Political ethics-A A +A
As I See It
Monday, January 28, 2013
I WAS once amused with the Parable of the Insects. There was a king with a palace in the middle of a garden. One day, he summoned three insects: a mosquito, a fly and a cockroach. “You are stupid beings. You irritate me. I sentence you to die!”
The three creatures were surprised. The mosquito spoke, “Your Highness, I did not do anything wrong. I was simply flying around your ears. I was singing a song. I wanted to lull you to sleep. That does not make me stupid.” The fly made its statement also. “My King, I am your loyal subject. Every lunch time, I am just doing an acrobatic stunt in front of you. I want to amuse you. Is that a stupid act?” The cockroach spoke while crying, “My Dearest King, I did not do any harm. I am a loyal servant at your kitchen. Every night, I wipe your plate with my hands. I want your plate to be very clean.”
The king thought they were really stupid. The three of them died at the hands of the ax man.
During the political season, every politician is given the opportunity to speak against or in favor of a particular issue. That is the essence of democracy. In every democratic political discussion, every politician is given freedom to give his side as long as he does not violate political ethics. Fair language should be used. There should be no hitting below the critical zone.
By political ethics, we could say that a politician can proceed with his science and art of the government of the state with an understanding that he is capable of distinguishing what is the difference between good and evil in the society, between right and wrong in the acts of man, and between virtuous and non-virtuous characteristics of people. Politicians should fully digest political ethics because if they win in an election, they will be leading the people and they will prepare a format for a comfortable future of the next generation.
That could be the reason why our officials are addressed as “Honorable.” They should be really honorable in thoughts, words and action. Just like in the ‘Parable of the Insects’, we want every politician to follow the will of the king. The King is the political ethics. Politicians should fully know what political ethics is because if they fail to internalize political ethics, like the insects… they will all die. They will be sentenced by the voters.
We want politicians to behave like honorable gentlemen. They can always proceed with their political platforms without insulting fellow politicians. Personal matters may not be avoided but personal matters could be taken within the context of political ethics. It is politically unethical to criticize physical handicaps, social status, health problems and the personal sins of the parents. We are Filipinos and we do not want to go beyond the limit of ‘amorpropio’. Filipinos want to live or die with family honor.
“Donde no hay honor no hay dolor”. (Where there is no honor there is no grief.) It seems that only honorable people suffer; the rest don’t care. When all assets are lost, remember to preserve your honor without stain. Honor will make your conscience clear. With honor in your heart, no one can swerve you. No one can take away that wealth that is worth our care. Even our soul asks for honor, not fame.
Politicians, take the initiative in confronting a difficult position. You’ll never decide what you want in life by simply thinking about it; you’ve got to take the bull by the horns and try out a few possibilities. You can always try swallowing a bull!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 28, 2013.