I’ve spent the majority of my time in recent weeks juggling between following the first days of the Philippines’ newly elected — and by now quite infamous — President Duterte, and the airing of the new local TV romance-comedy-drama series, Till I Met You which bravely tackles a most controversial — and highly debatable — LGBT theme.
One theme stands out. One that is so close, so near and dear to my heart.
I cannot — and do not want — to enumerate the times when Philippine President Duterte blurted out something that he would later retract and for which he’d apologize — often, lacking in sincerity. Or something by which he stood firm — and with much conviction, rightly or wrongly. Just like his recent invective at US President Obama just before the recently concluded ASEAN Summit.
I’m not only shocked and horrified by this man’s inconceivable ideologies and statements — be it the manner with which he expresses them or his ideas, beliefs, and principles per se.
I’m more appalled by his display of lack of ownership for his mistakes.
“I’m only joking…” (Where’s your sense of humor?)
“The President was tired/hungry/not feeling well…” (Why can you not cut him some slack and be more compassionate?)
“That’s not what I meant….” (How could you think that’s what I meant?)
The list [of excuses] goes on.
And in each of those ‘justifications,’ it’s the listener’s fault. It’s the other party who misunderstood him. Blame game undeniably. A clear display of lack of self-responsibility and maturity, to say the least.
I’m no political analyst. But I sure have my opinion about how President Duterte must conduct himself and how his failure to do so negatively impacts the Philippines. I’m also filled with thoughts and insights as to what may be behind this man’s behavior from a psycho-spiritual perspective, but I’m choosing to keep my reflections to myself.
I’d much rather — as how I deal with every event, interaction or experience — look into what this situation is reflecting back at me. What is this reminding me? Teaching me? How can I grow and evolve from this?
And so, be it a national leader or a ‘regular’ person in the street…..
How does one speak one’s truth? How does one express one’s self and articulate their truth? How can we be respectful of each other while being passionate about our belief systems?
How does one honor one’s truth while still honoring the other and taking into account the impact of one’s truth on their relationships, society, and the world in general?
How does one balance between transparency and diplomacy?
How does one stand by one’s beliefs, values, and principles and convey them truthfully with conviction while still taking into consideration where the other is coming from? How does one avoid rubbing the other the wrong way? Can that — avoidance of offending the other — even be attainable? Or might that be inescapable?
These queries inevitably led me back to the falling out that I had with a close friend a few months ago which I wrote about here.
We all make mistakes. We all make bad calls. Erroneous judgments. Miscalculated guesses. Wrong moves. Inappropriate choice of words. Bad timing.
No one is spared from any of these — especially when one isn’t in their element.
We all have our ‘bad hair days.’ We all experience waking up from the wrong side of the bed. We all get tired and distressed.
For some, though, the display of offensive behavior can simply be due to a lack of knowledge, skills, experience or maturity. Lack of awareness and mindfulness.
However, none of these makes the offense less wrong or renders it more allowable.
And when one has offended another, intentionally or otherwise, how does one make amends? What constitutes a proper apology? And what is the appropriate response to an apology, whether or not the apology is genuine?
In any and all of these, what I know for sure is, no one is spared from one’s responsibility for any wrong deed — whether one is the doer or the recipient of the offensive act.
And of equal importance that we must also take to heart are the consequences of such deeds which does not exclude the consequences of our refusal to take ownership and responsibility for our wrongdoings. Consequences that may be immediate or long-term. Consequences that we may experience in this lifetime or the next.
Such, after all, is the Law of Cause and Effect. And such law is Universal.
And no one is immune from such Universal Laws. Not even if one is the head of state.
Especially if one is the head of state.
😀 ❤ ⭐ ❤ ⭐