To Me, Six Years From Now
Dear Marck, Six Years From Now:
I’m writing this knowing and having the feeling that you probably just sat there, taking things as they came, offered an opinion here and there, and gave up, thinking it’s none of your business anymore.
By now, you should have a fair understanding of how – and why – democracy works. The reason why that man was your President is not solely because of the choice I made or did not make. Millions of other Filipinos contributed to that decision, to the course of this country’s leadership. I hope that in those six years, you didn’t look at your ballot or your vote as a contract to surrender your rights. I hope that you do not believe that oxymorons like “benevolent dictatorships” solve these country’s woes. I hope you paid your taxes, I hope you abided by the law, and I hope you exercised your duties as a citizen, and not banked all your hopes to a six-year Presidency.
I could go on about why I voted for this Senator, for this President, but then I realized that while I have my own little way in my ballot, the will of the people is far more important than the results of the tally I made for myself, or for you. I entrusted my future – you – to them. as the people did. Unless you want to act like subservient, obedient slave, the least you could have done is to march up the steps of Congress and let your voice be heard when something so wrong strikes you in the heart, in the mind, and in the stomach. You should be old enough – and bold enough – to do that when necessary.
I’m not going to ask what your President did. I have little trust in the crop of Presidential candidates I had to choose from, much less the way I had to choose them. Chances are, the persons I may have voted for may not be in power. I’ve voted enough times in my life to know the poverty of choices that encounters the average voter when he or she exercises the right to suffrage. When you look back, I hope you realize that with so much at stake, you cooperate where necessary, you dissent where necessary, and you should take the effort to do more than what your taxes are worth. If your President can’t be a hero, be one. If your President can’t make decisions, rally the people around and get consensus, fill out the forms, make your voice be heard. If your President does something wrong, show it and make it right. Don’t let it slide, thinking that you’re powerless. By now, you should have a good idea of what you can – and should – do.
I made my choices for the sake of people having a seat at the table when their lives and their futures are at stake. I hope you took your seat in that table. I hope that you didn’t start being an active citizen and a passionate politically-involved person only when elections came along. I hope you watched, observed, engaged, and locked horns with your Government enough to praise it where it is right, and chastise it where it is wrong. Democracy: you don’t like it, tough luck, deal with it.
So own up to my vote, ‘coz from now until you make up your mind to stop voting, Government just became your business.
Marck, Six Years Ago