I DON’T want a new bicycle for Christmas. I had one as a child, and I was never really quite good at it. 😉 I’ll skip the watches and Louis Vuitton bags as well.
The law of diminishing returns has caught up on me. Simply put, the utility I derive from, say, watches (and clothes) has diminished the more watches I have. Like how many watches do you need in a day to help you tell the time?
As for the new car, it, too, can wait. I’m still happy with my four-year-old Honda Civic. Since a lot of you will be dreaming of world peace and an end to global hunger this Christmas, I won’t go anymore into these two territories as well.
Allow me then to share my wishes with you. I know they seem naïve, even laughable. That’s why they’re called wishes. And if the Christmas season is an ideal time to dream of someday seeing your wishes come true, then there’s no better time than now to engage in a bit of wishful thinking. Merry Christmas!
1. Now that the Reproductive Health bill has been passed, I hope it delivers on its promise to improve maternal and child health as well as educate preadolescent children with age-appropriate sex education that could arm them as they navigate through life and grapple with their own sexualities.
Like all laws worth passing, the RH bill is no magic bullet that could solve all our problems once it’s enacted. Its transformative power lies in its proper and conscientious implementation. May people tasked to implement it stick to the true spirit of the law and not base their decisions purely on whims and political expediencies.
May the leaders of the Catholic Church, still smarting from what the church describes as a setback, learn to accept the voice of the people and realize that the law is for the good of everyone regardless of age, gender and religion.
May bishops, priests and religious, after tirelessly spreading God’s words either from the pulpit or through mass media, learn to trust their flock to do the right thing with the freedom their God has given them with or without the RH bill.
2. Guns don’t kill, people do. This oft-repeated refrain from gun advocates has gained more resonance in the wake of the recent shooting of innocents in Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. So, why not make it harder for people to gain access to guns then?
Unless people, including us Filipinos, learn to curb our fixation with firearms, this won’t be the last tragedy of its kind to befall us.
Of course, guns, like almost all objects, don’t kill by themselves, but in the hands of an amoral person with an unhinged or wayward mind, they do, and they do it with deadly and methodical accuracy.
Put another way, would those obviously deranged gunmen in Connecticut, Colorado and Virginia, just to name a few, be able to kill that many had they been armed with a knife and not with a powerful semi-automatic?
As our experience in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao, has shown, carrying more and bigger guns doesn’t solve the problem. On the contrary, it aggravates it. Since there’s no guarantee that these guns would stay in “safe friendly hands,” pursuing such a tack, as the US-based National Rifle Association insists, could only lead to more deaths.
I hope that after this latest tragedy, the US finally snaps out of its decades-old denial and recognize that its citizens’ right to bear arms serves no purpose but to bring about death, destruction and untold misery for its people.
4. Enough of the bloodshed, vote-buying and vote-rigging! With automated counting machines fully in place, may we finally be spared of shady practices of politicians in the past, and experience fair, fast and peaceful midterm elections in May.
May Filipinos finally learn to be more discerning in electing people courting them for their precious votes. May principles, party platform (something of an oddity in a personality-oriented country) and track record win over popularity and a candidate’s glib tongue and good looks.
5. Whether we like it or not, climate change is here to stay. It’s just our luck that the Philippines sits right smack in the middle of Southeast Asia’s typhoon belt. There’s simply nothing we can do about it, but hunker down and brace ourselves for bigger, deadlier storms.
And as the weather becomes more violent and unpredictable, may members of our government from President Aquino down have the foresight and the wherewithal to help mitigate nature’s destructive ways and provide for those caught in harm’s way.
6. Despite all sorts of gadgets competing for their time and attention, may today’s time-starved and occupied consumers of information, especially the youth, rediscover the joys of good, old honest-to-goodness reading.
Not only will it keep journalists like me from becoming extinct, reading will help young people get ahead in life no matter what field of expertise they embark on, except perhaps a career as an acrobat for Cirque du Soleil or a statuesque showgirl in Las Vegas.
But what are the chances that they’d end up in such jobs? Very little, I assume. And besides even acrobats and showgirls need to keep themselves entertained and updated by reading fiction and brushing up on current events.
And to regular readers of this blog, you’re the reason for this online journal’s being. I’d like to thank everyone, especially those who dropped me a line whether on Facebook or on this blog’s comment section. Maraming salamat po!
7. May all dogs and, all right, cats find nice homes where they’d be welcomed, fed and cared for. I can’t imagine how life would be like without dogs. These heavenly creatures give us so much, yet they expect so little in return. They can understand and read our minds more than we’ll ever know. Indeed, they’re one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind.
May we learn to value and appreciate them as our loyal and trusted companions as we journey through this life. And to all dog eaters out there, may they live through a near-death choking incident so that they could start mending their ways.
8. On a more personal note, I wish to continue to enjoy a sound mind and body in the years to come. As a health buff who spends hours in the gym almost everyday, I thought I was immune to any serious health problems at this relatively young stage in my life.
Reality came knocking when I was hospitalized late in 2011 for the first time ever in my adult life. The experience was so new to me that I felt so helpless and miserable. Before that, I thought I was impervious to almost anything, but that supposed armor of invincibility is no longer as solid and as sturdy as I once imagined.
I also realized that all these materials things—not that I’m swimming in cash, jewelry, art pieces and designer stuff—amount to nothing if you don’t have the health and peace of mind to enjoy and use them for the betterment of yourself and others. In the scheme of things, my health, which I always thought would be there, now takes precedence over anything, including my career.