- In the U.S., I see a Tea Party that will not negotiate, that believes anyone with a different view is the enemy, to be cut down. And the cutting down, as done by the party of the Christian right, Republicans, is unbearably deceitful and manipulative. Well, that's true of the left, too, and they, also, claim Christian values.
- In the Philippines I look on dismayed as the major church, the Catholic Church, descends into the mud-pit of political advocacy, even though doing so puts more than half the people into the camp of the opposition as potential "sinners" for not toeing the church line. So don't vote for Aquino if you want to go to heaven, I guess.
Well, other values can be based on other religious doctrines, or on the atheistic adherence to reason as the guidepost to right and wrong. A people would not rationally do that which is wrong and expect their civilization to thrive.
But I chose a different value standard.
It is based on the well-being of children.
Yes, it puts kids at the heart of every moral decision.
How would I live to ensure that kids are given the best possible shot at a safe, healthy, prosperous and intellectually rich lifestyle?
- Would I behave as Senator Sotto and teach kids it is okay to copy the original work of others, use it wrongly, deny I copied it, and, once informed of the error of my ways, admit no wrong-doing? Or would I show them it is strong to accept responsibility for a mistake?
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- Would I behave as Carlos Celdran did and insert my political views into a private business meeting? Or would I find a more respectful way to argue?
- Would I behave as Senators Enrile and Cayetano and get down and dirty and personal on television, in the most dignified forum in the nation? Or would I recognize dignity requires unusual strength and discipline?
- Would I behave as the leaders of the Catholic Church behave, always pointing the guilt-laden finger at others whilst denying any responsibility whatsoever in the "product", what the Philippines is like socially and economically today?
- Would I behave as all the corrupt government servants do, using favor and pressure to skim riches from those simply looking for government help?
- Would I behave as private citizens do, taking every opportunity to take advantage of others if they are caught in a moment of weakness, on the road, in the market, in negotiating for services, in leaving their front door open at night? Or wallet on the table, in plain sight?
- Would I, if seeing a young woman being beaten by a man, walk quickly by as if it were not my problem?
- Would I, on the job, take every opportunity to rest and relax and duck hard work or hard decisions?
Each of these questions can be answered very easily if we imagine an eight-year old child is standing right beside us. Watching what we do.