Collective endeavors instead of blame game
Following the recent calamities that struck Mindanao, I have come across many articles calling on the government, its agencies and even President Aquino to act so that such disasters may be avoided or minimized in the future. I don’t have anything against these calls, I just wish to point out that we can have an effective government provided we, citizens, help in pursuing its goals.
We have the tendency to lay collective blame broadly when things go wrong, although at times we blame the person on top under the principle of command responsibility. We easily accuse “government,” the “Senate,” “Congress,” the “Supreme Court,” the “military,” the “NPA” of what we perceive to be wrongdoings. Lest we forget, in the final analysis, responsibility is always personal. Things go wrong because some person or some persons did not do the right thing.
I think we must realize that for things to turn out well, every person in a collectivity, say, society, must do things well. It is enough for one person to do something wrong and everything can go awry. Think of a surgical team: just one mistake by any of its member can cause the demise of the patient. Think of a society: if many persons do the wrong thing, you can really have a veritable disaster.
What I am driving at is the idea of “participation.” This is “the voluntary and generous engagement of a person in social interchange. It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person,” so the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches.
Yes, government, Congress, the Senate, the agencies, the Army, the Supreme Court and so on and so forth must do their jobs well. The NPA must respect justice. But let’s also say that each and every citizen must also participate according to his position and role in solving the problems our society faces. We demand virtues from our civil authorities. We demand virtues from ourselves, too, in our individual capacities. In this way, we build up ourselves and the societies of which we are members.
—FR. CECILIO L. MAGSINO, [email protected]
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