IN THE 2021 edition of the book Bible Diary, a publication by the Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc., in the summary of the Gospel of the Lord it says:
“The greatest expression of humility is when you finally have the courage to stoop down, get on your knees and consider the welfare of others above your own.
You dirty yourself in order that others may be clean. You give up your comfort so that others would feel comfortable.”
We are reminded of what we saw on Facebook late last week. It was a video recording of the announcement by the lady Prime Minister of New Zealand about her voluntary decision as well as those of other officials in the executive department of her government to cut by twenty percent (20%) their monthly salary.
The amount will be pooled and will be added up to the resources of the government intended to foot the bills of the country in helping New Zealanders in this hard times brought about by the CoViD 19 pandemic. What a way to give flesh to the Gospel of the Lord! It was plain and simple giving up of comfort by the officials of the Executive Department of the New Zealand government headed by the lady Prime Minister so just the people of that country would feel comfortable.
We wonder if such act of benevolence would ever happen in the Philippines. What a big amount of money can be added to the dwindling resources of the Philippine government if all the officials of the government would, even if temporarily, give up a portion of their monthly pay and pool it to a fund that will be given as aid to the long agonizing people as a consequence of the global pandemic.
Say for example, if Presidents and directors of government-owned and controlled corporations also pitch in even just the 10 percent of their current monthly pay or allowances. And what more if executives of large privately-owned conglomerates would also join for the sake of saving their fellow Filipinos from the certainty of perdition in this year-long global health emergency?
Will this act not be “the greatest expression of humility” when just in this time of emergency the ultra-rich will for once considering the welfare of others above their own? That if only for a limited period of time they tame down their personal greed for money and wealth and share a little with others so they can survive in this global crisis?
And just for the sake of the message of the Lord this Lenten season will the opposition and other critics for once rally behind the administration and temper their desire to grab power this early so that government efforts to respond to the current crisis will be devoid of thorns along the way? For now, it is obvious that all criticisms are geared towards derailing the efforts for a successful response and not to present meaningful alternatives from the existing ones.
Moreover, “experts” by “a dime a dozen” are plucked out from nowhere by this and that critic and by this and that information purveyor, or voluntarily offering their supposed “expertise” for publicity sake. The result is that there seems to be an overdose of information to the point that many end up uninformed of the real situation.
Cannot these “experts” and those who rightly or wrongly believe in them, for once taper down their urge for recognition and allow a centralized source of information from the government so the information will not be muddled and dirtied so what will come out is clean and unexpurgated?
Yes, in this Season of Lent the message is clear. That sacrifices have to be made like what the Lord Jesus did. Offering cuts in salaries is one major sacrifice and as we believe, is a remote possibility in the Philippines. In fact others are even demanding for increases despite the very hard times the country’s economy is now experiencing.
We believe however, that the more doable forms of sacrifices are the toning down or coming up with constructive criticism against government and rallying with the administration for a common cause, as well as slowing down of people’s ego in claiming expertise so the Filipinos can have a more focused approach in dealing with the pandemic vis-à-vis existing protocols.
For once, let’s all be humble and let us do our share in the sacrifice if only in reverence of the Lenten observance so that we may be able to “heal as one.”
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