I have stories about politics and this is one of them.
Two men were stopped by a TV newswoman doing street interviews about the upcoming presidential primary election.
“I’m not voting for any of the candidates,” the first man said. “I don’t know any of them.”
“I feel the same way,” the second man said. “Only I know them all.”
Another person who is quite knowledgeable about politics says: “In Congress someone gets up to speak and says nothing, nobody listens, and then they all disagree.” Why is this so?
After doing the values and leadership training some time ago for practically all the Barangay Captains of a certain city I would leave unnamed, another invitation was given me to conduct an afternoon leadership and values training to all the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) heads and I readily accepted it.
Held at the Development Academy of the Philippines in Tagaytay the expected participants for the conference should have numbered a little over 800. There were 2 batches of participants and while the first day training went very well, I noticed that there were municipalities representatives that were conspicuously absent especially on the second day. Headcounts reveal that the 800 will not be reached.
Curious I asked around for the reason why and guess what I found out? There were groups who did a “No Show” simply because their political parties are not aligned with that of the governor. Sure there were a lot of “technical” reasons why they couldn’t make it to the conference but when you come right down to it, it’s politics period.
Doesn’t that break your heart?
We should change our books. We should change our values. We should change our teachings and we should shout out to the whole world that our local officials exhibit unquestionable loyalty to their political parties but not to their country.
The first part of the conference talked about rules and regulations pertaining to their positions. The second part of the conference where I came in dealt with leadership and values. The training is everything but political. The governor’s intentions were to equip the young leaders with leadership skills so they can serve their communities better.
But guess what? These young people have been taught in their very young age the importance of partisan politics. That personalities are more important than principles. Political partisanship is more important than values and skills equipping. And then we wonder why we are so poor? Duh!!!
Doesn’t that break your heart?
This is proof that our country has too many politicians and too few statesmen. While the statesmen are concerned with the next generation, the politicians are terribly concerned with the next elections.
Doesn’t that break your heart? It surely broke mine.
But then again there is a shimmer of hope.
Those who attended, those who were serious and those who displayed maturity approached me, talked to me, send me a barrage of email expressing their gratitude for the things they learned during the session.
What did I teach them?
I taught them leadership principles. I taught them to respect authorities. I taught them to respect and obey their parents. I taught them to strive for personal excellence. I taught them responsibility and accountability. I taught them to exercise servant leadership and I taught them that the community and the country is more important than politics and parties. I challenged them to study hard, work hard and be an example for the youth to follow. And as I looked into the excited eyes of the young SK leaders who loved the session, I silently prayed to myself that this generation would rise up to make a difference in their community and make this country a better place. The innocence and idealism of the young should not be corrupted by the greed and malice of their seniors. This should not be.
Thomas Jefferson says: “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.” A little trembling will do all of us some good wouldn’t it?