Culture Of Fear

Culture Of Fear

Jun 20, 2024, 5:43 AM
Chita Dela Cruz

Chita Dela Cruz


We live in a society driven by fear. People are often too scared to express their ideas, make decisions, or act on their own initiative because they fear losing their job or displeasing someone in authority.

This is especially clear in local government, where employees are told what to say, do, think, and even how to vote. Many Filipinos wait to be told what to do, which holds back our progress. This mindset might explain why Filipinos are known for being good domestic servants — we are accustomed to following orders.

I believe Filipinos have great potential if we dare to think for ourselves. Our reluctance to act independently might stem from centuries of foreign occupation and brutality. Perhaps we still carry the impact of these events, or maybe we learned to apply the methods of control used by the Spanish during their 400-year rule to our own people.

Social Revolution

In George Orwell’s "Animal Farm," the animals overthrow their human masters only to see the pigs take over and become just as oppressive. This reflects our situation, where those in power often exploit their authority.

Western countries experienced a social revolution in the early 1960s, captured by Bob Dylan’s song, "The Times They Are a-Changin’." Here are some powerful lines from the song:

"And you’d better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone, For the times, they are a-changing."

"Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call, don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall; For he who gets hurt will be he who has stalled, the battle outside is raging; Will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls; For the times, they are a-changing."

"Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, and don’t criticize what you can’t understand, your sons and daughters are beyond your command, your old road is rapidly aging, please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand, For the times, they are a-changing."

This social change has not yet happened in the Philippines, leaving us behind. To progress, we need social change and a shift in attitudes. 

Letting Go

We need change to grow and thrive as a nation. This change can come through education, increased awareness, and better living standards. Change is natural and rejuvenating, something we shouldn't fear.

To embrace change, we must let go of the past. 

Without change, we will never be empowered as a people. 

Our politicians will remain unaccountable, and corruption and bad practices will continue. 

Just like a snake sheds its skin to grow, we must discard our old ways to flourish and develop as a nation.

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