This is the time where you use what you learned in school that you thought were useless – philosophy, political science, problem-solving, etc. If you were able to site valid sources for your thesis in your college, and then graduate by doing so, you can also site facts from fiction and open your eyes to the fact that you are being used by Duterte and his minions.
I’ve always been outspoken as far as I can remember. Growing up, this is influenced by family members and relatives. I openly admit that I used to be irrational and impolite. There are some things I did that are universally unacceptable when I was younger – I made fun of someone’s social status, illness, unfortunate situations, and others. I am not proud of this. Most of us go through these stages and just like most people, I outgrew it.
I have always talked about unlearning toxic values and beliefs and relearning ethical ones. I would not be a secular humanist, a liberal democrat or a feminist if I hadn’t done so. For example, I used to think the religion I was brought up in is superior to the rest until I become a secular humanist. I used to think that I should leave it all to the authorities until I understood the core of democracy and liberalism in politics. I used to slut-shame women and be passive about toxic masculinity until I learned about feminism and the ill effects of sexism and misogyny.
I’ve worked so hard to unlearn my toxic values and beliefs and relearned ethical ones. I’ve experienced cognitive dissonance and it was one of the hardest things I have to go through. It was not easy accepting the fact that I was wrong.
I have also hurt a lot of people in the past and I have yet to apologize to them. I am planning to and I am looking for the right time. I especially want to apologize to the people I inadvertently hurt by alluding that my decisions are better than theirs.
I remember talking to a friend one time about whether or not younger men, men our age or men who are slightly older makes for a better lover. My friend mentioned that in her experience, she gets along with men her age. I alluded to her being wrong and insist that slightly older men are better based merely on my experience. A couple of years passed and I realized that I was wrong. I realized that I can’t speak for everyone because each person goes through experiences in life differently. Each of our experiences is unique from one another. It was also around this time that I felt that she distanced her self from me. I have yet to apologize to her for this.
I also rudely called her boyfriend out when he advised me to get pregnant so that I can keep a guy. I find this insulting to my wisdom. I felt like he underestimated my ability to think wisely. Alright, I would probably only apologize for my dramatic demeanor when I expressed my outrage that time. What he said was uncalled for. I know it was a joke but it was a sexist one.
I realized that I’m willing to compromise when I am confronted with situations like the ones above. However, there is something that I will never compromise about. This is when people support fascist and tyrannical leaders that put our country’s democracy and people in danger.
We are living in a democratic country. I cannot respect people who support violent forms of punishment especially punishments that intentionally spills blood. Ethically speaking, you are only forgiven of murder if you unintentionally killed someone to protect yourself. Also, I cannot respect people who support hypocritical leaders – leaders who vow to end corruption but participate in one. I cannot respect people who are silent about gender discrimination, especially misogyny and homophobia. People who support leaders who make rape jokes and tell soldiers to shoot women guerillas in the vagina will never gain my respect. Despite the fact that the leader used violent language against a group that is considered a terrorist in our country, the fact that he used violent language targeting a particular gender is uncalled for. He also used the same language against the gay guerillas. Again, this is targeted at a certain gender. This is never acceptable. It contributes to the hatred and discrimination of women and LGBTQ in Philippine society.
To ignore these issues is insulting and disrespectful. To rub the “nice” things he has done on the victim’s and opposition’s face is equally insulting and disrespectful. How dare supporters do this as if we’re naive and stupid about the supposedly good deeds he did for the country? How dare they do this while ignoring the evil deeds of Duterte, and even make fun of the victims of corruption, discrimination, and violence in favor of him? No. You don’t do that. That is just plain disrespectful and insulting. If Duterte and his supporters are a romantic relationship, it’s as if the supporters are in denial that their partner is abusing them. It’s as if they’re showing people that their romantic partner is a great man despite the fact that he stole, verbally abused, and used them for their own interest.
I understand that most Filipinos are simple-minded folks who do not want to be burdened by complex ways of looking at things. Most Filipinos, I am sorry to say this, are lazy thinkers. They usually resort to fixing complex issues in a short-cut type of way. They merely label problems as “right” and “wrong”. This is evident in the current administration. The current administration uses violent language and abuses its use of power to get what it wants. This is not merely a lazy and short-cut way to fix things but this sounds almost psychopathic – tyrannical even! Leaders like this do not only threaten the democracy of the country, they also poison the minds of the ignorant and lazy citizens. These type of leaders encourage the use of violent language and even violence to get things done. This is a very evil example to raise a generation. It is very toxic to society, too.
This is one of the ills of my poor country. This way of thinking is non-negotiable for me. I will never think twice about calling anyone out, even to the point of shaming them if they insist on practicing this type of thinking. The social issues our country is facing today are complex – they need to be discussed in-depth. We need to anticipate future needs or challenges to address them. The lazy and short-cut solutions may alleviate it temporarily but it will never effectively solve the problem.
My main point is that, if one continues to think lazily and let the majority or authority think for them, then I don’t mind being seen less favorably by families or friends when I called them out for it. Logic and experience proved me that it is wrong for me to just agree with what the majority says. I honestly feel uncomfortable having to oppose my friends’ and family’s views but I don’t want to pretend to be something I am not just to please people, especially when it comes to issues that matter. I know what I stand for, and I am too old and tired to care about what others think and feel about me.
It is only in my 30s that I find myself chill – my head up high among the sea of people who see less favorably of me. I don’t want to merely agree with people just to please them and to keep the peace. I will not hesitate to call out their ill-conceived notions about social issues.
Maybe, I feel this way because I am confident that I have the hots and wits that those who hold less favorable views about me don’t. Kidding aside, I am someone who is not easily impressed by material things and status. I admire people with wisdom, wit and a heart. And that includes having the courage to also rise above the majority of puppets to a regime.
I want to end this article by saying this: This is the time where you use what you learned in school that you thought were useless – philosophy, political science, problem-solving, and others. If you were able to site valid sources for your thesis in your college and graduate by doing so, you can most probably site facts from fiction and open your eyes to the fact that you are being used by Duterte and his minions. I am sorry, but I will never back off from calling you out. I will not judge your personal interests and life choices except this. This is a non-negotiable.