Happy Half-Century Ting! Welcome to the club.
TaN: As the election in the Philippines heat up even further against the backdrop of summer and global warming, a candidate reveals much about how s/he thinks of the electorate by the ways the campaign is being conducted. For instance, the candidate who conduct loud and annoying campaign “roving loudspeakers” (for want of a better term) driven around by their minions drive in vehicles blaring out stupid, unintelligible, and nonsensical messages set to inane rap music, it only shows that the candidate thinks his/her voting constituency are a mere bunch of unthinking mindless idiots who are easily impressed with loud noises and fancy posters and songs and dances and comedy skits.
It is amazing and unbelievable that Philippine politics has not advanced much from the “stone age”. It is no wonder the state of affairs of the Philippines is what it is (and will forever be). I seriously doubt — but I secretly hope I am wrong — that the country will ever extricate itself out of its morass of being the last position in the regional ranking.
It may be true that the Philippines have advanced greatly in the material technological sense but the more important aspect of moral, ethical, and social aspects leaves much to be desired. It is no wonder the country is plagued and festering: with being in last place, with corrupt and arrogant public officials (all the way up the chain of command), with the great majority wallowing and languishing in poverty (while the rich keep getting richer but fewer), with crime and violence are rampant (especially among the poverty-stricken areas), and so many more.
However, amidst all these negativity and desperation, there are occasional rays of sunshine that brings hope. There are the sporadic news of ordinary or even those who barely eke out a living for themselves and their family who show others that there are still enough good people around who care and have and practice the proper values. Sporadic and random acts of kindness, courage, selflessness, integrity, and compassion that says all is not lost. But this is for another time, another TaN.
For now, this election period may just as well be the last or the first of a series of ending opportunities to rise out of the miserable state the country has marinated in for more than half a century. Let us collectively raise ourselves by our britches (or breeches), if not for us then let it be for our descendants. Rise like the phoenix from its ashes and be reborn into our rightful place in history.
TaN: It is not for man to determine his time of death but (purely and rightfully) God’s (prerogative). To ask nonagenarians and centenarians what their secret to or for their longevity is rhetorical and baseless for their long life is not and shall never be of their own doing or choosing but by God’s grace and mercy. Their only achievement or accomplishment is their (relative) health…considering that they have reached such advanced age and are still neither bed-ridden nor peppered with ailments, maladies, and health issues. Nothing else. To claim otherwise is not merely presumptuous but a sure sign of arrogance.
I find it puzzling but extremely difficult to comprehend how people can be so “stubborn” when it comes to accepting the truth — that their long life is not an achievement but rather their achievement is their (relative) state of (good) health. How can it be made simpler for people to accept the truth. I guess it is true the saying: People see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear…and believe what they want to believe. The truth regardless of whether people believe in it, remains the truth. Truth is independent of man’s belief and will.
As an attempt to simplify the point as best as I can, take the case of someone in his/her twenties or thirties, supposedly their prime of their lives, doing gym workouts daily, eating the right stuff, avoiding all the vices and bad habits, consistently getting a clean bill of health in the annual checkup, and so on. Suddenly, without warning or any hint of anything dire or ominous, a stray bullet hits a vital organ and immediately falls dead. So, did good health and lifestyle prevent the death? It is his/her time. What about someone stepping off the curb and a truck slams into him/her, killing him/her instantly?
Another case in point, ever hear or read or watched videos about people surviving a failed parachute from a jump, say, five thousand feet up in the air or someone so distraught with life but keeps surviving repeated attempts at suicide (because something “intervenes”) or a people who have foreign objects lodged in their bodies and should, by all accounts, be dead yet are walking around living normal lives (such as shrapnels and nails in the brain or lung) or even survivors of avalanches, land- or mudslides, mine cave-ins, tsunamis and deluges, or tornadoes.
It cannot be fate or destiny because they are inanimate (even non-existent) so how could something with neither consciousness nor will decide or determine when we end our existence? It is absurd bordering on the inane. It is so mind boggling to find out and know that there are so many people who are (or choose to be) ridiculously stupid. But then again, I guess they will be what they want to be — regardless of what they say for words are easy to camouflage true feelings or intentions.
TaN: The (current and growing) obsession with youthful appearances and anti-aging issues reveals a deep emotional and subconscious fear not of dying but of growing old and becoming undesirable. This implies that people are gradually being “manipulated” to erode their self-esteem as well as to shun or consider old age as some sort of a “disease”, a plague, or an embarrassing state and not as a natural part of the changes we undergo through the passage of time (and living or maintaining an incorrect lifestyle).
The point of all these is to ensure several objectives:
(1) a sure market for anti-aging and beauty care products (because try as we, we can never win the battle against aging and loss of (physical) beauty),
(2) people, the greater majority (the ones who are not critical thinkers and with gullible minds), would be pre-occupied with staying young and (physically) “desirable and attractive” — the narcissistic syndrome,
(3) erosion of the value of respect and recognition for elders (not just among relatives but even in society) and high regard for their wisdom and experiences, and
(4) emphasis on and giving importance only to (current) productivity and utility to society — i.e., for as long as one is still productive and can contribute to the economy and to the generation of wealth then one has value — or based on the usefulness of an individual.
People are now being conditioned to focus and give worth only to superficial and trivial and fleeting things, like physical beauty and momentary pleasures, and no longer value the more meaningful, permanent, and profound things, such as compassion, honesty, dedication to, passion and pride in work, and wisdom and beauty of aging.
The future of value is that of the nearest future — the here and now — and nothing of the distant future. Shades of Soylent Green!