In a state of flux | Inquirer Opinion

In a state of flux

/ 12:30 AM June 24, 2022

There was a time when the failure to achieve a most important goal would have not only depressed me but actually sunk me into a long, despondent mood. There was a time when defeat, including in the political arena, would have been devastating with almost permanent consequences. There was a time, but not now.

I have and still feel depressed, despondent, and tentative about the next stage. It is just that I am not feeling all these in the intensity that I had anticipated. I know, too, that I am not alone, that many followers of an inspiring candidate who did not make it to the post aspired for are in the same boat. The dynamism of life forces us to react to its beat although we feel somewhat paralyzed and confused.


Many things keep happening, as in a constant flow over the surface of our lives. Because the main mood has been low and heavy for more than a month, that frustrated and pent-up energy is under restraint. But this kind of tension cannot last for long. As the saying goes, something has got to give. Meanwhile, however, a mixture of contradicting energies keeps me both alert yet passive.

In a state of flux. That is where I seem to be, and where millions more like me are. We saw a rare and beautiful chance for very meaningful change and we went for it, passionately and relentlessly. We lost that chance, however, and find ourselves deeper in the same unacceptable state of things. So, after a momentary paralysis, it will be fight, flight, or resignation.


Flight and resignation are the easy ways out. There are so many ways to rationalize them, the running away and the acceptance of that which we seem to have no power over. I know many will go there. I have seen it before. Losing is part of life, and even the present victors have had their share of defeats as well. And those who have not experienced losing, they soon will. That is the pendulum of life.

I, too, would like to run away. But, unfortunately, the next questions automatically pop up. Where? To what? If I run, where will I go, what will I do? And, then, how long can I stay in that state? Is running to that place, wherever that may be, and doing what that place demands or allows me to do, can life become better or worse? Running away is step one that necessarily brings step two, then three.

In my experience, running, whether away or towards, is tiring. At one point, and that is not too far away, it will get me simply tired, and tired enough to question again if I should stop and change my direction in life. In other words, running away is also as temporary as it can get.

Resign, then. Just take it. It might be wrong, it might be stupid, it might be aggravating, but it is too powerful to break, to eliminate. It might be better to adjust to it and then live with it. I am not that proud to say that I can never just resign. Because I had lapses in the past, serious pauses in life.

My experience, though, with resigning is this unstoppable banging in my head and heart, this constant reminder that life is not worth living if this was all there was to it. I have tried to shut that voice out, have tried to distract myself with other non-essential things, and succeeded. For a while, for some time. But the voice never stops, the ache never stops, and one day, it becomes unbearable.

I know, then, that my only sustainable recourse is to fight and fight to win. To do that against the odds means to fight with great intelligence, with great resolve, and with a great push from life itself. Because fighting for a noble cause is never just one individual’s mission, it is the call of existence for every living creature. We have to answer the invitation to be at peace with our soul, and for existence to have its own purpose being fulfilled.

In my heart, I know it is not the greed for wealth and power of those who already have great wealth and power amassed in ways that crossed legal and moral parameters that pained me the most. Rather, it is those who enabled them, who had kept enabling them, the majority of Filipino voters who keep electing them, that dealt the heaviest blow. Yet, I know, too, the circumstances that would make them take lies over despair, take money from thieves over the fear of scarcity.


We have a growing set of unfit leaders whose standards of ethics and morals keep deteriorating from their own uncontrolled greed and lust for power. And we have an enduring set of weak voters who are too tempting not to fool or buy when they are so willing. The results, then, will not only perpetuate a destructive cycle but will, in fact, plunge the whole nation into a deeper dark chasm.

I would so willingly resign if just for these factors. However, I am in a very uncomfortable flux because of a small bright light that I saw from my ship that was flailing in the storm. I saw a ray from a lighthouse, or they may have been pins of light that converged to light a safer path to shore amid raging waves. I saw young people cross the line of indifference and take risks they had never done before.

Maybe the tip of the iceberg is truly there. Maybe it was not a mirage I saw in the darkness of the storm. Maybe the first million or two have awakened and can prove to be shining models for those following them. Maybe I can follow them and find my hope again, find my courage again. Maybe.

Maybe I will find a good way beyond my state of flux.

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