12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country Essay

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2050—a year that people have hoped to be the best, didn’t turn out to be as good as they have dreamed. For centuries, mankind has hoped to generate the best generation of leaders that they can have in order to sustain its existence. They have hoped, prayed and crafted the best scientist, politician, businessman and citizen that have ever walked down the deteriorating ground of earth.

All of their dreams and aspirations have been consolidated in the minds and witty persona of the aforementioned beings but little do they know that their efforts, their years of hard work have been churned to useless crap. Yes, they have made the best person that can lead the world but they have forgotten something important. It wasn’t a vial filled with exotic liquid that can instantaneously make the drinker smart. It wasn’t anything scientific, political nor religious. What they forgot was the very being of the person. It was his nature of being “concerned”.

The abovementioned paragraph maybe deemed to be funny or as a nice piece of literature but the little thought that it carries may become a scary reality.

“Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy’s first law of Equivalent Exchange.” ~Alphonse Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist

Often times, due to the continuous modernization happening in this fast changing society, people often overlook the little things. Be it being polite or by gently smiling to a disheartened stranger, people nowadays have outgrown the old fashioned mindset of giving back since they now know that in every action they take, there should be a corresponding result. They may clamour that they are just being practical but by abiding on that principle just because you expect something in return is not a justifiable reason. This fact is very evident in modern countries and sadly, it has somehow slipped in our very own set of values.

This dilemma need not the revival of the likes of Rizal and his influential pen nor Bonifacio with his bolo and his boys from the Katipunan. This dilemma can be solved by us, the little guys that may be lucky enough to be flashed on a basketball game for ten seconds. So where do we start? How can we do it? Fortunately for the little guys, one concerned lawyer has thought of little steps that they can do in order to redeem themselves and to become an asset of our country.

But the world isn’t perfect, and the law is incomplete. Equivalent Exchange doesn’t encompass everything that goes on here. But I still choose to believe in its principle: that all things do come at a price. That there’s an ebb, a flow, and a cycle.” ~ Alphonse Elric, Full Metal Alchemist

“12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country” by Alexander L. Lacson is a spectacular book that dwelt on basic concepts that we have forgotten. Though they may be small things, if those small things are gathered together and act as one, then, our country may awaken from its thousand year slumber and groove on its own beat. His amazing book, in a nutshell, attempted to reconcile basic ideas and concepts about civic duty. In his opinion, and indeed, it is something evident as well, he longed to reason our that if every Filipino were to absorb those basic concepts in their daily lives, then, the Philippines might eventually begin to realize that it needs to act because people are now clamouring on a positive note and that they are trying to be at the top of their game with their own little way.

Lacson also duly accepted that at some point, the world is not perfect. Of course, there will still be corrupt police men or ungrateful scholars who you have invested so much of your time and money. Indeed, the world will not be rid of evil and its comrades but if we just persevere. If we just all do these baby steps, then maybe we can eventually push through. Another interesting evident theme is the elimination of ignorance. Yes, there maybe a million smart citizens of our country, but by simply ignoring the little predicaments, then it will eventually snow ball to a colossal disaster that maybe too difficult to overcome. Moreover, Lacson clearly stressed out that if we ourselves would not abide by these little things, then who else will do? All in all, it all boils down to our very own action.

Though non-fiction books may post long strains of boredom due to the lack of creativity, Alexander Lacson was able to push through with his witty writing and real life realizations that have deeply touched the hearts and minds of the reader. He summarized his will of changing the country in his own way with the following “12 Little Things”: (1) Follow traffic rules. Follow the law; (2) Whenever you buy or pay for anything, ask for an official receipt; (3) Don’t buy smuggled goods. Buy local. Buy Filipino. (4) When you talk to others, especially foreigners, speak positively about us and our country; (5) Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier; (6) Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle. Conserve; (7) Support your church; (8) During elections, do your solemn duty; (9) Pay your employees well; (10) Pay your taxes; (11) Adopt a scholar or a poor child; and (12) Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the law and love our country.

Though those 12 things maybe a given or something obvious, again, due to today’s society, many have been neglecting it and Lacson was able to reason out their importance. Take for example the fourth one. Many have mastered the art of bad mouthing our own country. Some parts of the tale maybe true but nothing beats the art of positivity. By saying positive things, then they will eventually become true and a reality in the near future. Another amazing act that Lacson has highlighted is the eight and ninth one. People kept on complaining about the government but have they done their part by voting the right people? A cardinal rule can be: “Don’t flap if you haven’t yank.” It’s something basic and obvious. Don’t complain if you haven’t done your share. Yes, whatever you may have complained maybe true but if you haven’t voiced out the right candidate, then your voice will be futile.

Likewise in taxes, people kept on complaining about the insufficient facilities and services given by the government. Again, if you haven’t paid your share of the toll, better shut your mouth than be thrown with rotten tomatoes of those who had paid their dues. Just like what Jesus said, “Pay your dues to Ceasar and Pay your dues to God.” Speaking of God, Lacson was able to make a touchdown to the sensitive issue of religion. Yes, we are religious and very faithful but what we should practice on, as cited by Lacson, it to be more sensitive and to be more respectful. Just like in an old dog’s practice, “Don’t bury your bone in a neighbor’s territory.”

Every book published and sold to the public is a work of art from talented authors. Alexander Lacson’s “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country” is a remarkable work of art. It is a simple yet enlightening book which really makes sense and describes the real situation in our country. It is an eye-opener to every Filipino that by doing simple things can open an avenue to bigger things to make a greater impact on our economy. The author himself had made the book comprehensive which is good, because it would give every reader an easy time to understand the content of the book.

Mr. Lacson’s hypothetical and concrete examples to illustrate each “little thing” and its long-term effects on our country, making the concepts easier to comprehend. It’s a fact that a lot of Filipinos have given up hope on our country, in the sense that this country would not be able to learn to change for the better, but the author himself, Atty. Alexander Lacson is different and has still strong hope that this country would rise and change for the better. The book tells every reader that there is more that we can do to help the Philippines than we may think. And these are but little things that any of us can do.

In relation to Lacson’s personal life and his work, the book is the product of a personal dilemma that the author himself went through nearly five years ago. He had thought of migrating to the US or Canada because the national situation in the Philippines seemed hopeless compared to the countries mentioned. Salary in the Philippines is quite low compared to other foreign countries and it is a dilemma especially for those who have family members to feed. Other issues such as violence would somehow bother parents who want to raise their children in a safe country. The book tells every Filipino that the solution is not instant and does not fully depend on the government, the solution lies in the hands of the people of the country, in every single Filipino. It is the responsibility of every citizen to help lift the country from its economic slump.

By doing simple things, it can open an avenue to bigger things to make a greater impact on our economy. We as citizens of the Philippines must not lose hope, because there is more we can do to help the country. The solution is not instant and does not fully depend on the government, the solution lies in the hands of the people, in every single Filipino. It is the responsibility of every citizen to help lift the country from its economic slump. Just like in Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility”. If we want to fine tune our country like the super countries with our own way with values and such, then all we need to do is to make that small first step. Without that first step, then we cannot make the millionth one in our journey towards enlightenment and improvement.

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