Back to old, hard days
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - June 26, 2020 - 12:00am

I fully understand how it feels like being back to the old vile, tight ways. In the past when we want to move on and leave things. When we anticipate that there are lighter and better things to come before us. The change from the controlled to the liberating is what we love and anticipate to happen.

There are also times in life, though, when we have no choice but to look back because there are unsolved cases that teach us lessons to move forward. Thinking back doesn't mean making the same mistakes but thinking at what we might have done and could have done at the start. In the past, there are just human decisions and actions that we need to look back on and from there pick up valuable lessons for us to move on to better days.

Cebu City's decision to return to the Enhanced Community Quarantine is a deliberate move towards seeing some lessons from things the constituents might have done in the past. Those who have followed the order strictly to remain at home lay the blame desperately on those who have violated. Others may also blame our leaders' political will to enforce the protocols in earnest.

And given that months have already passed, people are so anticipative of the days when they will practice their activities with less constraints; as if liberty is already in their hands, partial as it is.

But how we can truly succeed in this cause? As simple as it may sound there are two gigantic things we must do as a people. They come from both sides; one from the government side, and the other from the people. To move forward, it takes a strong leadership role, even setting aside political affiliations. A leader who might at first be misunderstood by many may will be vindicated by the achievement of the goal. There may be some misunderstandings and bickering along the way, but emotions do not deter a leader in setting his target of achieving success. Politics is one of the highest forms of charity, according to the Church's Social Doctrine, because it serves the common good. He cannot wash his hands.

We have heard about public officials during the quarantine period who themselves violated some of the safety protocols. They call themselves public servants, but we have to tell them this: Public servants have to set an example to the rest of the nation. To admonish and exhort the people to uphold the common good is hypocritical for them.

It is difficult for the common good to prevail against the intense concentration of those with a vested interest, particularly when the decisions are made behind locked doors.

The other side, once again, needs the people's cooperation. If the populace were selfish, the government would be useless in the pursuit of curbing the rising COVID-19 cases. Our appreciation of our frontliners must also be balanced with our own initiatives by adopting protocols not only out of temporary fear of being penalized, but also for general health and welfare.

A nation is formed by each one of us willing to share responsibility for upholding the common good. The price is for all of us to continue pursuing the common good. Until we are prepared to compromise some of our desires, we cannot be free.

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