Generation guilty until proven innocent

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Column name: Be Siege (siːdʒ same with CJ)

by: Charmaine Joy V. Zhang

Column title: Generation guilty until proven innocent

I am guilty, and so are you.

My day is never complete without taking a daily dose of bad news from the newspaper, radio, or the television. It always has something to do with the government, a dirty politician, or someone being convicted.  More often than not, these news concern politicians who are being convicted, or are currently facing scandals or issues. Not only did we become calloused of such situations, but we have also grown to become self-centered. When people hear from the news that billions of pesos is missing, nobody bats an eye. But when they hear that OUR billions of pesos is missing, everyone loses his mind (and temper). Corruption is so mainstream nowadays that these government officials instantly appear guilty in our eyes, and that they just hire lawyers to have them be proven innocent.

Baha na naman. Blame the government. Ang tataas ng presyo ng mga bilihin. Blame the government. Wala akong pera. Blame the government.

What if, just what if, we are to blame with all these problems to begin with? As a Human Resource Development student, it got me thinking just how similar our role as citizens of this country to that of the HR Department of a company. Because one way or another, it was us who recruited and selected the ones who are seated upon those thrones.

Think about it: weren’t we the ones who shaded the white circles and dropped the long ballot? Didn’t we have our freshly manicured nails tainted with the indelible fact that what we just dropped in the box will decide the future of our country?

That’s right, you are G.U.I.L.T.Y. and so am I. Allow me to throw a flashback as to why.

Last May, I gave away something very important. It took me a while to realize just how careless I was. I just casually and naively let people, who I didn’t even really know, take away my sweet first-time privilege as an adult. I was a fool, like many other millions who blindly subdued to the sweet words and promises. I allowed what obvious lies caress my innocence. I was a fool indeed to give away my Spot.

I was guilty of voting negligence. I did not bother searching for the credentials of who I was voting for, and I allowed myself to be carried away with the familiar sound of their last names, just like millions of others. And now, it is the guilty who has hailed the guilty.

See how night after night there are headlines of court hearings, senate debates, and government fund issues on TV? We already lost our trust to the system. In our eyes, they are all guilty, but let us not forget in the first place, so are we.

-end-

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