Tolerance Level: Over 9000

I was just hired to be one of the speech writers slash researchers for the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Chief of Staff. I know you have comments inside your heads–especially those who know me personally–about this, but let me confirm first that I have not yet accepted the offer. Of course, I still have to weigh things. AFP? Come on, really? Hihi.

Anyway, this entry is not about that.

It’s about a conversation I had last night over the phone with a newly-found friend, Ed. So here’s how it went. He asked me where do I intend to work, and I told him the AFP thing. “That’s great,” he replied. He even suggested that I may have the chance to work under the Office of the President of the Philippines; I said no, that I don’t want to work for the man. This is where the heated serious discussion came about.

“Aren’t we all supposed to work for–“

“To work for him? We’re not!” I cut whatever he was trying to say. He then argued against my unwillingness to work for PNoy. I retorted the President’s inability to lead the country, inability to resist parties in the evening, inability to wake up early in the morning, and his inability to hold an erection. Ed started discussing things I do not recall already. Then we suddenly shifted the topic to corruption in the government.

As what I understood in his arguments, he is aware and he tolerates the corrupt because, and I quote him, their “salary are inefficient,” which only pushed them to do such. I asked him, “What is enough? How does one qualify his earnings as enough?” He stood silent, so I continued, “I think what you mean is that they are greedy. Greed motivates them to steal from the people.” He rebutted me, but I was to enraged that I forgot to listen.

I told him that if families can live well without stealing, why can’t others? I figure out that the corrupt steal from us because we allow them to–and we look up to them. We invite them for weddings, we ask them to deliver speeches for different ceremonies, and we accept that they REALLY have to put their names in their projects such as infrastructure.

“Let’s end it this way,” I attempted to end the debate, “we have to accept that we have different views about politics, corruption, and reality.” He agreed, and thus, we shifted topic to science fiction.

Well, I was raised in a family where food is scarce. We didn’t live a comfortable life, and until now, we struggle every day to bring food to the table. But we do not need to take advantage over others only to live. I think, that principle has made our lives bearable–that’s why we’re happy despite our lack of money. I can only hope that everyone else lives their lives according to what is moral. But then, there will always be people who will tolerate.

That’s why I want to teach. I want to instill to the children’s minds that the best thing they can do to prevent cheating is to not emulate the deed. It’s very simple, but in a world where the shrugging of shoulders comes handy, this is more than difficult.

And before I forget, let me tell that Ed’s thirty four. I hope that as I grow, I won’t lose these principles the university and the society has taught me. Dear reader, twelve years from now when I also turn thirty four, please remind me of this blog entry. Please remind me that hypocrisy and jadedness do not come with age.

One thought on “Tolerance Level: Over 9000

  1. Reminds me of Althusser and the sleepless nights we spent reading him and his ideas about the RSA and ISA. I still haven’t read your entire post but the AFP thing has really called my attention. But anyway, that is what I mean whenever I say things change when we go out of the university. I am experiencing the same thing. I cannot even be Red right now, most especially here at work. You know what I mean.

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