Bloggers have flat foreheads. It comes from scrapping to put out an article, working it, reworking it. Then posting it. Then re-reading it a couple of days later and second-guessing.
How many times have I gone back and said "this is gibberish"? Or, "whoops, I misspelled athiest". Or "why didn't I make that point when I had the chance?"
And each recrimination comes with a slap on the forehead.
I worked diligently on my last article, trying to come up with a dream for Filipinos that might inspire a "passion of righteousness". But it reads like a recipe. Dry. Passionless. Here's what I came up with:
- We are dedicated to preserving a rich, diversified heritage while defending and promoting a free, secure, principled and resourceful way of life.
Gadzooks (slap!). Army manuals are more inspiring that than (slap!).
Now the concepts are good, as I explained in the article (link: http://thesocietyofhonor.blogspot.com/2011/10/i-wrote-otherday-about-philippine-dream.html. But the statement lacks the succinct and profound clarity of the American dream: "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
So let's grab our blue editor's pencil and work on it a bit.
First of all, we need to get it shorter.
- We are dedicated to preserving a our rich, diversified heritage while defending and promoting a free, secure, principled and resourceful way of life.
Dump "we are" for it is understood. Personalize heritage by swapping "a" for "our". Let "rich" stand alone; it can also mean "diversified". Also, "rich" is a very fine, passionate word. Dump "defending " because we later say "secure", and that implies defense. Dump "free" as the term "principled" covers this. Besides, freedom alone is overstated considering all the laws (restrictions) that are necessary to assure a well-behaved, considerate, fair society. Certainly we would not want to say "reasonably free", or "free with lots of small print attached, like, you MUST sing the National Anthem as a march".
So here is the remodeled dream:
- Dedicated to preserving our rich heritage while promoting a secure, principled and resourceful way of life.
I don't really like the term "promoting" for it sounds like a marketing ploy. But I wracked my brain searching for a better, more passionate term.
What if we (1) dump the heritage phrase, for the past is the past and preserving it can be one of our principles, (2) toss "promoting", and (3) convert two adjectives to nouns, which are more authoritative. Then we get:
- Dedicated to security, principle and a resourceful way of life.
Now I like that better. Crisp. Pithy. I particularly like "resourceful", for it is what the Philippines currently is NOT, and maybe the dream will inspire educators to do a better job of teaching ingenuity and productivity. Or politicians to stop blowing smoke and get things done. Or businesses voluntarily to adopt a statement of ethics rather than wait for bus massacres to shine some light on their undisciplined ways (TV networks). Or how to stop mud slides from killing people in an era of intensified storms.
"Principle" is understood to mean GOOD behavior, not an upside down value that corruption is right and proper. I would suggest that "considerate and caring" be one of the dreamy principles, for far too many Filipinos are not. Freedoms, of course. Human rights. Getting churches (any and all of them) out of secular decisions.
"Security" encompasses military defense and police work, and also health care, social security, economic stability and growth, better preparation for global warming and disasters, and eradication of poverty.
So there you go, Philippines.
One dream, right there in 10 easy words. It is not where you are now, for sure. It is where you want to go.
As for inspiration . . . as for righteous passion . . .
I can't give you that.