Think about it.
There would be a lot less flak being hurled at public officials if there was a stronger perception of focused leadership from the top. Hell, ANY kind of leadership from the top, rather than a slurred mix of policy vacillation, double standards, and petty threats.
There would be a lot less dissing certain LGU heads if their peers weren’t being so exemplary. It doesn’t help that the targeting by the usual troll farms of perceived role models only angers a suddenly home-bound army of vigilant online citizenry.
There would be a lot less complaining if we knew that the frontliners against COVID-19 – a line of medical professionals already worn thin – received enough logistical support and appreciation from this government.
There would be a lot less fear if there was a sense of something to hold on to – hope, confidence, timetables of improvement, a reality better than this one. And we are not even speaking of sighs of relief from the privileged tired of Netflixing, but a genuine concern and initiative to help those who are more vulnerable, those who have no walled subdivisions to retreat to, no full refs to fall back on, no guaranteed income to receive whether they actually work or not.
We are very grateful that there are so many efforts by individuals and corporations to help. Malls that will not collect rent from tenants, utilities and banks that are waiving or delaying collections and fees, and even motels that provide sleeping quarters for the staff of nearby hospitals.
There are people collecting donations to provide food, fundraising for buying supplies, even networks of private transportation to bring essential workers where they need to go.
Perhaps it is ironic how the threat of a mysterious international disease can bring out so much unexpected altruism from even the smallest, quietest corners of human society. It is, after all, easier to milk the situation for popularity’s sake, or to prepare for elections in 2022. It is easier to hoard than it is to share, to ignore rather than to assist.
It is so much easier to lash out at detractors, than to ask oneself, am I giving them a reason to do so?
The volume of social commentary, or if you want, the backlash against bullshit, is not driven by boredom. With our backs increasingly against the wall, the anger directed against those in government is very real, because it has to be. We cannot afford to be complacent anymore, business as usual, letting someone else worry, because COVID-19 gives us a hell of a reason to all be worried.
I would like to think Filipinos are sometimes mature enough to show appreciation and admiration when it is deserved. I think Filipinos are sometimes mature enough to know when generosity is an act, and when it is real.
More than concern, practice compassion. More than sympathy, show empathy. (READ: We need leadership, sanity during crisis)
Fewer childish tantrums, more accountability. Less fake news, more basic, badly needed truth.
Amid all the calls to stop politicking and unite against a common enemy – stop behaving like you’re also an enemy.
If you’re tired of being called indifferent, incompetent, and inefficient, then by all means, stop being so. – Rappler.com
Jo-Ed K. Tirol, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of the Department of History, Ateneo de Manila University.