Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A call for romance

MY THEOLOGY PROFESSOR this semester sees the world as being so “messed up” that the choices we are presented with are all bad choices.

He says that we are morally corrupt. A conscience enabling good is a proposition that has supposedly lost all relevance in our world.

The reality we face is a corrupt and compromised one, where bad choices are the norm.

My professor, a European, used Philippine Politics as his example. However optimistic politicians are upon entering this line of work, they eventually get caught up with the system, the culture of Philippine Politics, where “service” remains an abstract notion that is thrown around without being practiced.

My professor questions the innate goodness of man. He says that somewhere along the way, man lost something. Man got caught up in choices made, and it has come to a point where the choices made and the options available are all negative ones. Even good choices come at a price.

I don’t completely agree with my professor, but I do believe that the reality we live in is a corrupted one. It IS a fucked up world. YES, we lost sight of something.

I remembered my professor’s musings on choices while I was in a cab yesterday. The driver, a jolly man of less than 40 years of age, proposed that we’d be better off in the hands of colonizers because Filipinos simply can’t lead.

Being re-colonized sounds as scary as living with our current leaders; it also sounds like a good proposition at the same time.

Bad choice and bad choice leaves us with bad outcomes. And eventually, bad is all we know.

When you have a man disillusioned in the heat of the desert with no water, he’ll drink the sand. He’ll drink the sand because there is no other choice. And when a puddle of water miraculously appears, he’ll still drink the sand because he has forgotten the difference.

The moral fabric of society has deep stains. But I’d like to focus on the innate goodness of man, which my professor never dismissed. He merely suggested that reality might’ve taken control of that innate goodness.

If we’ve gone astray, I’d like to think that we can get back on the right path. If we lost something, then we can get that thing back.

I echo certain insights made during my poetry class: maybe we have to go back to the romantic ideals that were never lost on us—just merely forgotten.

Realists and rationalists (AKA politicians and washed up hippies who’ve sold out) are quick to dismiss such notions and tend to operate at “face level.” They talk about the importance of institutions, economics, governance, etc. Basically, they talk about things that make them money.

There lies the germ of conflict.

We focus and think on “realistic” and “rational” levels knowing that it’s a corrupted reality. That doesn’t make sense. It feeds the problem.

Rationally and logically, to change our reality we must revert back to the romance of goodness, righteousness, and dreams.

A professor in Science and Society once criticized my class, for when asked for the reasons we want the jobs that we want, most answers were on the realm of making money, success, and power.

Have we lost the ability to dream about being what we want to be? he asked.

It’s true.

Why can’t somebody just want to be a doctor because he wants to be a doctor, as opposed to resting his convictions on being able to count those professional fees?

Why can't we fall in love with those who we've fallen in love with without considering that person's chances of petitioning us to go abroad? (Don't pretend not to know what I'm talking about.)

There must be a change in our moral fabric. We need to go back to romance.

Al Gore calls global warming a “moral issue.”

It’s true.

With all the talk of economics (costs too much to find alternative energy), politics (can’t piss off the oil companies that fund our campaigns), and a lack of will (it’s too hard; we have bigger problems), we simply lost sight of the fact that destroying the world is WRONG.

Sadly, reverting to good morals takes will, as opposed to it being natural. This exemplifies how morally corrupt we are.

Realistically, to fix the world’s problems, we need the will to be romantic again.

And to take a cue from Gore, that’s the “inconvenient truth.”


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