It has become customary—either as a joke or a resolve—to make the so called “New Year’s Resolution” in view of the forthcoming parting of ways between the “old” and “new” year. In plain and simple words, there is in spirit the attempt or the determination to do what is undone, to undo what was done, to do certain things better, not to do some things at all—or the likes. Any or all these—notwithstanding the saying that “promises are made to be broken,” “resolution are good only the moment they are made,” and other such rebuttals against the intent of self-renewal—constitute the mere decisive option, to be a better person, which already has its merit.
The truth of the matter is that a New Year is a propitious occasion, a good opportunity, a timely chance for people of good will to make a strong and decisive effort at self-renewal: to be better individuals. To be responsible fathers, mothers, parents. To be dependable sons and daughters. To be kind neighbors. To be helpful and generous to others. To be honest, truthful, and upright. To have a word of honor. To live a better life and to do a better job. To be God fearing—and so many other laudable practically innumerable self-determinations, the beneficiaries of which are basically all those who make such reasonable and salutary resolutions. That is why even but the sincere venture to do better, already deserve some praise and applause.
For those who are graft and corruption incarnate, those lying and cheating personified, for those who are under the illusion that they are the best there can be or under the delusion that they are the paragon of not only goodness but also greatness—these are characters who see neither any relevance in self-renewal nor feel any need of self-improvement. They instead exude greatness unlimited, consciously or unconsciously look down on everybody else as pitiful people who need and clamor for them as their saviors and redeemers.
Between someone altogether morally rotten and ethically putrid but looks at himself or herself as immaculate and saintly, and other somehow ungodly and un-neighborly but still has the sense of unworthiness and sinfulness—the latter has the prospect of being a better person, who retains the hope of conversion. That is why there is the usual reality that unconsciously bad people become even worst figures, while deliberately good people become better individuals.
In the Philippines today there are a rather good number of public officials and business magnates who are in dire need of conversion from vice to virtue, from corruption to honesty, from greed to probity. This forthcoming Season of Renewal is but another good opportunity, another precious time grant for them to radically or even but gradually become the blessings not the curses, the benefactors not the exploiters of people—for them to be assets not the liabilities of society.
December 29, 2008