The real choice we all face is not what to buy, whether to fly or whether to have children but whether we are willing to commit to living ethically in a broken world, a world in which human beings are dependent for collective survival on a kind of ecological grace. There is no utopia, no Planet B, no salvation, no escape. We’re all stuck here together. And living in that world, the only world there is, means giving up any claims to innocence or moral purity, since to live at all means to cause suffering.
Living ethically means understanding that our actions have consequences, taking responsibility for how those consequences ripple out across the web of life in which each of us is irrevocably enmeshed and working every day to ease what suffering we can. Living ethically means limiting our desires, respecting the deep interdependence of all things in nature and honoring the fact that our existence on this planet is a gift that comes from nowhere and may be taken back at any time.
I can’t protect my daughter from the future and I can’t even promise her a better life. All I can do is teach her: teach her how to care, how to be kind and how to live within the limits of nature’s grace. I can teach her to be tough but resilient, adaptable and prudent, because she’s going to have to struggle for what she needs. But I also need to teach her to fight for what’s right, because none of us is in this alone. I need to teach her that all things die, even her and me and her mother and the world we know, but that coming to terms with this difficult truth is the beginning of wisdom.
We were all preparing for an out of town trip. I can’t recall where we were all headed but everyone was there. My aunts, my uncles, my cousins. We were all busy packing our clothes into our bags when the cabs which were supposed to us to the airport arrived at where we were.
My aunts, uncles and cousins hopped on to the first vehicle, which looked like a minivan. And they left. My brother, his wife, and his son rode the next vehicle. Along with their clothes and other necessities, they had to bring a lot of the toys of the little man.
Papa and Mama were next. But before they could ride the cab, Papa was looking for his tablet, which he needed with him (oddly though my dad does not use a tablet in real life). After we found it somewhere in the house, my wife and I helped him and my mom load their things on to the car, and then saw them leave for the airport. Continue reading →
The best antidotes to falsehoods are not strategies, but people: people who are not greedy but ready to listen, people who make the effort to engage in sincere dialogue so that the truth can emerge; people who are attracted by goodness and take responsibility for how they use language. If responsibility is the answer to the spread of fake news, then a weighty responsibility rests on the shoulders of those whose job is to provide information, namely, journalists, the protectors of news. In today’s world, theirs is, in every sense, not just a job; it is a mission
By tradition, the media is considered as the voice of the people, the watchdog against government, the biggest obstacle to big business and the vanguard against groups with questionable social interests. Throughout history, media organizations have used pen and ink, sound, pictures and the Internet to advance the cause of the oppressed, the neglected and the forgotten.
In a developing democracy such as the Philippines, the role of the mass media is crucial in ensuring that the interests of the general public are protected against abuses of some of officials of government, exploitation by some commercial entities and manipulation by certain interest groups. Continue reading →
Election season in the Philippines is often described by many to be akin to a circus. With all the colorful campaign paraphernalia, the flamboyant attire of candidates and supporters going about earning the confidence of voters, and all the lively exchanges between political bets on the media, one can easily gather an assessment of vibrant atmosphere the country and its people often find themselves every three years.
While it is difficult to find fault on which group is responsible for the sad state that politics, particularly the elections, have become in the country, how it is now perceived by the average Filipino, as being rowdy, full of hypocrisy, and even as a source of amusement, is shaped by how it is seen on television, reported on the radio and written on the newspapers. Continue reading →