I can still vividly recall every word in the apology email I sent to a client whom I blatantly offended over a phone call by saying “Sana po maging honest na lang kayo,” (It’s better for you to be honest) I unwittingly acted out of my emotion as I felt the fiber of professionalism snapped under the strain of hatred. I had always held my words in peace unless roiled, and yet, that one time, I acted beyond the periphery of the so-called “Client relationship concept”. The worst thing was the email trail called for the attention of my boss due to the unwarranted conduct of questioning my client’s integrity. It was an ordinary day and the mistake I committed seemed a petty thing, but after a series of realizations, the fear of losing my job sank deep in my thoughts for days. If you were in my shoes, how would you feel when “something” you thought was so petty meant losing your job in an instance?
On another ordinary day, I read news assaulting President Duterte as the purveyor of fake news – when he was cited by the local news as the source of false foreign bank account numbers allegedly owned by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. The public’s reaction was predictable, and the mere thought of its predictability saddened me. All forms of humiliation flooded the comment sections of social media sites saying that, “the Philippines is hopeless under the Duterte Administration,” in addition to comments like “Indecent, a living joke and Liar.” Fault-finding‘s already rooted on us, the Filipino people. It has consumed us and, little by little, it has integrated as an annex of our ego. The real thing is, we became specters in the night that when the light confronts us, we abruptly hide back and refuse to hear a single word from the enemy. We’ve became afraid to see our own monstrous reflections and, coward to our own words backfiring anytime. In the first place majority of the Filipino people elected him as the President of the Republic of the Philippines, and now the same people are condemning his mistake. This may seem an immaterial case, but consider this: a destructive fire that left thousands of people homeless started from a little lit.
In the case of President Duterte, he could have behaved in a different way like setting aside his child-like trolling towards Trillianes in honor of his office. It could have been less comments based on random thoughts because words are powerful, once it’s out, it can’t be swallowed back. He should take responsibility of his words through an apology. More so, he should develop professionalism over his emotion. Maybe, he should realize that his position is a leap-difference compared with Trillianes. He’s the head of the state and he should act his office with integrity and with respect, whereas, Trillianes – who behaved like a nuisance candidate running for the elections – should muffle his unprecedented claims because less talk would mean less mistakes. It’s just so unsettling to know that the officials we think who could handle the office well are the ones who can’t show us how. To the public who are in rage to express their rants in multiple medium, maybe, it’s better for us to give feedbacks or constructive criticisms rather than ill-faulty words.
Each one of us has our own peculiar encounters of defeat, frustration and failure. No one wants to repeat the same mistakes. No one wants shaming. More so, no one desires condemnation. I believe that the change once promised to us does not solely lie on the impact of war against drugs, it’s within the very vein of our approach. Long before that, our blood has been smeared by the venom of hatred that eventually would turn us into monsters we didn’t wish to become. The cure is the same venom that poisoned us, it is the very antidote that can heal us and bring us into a realization that we make terrible mistakes, but it’s not yet too late to change for the better.
I felt empowered to change for the better when my boss didn’t take my side but gave me advice to ponder on even though I chose wrong words, stumbled and behaved less than from what was expected of me. The feeling that I am still accepted and valued after committing a horrible mistake bolstered my confidence to do better. A pat on the back, a follow up or a piece of advice really helps a lot rather than adding insult to an injury. If we assume that each of our finger represents a loaded gun and when we accuse someone, the trigger is pulled spontaneously, then, the moment that the fault-finder finger shoots the accused, the remaining four bullets ricochet because of the hand’s clenched-like structure. The conflicts will be endless but if we set our hearts as human we could reconcile our differences and think of ways to improve ourselves.
(This was my entry submitted to youngblood but I want to share my thoughts.)