Murillo: Wisdom of the Ages

SHE said "I will not bow down to powers that be." And so it is. A defiant Chief Justice Sereno, appointed by past President Noynoy Aquino, continues to rally and campaign among the "young and the restless."

On the other side of the fence are those who are just so tired of bickering government officials, who think that amid a noisy network of accusations, almost no real significant work for the people can be done.

Many citizens stay quiet in the heated exchange, preferring to study the matter within their minds and their souls because the actors are supposed to be the "Wise judges and leaders of the nation." The truth is, the nation needs leaders with wisdom. The greater truth is we need a Chief Justice with wisdom. What is it to be wise, what is it to have wisdom?

Though some say that wisdom resides not only on the older adults but also on the young, recent studies as well as history tell us that indeed, wisdom is developed through the acquisition of intelligence or knowledge intertwined with a lot of experience. Experience is the key!

Older adults possess better reasoning about societal and interpersonal conflicts because the years have taught them so! The sages of old and modern day psychologists underscore that intelligence or a high IQ or even higher education diplomas do not constitute wisdom. No one, believe it or not, has a general and complete definition of what wisdom is but many believe that wisdom comes with the qualities of prudence, being considerate, a broad understanding of situations and greater appreciation and compassion towards other living beings. So many other virtues constitute wisdom like tolerance, empathy, respect for others and being peace-loving.

A person with wisdom, according to the old philosophers, "can see in darkness" that is, he can stay calm, peaceful, and free from hatred and fear despite the overwhelming conflict or darkness before him. Many of us have seen these qualities in people, in older people in fact. Many of them exhibit these. To top them all, the best quality of wisdom is that all the other virtues like appropriate judgment, kindness, consideration and love for others rest on a background of Humility. Arrogance cannot constitute wisdom, humility can.

Prudence, declines an appointment to give way to the more senior members of a judicial group. That is wisdom. Seeing in the dark, is being able to see what needs to be done according to one's position and doing it successfully, without being told what to do. That's the honesty needed in the SALNS. And most of all, the term of a Chief Justice appointed by the President should be co terminus with the latter. The Constitution doesn't say this. As of the present situation, a Chief Justice can go on till retirement day, outliving other elected presidents that follow.

This deprives the next President of appointing! To add insult to the republic, the appointee, the Chief Justice can be removed only by impeachment or other so serious a crime just like the President? The
appointee becomes more powerful than the "appointer?" Sounds almost ridiculous! Where is the equality and independence of each branch of government? Are we kidding? Or, is there something wrong with our Constitution? Hey Wisdom, where'd you go?
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