The people should be the ones to lead government by example
IT IS disturbing to read and hear about some people’s claim that the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution was a failure because of the numerous problems that still saddle our country today.
The main achievement of the Edsa People Power was to end the kleptocratic and authoritarian Marcos regime.
Our mistake was to see People Power only through the prism of politics and not in the light of nation-building. We thought that we have found a self-operating magic pill instead of a tool–to use wisely and responsibly–to build our country. We treated People Power like a franchise we entrusted to government as we stepped back and waited for good things to happen, like landlords just waiting for the rent. This is how our 30 years of disappointment began.
People Power happened because individuals made a stand and acted in solidarity with each other to work on a common goal. Why can we not do this to address other pressing problems in the country today? Instead of telling government what to do and expect it to do what is right, why can we not try to lead our government by example?
Evil proliferates because when criminal-minded people think of something, they act on it by themselves and only later find collaborators and conspirators to join in their illicit enterprise. On the other hand, when upright citizens think of something that may be for the public good, they usually wait for others to act on their idea, look for the proper government agency to do it or never act on it at all.
The 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution was a great moment in our history, and it is only right to remember it. However, we should not commemorate it with vapid programs and dumb reenactments but rather with serious contemplation and by celebrating the efforts and achievements of the people who keep its flames and true spirit alive.
It has been 30 years since the 1986 People Power Revolution and, yes, we still have all the problems that many people whined about before it happened. But what a waste of freedom if all we use it for is to complain. What is important is to use our freedom to tap the leader in each of us to initiate and engage in positive action without waiting for government to do things for us. Eventually if what we do is good and right, government will have no choice but to heed and follow.
Until we get People Power right, we cannot really expect it to work for us.
–V. FIDEL GUIDOTE, [email protected]
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.