Love for country
In the days leading to the Araw ng Kagitingan, I asked, out of curiosity, several people I met the question: “How do you love your country?”
The overall response was uninspiring: “I love my country…” was uttered with little enthusiasm, and people had a dispassionate attitude toward our country’s affairs.
Likewise, many were flustered as they described their feelings for our homeland.
A far cry from my estimation of people from a stable republic like ours.
Nonetheless, I believe, that love for country begins in the mind, revealed in speech and manifested in one’s action — the fruits of which enable a nation to stand.
But how do we express our love for our country?
The answer is by performing deliberately our roles as citizens: obeying the law, doing our job, and respecting others.
I estimate that if we do these basic things wholeheartedly, we have accomplished nearly all our duties as citizens and we understand what loving our country entails.
In these challenging times, it is urgently relevant that each one of us — from garbage collector to police officer to company president — keep these tasks in mind.
We must perform our roles well if we want our country to be able to stand on its feet, to proceed on the right path, and to prosper.
Incidentally, the road to a better future remains bumpy as our tasks as citizens are frustratingly difficult. This is because Filipinos are inundated with “pressing” problems that make these tasks tough, if not impossible.
For instance, because of perennial poverty, people are concerned more on where to source their basic needs like food, than worry about how to be good citizens.
Moreover, the leaders whom we look up to as models of integrity and honesty are themselves the perpetrators of wrongdoing. This is the reason why people are apathetic and passive about our country’s affairs.
This epic challenge is upon us. For too long, we have been victims of our own undoing. It is time for each of us to ruminate about our love for our country.
Sooner or later, its essence will show up in our deeds, and can even be admired and emulated by generations to come.
JULIUS D. TURGANO,
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