The problem, my dear, is not in our stars, but in ourselves
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - April 17, 2018 - 12:00am

William Shakespeare wrote those immortal lines in his famous classic drama, entitled,  Julius Caesar, " The fault, my dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings". These were the famous lines spoken by Cassius a Roman noble man. He was trying to convince his friend Brutus in the Roman Senate to make sure that Julius Caesar should not become the Roman emperor. Applied  to Philippine contemporary politics, we can very well say that the fault in the Philippines today is not in our fortune or fate, but in ourselves, the Filipinos because we have chosen to be mediocre in our thinking, parochial in our perspectives and short-sighted in our views of the things that happen around us.

The thesis of this piece is very simple and succinct: that we have no one else to blame for our '' misfortunes'' but ourselves, our own neglect and ineptitude, our lack of foresight and lack of skills, our refusal to think beyond the sphere of our immediate surroundings, our inability to feel beyond the realm of our family matters and concerns. We are indeed underlings `because our mindsets are myopic. We can not and we do not think global. We do not have visions beyond our today. We do not dream dreams and refuse to think outside the box. We are lazy and too afraid to experiment on things that are untested. We are contented cows and always refuse to go out of our comfort zones. We just want to copy from others and follow the flock. We are unwilling to swim against the current, and we often catch ourselves agreeing to things just to keep the harmony of an unthinking group.

And so, today, if we have a Senate with mediocre senators, it is our fault for electing them to that august body, and in doing so, even misleading them that they are great when not all of them truly are. If we have a House of Representatives with shallow minds and twisted hearts, it is because we put them where they should not be in the first place. Many of them were elected because of money and political machinery, but we, the unthinking voters gave them the imprimatur to sit there in exchange of a few pesos or kilos of rice. The fault is not in our stars. The fault, my dear, is in ourselves, that we allow ourselves to be bought, to be bribed, to be hoodwinked and to be fooled, yes they do fool all the people all the time.

We have judges and justices who are not really the best legal minds in the country. But they went to the elite law schools. They joined the right fraternities. They supported the winning candidates, and they married the well-connected, well-funded spouses. Life and politics are not fair. They are the games of the scheming and the conscienceless. The good ones allow themselves to think and act like underlings, second-rate, trying-hard copycats ( to borrow that famous lines of Cherry Gil ). We have public officials who are not fit to hold their offices. Judges who have not mastered the Rules of Court. Labor Arbiters and Commissioners who have not mastered the Labor Code, mayors and governors who do not understand the Local Government Code.

We are underlings because we do not have the minds of Nelson Mandela and the moral strength of Mahatma Gandhi, the courage and valor of Dr Martin Luther King, and the vision of Dr Jose Rizal.

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