The trouble with being spoon-fed is that you are at the complete mercy of the person wielding the spoon. Babies who are spoon-fed are fortunate because, in most cases, it is a loving parent who holds the spoon. Filipinos aren’t that fortunate.
Filipinos are renowned for their addiction to spoon-feeding. Rather than go out and take what they need or want, they sit around waiting for an airdrop from anyone or anything that might fly in from the sky. The assumption there is that whatever morsel of nourishment that may drop into their gaping mouths comes from a concerned entity armed with nothing more than good intentions.
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So Filipinos’ call to the skies for nourishment, whether these be for their stomachs, their wallets, or their minds, rings forth continuously. It is this ideology of neediness that guides their regard for the influential and powerful elements of their society. From the government, Filipinos expect justice. From their oligarchs, they expect employment. From their gods they expect enlightenment. And so out of all that comes the unsurprising result…
Filipinos have progressively impoverished themselves.
The trouble with this philosophy of neediness that characterises Filipino society is that, in reality, all that drops from the sky is not good. Indeed, there is a saying:
Opus est ut omnes nummorum mediocre productum decies pro pupa emere voluit acetabulis.
Roughly translated: “To become a millionaire all you need is a mediocre product and a million suckers willing to buy it for a dollar.”
This simple business lesson is applicable in its purest form in Philippine society. Millions — no, billions — have been made dropping crap into Filipinos’ gaping mouths. You’d think Filipinos have stomachs of iron and brains of steel, and wallets as deep as the Marianas Trench. It certainly does seem like it. For decades, Filipinos have scraped a national economy off stone-age infrastructure and subsisted on medieval beliefs fed to them by their business taipans and enterprising politicians. A credit to Filipinos is that they’ve been clever enough — just enough — to keep their wallets filled with enough cash to pay for all that rubbish. Unfortunately this “cleverness” in the way they scrape a living to pay for the crap they buy is also dependent on the very people and entities that produce said excrement.
So, then, Filipinos are trapped in a vicious cycle of being spoon-fed crap, and working hard to pay for said crap so that their feeders could buy bigger spoons in greater quantities.
Who or what made this cycle so vicious?
That is the question Filipinos need to answer if they are to extricate themselves from the hole they’ve dug themselves into. Hey wait, therein that last sentence is the answer. It is Filipinos themselves that made this cycle of impoverishment vicious — because it is their very character that makes the whole circle spin!
Like a pirouetting figure skater, the more tightly Filipinos embrace their dysfunctional ways, the faster they spiral into an oblivion of despair. How do figure skaters slow down and, eventually, break out of such a spin? Simple. They open themselves up and stretch their arms out. Filipinos need to do the same thing. They need to let go of the destructive beliefs, traditions, and habits they tightly clutch into their chests and open their minds and hearts to modern ways and ideas.
If Filipinos keep praying to the same gods, electing the same leaders, and watching the same “artists”, they will remain poor and hopeless. Only when Filipinos think differently and do things differently will the light at the end of the tunnel flicker into view. When Filipinos begin to think differently and do things differently, the idiotic things their deities, traditional masters, and celebrity idols represent will be regarded with a more crystalline clarity.
For now, the world to the typical Filipino trapped in that spin made more crushing by their stubborn adherence to a comfy but obsolete culture is a bewildering blur. The good news is that it is easy to snap out of that haze. We just need to be like a figure skater and stretch our arms and open ourselves to the light.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.