When words get in the way
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - November 8, 2019 - 12:00am

We are often told that what we say can either hurt you or heal you. These past few days we have come across various comments on the issue of the huge earthquake that hit Mindanao.

While many responded to the call of pure bayanihan spirit, some deemed such a crisis as a result of retribution leaving many people angry. Social media clearly is a venue for most of us to express our opinions, but perhaps not all of us bear in mind the effects of what we write, more so the consequences it brings. Worst of all, choosing how to respond and who to respond to, as in this case of the devastation in Mindanao, left such a bad taste in one’s mouth that netizens fired back.

We all love to speak of peace but our concept of peace, and in my opinion  seems very fragmented, when in fact it is all encompassing and includes an act extended even to our so called “enemies”.

In the case of our kababayans in Mindanao and regardless of politics, it puzzles me to see how some of us can still manage to say things that not only hurt but cause further division among people. There is opportunity in crisis as the Chinese say and it is up to us to take it and use this wisely.

The recent earthquake in Mindanao was a chance for us Filipinos to come together and mobilize as one nation and many of us, whether it be government agencies, NGOs, LGUs,  private companies and more, rose up to the occasion with politics set aside. After all, this is not about politics.

It seems to me that  “election fever” is an attitude that remains within us even way after elections. At most I feel it is what is used by many to spark discomfort or malice instead of actually looking into the concrete contributions and actions of our leaders. As a people, we must learn to start empowering our leaders who are actually getting their hands dirty and are on the ground.

It has been rather disturbing to see some, and unfortunately this includes media, insinuate, that everything being done by a duly elected official is politically motivated when in fact what should be cited are the deliverable services being provided for the people.

We have spent the last three years debating and finding fault and because there are still certain people who seem to still be in “election mode”, we fail in our critical thinking , miss the point and hurt others  where what is said can no longer be taken back.

Change is never easy and the growing pains that go along with it can be difficult, but all these help us to better understand the needs of our nation which is strongly about inclusivity. Indeed, words can get in the way and the challenge for some is to once and for all learn to be silent when what we have to say bears no good fruit.


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