WE ARE finite creatures and able to grasp only facets of truth at a time. It is only by coming together and pooling our individual facets of truth that we gain a deeper understanding of the moment’s relevant truth and move forward.
There’s the rub. We, as a nation, are moving sideways politically (we are immature), economically (we are poor), educationally (we are not critical and innovative), and religiously (we depend on God too much) is that instead of pooling and weaving our respective truths into a meaningful whole, we hog them as the only truth and exclude other people’s truths.
Like President Rodrigo Duterte is right about many things but also wrong about many others. But so are the Liberal Party, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), and the Catholic Church. We are moving sideways because these major players claim to be solely right and the others wrong.
Thus, the Liberal Party’s Otso Deretso and the CPP-NPA’s Makabayan lost ground in the last elections because they ignored the truths of the Duterte administration that voters saw and appreciated. But likewise Duterte and supporters will lose political ground if they insist that all their other ways are right.
One group that supported Otso Deretso posted this “God save the Philippines” (from Duterte, presumably ) message on social media. They are right about the Philippines needing to be saved. However, we are not a homogeneous country. Millions are very poor, a few are very rich. What will God save the rich from? And what will God save the poor from?
My own individual truth about this is that we all need to be saved from ourselves, from our disunity stemming from opportunism, weakness of character, and lack of the courage of our convictions.
And I am afraid God cannot save us from ourselves. Not when His representatives in the Catholic Church also insist that they alone possess the truth and nobody else. Not when bishops and priests further divide us by standing by their lifestyle on the side of the oligarchy and only by word on the side of the poor.
We have to save ourselves from ourselves. But we cannot do that as a faceless, leaderless mob that can only destroy but not build. Somebody has to inspire and motivate us to unite for the greater good of the bigger number. In human history nations have always been led out of bondage by a charismatic leader. Think Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, Mao Tse Tung of China, Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam, etc.
Our insipid educational and religious systems, however, are not set up to produce a selfless, non-politically-motivated unifier- liberator. It scares to think that we either produce a Filipino Moses who will lead us out of darkness or end up a failed state.