St. Francis of Assisi taught humankind to view the world as a home with so many things left undone. Take a look at our country; there are indeed a lot of things that needs to be done here, a lot of change that needs to be effected, needless to say with the rotten political world as number one on the list, to achieve the nation, a home, everyone dreams of. It is up to men to make their choice what to do next given that fact – to act and make a difference or simply do nothing and act blind. Those who want to do something (to change what needs to be changed or to challenge the status quo for the greater good) are then faced with the dilemma, questioning their capability of effecting the change they wanted.”What can a nobody do to change one country or the leaders of a country at least?” one youth might be asking himself/herself this very question right now. I am as well.

Changing the whole country sounds foolish to other people. Even the collective effort of millions of Filipinos gathered together failed in changing the rotten political culture twice. But the fight for political change does not end there; it will always continue. What is the part of a mere teenager and student in this grand scheme? Maybe I could join those who are calling for the truth behind the NBN deal. I can certainly join with any inter-faith rally to call for the punishment of the thieves in white barong inside the government. I can join those calling for government officials to moderate their greed and the alleviation of poverty. If my mind serves me right, I was asked with the same question when I was still in second year high school, and the convictions of a young Filipino that I took back then haven’t left the mind of a more mature youth that I am now. My answer is simple. If I want to see the change I want in our leaders, I should do so first in my own self. After all, it is plainly idiotic to tell or force someone to moderate their greed when I myself can’t moderate mine. It is foolish to cry for the alleviation of poverty when I own more than one cellular phone and is wasting money on unnecessary luxuries given that I know many others are starving, living with fifty pesos a day – not even half of my daily allowance. I am stupid if I call for the President to speak the truth when I can’t even admit my own mistakes and speak the truth behind my petty lies. How can I whine of the large-scale corruption and ask for the ouster of the government’s “buwayas” when I can’t even prevent or advise those I know who consent those corrupt government officials and are giving “lagay/padulas” just to avoid the long and tedious process of getting the needed public documents? How can I ask someone to value integrity and national responsibility, when I am half-hearted with regards to these values? If I really wanted to see those in the government to be responsible citizens and leaders, then I have to be a responsible citizen, myself, first.

What comes next after changing my self? There is no assurance that today’s efforts to bring social change will succeed, but there is nothing that I’ll lose if I become vigilant of the current events and be an informed citizen. Moreover, I sincerely believe that anything as grandiose as changing a nation starts in its smallest unit, the individual. Time will come our generation will take on the reins of our country as future leaders. Time will come when I can further my capability to change the lives of many or some people and do those many beautiful things left undone for this country as someone who value integrity and national responsibility. I maybe just one of several million Filipinos but still that is one responsible citizen off the statistics (of irresponsible ones).