Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


Archive for July 6th, 2005


new ways 37

Posted on July 06, 2005 by jimparedes

Once again, we are on the deep end as a nation. As painful and anguish-filled as it may be, I believe that GMA has no real option now but to resign. If she stays, how can she address anyone–the youth PMA, or anybody and talk about values, etc. when people believe she cheated? Historically, we’ve always had a ‘lesser evil” approach to choice. Here is one chance we can show ourselves that we can make the ‘more moral’ one. If we refuse to correct this, let’s throw away all pretensions at democracy, elections and all that.

The clowns in the opposition who want an extra-judicial take over, and our vice-President ascending to power give me no comfort either. But between the opposition and Noli, I will abide by the constitutional process and go for Noli. We collectively chose him and so we have to go by this.

I also worry that the VAT will not be implemented. As difficult as that may be, the truth is we really have to face up to our addiction to borrowing. To keep doing so is unsustainable. Tama na. Let’s bite the bullet now because it becomes harder everytime we delay the inevitable. Sure, there are the crooks who will steal our taxes. That’s another problem that we must face. But that should not be an excuse. No more buck-passing and blaming others. We gotta do it.

These are dangerous transitions we are going through as a nation. Almost every institution is broken and needs major repair and rethinking. Aside from the government, all the other institutions such as the church, big business, military, media, etc. have been major disappointments as well.

When we are ready for a future that is different from the past, we will need to drop our existing mental models to see things differently. Otherwise, we will keep on coming out with the same solutions.

For every crisis, we can almost predict how the sectors in our society will act (or react), starting with the government which will defend its policies, the opposition which will condemn government, the media which will bleed the story dry but will not really inform, the NGOs and the church which will show shock, disdain, and condemnation and offer the same old ‘solutions’ to the crisis.

The book Presence gives a very good idea of how change in South Africa and many places happened and is happening. Biases, paradigms, knee jerk reactions had to come crashing down. The writers of the book saw how the old way of knowing–a) gather information, b) follow due diligence procedures, c) decide what you want to do, d) make decisions and enrol people in the decision, e) and follow through monitoring and adjusting as you go, was not sufficient anymore.

The new way of learning goes like this: a) sensing—observe, become one with the world, b) presencing–retreat and reflect, allow inner knowing to emerge, c) realizing, act swiftly, with a natural flow. It involves a lot internal work.

I am not a political scientist, or even anywhere close. I am just an artist. But as one, I can tell you that in my field, this works. I ‘marinate’ myself in the topic or emotion and when ready, I write it in 5 minutes. When I want a difficult time, I become logical with preconcieved ideas and judge my work even before it is finished and most of the time, it comes out so-so!

What if we begin to look at things differently? What if instead of looking at the problem ‘objectively’ or ‘out there’ as if it was external to us, (e.g. ‘they’ are ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘sinful’ and we are different) begin to look at it from the inside? We ARE after all really inside this society. We must become present to it, in it and with it. We are it! We must heal ourselves not just politically, but wholistically. The solutions lie with us and not some external knight in shining armor who will save us. Let’s look for new leaders and solutions beyond the usual suspects and old formulas we have been used to.

An isolated cell that stops working in consonance with the rest of the body mutates into cancer. We must work with our leaders and vice-versa. Otherwise, they become unanswerable to anyone and can become antagonistic to their constituents.

Just thought I’d share some wild and incoherent thoughts! We all seem to be stuck anyway. If you think this is a crazy thought, please don’t send me a thought I have already heard. Send a crazier one.

Forgive me. I told myself I would not write about things directly political on this blog but I thought I’d break my own rule since these topics have far-reaching repercussions. Kawawa naman ang Pilipinas. How much more self-inflicted pain can we bear before we totally break down as a nation. Is that what is required before decide to wake up to our greatness? What a high price to pay.

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You gotta hand it to Live 8. What a show and what a great way to spread the word. They recieved 27 million texts of support, plus a viewership of billions all over the world. We really must be living in a new era. The people who see the really important problems of the world are not the politicians but unlikely people, e.g. rockstars like Bono and Bob Geldof and the rest. I found it quite funny that Bob Geldof sent a letter to the Pope soliciting his support for the campaign for G8 to save Africa and the Pope responds by sending Bob his picture!! I saw him on BBC say, ‘I don’t want your picture. I want your support!” Can you imagine these old Italian priets who opened the letter and probably had never heard of Bob Geldof automaticaly just putting the Pope’s picture on an envelope and sending it like fan mail Bizarre!

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This will be my last post for about a week. I will be checking into a hospital for an operation on my thyroid tomorrow. There is a mass connected to it and it is encroaching on my trachea. It’s nothing new. In fact it’s been there for the past 30 years except that it suddenly got bigger recently. No, there is no cancer nor anything toxic. This is a simple operation that will relieve the pressure on my trachea.

I will be in the hospital for about 3 to 4 days and will be back in the classroom by Tuesday of next week. No internet. Only books. I just don’t know if it will be too painful to move about for awhile so in all probability, I may catch up on sleep. ha ha!

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