“They’re Chasing The Wrong Things.”

In a state where poverty is rife, corruption does not make a lot of room for good governance. Corruption as we know it is an attack on the inherent human dignity of a person. It is also a betrayal to one’s responsibility to others. In this situation people are not only played for fools, they are also deceived thinking that (corrupt) government officials only have their best interests at heart.

The not so recent NBN ZTE Scandal has long been an issue in the Philippines. Deals have gone sour before, but probably not as controversial as this one. This public display of arrogance has opened unhealed wounds involving many high praised officials (I can’t say I’m surprised) as well as different testimonies which attack people’s morale and character.

I write today as a concerned Filipino youth and WYA member, but I can’t pretend that I find it easy to be non-political. I have been exposed to many political issues in the past, not only by the media but by the academe. I have to take it as a good thing that as a person, having the ability to think for myself has granted me a pre-disposition, a bias, a strong opinion against who is being truthful and who may be telling fibs. But what is important is that I keep myself in perspective.

I read in some online article that robbers are always caught because they rat out on each other. This is so because we all have a tendency to allow greed and envy to get the best of us. When money, physical or materials gains are the only things that motivate a person, he becomes self consumed and completely blinded of everyone else.

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” – Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom.

It’s pretty much the same with corruption. Every opportunity officials get to kick-back on a little commission; they take the chance because they feel like they are not directly stealing from our pockets. The truth is, they’re no better than the thieves that pick-pockets in the street. But you see it’s really not about the money. It’s about what that money does for us. At our present time, where a house now costs more than 500,000 pesos as oppose to 500 pesos 40 years ago, money provides us the basics. It helps us buy what we need, provide for our family, keep us safe at home. And as a consequence, what corruption does is takes that security away.

It’s really sad what the world has become. Sure, we’ve discovered so many inventive and innovative things but in reality, we’ve also managed to degrade ourselves by equating our worth with the value of the material things we have. Corruption disregards the needs of others. It may not be so obvious or apparent, but it does because it is self-serving and egocentric. And the way I see it, the only means we have to cure this ‘sickness’ is to cure ourselves first. We must remember who we are hurting and who are affected by our actions. We have to go back to respecting each others needs and learning to compromise a little because everyone deserves the same things that we do.