With only two weeks left before the election in the Philippines (although Overseas Absentee Voting-OAV has already started more than a week ago), social media is abuzz with dissenting opinions and daily updates on campaign-related activities. It’s quite toxic to be honest, even with no plan of responding to any of it, you can’t help but be moved in frustrations at how the online discourse is turning into personal attacks against friends.
YOUR TRUE COLORS
I’ve seen several posts claiming to be apolitical or even “religious” and calling each one to respect their opinions but leading towards the end of the post will reveal their personal preferences. I’ve also watched some content that shows how to qualify a good candidate and later name their bets in the end. That’s ok! That’s their choice and they’re merely presenting it to us as an option. There’s nothing wrong with it. One can even claim they’re “die-hard” or “solid”, we’ll soon realize what those terms really stand for. In the spirit of fairness, I tried to watch all sides. As in any marketing activities, whether a customer will like your product or not, it’s still up to the customer.
We also have to remember that when we see a friend posting something with a bit of a tone, we can’t help but be concerned, affected, or worried. So it’s not only a matter of just posting something and say “respect my opinion”. Remember that on the other side of the screen could be someone who might need an encouragement, a prayer, a miracle… and we offer them this.
It’s even funny to see how ordinary people’s shirt color will be associated with a particular party or candidate… and that’s a little annoying and inconvenient (esp for me who have very limited outfits). But no matter what our color preference is during this election, what will matter the most is our true color. Deep inside, what is our conviction?
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice.” – Phil 4:8-9
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CANDIDATES
How this circus is turning out to be a battle of supporters… is really very frustrating. It’s a battle of who said what, and who said it better. It’s a battle between words (and memes) of either camp against each other… even to the point of stooping down so low to getting personal and malicious attacks.
The last time I was told, the winner of the election IS THE CANDIDATE and not the supporter who carried out much of the discourse. So let’s all weigh in on who talks better, which candidate has the clearer vision for the future, and who really is the most qualified to lead the country. Let’s FOCUS ON THEM (character and qualifications) and LET THEM show us what THEY’VE got. It shouldn’t be the people who are fighting. I guess nobody signed up to be the official spokesman for any of them (except for their campaign strategists).
Yes, by all means, we can cheer, we can rally behind our candidates during sorties. But that’s it. We are supposed to be trained in school intrams or collegiate sports competitions to battle it out on the court or cheer it out loud during each game. But afterward, we should be civil and act like what learned persons should be (no other side comments).
But why do we feel obligated to speak up? Why do we feel the urge to voice our opinions? It is when disinformation and attacks become very personal. So let’s try (on either side) to avoid that. I couldn’t imagine our kids reading our posts/watching adults do these things.
Even after the election, we can still choose to believe what we want to believe. It will tell more about our values and principles in life. And that’s our right… and it will be our responsibility (to society and to God) as well. But never go to the level of personal attacks (and be very cautious and conscious about this) lest you fall victim to a problem that you created.
One says something, the other will be insulted. The insulted will get criticized for acting or saying something. The critic now becomes the victim, and the insulted one now becomes the villain. The cycle will continue if no one will put a stop to it. And if we are not aware of the DEVIL’s SUBTLE “SCHEME” to kill, steal, and destroy… then we’re all dead. If there’s anything, I wish to share this post that may guide us all on what to do when feeling insulted, attacked, or bullied:
Clearly, every ELECTION is a chance to become even more nationalistic (more than any other public holiday in the Philippines). And that’s good. If for anything, this shows our love for our country and our desire for change/or continuity. It is our chance to show our passion for our country (and shows how we are so invested in checking updates on Facebook and Twitter every day – we even may get easily triggered by it).
This election may not be a chance to fully unite the people as one nation given our ever warring beliefs and opinions, but it’s definitely a chance for every little voice to be heard.
CAST YOUR VOTES FOR THE PHILIPPINES!
“But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain —and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” – Exodus 18:21
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