TaN: Respect to the creator can be expressed by valuing his/her works. This likewise goes for the Creator — and His works (i.e., everything that we have around us, the environment…nature). In fact, it is written in the Holy Scriptures that the Almighty commanded man to exercise dominion — not domination — over all His creation.
Dominion means that we only have supervisory authority over all of creation but does not include or involve ravage, abuse, plunder, pollute, or otherwise desecrate. It is different from domination, which is to exercise complete and absolute control.
To make it simple, take the case of a child receives a gift — a gift that the child needs and finds very useful — from his/her father who took a lot of care and work into making it. What do you think will be the reaction or feeling of the father if or when he sees how his child treats the gift he so lovingly gave — i.e., seeing how the gift is mistreated and unappreciated? This is what or how our Creator must be feeling as He witnesses how we take care of His creations He left in our care.
And even if the Almighty will eventually destroy His creations — at the end of time — it does neither excuse nor relieves us of the responsibility of using all of creation (in the meantime). And when I say “responsibility of using”, I mean the use must be sustainable — in the true sense of the word (and not the twisted, maligned, malicious, shrouded, mis- and mal-defined term in widespread use by most everyone with ulterior and impure motives).
How we treat and use all of creation reflects on how we value the love that our Father took such pains and went to such lengths to ensure that all our needs are provided for.
TaN: The Senior Citizen’s Act is commendable and its expanded version is even more so — in that it does not limit the benefit to seniors who were issued the Senior Citizen’s card but to any bonafide government-issued identification card containing the date of birth of the senior citizen — there is still the matter of proper implementation. The IRRs (implementing rules and regulations) are still quite vague and are not uniformly applied or implemented.
Take the case of dining in restaurants where the senior is entitled to a full 20 percent discount. However, should the discount still be applicable if the food is to be taken out and not eaten within the premises? How can we be sure that it is the senior who will be eating and not someone else? In addition, what if the senior is unable to finish the meal? Is the discount still applicable because it cannot be guaranteed that it will be the senior who will finish the meal.
What about in the case of utilities? It is said that seniors enjoy the same full discount on their water and power bills but there is a catch — only if and when they are LIVING ALONE or that everyone in the domicile are ALL SENIORS. But how rare is this? How many seniors do we know who live by themselves or with only other seniors, especially if the seniors are octogenarians or older. What is needed is some kind of compromise where the discount is not full because the seniors will need caretakers (who are frequently non-seniors but are relatives or kins) but there is still a significantly reasonable discount to be practical and meaningful.
And then there is the case of travel accommodations, like hotels and inns, when seniors are accompanied by non-seniors (as traveling companions). Similar to the situation with utilities, the discount may not be full but there should, likewise, be some kind of compromise where both the senior and the business will both benefit and not be disadvantaged.
Finally, if it is possible and lawmakers find it in their hearts to extend the benefit further to cover certain seniors who may not be citizens but who are and have been permanent residents since birth and have contributed significantly to the taxes, to say the least. It would be a terrible miscarriage of justice permanent resident non-citizens who have contributed to the national coffers faithfully and honestly will not be extended the same privilege. So, how about it?
TaN: People who are apathetic should be considered co-conspirators, if not conspirators. It was and has been forewarned that it will not be greed or even conflict (nuclear war and nuclear winter) that will destroy man but apathy. It is precisely this attitude of not caring what happens to others — simply because it does not affect or concern us or we might get into trouble is we get involved — that permits evil to pick us off one at a time.
I am reminded of this short verse (supposedly attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller): “First they came…”. This illustrates perfectly my argument. It has been said that “All it takes for evil to triumph (in this world) is for all good men to do nothing.” That is all it takes, no one lifts a finger against evil. We permit evil to pick us off one by one and one after the other.
Evil used to be blatant but that was in ancient times. Since then, as men have developed and become more sophisticated, more knowledgeable, more informed — as to whether well-informed or not is another story altogether — and more “modern”, the techniques to manipulate, hoodwink, coerce, and subjugate him has also developed and adapted. Today, the ancient method of outward lies no longer work or no longer effective so evil has “evolved” to become more subtle, devious, insidious, diabolical, forceful, and oppressive, and one of the most effective tools in evil’s arsenal is apathy — no caring for what happens to others, so long as the misfortune will not (directly, immediately, and negatively) impact us.
This is the world today and with each day and each moment that lapses, the apathy cancer spreads, permeates, and grips the weak and selfish among us in its deadly stranglehold.
And for as long as we do not wake up and do anything about this metastasizing malignancy, we become part of it. As the saying goes, If you are not part of the solution, you are most certainly part of the problem — a co-conspirator. The same sentiment is reflected in the saying, If we do not hang together, we most certainly will hang separately (or words to that effect). As mentioned (and paraphrased) in the Holy Scriptures, It is not enough that we do no evil but we must also do good.