Demanding Change Without Changing Oneself Won’t Change Anything

First, let’s begin with a story from my 4th grade teacher…

There was this kid who saw how bad and ugly the world was and prayed: “Lord, please change the world so that everyone can be happy!” Unfortunately, nothing happened.

When the kid became a teen, he saw how terrible the state of his country was so he prayed: “Lord, please change the country so that everyone can be happy!” Still, nothing happened.

Then the teen became a man and saw how poor his home city was so he prayed: “Lord, please change the city so that everyone can be happy!” For the third time, nothing happened.

The man eventually had a family but saw how dysfunctional his family was so he prayed: “Lord, please change my family so that everyone can be happy!” You guessed it, nothing happened.

After many years passed, the man became an old man and the time came for him to go. As he lay in his deathbed, Azrael, the angel of death came to him.

“Ah, so you are here,” said the old man. “My time has indeed come. Before we go though, I want to ask you something.”

“You are welcome to ask anything mortal man,” Azrael replied, ever patient.

“Tell me,” the old man began. “Why did God not answer my prayers? When I asked Him to change things, nothing ever happened.”

“You see mortal man, God has always respected ‘free will’ in people.” Azrael explained. “He answered your prayers in the best way he could, you know?”

“How?” the old man asked. “How could God have answered my prayers when He never did anything about them?”

“He did, mortal man,” Azrael insisted. “There was you in all of that. God gave you the opportunity to make your mark on the world, become a symbol of hope for your country, be a model citizen in your city and improve the state of your family. You could have done all that but it was so disappointing to see that you never achieved any of that.”

It was then that the old man realized that if he had only prayed that God gave him the strength to change himself first, perhaps he could’ve achieved everything the angel of death had said. If only he had bothered to act instead of simply waiting for God to do all the work, perhaps he could’ve made a lot of people happy and made a name for himself. These were his thoughts as Azrael led his soul into the light  of the afterlife.

Apparently, there were still a good number of people who utterly failed to understand my previous article. Truth be told, I kind of expected that but still, it’s more than a little disappointing when you try to explain things in the clearest way possible but people still won’t accept what you’re saying because they find reality uncomfortable. Indeed, I’ve come to realize that people hate GRP not because our works are scathing but because they’d rather hold on to their delusions than accept the truth about themselves.

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Look, with all due respect, this country is indeed in desperate need of change. Unfortunately, if we ourselves cannot initiate the change then it’s all for nothing. The Philippines will still be the same sad and god-forsaken hellhole it always has been. What’s worse is that with the up and coming elections, people are still going to vote with the same kind of mindset and attitude.

Here are some of my points:

We Are Still Irresponsible

Once again people are pushing for their candidate like there’s no tomorrow. Walls, trees and just about any surface is being covered with political posters and ads. Supporters of the various political candidates champion their chosen leader-to-be, raising him or her above their heads like a pagan idol, believing that they are the key to the salvation of the country.

Unfortunately, a lot of supporters still seem to possess the same mindset they always had even before the 2010 election. They still see their chosen candidate as some sort of messiah who’ll solve all their problems for them. None of them even bother to think to solve their own problems first such as disposing of their garbage properly to prevent floods and other health problems or actually reporting crimes they’ve witnessed so authorities can actually do something about it.

We Still Dislike Thinking

One will notice that a lot of Duterte supporters lash out almost immediately when reading some of the articles directed at their candidate that portray him or those who support him in a negative light. I can’t help but notice that only a precious few read the entire article and made assumptions off of the words and phrases they remember the most.

Indeed, as I’ve mentioned before, they act more like rabid dogs than people. They snarl and snap at anything they perceive as a threat even when it clearly isn’t.

We Still Let Our Emotions Control Us

Tying in with the above, we almost always let our emotions get the better of us. In the end, we allow black propaganda to control us. We never stop to think about what we’re getting ourselves into or what’s being said in the first place.

Unless we can think for ourselves and make decisions based on sound logic, then our emotions are going to lead us and the rest of the country into oblivion.

***

Truth be told, I’m kind of tired having to explain stuff like this because it should be quite obvious to a lot of you now. Unless we can change ourselves for the better and behave like mature and proper citizens of our country, then nothing will really change. It doesn’t matter who’s running the country be it Rodrigo Duterte, Miriam Santiago, Mar Roxas, Jejomar Binay, Grace Poe, Fernando Poe Jr. rising from the grave to run for president, Heneral Luna himself hailing from the afterlife or The Emperor of Mankind, if we can’t change ourselves for the better, then we’ll still be screwed.

Look, I know that it’s hard. Changing oneself for the better always is. However, when you do make that change, you’ll look back and be grateful for the fact that you’ve gotten so far. When people start looking at you in a different way and see you as something to truly admire and emulate, you’ll find yourself asking: “Why didn’t I do this earlier?”

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12 Comments on “Demanding Change Without Changing Oneself Won’t Change Anything”

  1. I remember in high school 20 years ago, some of my classmates tried changing their ways by improving their spirituality. They did watch Jesus is Lord on TV… habang nag-iinuman at sinisigaw ang ‘Praise the Lord!’ sabay taas ng tagayan.

    Everyone wants to solve the traffic problem but it seems no one wants to stop using their cars beyond what the coding scheme requires. The sad

    The Philippine overpopulation problem is staring every Filipinos in the face but it looks like birth control or celibacy is off the radar. In fact, Philippine media seems to portray that a lack of romantic relationship is a form of inadequacy.

    Everyone wants a good leader but no one seems to bother to examine how these aspirants really think. They’re fine with how these candidates look or talk.

    Filipinos continue to cry for changing the system but none really bothers or compel their representatives to amend the constitution which has been tried and tested for more than two decades already. I think we already gave its framers a fair chance to prove their point.

    I’ve seen NAIA staffs cry foul for generalizing them in the Tanim-bala issue. I somehow agree that it is not fair but if they want change, then they should police themselves from the start. Besides, they are in the best position to do that since the culprit is among them. Want an applause? Give the rats to the cats.

    Etc., etc., ect., …

  2. “Indeed, as I’ve mentioned before, they act more like rabid dogs than people. They snarl and snap at anything they perceive as a threat even when it clearly isn’t.”

    It seems every time I have a criticism of people, policies or service here I get the onion-skinned response, “If you don’t like it here go back to your country.”

    Nobody wants to answer the question, “When I leave will you support the 10 ~ 13 people (not related to me) that I support now?” Those people are in addition to my immediate family.

  3. Indeed, true discipline comes from within. The problem with Filipinos is a belief that they have the right to be “pasaway.” And if someone is truly law-abiding or not pasaway, they actually think the person is dumb. Despite what they say, that they want others to be disciplined, they themselves don’t want to be disciplined.

  4. Changing oneself is very hard. Habits and old beliefs, that began from childhood are very hard to break. Your body maybe willing to change; but your mind is not willing.

    Same as in our country. Most of our people, do not strive to change. They are content with their miserable lives; incompetent and thieving public officials; shoBiz politicians, etc…

    The willingness to change, is the issue here…to change , or not to change, that is the question…

  5. @ Grimwald, Tell people that it is not hard, it is not difficult. JUST DO IT !!!! Let the chips fall where they may BUT DO IT !!!!and tell them to do it NOW. Times a wastin bro, so get to it !!!!

  6. Keep it up! Never give up! Any Naruto fans here? 😛 and Even if our lovely country of the Philippines will forever be the oozing zestful of despair. That is perhaps the only thing we tiny people can do. keep moving forward.

    It is hard and obviously it’s frustrating, but hey maybe we should be also delude ourselves thinking that one day, at least a majority of the people will be able to see first, think first and hear first before they spit, snarl and bite.

    1. I’m a Naruto fan although I more greatly prefer Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann…

      Besides, I still can’t accept what happened to Mitarashi Anko in the end… 🙁

      1. Cool! I’m currently reading shingeki no kyojin I can’t wait for the update. My way of escape from our reality hehe. But the only thing that separates me from others is that I know I can’t truly escape it.

        Maybe you could teach our fellows on how to came back, teach them to go down from wherever the clouds they’re in. So keep it up even if it becomes tedious. (I google that word first hehe XD)

  7. If human beings are fundamentally good, no government is necessary; if they are fundamentally bad, any government, being composed of human beings, would be bad also.

  8. the repentant thief was promised paradise ‘this day’ by Christ hanging on the cross because in the short time that he and Christ spent on the cross, a change from within came over him and he changed enough to get a promise of eternal reward for that effort.
    so it seems that change is possible for any of us, no matter how hardened, set in our ways, or ‘beyond redemption ‘ we appear to be, even at the very last few moments of our lives, because the mercy of God is greater than our sins.

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