Work for the people and stop politicking; Things we no longer do because of technology

It has been said by many times before: our leaders should be working towards looking for ways to improve the lives of the people. That is why they are called public servants.

However, it seems that such a task has not been specifically stipulated in the pubic servants’ handbook or job description. Come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever come across a job description for public servants at all.

It seems the custom is when government officials get elected, their top priority is to engage in politics in the lavish halls of their offices while the people languish in cramped sorry-excuses-for-homes, joblessness and are exposed to the elements and crimes.

Our able leaders are not bereft of information and pictures depicting the daily struggle of the people while they go at each others’ necks to land a front page photograph or story in the papers or on broadcast networks.

The provision of employment opportunities for the people should be one of the priorities of government officials and legislators instead of engaging in an endless game of politics, a habit that has plagued the people for quite some time. Too much precious time has been spent on political jousting that it seems our leaders have made a mockery of public office.

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Manalang-Angara hit it right on when he stated that since the people are the government’s so-called “bosses”, he wonders why all the reforms being pushed by government is for it to be rich. “Should not our purpose be for the people to be rich?”

Jamaican reggae singer-songwriter and international musical and cultural icon Sir Robert Nesta Marley, more popularly known as Bob Marley, said it more precisely: “Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.”
Think about it. No one seems to have enough because money is numbers and numbers keep going on and on and on and on… ad infinitum. It makes sense.

But then again, it takes money to get through in this world. Nothing of the essentials, which at this time have come to mean mobile phones or tablets, wi-fi, cars, money, are free. Water as well is also no longer free. The only free things we have on the planet is the air we breathe, sunlight and rain, an abundance of which we have had lately. But then again, these have also been compromised by pollution and climate change.

The unceasing increase in the price of commodities have also affected even the simplest of the working class.
One fishball vendor my wife had once encountered had no chili sauce. When she inquired as to why, the vendor embarrassingly smiled at her and said that chili peppers now cost too much in the market that he could not afford these anymore.

Imagine that? No more chili sauce for fishballs. That would be a travesty for some people as the spice that is a staple for most Filipino tables. Pretty sad.

I hope it is not too late to make adjustments to correct these problems.

Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis has a very useful suggestion: “We should all do something to right the wrongs that we see and not just complain about them.”

* * * * * *
I once came across a post on social media enumerating several awesome things that we no longer do because of technology. And some of these I do miss.

Topping the list is the time when we used to communicate face-to-face. Remember when we used to have weekends with friends and family? But what we have today is merely call them or video chat our loved ones. Well, this is a welcome evolution for people with loved ones abroad. But what if your friend or relative is just a ride away?

Another one is we used to receive real greeting cards, a custom that is lost today. At least my kids still get to make us their own, and write letters to us on occasions. I even wrote a letter to my wife and gave it to her on our anniversary. But also posted it on social media. Alright! I’m guilty! But I just wanted to take advantage of technology to remind the younger generation that writing a letter still strikes that chord in a loved one’s heart.

I’m lucky that printed newspapers are still around, despite the plethora of news sources on the internet. I still look for the feel and the smell of ink and paper when reading about the latest developments. And it is not as straining on the eyes as a backlight tab with glare.

Another thing is printed maps. Now this cannot be understated. In the unfortunate absence of a mobile signal in a remote location, as we have seen in many movies or have experienced one time too many on occasions, printed maps and a compass, an app for which is available on some cellphone units and is not signal-dependent, can get you where you want to go. But what if one runs out of batteries? A power bank could be the answer. However, that adds to the weight one carries.

And my favorite, we used to play outside when we were young. Today’s kids prefer to play video games, watch TV and communicate online. Remember when we couldn’t wait to get out of the house in the morning and then coming home to eat? Well there were only five channels on TV then that we had more time to play outside and build muscles. Technology seems to be changing childhood as well.

Well, modern technology has its ups and downs. We can take advantage of it but should not leave the old ways which are healthier for both the body and soul.