife, who fully understood the value of human life and how precious it was, went along knowing that if her husband was ever found out, she and her children would probably be executed along with him.
Look ladies and gentlemen, a dead loved one cannot be considered a “sacrifice” because it is simply a natural occurrence. I mean c’mon, everybody loses someone in their life sooner or later. With the kind of logic President Aquino and Grace Poe seem to function on, then I guess that means I would be presidential material. I’ve lost my mother, my grandmother and my dog on an almost annual succession so that must mean I’d be a great president because of my “sacrifices”.
Let’s go back to some of the things that ChinoF said in his article. The thing is, discomfort or death cannot be considered sacrifices unless they are done willingly. Losing someone in your life is pretty normal, when you stop to think about it and you can’t really call it a sacrifice as it’s not something made willingly. Now giving up your life for a greater purpose is a sacrifice as it involves you deciding that something (be it the life of another person or multiple persons, a cause or belief you put your faith into or a high ideal you put above yourself) is more important than you. But simply losing people in your life or becoming the victim of something is not a sacrifice as they are not something done voluntarily.
So no, the death of President Aquino’s mother, the death of Grace Poe’s father and the death of Leni Robredo’s husband are NOT sacrifices but are just them playing the victim card.
Sacrifices Are Done Without Personal Reward
The thing is, when a lot of these politicians commit an alleged “sacrifice”, they can’t really be called that as, more likely than not, they are simply doing it as a PR stunt. Indeed, when it comes to Pinoy politics and Pinoy society in general, the selfless sacrifice is an alien concept. This is actually quite surprising considering we like to flaunt our “Christianity” everywhere ad nauseum.
As an example of what I’m talking about, I’d like to point to none other than Mother Theresa. While some question her motives and some even question her sanity, few can contest her selflessness when it came to helping the poor. She gave up everything for them. Everything. And here’s the rub: She never expected anything in return for all her good works. She did them because of her faith in God but she also did them because, in her heart, she knew that these people needed help and deserved to be treated as human beings. Remember that those she helped weren’t just “poor” per se, but destitute. These were the people who were homeless and hopeless as they had no one to care for them and a lot of them were just waiting for death on the streets of India.
That’s why I find the idea of Jejomar Binay’s freebies and Grace Poe’s discarding of her American citizenship as “sacrifices” as utterly hilarious. We all know that majority of Binay’s goods are taken from the pockets of the common people and that Grace Poe only discarded her American citizenship as it would prevent her from becoming president. Let us remember that their sacrifices are essentially just done to advance their goal of gaining presidency and are thus not “sacrifices” at all but mere compromises.
Sacrifices Are Not Always Obvious
Sacrifices don’t need to be seen or shouldn’t be obvious. They’re not something you shove in people’s faces. Like I said, they are done from your heart and are not something you really expect anything out of.
Now before you call me out on my last article, let me tell you this: You don’t know me anyway. Besides, there were no cameras on the bus, no media to show you that Thaddeus Grimwald just gave his seat to a mother and her child and had to stand on a shaky bus while watching a Lito Lapid movie for a few hours. If you ask me, having to watch a Lito Lapid action movie is a form of torture in and of itself and I believe no one deserves to be condemned to watch such films. I still can’t get the scene wherein he splits a bullet with his sword to hit two baddies out of my head. Oh well, at least it wasn’t Human Centipede. If that had been the case, I would’ve probably just gotten off the bus.
Anyway, with all the posturing and media coverage a lot of politicians are getting, you come to wonder just what is going on. I mean look at it this way, how can we believe that people like Mar Roxas are who he claims to be when all the propaganda ads he makes are all too often accompanied by cheesy music and horrible dialogue. Then he goes on and on about how he is used to being “sacrificed” when he can’t even bring himself to care about the Yolanda survivors or the Fallen 44 as they could potentially ruin his chances at becoming president. He seems to think that riding in the most comfortable part of an MRT a “sacrifice” because he’s riding alongside the common people but never even counters President Aquino’s statement about traffic being a sign of a booming economy. Honestly, Mar Roxas is looking less and less like a man and more and more like a dog eager to please his master.[Photo courtesy Pando.com.]
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