ONE colossal reason why we have been unable to rid our government of corrupt officials is the widely held subconscious presumption that all we need to do is replace the corrupt with incorrupt ones.
But this is exactly what we have been doing, regularly change government officials after every election. Yet, replacements, with few exceptions, have invariably proven to be just as, if not more, corrupt.
Something is sorely amiss with our presumption. And that has to be our failure to realize that people, not only those in government, are products of our homes, schools and churches. If, therefore, civil servants are corrupt, this could be because some fundamentally human values are missing in the homes, schools and Churches that raise and educate them and everybody else.
How else explain that, whoever are in office, corruption not honesty rules the day? Whoever are elected or appointed to government offices, with due respect to exceptions, are corrupt because, to put it bluntly, they were raised in homes, educated in schools, and morally formed in churches whose priorities do not include such essentially human values as honesty, integrity, and self-respect or pride of self.
In short, government officials are corrupt because they are sons and daughters of a corrupt society. If you bother to look more closely, there is a lot of fundamentally human, not to say Christian, values that are missing in our homes, schools and Churches.
Like the success expected at home and taught in schools are good grades as springboards to high-paying jobs and professions. We go to school primarily to acquire the skills for making a lot of money. The situation is worsened by churches not minding how people make money as long as they go to Mass, confess their sins, and drop a bit of their money in the collection box, or even better, a lot of it for big-ticket Church projects.
Our homes, schools and Churches are failing in their mission to make us truly and fully human. According to Stephen Turley, “what makes us human is an insatiable desire to encounter the true, the good, and the beautiful in a life-transformative way that enables our souls to reach for and embrace a state of being than which none greater can possibly be thought.”
How many homes and schools enable their wards to work and reach for truth, integrity and beauty and not just for wealth and fame?
Corruption in government must be dealt with where it is rooted, in homes, schools and churches that are starved of values of honesty, integrity and self-respect. A cultural (educational) revolution must happen if our homes, schools and churches are to start providing government with honest and self-respecting civil servants.