Monday, May 24, 2010

Reflections: On Doing the Noble

Lately I've been very disturbed by the opinions of two of my close friends. I have nothing against them personally, and I'm sure if they read this they would understand why I wrote it, but it still makes me feel uncomfortable doing so because I consider them very close friends, and souring ties with them is not something I would want to do. But since I cannot contain the urge anymore to express my opinions on it, I have decided to write this anyway, if only to clear my conscience with regards to these matters.

Philippine bureaucratic processes cause major headaches to people trying to conduct transactions with the government. It would be great if these processes can be avoided, but since we live in this country and breathe its air, there really is nothing we can do. It's inevitable that at one point in time, you'd be talking in front of an irritable underpaid government agent to avail of a government service, and I'd be the first to say I'd do just about anything to avoid having to go through with that.

But I won't stoop to corruption.

Call me uninformed or naive, because yes, I am uninformed and naive, but if there's one thing I'm proud to say I know and I hold on to, it's that I would always try to do the noble thing. Maybe I'm only able to say this because I haven't had enough experience with these bureaucratic processes, and maybe after experiencing the hell these processes put people into I might consider making a "better" judgement call, but it will take a whole lot of convincing before I consider corrupt methods as practical alternatives.

I do not mean to offend here - yes, to each their own - but I personally will not be able to live with myself if I even considered corrupt methods on purpose. Sure, they are going to get my needs and wants faster than you can say miscellaneous taxes, but it would add more fuel to the ever-growing fire of corruption. As I have said before already, our country is corrupt enough as it is, why should I contribute more corruption?

I'm sure the officials involved also get unauthorized percentage cuts from the taxes we end up paying. But I do not think it's the same thing to adopt corrupt methods, and to pay taxes you know that a percentage of ends up in their hands anyway. For one thing, it avoids you committing the sin, putting the responsibility and conscience burden on those who do take unauthorized cuts. And while I'm sure it's very tempting to consider corrupt methods since you end up paying a whole lot less, it doesn't make it any more vindicated.

That said, I know myself and I know that I'm not perfect and that I do not fit the character of the "Carrier of the Noble Mantle" or "Sir Noble DoGoodAlways". But I also believe that should not be a factor here. So what if at one point in time we fall, everyone does! That doesn't mean we should stop striving to always do the noble thing!

And no, resorting to the easy way out does not automatically make you evil; I do not wish to pass judgement on you. I'm sure people who do have their own reasons, and this is just me airing my own. I do not mean this to be demeaning or derogatory; I'm addressing the act and not the actor.

Perhaps this is the true reason why I still watch childish hero shows, rather than more "mature" dramas. You can stop reading now if you wish, the rest are just my after thoughts. I wish to preserve this "naivety" if you will; this "childlike" point of view. I'm sure perhaps deception and trickery may have its place in this world, maybe not as a tool of evil but a tool to outwit evil, but I'm sure evil itself doesn't. And rationalizing them doesn't change the fact that evil is still evil. But often times, the boundaries are so blurred. Perhaps in the end, we just need to have a heroic heart, and right now, I really pray I do.