We should all stop criticizing and start helping
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - August 24, 2019 - 12:00am

The easiest thing to do is to criticize, to bash, and to cast aspersion at people and institutions. Everybody and anybody can say all the bad words, the harsh criticisms, and the negative comments. But are these yielding positive results?

The time has come that all of us who love our country should do something concrete and positive. The fourth estate and the civil society should level up and help build a just and humane society. The time has come for opinion writers and commentators in both print and broadcast media to translate their brilliant ideas into tangible and positive action to help build the nation and alleviate the sufferings of the people. The civic organizations, including the Jaycees, the Rotarians, the Lions, the Knights of Columbus, the Freemasons and all social and civic groups should come together and help government. School fraternities and sororities, societies and students, faculty and alumni associations, should not just look and comment. All should help.

It is too easy to write a column criticizing the government, the politicians, the church, the schools, even the civil society and the media, and the other institutions. Newspaper columnists, including celebrated and widely-admired journalists, can come up with earth-shaking ideas. Others are advocating for change without focusing on the kinds of changes in the political, social, and economic institutions and systems. The time has come for us to stop talking, stop imagining, and start working. The time has come for us to come together and pursue our vision as a people and as one nation. No hero was honored because of a nice speech. The test of heroism is action, not words.

Let us help build houses for the squatters (I should say informal urban settlers). Let us volunteer to help the Habitat for Humanity. And let us help feed the beggars, the street urchins, and the mendicants. Let us offer helping hands to the DSWD, to feed the hungry, clothe the half-clad, and house the homeless. Let us tie up with CHED and TESDA to provide education to young prisoners and detained juvenile delinquents. I did this once in the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa, where a local university offered free college courses to inmates. After the served their prison sentences, they went home with college degrees or technical courses certificates. Thus, when they rejoined society they became employable, had dignity, and were ready to live a reformed life.

Let us tie-up with the parish priests and help the church organizations to teach the young street urchins the fundamentals of a clean, upright, and value-based life. Let us help in the feeding of the poor children, join medical and dental missions. Let us go to the barangay office and volunteer to help in conciliation and mediation of petty disputes. Let us help in propagating knowledge about drugs, crimes, disasters, and dengue, HIV-Aids, Hepatitis B, TB, and other diseases. Let us join civic groups that do something with direct and immediate impact on the needy. Let us cooperate in all initiatives and movements focused on helping build communities. Let us go to the villages and help the lumads and the cultural communities. Let us link the people with the government.

When I was young, I was an activist. I always attacked the establishments, criticized the government, and hurled bad words against the politicians. But when I grew up, I realized that all my criticisms did not yield any results. The people are sick and tired of complaints and criticisms. And so, I have evolved into a positive worker to help bring about our common dream, to build a truly just and humane society. For us and for our children.

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