DID you hear about the story of a taxi driver in Japan who—despite the devastation brought about by a tsunami—refused to succumb to a particular temptation?
The story goes that while a TV network covered the calamity in Japan, the crew’s van ran out of fuel. In desperation, the reporter, who was part of the crew, suggested that the driver siphon fuel from the gas tanks of vehicles left on the streets, piled up as a result of the tsunami. The driver refused, saying that despite the conditions of the vehicles, it is still considered stealing to siphon the gas.
When I heard the story, I was not surprised of the honesty showed by the Japanese driver. From what I gathered, on their first few years of schooling, children in Japan are taught good morals and right conduct. The basics of Math and Language come later. Is that not admirable? Newspapers in that country are left on the streets unmanned. You just drop your money in the container provided and pick the daily you want.
On the contrary, and sad to note, it was recently reported that a bus firm in Metro Manila, which tried an “honesty system,” suspended its operations because 30 percent of the passengers did not pay for their fare. It was the intention of the operator to check the honesty of Filipino commuters.
At the Philippine National Police Headquarters in Manila, the police established an “Honesty Store,” only to seize operations after discovering some people were taking goods without paying.
“Honesty is the best policy.” This was taught to us early in life. I welcome the move to revive “Good Manners and Right Conduct” as an integral part of the school curriculum. Children must learn to behave in any forum and situation.
While there is unlimited information made available in the internet, there is very little info, at all, with regards to good manners and right conduct; more so, any information about etiquette.
Some months ago, presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte seemed to have a lukewarm response to honesty when confronted about the need for politicians to be honest to their constituents. Her reply: “Everyone lies.”
The way to test sincerity is to find out as to whether or not the person is telling the truth. Our politicians should bear in mind that a high percentage of the 60 million Filipinos eligible to vote, are more than capable of validating issues and pronouncements owing to social media. Credibility is an issue when it comes to finding the truth.