The youth cannot relate to the 1986 people power revolution.
But the youth of this century have other revolutions to fight – freedom from poverty, access to universal primary education, respect for human rights, and the conservation of our environment.
The 2013 polls serve as the motivating backdrop of the many collective decisions we make these days as a country longing for refurbishment from the ennui that so exemplifies our national life in the past. This singular event in our nation’s history is an opportunity we cannot pass up anymore. Everyone is called upon to participate and to make a mark in the great task of rebuilding a nation.
Genuine leadership is not really all about the exercise of power and authority over others. Rather, it is the exercise of self-effacement in attending to the concerns and needs of others, and consideration for those who have less in life.
Leadership, therefore, requires the ability to attend to and understand others, and to put one’s personal interest second to the well-being of the greater number of Filipinos. In short, it requires gallantry and the ability to make personal sacrifices.
There is no doubt Ninoy, Cory, and the leaders in our nation’s past were true and genuine leaders. Their inspiration is something we should not leave to our memory alone; it should be lived, nurtured and passed on from generations to generations. This should be the responsibility of the youth now.
Choosing your leaders
There are characteristics of true leaders that should be noted. Leaders embrace responsibility. They don’t have to walk around like a smirking idiot, but maintaining a cheerful equilibrium in times of trouble helps everyone. They have to communicate information directly and honestly. When resources are not sufficient, leaders should rework their blueprint in the setting of what they can do with what they have. They are not going to get people to follow them if they can’t persuade them that doing so is in their best interest. Leaders are cooperative. Altruism is another way of saying that leaders place the needs of others above their own. Leaders should have the courage, supportiveness, and assertiveness.
Most leaders like to believe that they got to the top by being smarter than the people around them and by being right more often. Leaders fail to learn from their mistakes. Command is almost never an effective substitute for leading, and dictating behavior is never an acceptable substitute for eliciting the cooperation of the community. A leader has to listen to many voices. Most leaders also think leadership is forever. In a democratic country, it’s getting ever more difficult for political leaders to keep their followers in the dark.
Calling the youth for change
We did not see their faces, but we feel freedom. We did not see their sacrifices, but we feel change. We see things transform, we must move. We see glitches, we must change it. Let us learn once again how to meaningfully and concretely build a nation where the interest of others above all else finds priority and where the least of our fellowmen become the beneficiaries of our sincere and generous efforts. Let us respond to the call of the times now. Do not wait for another EDSA Revolution. This is the right time to begin doing the right things for our country. Let us start with ourselves. Let us create a great nation. – Rappler.com
Paul Michael Camania Jaramillo is an accountancy student at Northwestern University in Laoag City. He is also a youth leader and the Ilocos chairperson of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines.