How to stay positive during negative times

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

In the face of a serious crisis like this COVID malady, we have two options really: one is to join the multitude of prophets of doom, gloom and purveyors of bashing and destructive criticisms, or to choose to focus on the many positive things emerging these days.

Many of our brothers and sisters in print and broadcast media, here and abroad, have become unforgiving critics who do not mince words in attacking the president, the Cabinet members, the police, the DILG, the governors and mayors and barangay officials for not living up to their high expectations. These journalists are joining the fray of the common people who are being attacked by the virus of too much negativism and pessimism. Instead of becoming a flicker of light in a world of gloom, they do not opt to “light just one little candle” by insisting “to curse the darkness” all around us.

With due respect to these people, who may have their own stories and “hugot” leading their very negative stance, I am choosing to stay positive. I am looking at the brighter side of things, and still thank the Lord for what happened. First of all, compared to the USA, Italy, Spain and China, based on percentages, the Philippines is doing much better than those richer and more powerful nations. We have less number of infections and less number of mortality. Of course, one death is too many, but just on the basis of comparative analysis, we are not doing very bad. In New York, in New Orleans, deaths are in the hundreds each day. In Italy and Spain, in the thousands.

The Philippines, especially Cebu (kudos to Governor Gwen and Vice Gov Junjun) and Cebu City (applause to Mayor Labella and Vice Mayor Rama), is coping very well. The decisiveness of our leaders, the heroic services of our frontliners, and the compassion manifested by business taipans here and abroad are some of the positive things that happened. The president acted decisively. In fact, I dare say that President Duterte did much better than President Trump, and the heads of governments of Italy, Spain, and other beleaguered countries.

The negative people around us should realize that those who are working are already tired, stressed and under tremendous pressures. We should not be very quick to criticize and point fingers, especially if we only stay within the safety and comforts of our homes. If we cannot go out there ourselves, then we can help by keeping our mouth shut. The men and women who are in the emergency rooms, ICUs, manning the ambulance and those guarding our barriers 24/7, those who are there exposing their own lives to virus attacks are not perfect beings. They are also tired, hungry, and sleepless. We should give them the privilege of our prayers and support, instead of bashing them.

The easiest thing to do is to criticize. But it takes courage to look at the more positive things, and to be more compassionate, understanding, and patient. In these darkest times in our life as a nation and people, we need to pray, reflect, and help one another. We have more than enough pains and miseries. Let us not add to the burdens of others by pointing our sinful fingers at others.

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