Too much talk, too little action

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

The problem with our country is that most Filipinos are members of NATO, “No Action, Talk Only”. People in this country love to talk, but are inclined to avoid work. We are always prone to criticize and brag about solutions to all sorts of problems, as if we have the panacea to all social ills. From senators to ordinary jeepney drivers, we like to express our opinions, upload our comments in social media, and write blogs on almost all topics under the sun, from foreign affairs to movie gossip. About 70% of our people are talking, many mindlessly, mouthing reckless braggadocio, as if they know the answers to all mysteries. Only 10% are working. The rest do not care.

If we listen to the radio and the TV commentators, they have all the answers. Ted Failon, Kabayan Noli de Castro, Mike Enriquez, Deo Macalma, they know all the solutions. The rest of the high-sounding talents of broadcast media know all the meanings of every event. They have all the options at their fingertips. They are like the wizards of Oz or the daring fighters against windmills in La Mancha. They know all the answers from their crystal balls, as if they are more gifted than Master Hanz and wiser than Madame Auring. They are like the milkman in the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” in the village near Kiev. They can even predict the future and can unravel the mysteries of the past. And so, why is the nation still in limbo with all these wise guys and brilliant minds lecturing us on the air every day. Who is taking any concrete action?

If we read the newspapers, both broadsheets and tabloids, all the writers there are speaking “ex cathedra” with authority and a tone of conclusiveness the way they write their columns and opinions. There are too many opinions both in print and broadcast media. Some print media opinion writers double as radio and TV hosts and commentators, and they sound as if they know all the answers. They know better than the president and the senators. They are better equipped with ideas and solutions to all of society's woes and mysteries. And so, if we have more than enough wise men among us, why does the country seem to be perennially at a loss? Who is doing the action? Who is translating all the bright ideas into concrete solutions?

If we go to any barbershop, or any corner store, all the barbers have solutions to all maladies. The jeepney and habal-habal drivers know all the problems and the solutions and these are at their fingertips. They know how to solve our impasse with China in the Kalayaan Reef and Scarborough Shoal. They know who ordered the liquidation of Ninoy Aquino. They know how to solve the drug problem. They even know how to address the insurgency problems in Negros Oriental. They know how to clean the city and how to make the governor and the vice governor work as a team, with much love and affection. They have all the solutions, and so, why are we in a mess?

The answer, my friends, is simple and succinct: We are members of NATO. No Action, Talk Only.

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