Category Archives: Trust

Index of Happiness

“Gusto ko Happy Kayo (I want you to be happy)” – Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.

It has been said that life is a combination of joys and sorrows. Life is a game, and it is up to us how to play and win. But every person deserves some kind of joy and happiness in his journey to this life. But what makes a person happy?

To be happy one should know what does it mean to by happy and the sources of human joy of happiness. The index of happiness vary from “people to people and from culture to culture.” What is treated as happiness to some may be rejected by others.

There are several school of thoughts which try to define happiness.

1. “Spiritualistic School of Thought”, which recited, that real happiness consists essentially in spiritual mode of life.
2. “Materialistic School of Thought” upholds that real happiness lies simply in the conduct of materialism.

3.“Rationalistic School of Thought” stresses that only reason/wisdom and logic can attain happiness.

4. “Islamic School of Thought” states that the three types of life: the spiritual, the material and the rational are together essential elements of real happiness life. Divine Reality and the basic concept of the Oneness and Perfect Attributes of God gives real happiness and blessings.

But what is “real happiness?” For many religious believers they say it is a state of perfection attainable only in the life hereafter. Unfortunately happiness in this context happiness is not in our world. Religion tells us that real happiness happens only when people will receive eternal reward for their good deeds on Earth.

Likewise religious teachings, doctrines and philosophies “shield people from painful realities, such as human immortality, the lack of ultimate justice, and the ravages of an indifferent natural world.” Of course there are studies which support that religious believers are happier than non-believers around the world. It is because they experience a “sense of social support, as well as sense of purpose and hope for the future.” Take it from them, if you negate the egos of the heart, you will experience relative peace and happiness. That is if you agree with the religious people that happiness is not confined only to materialistic things but to the blessings and submission to the Lord Almighty God.

But at the passage of time religion and materialism now combine to induce one’s happiness now and hereafter. So Chalmers introduces three things that will make a person truly happy in this world: 1) someone to love, 2) something to do, and 3) something to hope for.

In the practical side of life, the poor believes that it’s economic prosperity that could bring happiness in this life. But this is not guarantee however for one to be ultimately happy because at the arrival of enormous wealth his life will be stressed on how to keep and make his wealth grows. Senator Manny Villar who raised from rags to riches is now haunted by the C-5 controversies. Wealth can be a source of happiness, it can also be a source of pains, sorrows and humiliations.

Yes the concepts of happiness have changed in our modern time. Happiness is not something that happens; not even a result of good fortune, and something that money can buy. It does not depend on outside events but how we interpret them ourselves. “Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives.”

Ang kaligayan daw ay nasa isip lang. Papano naman kung kumakalam ang iyong sikmura? Para sa akin ang kaligayahan ay isang bagay ng hinahangad, minsan iyong makakamtam. At kung minsan naman ay mabibigo ka. Ang kaligayahan sa isang banda ay ang patuloy mong pakikibaka sa buhay at pananagumpay. Ang tunay na kaligayahan ay bunga ng ating dugo at pawis, paghihirap, at pagpupunyagi. Wala sa kamay ng mga pulitiko at pamahalaan. Instrumento lang sila at bahagi ng pagpupunyaging iyan.

Ang umaayaw daw ay hindi nagwawagi, ang nagwawagi ay laging maligaya.

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Filed under Christian living, Religion, Salvation, social justice, Trust, Wealth, Poverty, women

Our Glimpse of Tomorrow of this Politically Divided Country

A year ago my students debated in the class whether or not the entry of showbiz personalities in politics is a disaster to Philippine legislature and governance. It was a heated debate which lasted for two sessions especially when former president Estrada was dragged into the scene.

The “wealthiest” (those coming from the well-to-do families) called it a disaster for Estrada to be elected president. But the majority “middle and lower class (children of OFWs, government employees, and ordinary street vendors, etc.) defended the actor who they believe is the “champion of the common tao.” But both group agreed it was Erap’s dethronement which paved way to the Arroyo’s administration haunted with accusation of human rights violations, graft and corruption, and perpetuation into power.

In view of this I asked both leaders of the debating group again: Is the entry into politics of showbiz personalities a disaster in Philippine politics, governance, and legislation? The entire class roared with different dissenting opinions.

After the class I was left laughing but deeply disturbed inside. What had just transfired is a reflection of reality in this land. This is democracy in action. This is congress in session. And this is the Philippines today… after the Americans “restored our freedom.” A country “run like hell?”

More talks less action. We have good plans but no implementation. We have all the laws to punish the corrupt and notoriously undesirable but only the little fish is caught. Is this our vision of free and progressive Philippines for the future generation?

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Filed under Economic Survival, education, ethical standard, government, Justice, Philippine government, politics, social justice, Trust, Wealth, Poverty, World Bank

The foundation of trust, the population management debate

Trust is defined as “firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.” This phenomenon has been extensively explored by various disciplines across the field of social sciences, including economics, social psychology, and political science. And socio-behaviorist have different ways of looking at it.

 

Rousseau and her colleagues define it in this manner. “Trust is a psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based upon positive expectations of the intentions or behavior of another.” Likewise, Lewicki and his colleagues describe trust as “an individual’s belief in, and willingness to act on the basis of, the words, actions, and decisions of another.” Because we are not the only organism in the social environment we exist, trust transpires from our interdependence with others. We depend on others to help “us obtain, or at least not to frustrate, the outcomes we value,” according to Lewicki and Tomlinson.

 

“Trust has been identified as a key element of successful conflict resolution (including negotiation and mediation). This is not surprising insofar as trust is associated with enhanced cooperation, information sharing, and problem solving.” In the light of this, there are three factors that influence trustworthy behavior. Ability, assessment of other’s knowledge, skill, or competency, it requires some sense that the other is able to perform in a matter that meets expectations. Integrity, the degree to which the trustee adheres to principles that is acceptable to the trustor. Trust in this context is based on “consistency of past actions, credibility of communications, commitment to standards and fairness, and the congruence of the other’s words and deeds.” Benevolence, trusted individuals are concerned enough about promoting our welfare interests and at the same manner do not impede them.   

 

In the case of our population program, which is more trusted here, those who propose and support population laws/policies that governs population management in the country or those who impede them because they find it as something immoral and unnecessarily counter productive? 

 

Why do we trust the position of the Catholic Church in its pro-life stance?

 

If one has to trust the words of Francisco Tatad, this is what he says in favor of the position of the Catholic Church in its pro-life stance.

 

“The population has many problems. But population is not itself the problem. Assuming there are problems associated with population growth, the reproductive health bill does not provide any answers. I hope the following will help put this bill to rest and allow the nation to devote its time, energy and resources to its real and more pressing problems.”

 

There are two items in his views which worth looking into:

 

There is no “population explosion” and the country is not overpopulated.

”The population growth rate and the total fertility rate (TFR) have declined. The National Statistics Office puts the growth rate at 2.04 %, the TFR at 3.02. However, the CIA World Factbook (2008), for one, puts the growth rate at 1.728%, the TFR at 3.00.” 

“The country has a population density of 277 Filipinos per square km, with a GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) of $,3400”

”This means a Filipino has more years to be productive than his counterpart in the developed world, where the population is graying and dying, without adequate replacement because of negative birth rates.”

 

The Bill according to him is destructive of public morals and family values

”It seeks to legislate a hedonistic sex-oriented lifestyle whose aim is to assure couples and everybody else of “a safe and satisfying sex life” (the other term for contraceptive sex), instead of a mutually fulfilling conjugal life, and ultimately change time-honored Filipino values about human life, family life, marriage, in favor of the most destructive counter-values that are wreaking havoc on the morals of many consumerist societies.” 

But what is there too in the statements of the pro Reproductive Health Bill that deserve our trust?

 

In his privilege speech in the Congress, proponent of the Reproductive Health Bill Congressman Edcel Lagman has this to say.

 

“The use of contraceptives for family planning does not make acceptors bad Catholics. But having more children whom parent can ill-afford to feed, educate, medicate, guide, and love makes them irresponsible regardless of their religion.”

 

“We must open our minds to the import and merits of the reproductive health bill and reject contrived criticisms, expose barefaced lies, refute malicious innuendoes, and resist menacing threats.”

 

AKBAYAN Representative Risa Hontiveros on the other hand also expresses the significance of recognizing the health of every woman still in the reproductive age in this country. She says:

 

“We may not be united in supporting the RH bill, but we must at the very least recognize that reproductive health is a women’s issue. It is us, after all, who bear and nurture the child.”

 

One group of supporting the Reproductive Health Bill asks: “Why is it important to focus on reproductive health?”

 

The results of the 2003 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) show that Filipino women, especially among the ranks of the poor, still bear more children than they desire.

Only half of married women practice family planning because of lack of information and proper knowledge of various family planning methods and services. The greater proportion of these women live in rural areas where there are few service providers and where services are scarce and inaccessible.

 

Poor women have three times more children than the rich (5.9 children for the poor and 2.0 for the rich), give birth to their first child at a younger age, and have more problems spacing their children than wealthier women.

 

Likewise, men who belong to the poorest segments of society have more children (5) compared to those who belong to the richest sectors (3). One in four pregnancies is mistimed and one in five is not wanted at all.

Meanwhile, despite the advances made in medicine, maternal health remains problematic in the country:

 

Maternal mortality is pegged at a disturbing 162 for every 100,000 live births (2006 Family Planning Survey). The only exceptions are a handful of areas where there is an efficient program on maternal and child health, such as the municipality of Carmen, Bohol. The vast majority of local governments have yet to establish a system that would drastically reduce maternal mortality.

Only 38 percent of deliveries have been found to be attended by skilled health professionals (2003 NDHS). Majority still seek the services of traditional hilots because they could not afford birthing in hospitals or because of lack of proper information.

 

Unless these people’s needs are addressed, Filipinos will keep on having more children than they want and can afford to have, and thousands of mothers will continue to die from causes that could have been prevented, were they only provided with complete information and services on reproductive health.

 

Who can be trusted?

 

The debate on population has been going on for years. Majority of people have been confused and keep confusing themselves with these varying views. But who among them are really telling the truth? Who among them is really concerned about life and the conditions for a rightful living? Who among them shows real benevolence in looking into the social and economic interest of the people? Unless population views are really guided by the interest of the people morally, spiritually, and physically it will be difficult to build our trust on whoever is speaking pro or against the Reproductive Health Bill.

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