One thing I’ve decided to be more deliberate with, is to use the indignation I feel for certain things as a chance to reflect on my own contribution to that specific concern. At the moment, it’s the anger I feel for the events that happened with the SAF and MILF.
Here are the questions I’m asking myself:
1. How do I, on a regular basis, contribute to the betterment of the lives of our police and soldiers? Am I a citizen who honors them on a regular basis, like when I’m driving, or parking, or late for work, or being given a ticket? Do I even pray for them? The answer is, not regularly, and I’m ashamed to admit that. If I can’t even do these small things, how can I do the bigger things? Don’t I contribute to the risk they face by not always being law abiding with how I drive? Don’t I contribute to the risk they face by not caring about their daily living conditions? To be honest, I don’t even think of soldiers everyday. I have to change that.
2. How am I contributing to the peace situation between Christians and Muslims? Or have I just accepted that there can be no tolerance? Or worse, am I apathetic to that specific concern? Sadly, and ashamedly, based on my actual actions, I’ve been apathetic. I need to change that by building bridges with Muslims I do know and serving them.
3. How am I becoming a better leader in my own sphere of influence? How am I leading my companies? How am I leading my relationships? How am I leading myself? Am I, in my own small way, showing the faithfulness, trustworthiness, and excellence, I expect from my leaders? Or am I so selfish to expect others to become the citizen I won’t discipline myself to be? Am I giving society a better alternative to the injustice around us? Or am I just a noisy person on social media whose opinion will be forgotten when the next trending thing comes about? Am I even working hard towards someday being in a better position to help through tangible action not just noise?
4. Am I citizen who contributes to society or simply an opinionated person with no quantifiable contribution? Am I an empty drum that rings loud? Am I equipping myself to be that better citizen who contributes or am I living off the goodness of others, expecting the world to be fair and just and secure for me without making the world better for others, starting with my parents?
5. Do I even know our country’s laws? I’m always clamoring for justice, do I even understand what’s just and unjust? Do I know the process of the justice system? Do I hold that system accountable? Do I support people who support justice or do I, in my own ways, through my own shortcuts, support injustice through gossip, through unintelligent damnation of people on social media, through patrimonialism? Or, again, am I apathetic and so dumb to think that complaining changes things even if I don’t do my part? Am I helping to raise a more socially responsible next generation?
I cannot control many of the events happening around me. They’re too big for me. But I can control myself, and I can apply myself to being so wise that I can help the ignorant, so hard working that I can help the poor, so strong so I can help the weak, so faithful so I help others please God, so brave so I can help those afraid, and so humble that I remember that I’m called to be a servant, and a servant does not demand a better world but serves to make that world better. I cannot give the world better if I don’t become better – I cannot give what I’m not. I cannot give the world more if I don’t have more – I cannot give the world what I don’t have.
6. Why am I so quick to demand from others what I myself have not given?
We honor the dead by how we live. We dishonor their sacrifice by living meaningless lives yet feeling entitled to that which we won’t pay for.