Evolution of a psyche

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By Stella A. Estremera

Spider’s web

Saturday, March 22, 2014


WHO would have thought that we will be spending this much time browsing through websites and pondering on shared posters of this and that profound quotation.

Who would have thought that hundreds, even thousands cannot distinguish a lampoon from fact?

Who would have thought that more will lap up all those profound and heart-rending quotations with some names of internationally known savants, philosophers, leaders, even artists, and whoever else have made their mark in history, and not even doubted that those whom the quotations are attributed to are really the persons who said them.

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Who would have thought that millions can no longer see the bad in plagiarism.

Welcome to the new world, the post-modern world, the world where fingers far outrun the pace of intelligence and discernment. When critical thinking is almost overrun by events, and people just tend to zip through using hastily put together thoughts – mostly from things Googled, something is going to warp somehow, somewhere, sometime. Think plagiarism by the speechwriters of Senator Tito Sotto (who couldn’t get the outrage and even defended the plagiarized speech), tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan (who at least knew what plagiarism is and did what was appropriate), and that I forgot who, associate justice, who was just a notch lower than Sotto in terms of audacity.

There are a lot that shocks us today, including how young children now wear makeup and strut around in sleazy clothes upon the encouragement of parents who think these are cute, or how teenagers can bump into you and not even offer a whispered apology as if they rightfully own every space they amble on. But more shocking is the void where intellectual honesty should have been residing in. Nothing there. Thus, acts of intellectual dishonesty, like plagiarism, are not understood.

On to bigger things, intellectual dishonesty is matched with the material gains derived from that act of dishonesty, and so we see scams upon scams with politicians having the gall of defending their actions.

Delicadeza? It has long left the realm of politics where it is most needed. In its place are strangleholds to power that the most audacious use so as to stay in power no matter how tarnished one’s name has already become.

Honor is a concept that no longer resides in our psyche. There is just the instinct to turn to social media and rant, whether to shame or be shamed.

The greatest challenge we face now really is how we can finally throw away the long-nurtured dishonorable and corrupt ways we have. Admit it, haven’t getting the services of a fixer or giving some grease money our first line of defense for whatever we do? For such corrupt way to become standard operating procedure means we have long ago trashed any belief that abiding by what is right will indeed make things right.

Worse, we get affirmation by like-minded folks – as equally corrupt as us – through our social media; and having gotten those affirmations, we strut out believing we indeed are the more righteous.

What is ahed of us? Facebook has only been here less than a decade, at least among the broader masses of Filipinos. But here is a tool that tends to put a drape over what is real. We mingle with those in our circles, broad and wide as they are, they are still our own circle. We get greater affirmation for our views and acts and yes, selfie photos, had there been no social media to spread our selfies on… and that is less than a decade ago, and yet there is no concerted effort to put things to right, to put the psyche to right.

Are we even aware of what all these will be tweaking in our thoughts and deeds another decade or two ahead? I don’t have any idea, all I know is that, it can be frightening.

***

(saestremera@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 23, 2014.

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