Monday, May 2, 2011

The Uncommon Filipino

I blog for three reasons. One, I enjoy connecting words in new ways to form humor, clarity and impact. Two, it helps me understand things, especially the Philippines where I live and will die. Three, I can make a little something out of my life by splattering my experiences across the internet for the pleasure or irritation of others.

I enjoy reading what others have to say, from the editorial pages of main newspapers to blog posts other than Anti-Pinoy, which is a disease that thinks it is a vaccine. The one blogger who has given me more to think about than any other is that Aussie rascal Benigno. He is unbearably irritating and outlandishly profound. Complacency is not a word that associates well with him. His only blindness is that he does not understand that by being Anti-Pinoy, he is really just being typical. He is engaging in the tear-down debate style that is too much like that of the dysfunctional Filipino persona, an Ego that defends its rooted place in life with any excuse or whine, and will use any method to avoid any vestige of responsibility, from backbiting to slander.

But, as I said, he, more than any other person, makes me think. A new concept that has emerged in my brain thanks to a recent dialogue on Beningo’s “Get Real Post” is the notion of the “Uncommon Filipino”.

Being uncommon is something to aspire toward, I think. It accepts that Filipino culture is largely dysfunctional, for when people are out taking care of themselves, they are not taking care of others. It takes the position that, “in spite of my surroundings, I chose to be different. I choose to stop blaming and start solving problems.”

It is that simple.

What is missing from the culture of Ego and self-advantage is the ability to solve problems. People are so engaged in getting what they can get that they have no time to work for the well-being of nation and community. They have no idea how to go about building.

The uncommon Filipino develops skills. Problem-solving skills. Objectivity. Direct talk.

The uncommon Filipino does not need to blame others for obstacles. He figures ways around them.

The uncommon Filipino does not need excuses. He understands life is a bit of a crapshoot and to solve some problems, you need to take risks. Some don’t work. No big deal. Case closed. On to the next problem.

The uncommon Filipino does not have time for backbiting or political game-playing. There are too many important things to do than get tied up in the muck and mud of Ego-posturing.

The uncommon Filipino does not take pride in a song or dance or boxing match, although he may enjoy them. He takes pride in progress, in achievement, in building.

The uncommon Filipino aspires to inspire others to join him, and his greatest accomplishment will be when being uncommon is common.

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