Before I begin my formal rant, for a given value of the word “formal”, let me say a few bits from the Bible. The following are actually events taken from the book of Exodus translated to modern format and interpreted by me. However, before I go on, let me tell you that I am not exactly a theologian or any kind of expert on the Bible. This is merely my opinion as a layman, but at least a well-read and well-informed layman. So please everyone, kindly take your seat as Chaplain Thaddeus Grimwald delivers yet another sermon from the pulpit of GRP…
After freeing the people of Israel and fleeing into the desert, Moses saw that the Israelites were still in dire need of guidance. So he made plans to go up to Mt. Sinai to speak to the Big Man and maybe get a map or at least some general directions on where he and his people where to go on what to do. Unfortunately, he couldn’t simply leave them without anyone in charge so he went and talked to his brother Aaron about it.
“Yo Aaron, bro,” Moses said to Aaron. “I need someone to take charge of the people while I’m gone. I’m gonna go to Mt. Sinai over there so that God can give me an idea on where to go next or what to do. Might not be around for quite a while though so I thought maybe you could watch over them for me.”
“You sure bro?” Aaron looked at his brother.
“Sure I’m sure man,” Moses assured Aaron. “You’re my brother. Besides, you knew the words to say when we went to Ramses.”
“Sure bro,” Aaron accepted his brother’s responsibility. “I’ll watch them like my own flock of sheep. Good luck talking with the Big Guy, huh? And maybe you can also ask if there’s an open outlet for Seven-Eleven somewhere around here.”
And with that, Moses was gone. As he had said, it took him quite a while and people started worrying he would never come back. It got so bad that people started bugging Aaron about it.
“Aaron, where’s Moses?” People kept asking Aaron.
“He said he wanted to talk to God so we could find a way out of this desert,” was all Aaron could reply.
“Maybe you could bring God to us,” some of the people said. “We want to talk to God too, you know?”
It’s not really clear why Aaron did what he did next but because he wanted to please the people, he came up with an idea…
“Okay folks,” he said to the people. “Why don’y you give me all your bling, your gold and jewelry and I’ll bring God to you!”
To be honest, perhaps Aaron meant well. Maybe he wanted to bring a representation of God to the people of Israel. Or perhaps he just wanted to make his own monument to the Lord to please Him. Or it could be he was just bored, wanted something to do and do something to please the people at the same time.
And so Aaron made the Golden Calf, the false god popularized by just about all media about the Exodus and the Ten Commandments. Like I said, maybe Aaron meant well and that the Golden Calf was supposed to be just a representation of God just as many Catholics of today like to claim their many icons are. Unfortunately, people at the time didn’t see it that way and started seeing the Golden Calf as a god in and of itself and forgot about the God that freed them from slavery from Egypt and the values that Moses tried to impart to them.
As was said, people went from evil to evil under their new “god”. Sexual immorality to possibly human sacrifice, the Israelites went and did it, believing that the God of Moses had forgotten them and abandoned them. Besides, they liked this “god” a lot better because it did what they expected it to instead of being the God of balance and order that forced responsibilities on them. People went from excess to excess, believing that their “god” approved all of it and essentially freed them from any kind of responsibility or accountability.
Finally, when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, all he could say was the ancient equivalent of “WTF?!” when he saw what had happened to the Israelites and the depravity they engaged in.
I think you already know what happens next so I’ll stop here…
Okay, so my point is that idolatry is deeply ingrained in Pinoy culture. I remember writing an article about it not long ago but then I was just referring to celebrities. Now, much to my displeasure, I must also include political candidates.
As I’ve said many times before, it isn’t leaders that a lot of Filipinos are looking for, but masters. They aren’t looking for good people who will guide them into leading better lives. What they want are masters who will solve all their problems for them without them having to lift a finger to help themselves.
Look, for the hundredth time, this is not about who you’re voting for. You have a right to your opinion and a right to choose the leader you see fit to rule the country. However, what I’m talking about here is why you’re voting for said person and what you actually expect from him or her.
Here are things we need to remember when voting a leader into office:
They Can’t Solve ALL Our Problems
Sure, they might be able to make some major changes in our country. They may bring opportunities that will improve the lives of our countrymen. They might actually change the system enough that Filipinos might finally be able to make something of themselves on a global scale.
But let’s not get it into our heads that they’re going to solve all our problems for us. More likely than not, they will have their own responsibilities and troubles to worry about. Running a country leaves little room for providing help for one specific person or family.
If anything, we should learn to solve our own problems. Indeed, if our leaders can provide us new opportunities, perhaps we can use those opportunities to improve ourselves. The problem with a lot of Pinoys is that they honestly think that just because a person brings the food to the table, that person also has to spoonfeed them.
We Have To Do Our Part Too
Another problem with the way we treat our politicians is that a lot of the time, people tend to think that they are no longer responsible or accountable for anything that happens. Has there been a flood? Well, it must be the leader’s fault for not improving the storm drains, never mind that everyone likes to litter as if the city is their own personal landfill. Has there been an outbreak of a dangerous disease? Well that must be the leader’s fault again even though adapting healthy habits and practices (cleaning out waterways, not spitting in public places and using contraceptives) are fairly obtainable. Has there been a massive road accident? Well, the leader is to blame again for not getting a better layout for the roads without regarding the fact that local motorists treat public roads like their personal race tracks.
I could go on but that would make this too long. This is what I’ve been trying to say on my last article. Unfortunately, it’s sad to note that a lot of people still didn’t understand.
They Are Mortal
This is the most important thing about them that we should remember. They are all mortal. Their terms will end or they will die eventually. My question to you is: What will you do then?
Once their term ends, will you continue to champion the discipline and wisdom they stood for? Or will you just wait for another leader who’ll make life easier for you?
Unless we can make plans for improvement and progress after the retirement or death of our good leaders, then we really are doomed as a people…
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