The basic habits of highly ineffective people, gov'ts

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

Today, is the first working day of this year and, after the much squandered Christmas break, we are going back to the crazy realities of unplanned, unmanaged, unled and highly neglectful communities, as well as the endless urban struggles of the poor middle class. We are again caught between the devil of horrendous traffic, pollution, garbage, and crimes and the deep blue seas of corruptions, treacheries, and the sense of hopelessness, helplessness, and the ''bahala na syndrome of the citizenry. It is still the same people and government that never seem to learn from all the pains, the sufferings of disasters and calamities.

It is high time to tell ourselves and our government that we deserve whatever woes we face. The first basic habit of our people and government is allowing too much freedom and too little discipline. Too much democracy and too little sense of responsibility. Too much blaming others, too little introspection. Too much politicking and too little real hard work. The second basic habit is pursuing high economic growth for the business taipans and making the poor mendicants and recipients forever of cash dole-outs and giveaways. Targeting financial successes in order to borrow from foreign sources and let the taxpayers worry about long-term repayment.

The third basic habit is attracting foreign investors and motivating our own people to work abroad and remit 24 billion US dollars annually. Attracting direct investments from Europe, US, Middle East, ASEAN, Japan and China would entail amending our Constitution so that foreigners can own all our lands, buy out all our mineral resources and make the Filipinos slaves in our own country. The fourth basic habit is encouraging the wage earners to spend all their earnings in unrestrained consumerism, so that the tycoons, the taipans, and the magnates can earn trillions from their malls and casinos and contribute millions for election spending.

The fifth habit of a highly ineffective people and government is to allow everybody to run for President, make it easy to qualify for the highest positions, not to screen out the crazy, ignorant, and unstable candidates who can push the nation to grave and imminent dangers. While it is very difficult to apply for a government a position as clerk and for a teaching post, (you need a lot of transcript and certificates, of eligibility and experience), you just have to know how to read and write to run for President. And we require good moral character but do not need a certificate of mental health from all sorts of character who have delusions of running for the highest offices of the land.

And, given all these endemic habits that we all abet and tolerate, do we still wonder why we have this kind of nation and country? Our government is what we make it. And the kind of people we have is the very same kind of people that we are. Our fault, my dear Brutus, to quote Shakepeare again, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings. The fault is in ourselves. We are are our own biggest problem.

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