Love of country starts at home-A A +A
Straight from Carolinas
Friday, August 30, 2013
AN OFT-FORGOTTEN subject in Philippine academia, learning civics should start at home. But what is civics?
Wikipedia defines civics as the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of citizenship, its rights and duties; the duties of citizens to one another as members of a political body and to the government.
Now you know what I am talking about. It is never late to start learning this, so future generations would become better citizens than us.
It is a given fact that the current constituents have been sleeping in their obligations for a long time after EDSA surrendered their inherent duties to the politicians, allowing them to chart their course in life.
The gains of the first Edsa revolution were forgotten and Filipinos reverted back to the old happy days when politicians were only too happy and brazen in cleaning up the people's coffers.
I am thinking of making a call to parents to be serious in in their role as mentors to their offspring by teaching them civics and love of country.
Parents as teachers in their own homes; the father and the mother should talk to their children on what government is all about, its structure, the rights and power of each citizen and his or her duties and obligations.
Teaching should begin by instilling in children the need to obey the laws of the land including basics like when to cross the street, throw garbage in proper places, paying taxes, exercising the right to vote and respecting law enforcement and public officials.
Children should be taught that votes are not for sale nor can be compromised or bargained with out of gratitude or because the candidates were popular. Teaching or life coaching should be done with examples starting with the parents as the role models themselves.
Yes, they should start walking their talk if they hope to raise children as upright, upstanding citizens.
Learning about the government at a young age would help us understand rights as well as responsibilities and allows us and our children to fully participate in the political process.
The government gets its power to govern from the people. We have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Only those who know this fundamental truth can shape the government and its policies.
In the process, young people must learn about important public issues and get involved in their communities. That way, these home-based students can already interact with the teachers, fellow students and the community once they enter school.
How many of us parents teach our children about civics? Can you as a parent say yes with conviction or do you say yes with a little hesitation? Sometimes the questions posed by some kids take me off-balance.
I am amused every time City Information Officer Maricel Rivera of the Cagayan de Oro City Hall would post on Facebook the questions asked by her ever inquisitive daughter Paula aka “Paupau.” At times, she is startled, I guess.
We sometimes wonder how this child, our children, can ask such questions. Kids have minds of their own, some are ahead and smarter. Which makes it all the more important to teach them civics, values and all at home.
I read the post of Golden Chronicle editor Uriel Quilingquing on Facebook during the height of the nationwide rally last Monday about doing his share to help promote civics by teaching student-journalists on governance instead of joining the rally. I concur.
We discuss issues with our children. Our government is a potent teacher too if it wants to. For good or ill, government teaches its people by its example through its leaders.
Civics subjects these days are but mere concepts in books and in recent years have faded into near obscurity. Teaching has been home-based but very few parents are patriotic-minded.
After all, it is easy to teach the young who have not formed opinions and impressions on issues.
In 2010, I had a privilege of talking to a young lawyer by the name of Alex Lacson. You might have come across his name; he is the author of a simple book entitled “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can do to help the country.”
The number 12 little thing he taught is to be “a good parent.” Borrowing from Atty. Alex, I say: Teach your kids to follow the law and love our country. We owe it to them.
I long for the day when civics would no longer be a concept from a distant place and time but a concept that is lived by all.
On a side note – it is my wish that in the next elections, the Filipinos would vote the likes of Alex Lacson or Bong Montesa who I think can do more in legislation even without the PDAF.
Well, by the time you read this I would be off to Paris. See you soon.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 31, 2013.