If you could rid the world of anything, what would it be?
WORDS WORTH - Mons Romulo (The Philippine Star) - April 9, 2017 - 12:00am

The world has changed so much and so fast in the past decade or so. There is so much conflict between countries, within countries, and between ideologies. Things that were unacceptable before are now shrugged off; racism and hatred are freely and publicly expressed. On the positive side, love and compassion still make the world livable — but if you had the power to get rid of one thing, what would it be and why?

Denise Aquino, owner, Tokyo Posh

If there’s one thing I could rid the world of, it would be envy. Because of the omnipresence of social media today, we tend to always compare ourselves with what other people have or do, and since we can’t always have what they have, this leads to envy and bitterness. Instead of feeling happy for others, we see their posts as humble brags. When I see a friend post of her new bag, her baby’s first steps, her cheesiness with her boyfriend, her travels all over the world, I just genuinely feel so happy for her. If everyone would be more mindful of this and try to lessen envy, then the world (at least the social media world) would be a much happier place to live in. Let’s just be happy for everybody, so we can be content and happy ourselves!

Jerika Ejercito, director, Be Healed Foundation; program director, Ilaw ng Maynila

It would be fear. Fear from trials and tribulations. In today’s world, we tend to run away or drown our sorrows with endless worldly distractions out of fear of dealing with our unpleasant situation. We believe that we must do everything and anything we can to alleviate the pain that we feel emotionally, mentally and physically, when in fact we should welcome them as an opportunity to grow and evolve. I have been a staunch mental health advocate for the last five years and I myself have gone through personal struggles and I, too, wanted a quick fix. But I had to learn how to respect the process to accept trials as a chance to better myself.

I am not at all romanticizing depression, like numerous Facebook articles that have been flooding my feed lately, but I am merely suggesting a different perspective in time of adversity. For only in our sufferings (if we allow it) can we cultivate our character. I must quote Romans 5:3-4 —  “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, character and hope.”

DENR Secretary Gina Lopez

Greed and selfishness, coldness and indifference, which cause most of the sufferings in this country and the planet. Add crass materialisim, where money becomes the sumum bonum of life because people’s lives become secondary — and become objects to be played around with, just so one can make money.

Carlo Ongchangco, artist

It would be ungratefulness and the sense of entitlement. People nowadays just don’t value kindness anymore. Most of the time, they feel like they were entitled to the goodness shown to them. I seldom see people performing acts of generosity towards one another. I think it’s because of an ungrateful heart that makes it hard to pay it forward. If people will realize how blessed we are no matter what, being kind would be so natural. To encourage and edify one another. I would love to see more of that.

Tim Tam Ong, fashion and jewelry designer

Since I value love, harmony and sincerity, the thing I would like to get rid of in the world is hatred. Hatred takes so much from a person, one of the most important things being the relationship that’s broken. Relationships are gifts that should be protected and cherished. If people could only get past hatred, there would be so much more joy in the world. Practically speaking also, it would be a far better use of one’s time.

Candy Dizon, jeweler

If I could rid the world of anything, it would be all types of cancer. Perhaps it’s for selfish reasons, but I have lost way too many loved ones to this disease — my sister when she was 12 (I was six), my grandmother, my uncle and my mother, and that’s just within my immediate family. So many close friends have lost the battle to cancer and most of them were in pain. Even if I have myself checked once a year, I always have this nagging feeling that I, too, may acquire it because that’s the character of the brutal disease. It is also quite scary to think that we may get it because of what we eat, what we breathe and what we put onto our bodies. It’s too powerful of an enemy and though there are stories of people who won the battle against cancer, from what I know, it took so much from them. It is a disease that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. 

Ditta Sandico, fashion designer

From a creative point of view, I would like to see more people breaking away from their barriers and transcending their fears. By allowing oneself to be more open-minded and less judgmental, an individual can embrace newness. And beyond that, allow oneself to discover new perspectives. All of this while staying true to a style that’s truly your very own.

Rep. Romero “Miro” S. Quimbo, deputy speaker

I would rid the world of greed. It leads us to prioritize our own desires even when it causes others to suffer. From family disputes over property or inheritance to wars between nations over resources, greed causes rifts in our society. As a public servant, I can identify greed as one of the root causes of ineffective governance and poor service delivery. Whether for power or for wealth, greed has caused one too many to abandon their oath to serve the public.

Rory Quintos, Director

If I could rid the world of anything, it would be ego —the root of everything: pride, envy, greed, hatred, and all that is fallen.

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