Sunday, August 14, 2005

Helped by Confucius

(17:2) Confucius said, “By nature men are alike. Through practice they have become far apart.”

Consoling is how I will describe the analect. The consolation comes not instantly though, but through a difficult struggle. I believe that I am in the same situation as many Filipinos who see past the issue of whether PGMA committed more than just a “lapse in judgment” but observe how fragmented our nation appears to be at the moment.

I have been following closely the events surrounding the “Gloriagate” scandal hounding our country today. There’s no clear resolution to this political impasse yet. For me that’s sad. I also try to read every opinion and statement that come from different groups and personalities. And this is where it gets even sadder for me. Everyone seems to be not only split but totally disjointed. The different universities (UST, UP, La Salle, Ateneo), the academe (e.g. Ateneo faculty), the leading opinion makers (Amando Doronila, Fr Joaquin Bernas, Solita Monsod) Church hierarchy (CBCP, AMRSP), business groups (Makati Business Club, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry), former presidents (Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada) have all called for different actions, have different and oftentimes opposing views. Even the so-called “United” Opposition is not united.

This is the state of the nation right now. Through practice they have become far apart. I am also not sure if the Jesuit brothers I share the same house with - and “break bread with” - are of the same mind.

Through practice they have become far apart. I think the wisdom which led Confucius to say this may lead me to say the same thing about what I see now. Even if I assume that everyone wishes the country good, everyone seems to have different ways of how to analyze the data that they receive. Also, everyone perhaps gets different information about key sub-issues, thus leading them to differing conclusions.

This is the part where I struggled a lot. It’s not that I wish that everyone of good conscience will have come up with the same views. I take that as a natural fact of life. What I struggled against was the despair that this fact seems to carry with it. Despair coming from the possibility that there will never be continuity through this cacophony.

However, what I think will help me through this dilemma is the first part of the analect. By nature men are alike. Though not totally dismissing the truth of the second part of the analect, my hope will come from the first. This is what brings me consolation. When I say consolation I mean a greater faith in our nature (and not far behind is a greater faith in Him who created us this way). There must be something in our nature that would help us unite as a nation. Shared values perhaps, or principles. Or a sharing of this hope itself.

Will this come in the near future? Many experts say no. This however does not mean that I will cease to hope.

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