Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:1-2
The elections are over. The results have been counted. We have a new crop of leaders for some positions of government. I don’t know of anyone yet who saw all of their senatorial choices win. Most, including me, have some (or a few) who won and some (or many) who lost.
- If you voted, good job. Thank you for caring enough to do that. I saw a few (defensive?) posts of people saying that they still love the Philippines even though they didn’t exercise their right to vote. But with the great efforts the COMELEC has made (even though there are still significant screw-ups), there is less and less of an excuse. Basically, if you can get concert tickets, premiere tickets to the showing of Iron Man, or your school clearance, then you can probably vote. So congratulations to all of us who did.
- Now the votes have been counted and winners have been decided. It’s time for us to respect and submit to whoever is sitting there. The whole point of a democracy is we all agree to abide with the decision of the majority. It’s not, “Well, that’s not what I want so I’m going to disengage from the process.” That’s like those kids who lose at board games and kick the board over. As good citizens, it’s our role to pray for our leaders, support them, and give constructive feedback. Like a good friend of mine said, “There’s a difference between criticizing and bullying.”
- We don’t have to wait for the next election to do something for the country. We can be active today! Many people have complained about how the poor in this country voted, stating the woes of how easy it is to buy their votes. I agree that it is short sighted thinking, but I’ve also never been in the situation where P500 is the difference between life and death. I think I would be extremely “short-sighted” too if I was watching my family go hungry.
- What if we help the greatest demographic of our country today by giving what we can to lift people out of poverty? One of our pastors sponsored the daughter of their maid to fix her cross-eye. Then they helped her get a scholarship through Real Life Foundation and now she’s a college graduate and will get a good job. I grew up with my parents actively concerned for our helper and drivers’ education and family’s well-fare, even sponsoring their distance education so they could get a diploma. Bo Sanchez has blogged about how he has helped his maids form an investment portfolio. Earlier this year, my wife and I went through all of our things and gave away most of my clothes and plenty of school books to our helper and driver for their children’s education. My in-laws Paula and Charlie are active in Diksyonaryo Atbp and are constantly drumming up support for various causes. My brother, David, works two jobs, but has spent huge amounts of his time working with Habitat for Humanity, Center for Community Transformation, and Real Life Foundation. Everyone has needs and problems. We all could be using the time and money to better our own lives a little bit more. But we all can do something as well. The point isn’t to compare with one another but to do our part. Just like one vote counts, your life and what you do with it counts.
So to the new officials, congratulations and God be with you. We hope that you will serve with integrity, excellence, and as much diligence as you showed while campaigning. (Haha, like they’ll get to read this.)
And to the rest of us ordinary people, great work on the voting. Now let’s continue to do what we can to serve our country and fellow Filipinos.