Collective reparation

By January 9, 2022Andromeda's Vortex

By Atty. Farah G. Decano


WHY do some parts of our history keep repeating itself?  Why do we keep electing politicians with execrable track record?  Why do we allow those who treat their constituents like mercenaries to remain in power?  Why are we easily persuaded by leaders who have no accomplishments on their sleeves but dance the budots or otso-otso like gyrating monkeys?

To my mind, we repeat our mistakes because we have not really fallen on our knees, considered the dismal situation of our nation, identified what wrong we have committed, and regretted them enough to correct the consequences of our offenses.

In the immediately preceding column, I suggested a list of questions for the examination of our collective conscience in the performance of our duties as citizens of the Philippines.  The list was patterned after the ten commandments in the hope that its familiarity therefrom will easily draw us into introspection.

After considering the questions, have we come to the conclusion that we fell short in some of our responsibilities either by commission or omission?  If we had, then what comes next for our nation is to regret our mistakes and ask for clemency.

From whom must we ask forgiveness for our sins against the nation?  We must include in the list of our apology’s recipients our children today, their future offspring and their descendants.  After all, they are the ones who will bear the brunt of our present malice and ignorance.

How do we truly regret our sins against the future generations?

We must first know the anatomy of an apology.  There are certain elements of an effective contrition, to wit: (1) identification of the wrong done; (2) acknowledgement of responsibility for its commission or omission; (3) expression of regret; (4) explanation for the wrongful deed and why contrition is appropriate; (5) reparation; and (6) commitment not to do it again.

For having elected a corrupt leader who bled our coffers dry and dug us deep into trillions of dollars in debt in present value, how must our nation’s generation today express our apology to the next?

We must realize the impact of our sins and their consequences.  Among the many transgressions we have committed, repeatedly electing thieves in power is one.  By doing so, we have practically stolen resources from the future and compelled our descendants to commence their lives with a miserable handicap.  We have forced upon them a burden they did not ask for.  Imagine our innocent babies brought forth into this world with loans tied around their necks.  Won’t that imagery be so hurting?  I shiver in humiliation for I cannot allow others to pay for the aftereffects of my misdeeds.

If we are truly sorry for this mistake of catapulting villains and goons to positions in government, we must regret our actions, repair their destructive impacts and never do them again. We should be able to identify concrete steps to avoid repeating the same offense.  Encouraging the virtuous ones to run and feverishly campaigning for them are two concrete steps in repairing the damages of our wrongdoings.

We must deem this reparation a personal accountability.  There can be no collective responsibility for this apology if we do not take this as an individual answerability.

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