Patriotism, education and accountability

By Adrian M. Tamayo


DURING these times, becoming a patriot seems to be at the last of the check list. To some others it is a boring topic to consider. I can remember the original corporate values of my institution, “To God, Country and Family”. The way we think of things affect the way we look at things. The self takes first attention leaving God and country with dampened interests. Our own comfort over somebody’s convenience. My concerns ahead of all others who do not have connections. So we confused a lot of things with our own values. The most prevalent confusion is understanding problems, the situations, and our discomfort.

Our mind is wired to readily recognize a problem. We experience things different from the ordinary, we see a problem. If our favorites run out of stock in store, we take it as a problem. The trouble with this behavior is the proclivity that our own personal experience when poked with unnatural circumstance, we experience a problem. However, we should think that a problem becomes one if it has a solution. If the circumstance has no solution it is not a problem but a situation. During adverse situations, the best thing to do is to change the situation, alter to make a new situation, or totally transform the situation to take a different angle away from the previous. There is also the urgent equation of discomfort and problem. But they are totally different strokes in life; discomfort is a test of how educated we are with the situations we are into. The true test of education is tolerance.

The world is full of ignominy because we do not tolerate each other. The wars caused by fundamentalism and clashes of cultures are proof that there is an abundance of miseducation. During times of peace, we can choose to be more tolerant with others. To seek out other peoples’ values, cultures and beliefs in order to create an atmosphere of mutual help and dependence. To exert effort to contribute and be counted in the society we have chosen.

As Einstein used to tell, not everything that can be counted counts, and not all that counts are counted. Entitlement leads to competition, but competition is an old word that had lost its luster in the course of time. The world now talks about coopetition. It is a combination of competition and cooperation. Modern business work in this way. They do not compete, they work together. Say one customer looking for a product in a shop which such establishment run of stock already, then an errand is made to buy to the other store for the customer. The current state of making business is to find where production creates a ripple of impact to the rest of the business through what the economists call the relationships as integration; forward, backward of horizontal integration. This is contribution, this is accountability. If the business fails, all others will be affected.

As opposed to common understanding, a person who thinks of others along with self becomes a patriot. They say that it is simple. The formula is simple, “as more is received, more must be given back”. The more educated a person has become, the greater must be the person’s role to inspire others. Our education does not widen entitlement, in fact, it reduces entitlement to make way for accountability and contribution. Our accountability and contribution are evident in the attitudes of finding the meaning and purpose, in seeking relevance. Be the change you want to see in the world, if others are irrelevant, be the antidote to it; be relevant. Let us be relevant in our thoughts, in our actions, and in our relationships. How to be relevant during these times?

This government needs cooperation and support from every citizen who believes that this country cannot continue to be slumped with poverty, helplessness, insurgency, social disparity, hunger, social indifference. These are results of miseducation, entitlement and uncaring avoidance of accountability.

There are only three times when solutions to the Philippine problem were evident. One was in 1898 during the declaration of independence, but the government of Aguinaldo was filled with power grabbers who thrive in chaos for profit. In the 50’s with Ramon Magsaysay who raised the psyche of the Filipinos to form that spirit of nationhood but short-lived by his death in a plane crash.

More than 50 years after, another solution appears. There could be no other President who understands well the Mindanao problem, insurgencies, and patent disregard of countryside. He knows the job well for he was doing it since he was a fiscal up to now; layers and layers of experience up on his sleeve. He will never run out of solutions. President Duterte sees things from the bottom, and specifies solution from the top.

However, our country has been addicted to bureaucracy which is a perfect weapon for avoidance of accountability and responsibility. The antidote to this is the readiness of every individual to render skills, talents and time for this government to work. This government cannot work without the support of every Mindanawon. Be more educated about federalism, be more inspired in seeing it though. Feel the pride that it is shaped out from the Mindanawon President. Grab the opportunity contribute to become a patriot.