I HAVE a one-year-and-five-month-old granddaughter and she is a voracious learner. She is like a sponge. She absorbs everything that she hears and sees. That is why we are careful with what we do and say in her presence. Sometimes she would seem to be busy playing while we, adults, would chat. After playing, she would repeat some of the words that we used in her own way with a big, open-eyed smile, as if she knew the exact meaning of those words.
That is why I am worried about the harsh gutter language being used by President-elect Duterte. He is all over the radio and television, not only during his nocturnal press conferences, but also all throughout the day when television and radio report on these press cons.
I am reminded by this poster on FB, “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” I really don’t know anything there is on the behavior and language, then and now, of our incoming president that is worth emulating, especially by our youth. And the frustrating thing about it is the advice of the people close to him to just bear and grin it, to adjust to his ways. Huh?!
Earlier, the youth idolized “Heneral Luna” (through his biopic) and his unrestrained use of the Spanish cuss word. “Punyeta” became a common expression of many of those who saw the movie. FB, for a while, was full of it. It became a password to be “in.”
And now, I hear the children in my barangay casually using the favorite cuss word of Duterte. Haaaaaay! I suspect their parents voted for him, too.
Every time I hear them, I would tell them and the group of gossips that congregate in one of the variety stores near my house, “Try not to say anything negative for 24 hours and watch your life change.” And they say it works. The gossips are still at it, but they talk less about others now they said.
Gossiping is an attempt to change the script and take control of the life of the people they gossip about. But I would remind them that, “People who feel the need to control others, don’t have control over themselves.”
I think that by talking about and throwing brickbats at the Catholic Church, Leni Robredo, the United Nations and anybody who has contrary opinions from his or his perceived enemies, Duterte is gossiping and on national mass broadcast media at that! He is showing his victim mentality and bullying tactics. He has not really talked about real lasting solutions to problems he has identified. His solution for anything and everything is Kill!!
All we need to do now is to not allow my granddaughter to listen to TV and radio and continue to be careful in our own behavior and language over the next six years of her rapid learning stage. I wonder what my neighbor-parents will do with their children who seem to be enjoying being little Dutertes.
Please 2022, come very soon.
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