Even this blog, this editor.
I was smacked upside the head about this in reading a fine testimonial to Kim Henares by Filomeno S. Sta Ana III the other day on Pro-Pinoy. It was refreshing to read such an upbeat commentary and to understand that Jesse Robredo was an example of good Filipino professionalism, not its sole proponent.
Sometimes we paint such dire portraits that we forget that the huge core of effort within the President's cabinet is purposeful and well-grounded. The Judiciary also appears to be getting into reasoned and constructive acts, as well. That leaves only the Legislature stuck in the mire of self-indulgence and questionable competence.
But back to the point. What causes this natural drift toward negativism?
I suppose it is largely reflective of the fact that we sit back and observe. Watch, follow, see, get upset, and complain.
We see warts or pimples and we want perfection, a glowing complexion, like those angelic ladies who inhabit commercials for shampoos, creams and other chemicals and poisons.
Because we don't have a place to sit on the Senate floor or Presidential conference room, we find our chairs apart from the acts and deeds of government. We live in a kind of fantasy ideal land devoid of the risk and pressure and swearing and tough choices that are behind real decisions.
We only see the decisions emerge, nice and clean and sanitized from the dirt of debate. And we figure they were made without thought, without fist pounding or equivocation or stress. Easily. Quickly.
Our apartness relegates us to the armchair where we quarterback with all the other observers. Sometimes sipping a San Mig or jug of Kickapoo Joy Juice. If we were down on the field, it would be different. We don't have to be in the lineup slamming heads or kicking the pig or whacking the ball like the other athletes. We only need be close enough to the action to hear the contact, hear the grunts, smell the sweat, understand the drama of the plays, slap a comrade athlete's back, offer a bit of advice, and sip the Gatorade.
When on the field, we can SEE the huge defensive back crunch our halfback when he slips on loose sod. Hear the crack. Hear the yelp of pain. Watch the stretcher come onto the field.
So we would be more honest and honorable participants in our democracy if we were players. If we were closer to the action. Then we'd have a better understanding of the FORCES in play that make perfection impossible.
Alas, we have lives to lead, kids to feed or fish to catch, flowers to grow, jobs to work at. We can't be everywhere.
What Do We Do about It?
Well, I have this idea that we can do more than we do. I have this idea we can actually participate in activities and thereby avoid slipping into the depressing world of bemoaning negativism, the whining, grousing, and complaining that is so WEARING on humor and confidence and good heart.
Here's my thinking .
- I look at Raissa Robles' blog site and I know she is getting right to the heart of some very important issues. She gets to the facts and meaty issues in her articles, and her readers' commentary enriches them. The comments takes the article out of isolation and makes it powerful. People of importance read her blogs. In large part because the commentary is active.
|The real JoeAm?|
- I also note that Pro-Pinoy has stepped up its action with more articles that are starting to draw comments. Maybe Cocoy has decided to be a player.
- The Society of Honor is a good place to go to energize one's conceptual thinking. Important people read this out-of-the- box blog, too. Those who aren't afraid of a foreigner's perspective. President Aquino knows who Joe America is.
- Some other blogs may not be as active, but they pop out excellent articles from time to time. Articles worth a bigger audience than what they are getting.
But they all are fairly isolated blogs. Raissa's is perhaps the exception because it has a huge audience. The rest of us stand alone. And without robust comments, we are too often lonely as well as alone.
If blogging is a community in the Philippines, it is an accidental collection. Not aimed at anything.
I'm saying, let's make blogging a force within the Philippines. Even more so than it is now.
Each of us, as an individual, can help meld these blogs into a game-changing force. We can do our part to support them. To energize them. And to add our own thinking on the issues.
Here's my personal goal:
- Make a commitment to building blogging as a political force in the Philippines.
Some of you are doing this already, I know. I see Edgar popping up here and there, and Cha and baycas, and the inimitable Mariano.
What if more of us do this, in a dedicated determined way, as a personal commitment to building a blogging force? It doesn't mean to swarm all over blog sites and dull them by over-attention and trolling. I mean simply participate sincerely, but actively. With the goal.
Of course, the blog editors must do their part and keep cranking out pertinent work. Work that means something to opinion leaders in the Philippines.
But commenters can build depth to the blog. I know that for a fact based on what gets added to my articles.
So working to build a more powerful blogging force in the Philippines, from the role of commenter, is fairly straightforward. You can go to the Philippine Blog Center and find who has published a blog recently. Then cue up new articles and participate in the discussion.
You may wish to focus on a few blogs that you'd like to give dedicated attention to. I recommend those that are politically oriented because, in the end, that's the audience we can influence to bring change to the Philippines. Plus, I'd throw in Rappler, because it rich with news and perspective and deserves our backing as the number one on-line news source.
The four sites that get my everyday attention are Society of Honor (duh), Rappler, Raissa Robles and Pro-Pinoy. I spot check the other blogs for new articles and comment if I have something meaningful to say.
But I have another idea, too. A bit harder, perhaps, both to REMEMBER and to do:
- To every complaint, attach a way forward.
Get beyond the gripe for griping sake.
- Build a community of bloggers.
- Build solutions to obstacles.
Forget bemoaning, grousing, complaining, griping, bitching and snarling.
Unless you are dealing with Sentor Sotto, of course.
Unless you are dealing with Sentor Sotto, of course.