Games and reflections-A A +A
Slice of Life
Monday, January 21, 2013
THIS is a game of what ifs.
Would it make a difference if government officials are more committed to public health, safety and welfare?
What if the public are more able to push for their own interests rather than allowing their voices to go unheard in governance? Would it matter if we become more discerning and assertive rather than just taking the bullshit that some government officials throw our way?
What if our government officials behave the other way, and take the situation of the poorest as an alarming concern for them to reflect and even revise some policies that have become unresponsive, if not destructive to a lot of communities?
What if national and local agencies take their tasks at heart, and provide only the best service available to the public? We probably could name a person or two, whom we have the opportunity to meet or even work with in the public sector whose work ethics are incomparable and unusual in the face of mediocrity. What if their tribe increase, would it make a difference?
Would it matter if rather than being reactive, we could collectively learn how to plan better, anticipate challenges and work on it than be caught up with a myriad of problems or even loss lives? Do we need another disaster to force us to look the other way?
Beyond the potential income of some economic activities that government officials wants to relentlessly pursue, there is another track for a development that upholds environmental sustainability and enables the poor to be really able to stand for themselves without waiting for assistance?
What if see government in a new eye, beyond its regulatory role and embrace the fact that it is only a facilitator of this kind of development? And then again, the question on whose development are we talking about surface.
Does the image of hungry people barricading the streets upset our sensibilities? It may be too convenient to blame groups who have helped them organized rather than acknowledge and act on the loopholes in our disaster response? Or are we too focused on our own convenience that we forget the struggles of the ordinary ~ to be heard, to be provided with humane assistance in the face of disaster and to be helped without robbing their sense of self worth to stand back on their feet.
That private organizations and a lot of individuals have more than done their part to help the survivors, only that some of their donations and even rice ration are replaced with stinky goods and be told, that beggars cannot be choosers.We tend to cast down on people and communities, thinking that they are nothing but victims who needs us when we ourselves probably need the affirmation that we too, can do something to help. More than they do. More than they need us.
That on the face of disaster and poverty, some of us could manage to grandstand and bully the survivors with our sacks of rice, goods and whatever assistance that we give while we tour some foreigners around.
In the face of these challenges lies the question not on how people can survive but how on how some of us can manage to turn the situation for our own advantage. We can be cold and unceasing sometimes. In this game of development where the people are used as pawns only to be assisted when disaster comes. What if we do things differently? Would it matter now? Email comments to email@example.com
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 21, 2013.