Character: The Cornerstone of Nation-Building

Manila Bulletin, September 9, 2004 | Go to article overview

Character: The Cornerstone of Nation-Building


FOR anyone who reads the papers everyday, or watches the television for the latest news, it is almost possible to predict what could be read or heard. Eighty-seven-year-old lady stabbed and robbed inside her own home. Three-year-old daughter abused by her own dad. Husband beats wife to near death. Four teenagers caught in possession of illegal drugs. Siblings file law suits against each other in dispute over land inheritance. Amidst this seemingly continuing moral decadence, is there still hope for positive change in the future? The deafening question rings: Is there still room for this nationEs change of heart?

Though the present situation may be such, there is still much that the Filipinos can hope for. The present crisis that has plagued the nation for so long, and that has brought us way, way behind our Asian neighbors, is not just economic in nature. It is also an issue that has its moral side. This crisis is what we may rather call a "crisis of the heart and soula" a crisis that yearns for the governmentEs urgent and preferential attention.

Looking at how the present administration is trying to counter the interrelated problems of poverty, unemployment, a tremendously increasing population, and the ever alarming rate at which crimes are being committed day in and day out, it is worth noting that these issues are addressed not just with an approach that puts into consideration how jobs may be created, how squatters may be provided with decent homes, or how poor people may be educated in the areas of proper health care and family and home management. But more importantly, this present administration takes upon itself the task of addressing these problems at a deeper level u at the level from which these problems have actually sprung up u the level of values and character. A closer scrutiny of the present predicaments of the nation and its people would reveal that we are suffering not just from a mere scarcity of resources to answer for our needs. …

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