Pi­noy sense

Cebu Daily News - - OPINION -

Are­cent sur­vey proudly hailed Filipinos for hav­ing a lot of com­mon sense. The head­line brought me back to some­thing shared by a friend. The un­known au­thor writes: My par­ents told me about Mr. Com­mon Sense early in my life and told me I would do well to call on him when mak­ing de­ci­sions. It seems he was al­ways around in my early years but less and less as time passed by un­til to­day I read his obit­u­ary. Please join me in a moment of si­lence in re­mem­brance. For Com­mon Sense had served us all so well for so many gen­er­a­tions. Obit­u­ary Com­mon Sense To­day we mourn the pass­ing of a beloved old friend, Com­mon Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bu­reau­cratic red tape.

He will be re­mem­bered as hav­ing cul­ti­vated such valu­able les­sons as know­ing when to come in/out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t al­ways fair, and “maybe it was my fault.”

Com­mon Sense lived by sim­ple, sound fi­nan­cial poli­cies (don’t spend more than you earn) and re­li­able par­ent­ing strate­gies (adults, not chil­dren are in charge).

His health be­gan to de­te­ri­o­rate rapidly when well-in­ten­tioned but over­bear­ing reg­u­la­tions were set in place. Re­ports of a six-year-old boy charged with sex­ual ha­rass­ment for kiss­ing a class­mate; teens sus­pended from school for us­ing mouth­wash af­ter lunch; and a teacher fired for rep­ri­mand­ing an un­ruly stu­dent, only wors­ened his con­di­tion.

Com­mon Sense lost ground when par­ents at­tacked teach­ers for do­ing the job they them­selves failed to do in dis­ci­plin­ing their un­ruly chil­dren. It de­clined even fur­ther when schools were re­quired to get parental con­sent to ad­min­is­ter As­pirin, sun lo­tion or a sticky plas­ter to a stu­dent; but could not in­form the par­ents when a stu­dent be­came preg­nant and wanted to have an abor­tion.

Com­mon Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Com­mand­ments be­came con­tra­band; churches be­came busi­nesses; and crim­i­nals re­ceived bet­ter treat­ment than their vic­tims. Com­mon Sense took a beat­ing when you couldn’t de­fend your­self from a bur­glar in your own home and the bur­glar can sue you for as­sault.

Com­mon Sense fi­nally gave up the will to live, af­ter a woman failed to re­al­ize that a steam­ing cup of cof­fee was hot. She spilled a lit­tle in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge set­tle­ment.

Com­mon Sense was pre­ceded in death by his par­ents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Dis­cre­tion; his daugh­ter, Re­spon­si­bil­ity; and his son, Rea­son. He is sur­vived by three step­broth­ers; I Know My Rights, Some­one Else is to Blame, and I’m a Vic­tim.

Not many at­tended his fu­neral be­cause so few re­al­ized he was gone. If you still re­mem­ber him pass this on. If not, join the ma­jor­ity and do noth­ing.

*** This per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of com­mon sense is shock­ingly timely for our so­ci­ety. We are wit­ness­ing in real time the dire con­se­quences of “his ab­sence” tak­ing the form of a haunt­ing specter in the pil­ing bod­ies of col­lat­eral vic­tims to EJK, drugs, pros­ti­tu­tion and cor­rup­tion.

Thus, I be­lieve it is pre­ma­ture to laud our­selves for hav­ing a lot of com­mon sense. If by com­mon sense we mean our make-do and can-do abil­i­ties to sur­vive and ad­just in sit­u­a­tions — both nor­mal or crit­i­cal — I could still agree.

But for a com­mon sense that is rooted in the deep senses of what is his­tor­i­cal, cul­tural and spir­i­tual, I sadly be­lieve we have none (lit­tle, per­haps) of that. Un­know­ingly, we may have al­ready pawned the re­main­ing com­mon, af­ter hav­ing wasted the his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural senses.

Per­haps, for a lit­tle, we may still pride our­selves by cling­ing to some­thing spir­i­tual sense. But hav­ing lost the other three senses, it wouldn’t be long be­fore what is spir­i­tual be­comes sen­ti­men­tal, su­per­sti­tious and plain silly.

Vi­gnettes fr.an­cis@myre­al­box.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.