Are Filipinos conscious?

ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato - The Philippine Star

There is a difference between raising awareness and raising consciousness and perhaps, little did any of us know that awareness cannot exist without consciousness. Confusing? I’d think so, even for me at times.

However, today’s fast-paced, ever-changing and downright chaotic world makes it quite necessary for us to engage in such discussions, as consciousness allows each and every one of us to take action and follow through on our progress, as well as the goals we set for ourselves.

For example, a higher state of consciousness allows us to focus on our overall health better by making a clear connection between the body and mind, hence increasing our awareness which, in effect, helps us make better decisions on what we eat as well as making enough time for exercise.

Simply put, our consciousness is what it’s like to be “you,” which includes your experiences and which sets you apart from a machine that does not feel and cannot respond because it is not a thinking or breathing human being.

Raising consciousness is the very foundation of development. It is the starting point in any development program because it is that stage, that pause, when one can stop to think, observe and notice. Have you ever wondered what that “Aha!” moment was all about? It’s about that point in time, that very second, when you notice an opportunity or a chance to make a difference.

Consciousness improves our awareness and raising consciousness is seen in the practice of our values, our emotions, as well as our own personalities. Our values as a people are central to who we are and personally, I believe that we Filipinos need to take time to “re-launch” our generational values found in our deeply rooted and interconnected culture. In other words, it is time for us to focus on our values as a family, a community and society as a whole.

While this can get tricky, considering that everyone has a unique set of values, it is also important to consider that every individual is involved in making a hundred decisions every day and, whether we like it or not, our values shape society. Our values are driven mainly by our cultural beliefs and systems and this serves as a compass that provides the direction for a nation.

Our emotions, on the other hand, generate behavioral reactions wherein raising consciousness makes us more aware of what is going on around us and within us and at the same time helps us learn when to take a step, take a breath, get back into the driver’s seat or adjust our routes.

In addition to these, our personality shows how we do things. For teachers, for example, we have what we call pedagogy where how we teach, the method by which we teach, is an art. Raising consciousness allows us to learn to borrow behaviors on personality traits in order to generate different outcomes. In other words, we can learn from each other and create a new avenue for growth and improvement.

Raising consciousness truly does a lot for us in terms of development, decision making, empowering people and building effective communities for all. It is like upgrading the mind and cultivating what we want and to discern what is right for the people. A conscious mind is clear and focused, where people can live proactively and are able to rise above circumstances.

Albert Einstein once said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” A conscious person is alive and at the same time sensible, and if we are to continue to invest in humankind, we all need to do our bit in raising consciousness which, in the end, leads me back to the question – are we Filipinos conscious?

Perhaps we still need to do the work. The seed is there to begin with. We only need to add more fuel to the flame.

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