Editorial: The big stick for us, the little people-A A +A
Saturday, August 17, 2013
IT'S the grand fiesta time of the month-long Kadayawan sa Dabaw, and despite fears of terrorist attacks, we cannot help but rejoice. The security forces have assured us they will be doing their job. While we cannot dump our collective lives on their shoulders all at once and expect all of us to be safe, we can go ahead and enjoy, while remembering our role in this city: as citizens who hold their city's interest at heart.
What does that mean? What we have always been reminding people: to keep their eyes and ears open in their communities to pick up on what strange things are happening, if ever there are.
"Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far," is an adage attributed to former US President Theodore Roosevelt, an adage claimed to be of West African origin that is often disputed. Whether the origin of the adage is indeed West Africa is not important, its message is.
Roosevelt's idea is that of negotiating peacefully but simultaneously threatening with a big stick or the military. That obviously does not apply to us, the so-called little people, or the ordinary man on the street. But we can take that to mean as one unified people amiable as ever, but one in the desire to see justice done and laws enforced. Us, residents, singularly may not even threaten the most determined terrorist, but us as one, can thwart any such attempt.
It's not about speaking softly in its literal sense -- it's Kadayawan, let's raise a cheer and rejoice, that's absolutely okay -- it's about being amiable as always, but keeping a firm hand that does not hesitate to set justice right by calling in the cops or the Central 911 if need be and ensuring that something is done for anything that looks out of place. It can be as simple as a candy wrapper thrown mindlessly, which we can just pick up and throw into the trash bin; or suspicious person casing our neighborhood, for which we can ask for police assistance or help from our barangay council; or it can be a crime being committed, for which we can call Central 911 to take care of law enforcement.
The bottomline is for the people, as a whole, to stand as one, determined that laws are enforced and that actions are done for laws that are not enforced. This is all about community living where everyone is ready to take the slack or initiate the move that will set things in motion and not finger-pointing who is supposed to do what while spreading the blame around except on us.
Happy Kadayawan, everyone.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 17, 2013.