‘Let My People Awake’

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By Orlan R. Ravanera

Kim's Dream

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


THREE score and eight years ago, a poet-laureate from India by the name of Rabindranath Tagore wrote these poetic lines, “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high/ Where knowledge is free/ Where the world is not broken down by narrow domestic walls/ In that Heaven of Freedom, My Father/ Let my people awake.”

Today, those poetic lines are becoming more relevant at this time when more and more history is unfolding so fast before you can make a sense out of it. Yes, old beliefs are crumbling down and in their stead is emerging a new mindset, a higher spirituality that is giving credence to that biblical line of a “new heaven, a new earth.”

A mind that is free of fear is one that is connected with that ocean of consciousness in a universe or a world that is not broken down by the ego and is living in the essence of the “Power of Now.” A world where knowledge is free is one that follows a limitless growth in spirituality that goes beyond materiality in a world immersed in unbridled materialism and consumerism.

That new spirituality is one that interprets that Darwinian Theory of the natural selection of species on the survival of the fittest; the fittest being not anymore as the strongest or the most aggressive but really means the most caring, the most service-oriented.

That correct interpretation alone will make as realize that what the few billionaires are doing in the Philippines which is the limitless rakings of the wealth because they are the most aggressive and strongest in business is shamelessly socially wrong.

The annual gross profit of one billionaire alone in the country is about 400 billion pesos which dwarfs the combined assets of the 23,000 cooperatives with about 13 million members nation-wide which is only 300 billion pesos. Worse, these billionaires will not even share their tremendous profits to their workers who are being terminated every six months so as not to become permanent and be obliged to pay for their benefits.

Yes, let our people awake to the reality that only 300 families control the economy; that whatever growth we have is pocketed by a circle of a few elite.

Yes, let our people awake that a country that follows an extractive economy that sacrifices our ecosystems (forest, rivers, seas and vast agricultural lands) will always be penalized by slow growth. Because of that flawed economic paradigm, we have lost the 17 million hectares of dipterocarp forests, 20 major rivers in the country are biologically dead and many of our bays are dying because of industrial pollution.

Let, our people awake that conventional agriculture is impoverishing our peasantry, who are tilling the land not their own and if they do, they do not control the mode of production and marketing. Such is a pity in an agricultural country where vast tracts of lands are controlled by the big agri-business corporations while the Filipino farmers especially the Lumads are land-poor or tilling marginalized areas.

Let our people awake that our workers are jumping in droves to find jobs in other countries, manifesting a sad truism that our country is exporting cheap labor.

Let our people awake that the only way to liberate the poor from the vicious cycle of poverty is to launch a collectivist counter culture against the culture of poverty, corruption, powerlessness, apathy and neo-colonial status.

Today, let the people serve notice to one and all that they have awakened and that they will not allow anymore social inequity, social injustice and dire poverty to reign in a country that is oozing with ecological resources, in the land of the brave and the free!

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 16, 2014.

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