Right now the topic on the radio is “how to be a hero.” We have put such a high cost on doing/being good. It’s always about sacrifice, forgetting the self, doing something for others, for the country, stopping facebook-ing, donating money (anonymously), offering your life like Ninoy or giving up a BMW. And take note, it has to come from the depth of your heart. What if I don’t feel that? Should I stop doing good?
I tried being a rebel, going into politics, social development, social entrepreneurship.. It’s definitely not religion, not the government, not the corporate that can solve the world’s problems. It seems that none of the systems I have seen does truly liberate people.
The thing is, we have focused too much on the story of sacrifice. When these so-called heroes tell their story, it’s a story of enlightenment, of lightness, of happiness, of peace, of self-liberation. But when others retell the story, the story becomes selfish-lessness. It now becomes, “Hey he’s so great. He did this difficult stuff, be ashamed that you’re not doing it.”
The measure of being good has become how much you have sacrificed. -trech ras
I’m guilty. When I was in social entrepreneurship, I felt so entitled to question the ways of people, to judge their motivations and livelihood. I condemned my partners who had corporate jobs. I belittled organizations who write grant proposals. I felt superior to people who only think about their families and about survival. I thought I was the perfect mix that the world has been waiting for, the person who can solve it (as if really, the world is a big problem).
You see, we get out of our self, only to be exclusive to the good of our family. We get out of our family, to be exclusive to the good of our organization or our country. When we get out into the world, it looks so abstract and too big. Even the UN fails.
Up until what point should we continue going out?
We have focused too much on the results. Ninoy liberated our people, or Gandhi, or any person who acted out of compassion, their actions resulted to something that we obsessively want to replicate (freedom, now. peace, now. patience, now). We are always at awe with how calm and peaceful they are (even Rizal at the time of his death). We only look at the surface, the results and not their makings.
That’s why doing good has become a burden. During the time I thought I was doing The Good, I still didn’t find peace, I felt it a burden, and I would cry at night, my heart break at how I can’t buy my mom medicine, or that I can only buy second hand clothes. I was doing good for others, self-lessly, Why am I not feeling good?
Before this post becomes a book and tell the whole story and purpose of this blog, I would stop here and let it sink. More easily digestible posts will come 🙂