Monday, February 25, 2008

I call myself patriotic?

I thought that age correlates directly with social awareness and social participation. As for those who got jaded along the way, I always thought that it wasn't about age but merely because they grew hopeless, desperate because no change is happenning, thus the apathy. Or maybe also because they started building their own fortune and forgot about their countrymen's needs in the process. Still, I thought that as people grow older, except on the occassions mentioned above, they grow to be more knowledgeable about the society, and that knowledge--be that from the academe or from the field--would perpetually cause anxiety in them and move them to actually do something. But then that ain't always the case.

I'd be in my senior year in the UP DILIMAN in a matter of months. You'd thought by now those who are like me have a clearer picture of the world, and an inkling on what they'd do to change the world. Having been educated in the country's premier university's melting pot, I'm supposed to be one of the most socially aware youth who's actively doing something for the country and who always have something intellectual to say about what's happening, right? But I'm not.

Bothered by this seemingly apathetic attitude, yes. I'm super. But generally, what am I doing? Last Friday, Jun Lozada was at Malcolm Hall. I only knew because I was walking with my groupmate to SC to have our survey answered. It took my attention, yes. But I only looked at it, dismissed it, and continued walking. All I ever cared for at that moment was getting the remaining missing resepondents. Now we have a tv at the condo. Before I excused myself for not being aware because we don't have tv. Now that we have one, do I even bother? Well yes, at times I do try to keep in tune, but usually, I don't.

I'd like to say I'm just so busy with the stuff I have to do for school. I am. I am. But a certain feeling, a certain attitude is creeping into veins. Apathy. I don't even really feel the drive every day. I'd like to blame it to acads. But I cannot externally attribute every single time. And my acads are precisely telling me to care. My Field Methods class and my Sikolohiyang Pilipino class, for example, are both geared towards making the students more aware of their local environment. Sometimes I feel the urge to know about everything. I still do thirst. But then when the other aspects of my life beckons, I turn my head, and live just like most of the other people do.

Now going back to the correlation I was talking about in the first line of this entry, I think that some people begin appearing to be apathetic because they also have a life to live. As they grow older, they come to hold more responsibilities--say, striving to get that graduate degree, getting a job and maintaining it, or starting to have a family to feed. Inasmuch as people would want to care (and once in a while they are bothered like I am by the fact that they're doing nothing for the country, I suppose), some just have a hard time using a macro lens and feeling the need to do something for a greater cause when the immediate, apparent, and most relevant things in their everyday life always beckons. Now I know that's not really a good excuse. But that's a fact. And some of these people, myself included, actually feels for this country, bleeds inside when other people bash it like they know everything...

When one doesn't do something so obvious for the country, one need not necessarily be apathetic. Now they may seem apathetic, but whoever said only the external, obvious things matter? For example, I focus so much on my studies because I wanna be admitted to the country's best law school. I wanna be admitted to the country's best law school because that would be my ticket to having a stronger hold on the country. I wanna draft bills that are socially relevant. I used to just want to be a criminal lawyer. But why extend my help to only my clients when I could do so much more for the country?

Despite those good intentions, I know what none of that would still excuse me from being aware of what's happening in the country. Last year I started regularly buying Time Magazine to be in-the-know with the socially relevant stuff in the world. But oh my, did I miss so much of what is going here!

1 comment:

Azure Phoenix said...

And you're growing up nicely, too, Lil Sis ^_^ Seriously, in this post alone, you managed to realize something that few do even in their old age, and several more deny even as they stare Death in the face XD

Apathy isn't about inaction only. You first have to define your definitions of "Action." Is it the Platonic? The one Arendt used? Do you define Action by the standards of the Left? And are we talking about "mainstream", "radical" or whatever shade of red it is?

When you've defined what Action is for you, then you can start judging yourself whether you fall short of that standard or not. But from what I can see from your post, you already have.

I always tell my proteges that the Jesuit concept of "magis", the "more", doesn't necessarily mean you have to go to Luneta and get shot. Sometimes, being decent in an increasingly indecent world is magis enough. That's a rather simple way to put it, but I'm sure you'll get the point ^_^

And if it means anything... I barely watch the TV, too. But, info junkie that I am, I... abuse my net connection. And the fact that Firefox allows for easy, multi-tabbed browsing XD