Beauty in Discourse

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It is time for Presidential election again in the Philippines. But unlike any other election, this election gathers too much attention from everyone. Don’t get me wrong, it is but right that people are informed and are taking their stand in this national event. However, the power of social media and democracy has given people the notion that they can say WHATEVER they want and HOWEVER they please since it is their account.

Let me start by saying, yes, I respect and acknowledge the fact that you have the right to say whatever you want in your social media accounts. I will never deprive you of that right because I fully understand that social media accounts are important for this millennial generation. What I am trying to point out here is, try to be more “gentle and sensitive” in your posts.

All of us has a varied opinion on different subject matters, especially on who we are rooting for as president. Let us therefore just respect everybody’s opinion. I was born in the Municipality of T’boli, a Municipality filled with our T’boli brothers and sisters. When I was 4 years old, my parents decided to bring me to General Santos City, a city that is a melting pot of culture. A city where Muslims, Christians and Indigenous People live in harmony.

I am currently based here in Europe but if there is one dogma that I learned from my younger years in those humble Municipality and City, it is, “Unity in Diversity not in Uniformity.” We do not have the same culture and tradition, but that is not a reason for us to be divided. Our diversity made us unique. Our diversity made us more accepting and respectful for everyone in spite and despite the differences.

That is why it hurts me every single time I check my social media account. I see people lambasting others because of their opinion. I see people class-jabbing others because of their choice. Why don’t we just respect everyone’s opinion and MOVE-ON? If you do not agree on whom you are rooting for, then state your case PROPERLY—without name callings, without class jabs, without the need to curse the other. Stop calling people “bobotante, Dutertard, Maruhas, Trapoe, Dudirty and etc.” I believe in intellectual discourse, so by all means, constructively state your cases and talk about it.

Our opinion differs from each other and I think that is a good thing. It is good because it means that we are being critical on this issue and really study on whom we think is the best to serve our country. There is beauty in discourse, so long as people are rational about it.

Take this lesson from a little girl from Mindanao. Nothing good will come out from judging people based on their opinion, their social class, and their ethnicity. Accept and respect people no matter the differences.

I am rooting for the Mindanaoan of course. But beyond my hope of him winning, I am hoping for a peaceful and honest election.

Photo credit: samantha celera via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

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