A Three-fold Utopian Dream
Anyway, I didn't have much time this week to post entries about the last week's hellish weekend, so I'm finding time now so that I can have something new that my teacher can read tomorrow when she'll be grading all our blogs. Hehe. =0)
Ok, just an intro... I swear I'm not a mean person. I didn't mean for myself to feel this way. I've always liked sharing my love for others and back in high school, I've always been active or I try to be in being caring and compassionate. So please don't take this against me! It's just that experiences change people. It's just unfortunate for those who get bad experiences like me. =0)
For the second term, we've been required to go to school on Saturday afternoons for the NSTP or the National Service Training Program. It's like a law or something in the Philippines that forces me to choose between ROTC (Reserve Officer's Training Corps??) or community service. I chose community service. Needless to say, I was horrified upon learning that my block's schedule was on Saturday 1-4. I mean... Come on!! I'm a teenager! We're teenagers! Stuck in school on a Saturday? Nooooo. Anyway, after a while of whining, I finally got over it. Like okay fine, we're doing this for the less fortunate people. I have so got to be unselfish for a change. Even if it means not being able to got out and have a social life or meeting up with high school friends I've so missed.
After that, I was painfully bitter every Saturday. I didn't like community service. I hated going to school and wasting my day for a bunch of drunken, hedonistic lot who are more selfish than I am. If they love their drink so much, then they shouldn't have kids. If they have enough to spend for their San Miguel, please go and buy a condom with it.
But then we had to create this project proposal for them to help them. I thought of this great project. Waste Management. Okay it may not seem so great but it actually is well in my opinion anyway. The rest of the class and of course the NSTP facilitator thought it was rubbish. Hahaha. I like it for the following reasons: 1. It's sustainable development. What would we achieve if we opted for the tutoring program? They have a school to teach them. It would be us working for them. And I don't want that because I want them to work for their own progress. Sariling hirap. Sariling sikap. (Your own hard work. Your own success.) They'll just be encouraged to rely on people if we work for them. The beauty of a waste management program is that all we have to do is to teach them then they'll work on their own. We just have to check up on their progress but basically, they're the ones who're working for the progress of their own town. 2. It's simple. Step 1: Lecture. Step 2: Provide trash cans. Step three: Check up. The simpler a project is, the more likely it is to be successful. 3. It's pro-active and not reactive. The rest of the class doesn't see what a future problem waste is in their community. The way I see it, it's going to be a problem sometimes soon. I mean, I notice so many junk food wrappers just mixed up in the soil or lying along the dirt road. Those are non-biodegrable. They're aluminum. Along with that there are a lot of Tetra packs. Tetra packs are super hard to recycle. They have layers of aluminum, paper and plastic and it just won't sink into nothing when left in the ground for 10 years. This is why we are having so much problems now. We wait for things to happen. Look at all the bustling cities. They didn't use to care so much about their waste, but look at them now. They're all struggling with piles of garbage and toxic bodies of water. They didn't think ahead. They just thought of the now. I'll bet anyone in 10 years that they'll be wanting the students of DLSU to do something about their waste.
Of course, this was met with much hesistance and disdain by our facilitator. I swear, he is such an advocate of the poor person mentality. I hate him. Everyone does. He feels that just because we have a little money tucked away, it's like our responsiblity, nay our legal obligation to give to the poor. I'm sorry it's not our fault and I'm hesitant to give my time and to share my love to these people because they have money management issues. They're poor because they choose to be. They're poor because they choose their drink over their own welfare, over their progeny. How can I respect and be compassionate to people like that? How can I respect people who in the afternoons sit and wait for the people who they know are going to come and help them? They think they're helpless, but they're not.
It was a good thing that towards the end of the NSTP gig that I didn't prepare for my project proposal at all. We were supposed to be the last group to present. After the second well-prepared group spoke their peace, the facilitator rudely and connivingly shifted the discussion towards a project that he wanted and what the people wanted. He wanted us to do this water tank thing. A reservoir for the town. A group of half-baked college kids taking up liberal arts about to embark on an engineering marvel? Yeah. Right. Won't we like die? Or won't we end up doing something wrong? Because we don't know anything about hardcore plumbing and pipes and whatnot. At first, he wanted us to pay for everything. Thank goodness that got scrapped. On top of everything, he wants us to do tutoring and tree planting. Isn't that a bit much? Isn't that called taking advantage of a helping hand? Just yank the hand and chop it off while you're at it, why don't you? Anyway, that's what we ended up "agreeing" upon.
Last Saturday, I went up there again, albeit grudgingly and semi-forced, together with my block for our second site visit. We were supposed to go to our host families but Ada just dropped her pancakes from McDonald's for them and we went away in our jeep to have lunch and play Puso'y Dos (Two of Hearts). It was again, a bad experience for me. Long travel and polluted air. All we did there was to have a lecture. My golly. We could've done that in a classroom. We had to do it at the end of the world.
So now, I'm going to answer the question of what is a just society for me? Plato had his own view of utopia which I so protested against. So what is my three-fold utopian dream?
A just society for me is the opposite of what I experienced in community service. For me a just society is where everyone works hard for what he earns. For me, a just society is a society where people have respect for each other and for the environment. The people are industrious and hardworking. I do not believe in communist societies and I think they're really boring. I need to have my own individuality so I'm settling for a capitalist society but I want the classes not to have such a big discrepancy. I want my people to be honest and upright. No cheating, no corruption and definitely they will not be alcoholics who just squander money away during happy hour. My society will be ruled by the wisest group of people. Since I think that humans have the tendency to be power hungry, then I think it's best when a group of people rule and not just one. It provides a sort of "checks and balances." Justice is to be meted out to offenders. I value discipline in people. And then, I want my streets to be really big. The cars will of course be hybrid cars so they wouldn't contribute to air pollution. The streets should all have streetlamps and there should be trees. Lots and lots of trees and flowers. I like flowers. =0)
My utopia seems quite impossible to achieve. I think that no matter what, in capitalist societies, gaps between the rich and the poor can't be helped. It just continues to grow until it becomes a wide berth upon which only the greatest of men can cross. But then again, that's why it's called a utopia isn't it?