One of the biggest reasons why we level criticisms against government is because many of its key personalities are deeply entrenched in a culture of invincibility, of impunity. These personalities are almost always able to avoid accountability because the system is flawed, its mechanisms and resources are open to manipulation, and “voices of reason” out there can always be counted upon to shield them – either deliberately or unwittingly –from criticism.
But the problem with calling an end to criticisms that some quarters are quick to dismiss as utterly malicious and negative during these times is that those calling for said end are often also the type who will ask everyone to just “move on” after situations begin to normalize. The bahala na crowd, the tanggapin na lang natin kasi clique, and the wala na tayong magagawa diyan cabal are all cut from the same proverbial cloth as the let’s move on na lang-ers – and that cloth is fear.
Fear of losing the capacity to make lifestyle choices, fear of losing the patronage of the rich and powerful, fear of challenging senseless and outdated rules, fear of losing the comforts of a Henry Sy or Ayala mall, fear of becoming responsible for people outside one’s family, fear of losing one’s job, fear of going against the status quo, fear of ridicule, fear of rejection, fear of loss, fear of this, fear of that, fear of the unknown.
Imagine yourself guiding a group of children through a thick jungle and you all find yourselves about to go through a straight and narrow path. Halfway through the trail, you come across great piles of shit blocking the way. What option among the following would you exercise?
- Try to avoid stepping on any and just tell the children behind you to do the same.
- Find something to clear the shit-piles whenever and wherever they appear along the way.
- Get rid of the shit-dumping bull that’s just ahead of everyone else.
(O, sa mga mag a-associate pa ng ibang meaning dun sa bull metaphor, just try to appreciate the joke and leave it at that, oks? If you went for the third choice, then I’ve got no beef with you. )
Anyway, this is where the huge difference between being negative and being critical comes in. Being negative closes options; being critical opens up new ones. Unfortunately, some people prefer to remain steadfast in advancing the notion that there’s no difference between the two. So, for anyone who’s thinking to dismiss this as just even more negativity from someone who has nothing better to do than criticize a hard-pressed, but hard-working government saddled with difficulties left behind by the corrupt, previous administration, I respect your right to have that opinion, but screw you.
You nurture and feed the crippling mindset that keeps people from engaging issues using perspectives other than those that come from parochial comfort zones, and this happens to be one of the biggest reasons why this country doesn’t learn from its mistakes:
You keep people from knowing any better by making it morally questionable for them to dissent.
You’re also probably the type to ask that people accept the way things are, to live with what we have as we’re already luckier than most others, not to challenge the system because it’s really not so bad, to have more trust in the goodness of others, to just give everything more time and just hope and pray that things will change, etc. – all hallmarks of the psychology of an oppressed culture. Kultura ng api, baga.
We’ve been saddled for so long with imposed and enforced perceptions of our inferiorities and inadequacies as a race that we’ve been effectively herded into accepting extreme suffering as a cultural trait; worse, a tradition to be handed down to succeeding generations. Well, I’ll have none of that, thank you.
Let’s move on. Free your minds.