The courage to change the things we can

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

In life, in work and even in love, there are things that we really cannot change. And so, we just let them go. In life, for instance, there are many things we cannot control. Like the weather, the horrendous traffic, the delay in plane flights, or the rising price of gas and oil. What is not within our power to control, we should not waste our time and emotions trying to change those immutables. In work, we have no right to tell management in the exercise of its prerogatives on how to run their business, except only if in so exercising such prerogatives, certain rights of the workers are already violated. In love, we cannot control the emotions of the people we claim to love because we do not own them. So, let them be. And we should flow with the waves.

However, on the matter of things that we can change, we need to do something positive, specific and concrete in order to achieve our goals. We cannot just fold our hands, and let destiny lead us to whatever and wherever the flow of fate brings us. When there is a mistake, we have to rectify it. When something is broken, we have to repair it. When we lose something, we have to search for it. In life, we are often confronted with varying issues and challenges. Once we discern that there is something definite we can do to resolve the issues the right way, then we should not shirk from our responsibility to do so. If the challenges are within our far away, we should never run away from a good fight.

That is why we have a president who is determined to fight drugs and crimes. If other presidents in the past have chosen to ignore or even deny the worsening social cancers, President Duterte has opted to stand firm and to lead the nation's struggle toward a drug-free and a crime-free Philippines. That is leadership. We have a president who does not stand idly while our territories are being endangered by foreign incursions. He goes straight to what others call the enemy, the superpower, China. To negotiate peace and not to start a war. That, too, is leadership. We have a president who goes out of his comfort zone and puts his head on the chopping block. He does not care whether he puts his life in danger, his honor in jeopardy, and the presidency on the brink of threat of impeachment. He is not afraid. That, definitely, is leadership.

For decades, we had been fighting against the NPA, the CPP and the NDF. Many of our soldiers have died, others had been maimed, injured and incapacitated, trying to annihilate our own compatriots, our own fellow Filipinos. The rebels, too, have massacred many of our finest officers and men. Now, we have a leader who initiates peace talks with people we used to declare as enemies of the state. This, to me, is leadership. He also wants to end the century-old war against the Muslim secessionists in Mindanao. He is poised to negotiate an honorable truce for peace, based on justice and mutual respect. That is leadership. That is doing something positive to change the things we can.

Finally, we have found a leader who is not afraid to lose his popularity, who does not care even of losing his honor, his life and even the presidency itself, if only to pursue his goals to create a meaningful difference in the life and future of our nation. To me, these are the things that really matter most. We do not need a president who will regal us with too many high-sounding words that are not translated into actions. We do not need a president who washes his hands when his own soldiers are massacred in a mission that he himself ordered. This president we have now assumes full responsibility, and accepts accountability without fear, nor attempt at evasion. It is not a matter of popularity or expediency. To him what matters most is the true national interest. That is leadership, and we should all make sure that he succeeds.

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