From Under This Hat: Text messaging and humanity


By KATHLEEN T. OKUBO

Manong Del sent (texted) me this quote. “Two most important thoughts a person should bear in mind: 1. Use things, not people. . . 2. Love people not things.”

It was a thoughtful reminder and I thanked him for it. I believe it should have been also sent to Malacanang.

When joining an organization or an endeavor with others, each participant to the organization or the endeavor must clearly understand the purpose to which he or she is participating or committing time to. Definitely, many of us want it to be materially rewarding though some only ask for it to be heart-filling and most make sure it is morally good.

If the objectives are clear with everyone supporting it and the contributions or tasks are shared and understood then everybody would work with each other and build the trust in each other and respect for one another then surely they would achieve results that all will be happy with.

But then discord and strife can creep in when individuals bring along their single-minded purposes and ambitions. Selfishness can drive a wedge right through the heart of this organized, agreed-on endeavor and tear it and make it good only for the dust bin.

Manong then sent me, “What is charity? It is silence when your words would hurt. It is deafness when scandal flows. It is thoughtfulness for another’s woes. It is sharing whatever little we have, and it is being kind rather than being right most of the time.”

For me, this is one kind of short messaging useful to me at coping with the confusion the world bears on us today.

  • * *

December 10, marks 60 years since countries agreed and so declared to uphold and respect Human Rights (HR). I am afraid that my country’s representative on that faithful day only signed it because his president was licking the boots of uncle Sam. A disgusting thought one might say.

But look at the human rights record of the country today. One commentator (gender insensitive) said if the human rights record of this country was a man he would describe it as “a two timing sonnamagun unfit of … but then it seems to be a woman!”

Government tally board for its HR violations forgot to count-in many incidents and some media people say it is in conflict with non-government groups’ count. What is very sure with both records are: that there are violations and that it is relatively a high number of deplorable acts against humanity especially under this “modern times” and particularly against Filipino citizens.

From February 2001 to June of 2008 independent HR groups counted 910 extra-judicial killings (EJK) – 20 since January 2008, and 193 enforced disappearances (ED).

EJK and ED are particularly defined as State-perpetrated which makes it so alarming because it could actually mean that the government organized to serve the citizens -the tax supported and citizen mandated system – is being used against the people? Is this really happening?

If James Balao is surfaced today that would change his status as the lone ED in the Cordillera in 2008. #

Pls. send your comments, inquiries and suggestions to kto@nordis.net.

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