My grandfather, Heaven keep his soul, died a few weeks ago after suffering a fatal heart attack in the hospital. He died at the age of 90, an age I suppose some of us here can only envy. Anyway, truth be told, he was never really my grandfather by blood. An American from North Carolina, he was simply my great uncle to me although, if you really want to know, he will always be my real father because it was he who raised me to be the man I am today. I wouldn’t be who and where I am today if it wasn’t for him, his firm guidance and gentle support.
Anyway, since I don’t want to bore you all with the details of my home and family life when I was a child, I’m going to skip ahead to my point…
Now, one of my clearer memories as a young boy was when my grandfather and I sat in our front porch watching our dogs frolicking about on our front lawn. We did this often and in those days my grandfather was a physically imposing figure who towered well over everyone who lived in our house. However, he never tired of talking to me and answering my inquisitive and pointed questions even though I was quite pesky back then and knew little of the ways of the world.
This one afternoon however, I decided to ask about our dogs. I asked him why, even though dogs lived with humans and could understand words, why couldn’t they behave like people and be allowed the same rights as normal human beings. My grandfather simply laughed at the thought and explained to me that dogs simply aren’t like people at all. Sure, they could be intelligent and they could be trained, but at the end of the day, they were only animals who were governed by instinct and not rational thought.
Even a well-trained dog was only obeying orders to it taught to it by its master. Now, dogs could eventually become valued parts of the family, but even then, they would need to be treated like children since they could not really think for themselves and make conscious decisions like humans do. According to my grandfather, there were only two concepts that governed a dog’s life: animal instinct and obedience to its master. A human being, on the other hand, had other factors to consider such as morality, duty and religion, all three of which are only just a few of the things that humans take into consideration.
Dogs, even intelligent ones, require some degree of supervision or support from humans simply because they cannot think and reason for themselves. That is why they can be easily victimized by stupid Pinoys who are intent on eating them. A dog’s mind is very simple, my grandfather explained. A trained dog will probably possess some degree of independence and, most importantly, a sense of loyalty to its master but most dogs have a fairly straightforward method of thinking: people who give food=good, people who deny them what they want=bad.
Most dogs automatically assume that people who give them food are good even if said people are actually out to eat them and are simply using food to attract them. Alternatively, people who deny them what they want or shoo them away are bad even though said people might just be warning them away from a dangerous place or have otherwise harmless intent. People, my grandfather said, are different. Or at least should be different.
A human being can think and can therefore decide whether or not someone is just giving them goodies to earn their favor but have evil intent. Also, sometimes, authorities will require us to do something we don’t like simply because it’s for our own good. Indeed, as people, we can decipher ulterior motives and decide for ourselves whether or not another person is being true to us or may have something else in mind.
I was going to ask more questions but my grandfather dragged me into the house and frantically changed the subject after switching the TV channel to a cartoon show (I think it was Thundarr the Barbarian) when I began asking about the two dogs who were on top of each other…
Anyway, during elections and even after them, I cannot help but notice the many dumb voters who simply state that they voted for their candidate simply because said candidate did something for them. Sometimes, they take the form of goodies like free t-shirts and food. Other times, it may be special favors such as getting them in touch with certain important people. Then there are those times when they take a more direct approach by simply giving people money which probably came from the taxes of the people they’re giving the money to.
They will often ignore everything else said about candidate in question such as allegations of corruption, general incompetence or an outright bad attitude. As long as said candidate is willing to give them goodies for their troubles, they’re more than happy to vote for said candidate even if it means plunging the nation into abject misery. They also frown upon candidates whom they don’t understand or simply aren’t willing to understand and often assume that candidates whose parties tend to lecture about correcting aspects of society are intellectual tyrants who would deny them of their rights.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think that in order for us to truly progress as a nation, it is time that we stopped thinking and behaving like dogs. Let us now learn to reason and weigh options instead of constantly eating the garbage fed to us by the government and media alike. Let us stop barking at our critics in a futile attempt to silence them and instead and at least listen to some of what they may have to say. Most of all, let us stop being beholden to public figures and aiming to please them just because it seems like they will solve our problems for us.
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