MINDFUL

By Jay Ledesma

NEXT Monday, we will be electing to office our new set of National and local leaders. Some will be leading us in the next 3 years while some for 6 years. Depending on how and what they will be doing or not doing, it can be the longest or the shortest 6 years for us Filipinos.  

More often than not, the leaders are the ones asked about their readiness to assume their roles and duties as newly elected officials. While it is very important for any elected leader, regardless of the level, to be 101% ready to do his/her job and carry the responsibilities that come with it, it is equally important for the Filipino citizens to ask ourselves the exact same question: Are We Ready for Our New Leaders? Because whether we like them or not, whether we voted for them or not, they will be our leaders for the next 3-6 years.  

Are we ready to see those campaign promises delivered or be fooled again? All the beautiful and nice to hear promises, pledges, and grand plans and programs have all been professed and declared during the campaign sorties. All the candidates made declarations of their missions, even the most mission impossible, just to win those votes. Based on all those assurances, all candidates will make excellent leaders. But we know that’s only 5% of what makes a politician...95% is what they do when the actual work starts. We want to be optimistic and believe that all the elected officials will deliver their campaign promises and that they will lead us and our country to a better tomorrow.   For a great leader, 3-6 years are not enough but they believe that so many good things can already be done. On the other hand, there is the possibility that again, we see ourselves being fooled into voting for those who put 95% effort into making those commitments and guarantees and 5% into the actual work. When this happens, it will be another wasted 6 years for the Filipinos.  Are you sure that you’re electing someone who will truly deliver?    

Are we ready to be led with clarity or with confusion? Amidst all the uncertainties and confusion around us, all the misinformation and fake news flooding the social media, we look forward to having our leaders provide us with a clear direction as to where we are going and why and what will be the benefits when we achieve what we hope to achieve. We expect our leaders to communicate with us in simple, plain, and honest manners. Filipinos deserve to know the truth. We don’t need rhetorics, flowery but empty speeches from our leaders. Neither do we want our leaders giving vague and confusing messages. As we are still reeling from the aftermath of the pandemic, we need, more than ever, clear, and on-point communications coming from the top. Are you sure that you’re electing someone who is crystal clear about what needs to be done?      

Are we ready to be inspired or get frustrated? We vote for candidates because they inspire and excite us about the bright prospects of the future. We feel motivated, energetic, and passionate each time we elect new leaders because we strongly believe that they can bring us to a better tomorrow. That they are the answers to our prayers for a better life. We look forward to the needed reforms and changes as well as the continuity of the existing programs that are working. New leadership should always be an improvement of the previous. But there is always that possibility of a choice gone wrong. Instead of being an inspiration, our leaders can also be the source of our biggest disappointment. Their behaviors, actions, decisions, and principles can turn our excitement and eagerness into frustration and embarrassment. When we realized that everything that was said was mere campaign propaganda, it can turn hopefuls into pessimists. Are you sure that you’re electing someone who can really be an inspiration to many?       

Are we ready to move forward and support the new administration or stay in opposition?  Unity is the central theme of all the candidates’ campaign messages. They are all calling for unification, collaboration, and cooperation from everyone, regardless of political color. The objective is to unite every Filipino into supporting whoever will be elected, towards the achievement of the common goal of making our country a better place to live in. We may have not voted and like the elected leaders but we still have the responsibility to help, in our own ways, uplift our country. It’s okay to be critical of the new leadership. We need to be alert and vigilant on potential wrong decisions, misdeeds, abuses, and injustices that the new leadership may commit. We need to shout out the names of the officials who are “sleeping" on their jobs. But while doing this, we also need to acknowledge and support the programs that are proving to be beneficial. There’s a big difference between criticizing, where we only see and say all negative things, and critiquing, where we see both the positive and negative sides of things. It’s also different to be a blind loyalist, who justifies even the wrongdoings. Are you ready to be a supporter and a critique of the new leadership?

Picture which of the above are you most likely prepared and ready to experience in the next 6 years, under the leadership of our newly elected officials. Come May 9, we are given the chance to choose the rightful leaders who will make it happen for you. Let your choice be heard. Do not throw away the chance to change!

About the Columnist

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Ms. Jay Ledesma writes about local tourism and business bits that delve on investments and insurance.