Of Moral and Social Issues


I am the type of person who’s ability to think is shallow. I have to admit that because I have to be honest to myself to be able to help me rehabilitate my flaws and that action is tantamount to my having heard of the saying that goes, “One way of solving a problem is realizing there is one,” by Will McAvoy in the HBO series, The Newsroom.

But sometimes, when I am in a completely different world inside my head, I get to notice somethings and I start to ask questions that are empirical or based from the patterns and regularities I have observed.

Here are some of them:

TACLOBAN | via theepochtimes.com

1. Last November 8, 2013, the Philippines, particulary Leyte, was battered by the strongest typhoon of the decade – Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). Many died on the onslaught of the supertyphoon and even infants were not ruled out.

Basically, everything that stood in the way of the supertyphoon was brought to rabble and ruins.

Outside Leyte, in places where the supertyphoon did not severely caused damage, life goes on easily compared to those in Leyte. On TV I saw relief operations pouring from countries like the U.S., Japan, United Kingdom, etc.

But what really caught my attention is the local celebrities’ words: Nakikisimpatya kame. Kasi alam namin anong hirap ang pinagdadaanan niyo jan sa Leyte. Mahirap maging masaya sa mga panahong ganito.

(We are extending our symphaty. Because we are aware of the trials and hardships that your are facing right now in Leyte. It’s hard to be happy in times like these.)

Another is, the comments I saw on a picture uploaded on social networking site, Facebook, depicting happiness amid the tragedy in Leyte (even during the siege in Zamboanga last September), saying: Ganito na nga ang nangyayari, pa-selfie selfie pa rin? Kaunting konsiderasyon naman.

(Something grave is already happening and yet you still have time to do selfie? A little bit of consideration [to the people affected by tragedy] will do.)

And so, my mind started to ask: Yes, we sympathize and yes, it’s hard to be happy and to make other people happy in times like these. But up to what period of time are we going to  extend sympathy and freeze our lives? Until when are we not allowed to be happy amid the tragedy that has fallen in some areas in our country? Should our lives really be paralleled to the lives of those people in the affected areas? If so, until when?

ALMS | via Inquirer

2. The children evacuated at Grandstand following the siege are causing massive problems to students of Western Mindanao State University.

A report came out saying how a student was spat on the face by a child asking for alms. The action was made when the student refused to give the child alms. Another report came out saying, some students carrying food were ferociously ambushed by the children leaving them with no option but to give their food. Another is, when they [children] ask for, say, one peso, once you give them one peso, they’ll take it back and ask for a higher amount.

And so I ask, at the start of the war, yes, we express consideration for these people. We expressed sympathy and empathy and charity to them. But now that the siege is far over, and these children have started to pester and manifest barbaric acts, where does the line of consideration ends? Should we always extend this line to accommodate these people? If so, until when are we going to do this?

Actually, these are the two major questions I have that involve social issues and moral issues. Actually, I asked one of my professors regarding my question number one. And he said: we can’t be fully happy – in personal and social media – until the news gives us visuals of the events in Tacloban.

I guess my professor is right on that point. But still, my question regarding the parallelism of our lives to them is left unanswered.

Feel free to give your comments regarding my questions.

Our society is not perfect. Human as we are, we are not perfect. We can tolerate as much things perceived acceptable for only on a limited extent. That is why, someone should draw the line to clarify issues concerning our morality and society, and for us to know until when and where our moral judgement would incline us to favor.


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