Saturday, September 16, 2006

Public Service

There are so many politicians here who speak of public service; dedicating their lives as well as entire generations of their families towards the common good. I guess all these dreams begin small. Possibly because of an injustice, an epiphany or simply as a result of fate, a person is thrust into politics and begins to convince other people about the worthiness of a cause, the importance of a fight.

The political equivalent of the holy grail is the defense of the weak and the powerless and the political landscape is littered with platitudes and programs to uplift the poor and protect the weak. I wonder where all this has gotten the Philippines?

There seems to be an inexorable slide to amnesia once immediate political goals are achieved and the principal instinct becomes the perpetuation of power. Whenever I see the grinding poverty and the alienating hardship, I try to understand why the toiling and suffering masses continue to vote the same people, the same families over and over again. Don't they see that public service is essentially a trust that needs to be bestowed upon people with integrity who take this privilege with all seriousness as befits problems that literally spell life or death for many?

There are two sides in a system that is broken and dysfunctional: those who freely compromise their futures and their children's futures and those who prey upon the ignorance and the suffering of these people.

No comments: