IN LAST week's issue of a national newspaper, presidential candidate Gibo Teodoro was quoted as saying, "sila ang nawalan, hindi ako, kung huhusgahan nila agad ako dahil sa miyembro ako ng administrasyon, dapat huwag nila agad husgahan and isang tao gaya ko dahil lang sa mga kasama ko."

What a mouthful! To say that the country will lose if he is not elected president is to presume too much, as if nobody else can do the job. I'll tell you what, nobody is indispensable in this world.

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Look at the cemeteries of this world. Therein lay thousands of people who thought so highly of themselves that they perhaps thought that the world will disintegrate after they are gone - presidents, dictators, generals, captains of industry, great scientists, inventors, philosophers, builders and other great persons.

Sure, they were shakers and movers in the world's stage in their lifetimes. But when they moved their place of abode from the surface of the earth to six feet below it, the world continued to progress without them. With not a single beat missed.

Then, for all his purported claim of "galing at talino", Teodoro seems not to have heard, or maybe conveniently forgets, the sayings:

"Birds of the same feather stick together."

"Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are."

There is no escaping it; whatever the reputation of your friends, good or bad, it will rub off on you. If the company you keep is very religious, sooner or later you will be religious yourself. At the very least, people will think you are.

If your friends are the studious type, you will soon be. If your friends live the night life like there's no tomorrow, what will convince us to think that you'd rather spend time doing bible study at night?

Can you imagine a nun hanging out with the prostitutes in the streets? Or a Columbus of the night, a guy who loves wine, women and song--who is a lay minister at the same time? Nah!

Teodoro can probably claim that he did not "join the gang" in raiding the wealth of this country and its people. It may very well be the truth, who knows? But the fact that he was a member of a corrupt gang, and he did not lift a finger to stop the economic rape being perpetrated by his fellow "gang members" makes him guilty, as well. A sin of omission is also a sin, you know.

What are the lessons here?

1. Never think too highly of yourself--there will always be people who are better than you.

2. Be thorough in choosing your friends-they can make or unmake your future.

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