Malilong: The insanity to expect change

Frank Malilong
·2 min read

SAW this on Twitter the other day: “About this time, last year, I wished everyone a blessed new year. Look what happened. So from the bottom of my heart, f...(expletive) you all!”

2020 was a rat. There hasn’t been any other year that we so badly wanted to put behind us. It held too many bitter memories of numbing losses in a world upended by an unsparing pandemic.

So we look towards 2021 with anticipation. Surely, it couldn’t be any worse. The thing, however, is that fortunes are not tied to clockwork. Our lives would not, as they did not, change automatically at the stroke of midnight of Dec. 31.

So while we look towards the new year with hope, we should also approach it with a sense of mission. A priest said that in a homily at a pre-dawn mass leading to last Christmas. To that I would like to add what the genius Albert Einstein was supposed to have said about repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result. It’s insanity and it doesn’t take genius to know that.

We have been complaining about government ineptitude and insensitivity for as long as I can remember. Last year wasn’t any different. First, we complained about a Palace official who was photographed frolicking in Boracay while the Covid-19 pandemic was raging. Months later, the same official was spotted singing in a karaoke joint in Baguio while storm winds were battering parts of Luzon. And we also complained.

And just recently, we lost in the world-wide scramble for newly rolled-out Covid-19 vaccines because, to quote a top government official, the responsible officials dropped the ball bigtime. And again we complained.

But even as we do, we repeatedly choose, directly or indirectly, the same type of people to run the government. And we expected a different brand of service? We are all enablers and we committed insanity even if (and assuming that) we are not insane.

(By the way, the finance minister of Ontario resigned very recently after he was discovered to have slipped away with his wife to unwind at a Caribbean island while the whole Canadian province was under travel restrictions. He tried to cover up the trip by posting on social media pictures of himself wearing a sweater before a fireplace. Very imaginative, almost Filipino. But he was Canadian, which was why he had the decency to resign.)

The pandemic has crippled us for almost 10 months already, more than enough time for us to seriously reflect on how we could change the course of our lives because we couldn’t depend on it switching with the clock when it strikes 12. If we haven’t done so yet, we may have already forfeited our right to hope and deserve to be doomed regardless of what happens in the pandemic.