The Perspective of Achievement

The Perspective of Achievement is an English 4 requirement for the 3rd quarter of school year 2011-2012. Topic discussed before the essay requirement was The Prince. Does the end justify the means? Explain in context of the Philippine government.

Oh the wildflowers that bloomed, please tell me
Why do people fight, hurting one another?
Oh the flower blooming nobly, what can you see from there?
Why can’t people forgive one another?

-Euterpe by EGOIST

Each day, there are Filipinos struggling to make ends meet. Each day, there’s a greedy politician manipulating the government for his benefit. Each day, more babies are born into this dilapidated country of ours increasing our population density bit by bit. Each day, hope is formed in each of us.

Many hopes are formed, but at the same time, a lot of these hopes are ending. But the beginning and the end aren’t the only things notable because it’s the journey created that forms a person— a journey that makes a person grow in spirituality, morality and perspective. So in truth, the means are just as important as the end and that’s exactly my answer to the question.

However, when I take a look at the Philippine government’s situation, it looks like growth is the least of its worries. In a world where time is money, officials forego character formation in its means. They would cut corners and protocols to simply achieve their goals. Corruption is a leading issue in the Philippine government, but why?

“Government work is charity not a job” is what my grandfather once told me. Coming from a former chief justice, I couldn’t shed that thought away. How is it then government officials appear rich? Along with their charitable work, officials have businesses to help them pay for living expenses. But for some officials, that isn’t enough. There’s this mentality that officials have— “I work for the people so I can steal from them extra cash just this once.” But this one time deal isn’t just one— after not getting caught for the first time, they’ll redo it because they aren’t satisfied by the amount they had initially stolen. Nowadays, stealing from the people has become the norm that it ends up as a means of earning (the end).

Morally, that isn’t proper. These officials are stealing hard earned money— money paid so payers can receive benefits from the government that rules this country. Each day, low class Filipino families are struggling to budget their earnings— from food to bills, budgeting is a difficult task; all these families want are their rights or benefits to be fulfilled. For example, children have the right to quality education but that isn’t the case now especially with the huge budget cut on education. Education can create better leaders in the long run, but I shall reiterate— we live in a speedy society that long run benefits aren’t efficient to most people. Exactly why there’s this dwindling importance on education.

The stress of making ends meet for these poor families has caused a strain in the low bracket of society. People can kill others just to live. For them, in order to survive, I must do what I must— the government is too corrupt to even help me. This is why stealing has become an everyday norm in this society along with threatening and blackmailing— I need to make ends meet no matter what the means. The problem with those means is that it’s a cycle. When one steals from another, that other will take revenge in some other form creating a cycle of hurt and despair.

I believe that such a cycle should be stopped. “Change occurs starting with one’s self,” said a Social Science teacher of mine. Coincidentally, this teacher started “Ako Mismo” before it became a fad. He is right. If we want this society to change, we must begin with ourselves and for our current president, it must begin within government. President Noynoy Aquino wanted to implement the truth commission as a way of exposing the fraudulence within government. While his intentions are sincere, it was rash of him to begin with former president Gloria Arroyo. He had good intentions, but its execution was flawed. Is it right to forcibly find ways to send a sickly person to jail? Is it right to force her out of the hospital? Such means were unnecessary, but that’s what he did to reach his goal. While he did succeed, it showed his inefficient side to the people. Why was he in such a hurry? He simply couldn’t forgive Gloria for what she had done.

In the end, the end doesn’t justify the means. Morals are important in society. A real prince is someone who believes in proper means and character growth from it.

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