You do not understand.
You do not understand because you refuse to understand anything that falls outside your realm of experience.
(And perhaps that will be the frailty of your empathy: that you, as a person who has lived with so much privilege, must always use yourself as the measuring stick of what it means to be human.)
You scoff and say: who are these people, and why are they out in the streets? Don't we let them live? What else are they asking for?
You laugh. You sneer. You mock.
"My consistent experience in life is that as long as one commits to integrity and service, there are Divine Forces that help."
So says Gina Lopez, the newly-appointed DENR secretary, in her Rogue article "Gina Lopez on Her Ashram Years and Turning Her Back on a Privileged Life".
To note: this is not a question of Gina Lopez's achievements as an environmentalist. To give credit where it is due, Gina has been playing a pivotal role in Pasig River's rehabilitation. This criticism is not to dismiss her capacity to lead DENR.
That being said, her statement is emblematic of a misguided belief that the universe rewards and punishes accordingly--the so-called Just-World Fallacy.
This Sunday evening, I had a conversation about connections--in particular, about people whom we truly value, and those who stay in the fringes--either as passersby, or pushed aside.
When I was younger I used to think that your core was a static thing: who you were close with would remain part of your inner circle, forever. It was an immaturity on my part, of course. Now I'm a bit older, I guess I could say that there are people that you simply don't align with anymore. Not because they are any less, or that you're any better: you just grow different ways.
There are particular faces I remember fondly.
HELLO, MY NAME IS EVAN TAN.
I'm a writer and communications professional based in Manila, Philippines. Outside of my regular job, I like to travel, work out, volunteer, watch movies and plays, go to art galleries/ fairs and museums, read books, and eat vegetarian food.
More about me here.