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‘A carousel of names’

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Reader reaction to  the Viewpoint’s  “Persisting  Massacre” ( PDI/ 18 Dec. ) flooded in. This column sought to provide context for today’s reproductive health bill controversy. “Massacre of the Innocents” in Bethlehem , Auschwitz’s gassing of children, high  infant mortality  rates here  to  Connecticut ’s carnage of  20 kids aged 6 to 7 years were cited..

“When a terrifying event happens, like Sandy Hook ,  people try in individual ways to make sense of the senseless”, Angioline Loredo emailed from  New .York.  “Evil is real”, British writer  William Somerset Maugham wrote. “To ignore it is childish” but to to “bewail it  ( is )  senseless

The US is now considering stricter gun laws  “There is a lot more we Filipinos can do to address the “persisting massacre” here that Viewpoint refers to,namely. unconscionably high infant and maternal death rates to thousands of  underground abortions.

When Filipinos talk about doing  good, what  usually is  meant are : donating money or goods. Recipients do appreciate that.. But many have to be persuaded that maybe the kindest thing, is the gift of themselves, specially for children..

“Practice random acts of kindness,  and senseless acts of beauty”. writer  Anne Herbert suggested.” We have, for example,  this children advocacy group in a small town in Iloilo .  The “hardest” part, we’ve discovered,  is to popularize the concept that “it takes a village to raise a child” — the idea that “we are all in this together.”

We argue — and continue to — that the children in our immediate neighborhood or town, nay, the very planet, we live in, are all our children. And therefore we have a vested interest in raising them well.

Often,  we do not share our time and energy. This is  not  due to  selfishness, but more because of timidity. We think what we could give does not matter.  Yet, that  little will make a difference, especially for a vulnerable child. Maybe that is where we should start — stop being timid and flex our imagination.”

“About half of 3.4 million pregnancies are unintended”,.” Viewpoint reports.. Does this means  that  natural contraception is not working?, “ Tarikan asked.  Withdrawal, rhythm, abstention are very difficult to maintain? Those who made these 1.7 million unintended pregnancies possible will go to hell   then, if we are to believe some Catholic bishops.”.

” A society that pegs the worth of a man on his credit card will betray the poor,”  states  “Viewpoint” column.. But hasn’t that been the case from the earliest days of Christianity?, asks Walter Paul Komarnicki from Cagayan de Oro

Recall that James lashed the  deferential treatment  shown those with rich  apparel  but dismissive offhand treatment for  those in shabby clothes. Man judges by appearance, mostly, and not with the eyes of grace. Even within families, not all are treated equally, you just have to observe the behavior of the upwardly mobile against that of the downwardly mobile – or the outcast and illegitimate.”

“The culture of gun does not  (exist )  only in the US ,” Bunimay  e-mailed. Look at what  happened in Maguindanao.  More than 50 victims deep-sixed by armed thugs who did  political warlords’  bidding..

How this culture of gun can be eradicated is a big challenge. From a very young age, children are exposed to guns as harmless toys. But  these (pave the way) for real versions later as adults.

Authorities  should  expunge these toys from the market.  But they were  been reared  in the same culture, they find nothing wrong .  So, do we wait for another burst of gunfire?…

Indeed, our  school administrators must  take  a second look how their security rules operate in their respective schools,” T2JR  wrote “Herod did not have guns,” adds Farmer po.

“For as long as majority of  citizens allow the government to be run by self-serving elites, the same hardship will persist”, writes Irons1043. ‘”They are same-same: profiteers whether armed goons of the Philippine Military Academy or self-seekers from UP, Ateneo or La Salle . They cause our perdition.”

These comments on Philippine “elites” reminded us of   Viewpoint column titled: “Padlocked  Hearts”.   Written four Christmases back ( PDI / Dec 18. 2008), it said: “The Ceasars, Herods and  Scrooges never left”. We have a carousel of names.  Instead of  Agriculture undersecretary Joc-Joc Bolante, it is now Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino, embroiled in jueteng.

Eduardo Cojuangco pocketed San Miguel shares, bought with small farmers coco levies, — thanks to  Arroyo Supreme Court justices . That   guarantees him  a slot among padlocked hearts Chirstmases yet to come.

“Then, and now, it is still the poor who bear the brunt. “One recalls a Grade One teacher who checked why one child crouched below her desk,. She didn’t want us to see her eat breakfast of  green papaya, soaked in salt and vinegar.

You bump into this vulnerable child everywhere. Christmas time, they emerge as the bottle-cap brigade  grimy kids who whack bottle cap  tambourines, at street corners. to cadge a peso or two

The richest  Filipinos, consume 37 centavos out of every peso. The poorest make do with two centavos. As  a result, chronic hunger opens floodgates to debilitating diseases. Incidence of TB here is quadruple that  of Malayisa.  Dismantling  political dynasties is a must.

“The birth of Jesus is not a fairy tale to warm the heart,. “ we read. Time is measured by this event.” It is also about a non-negotiable challenge to clean up our self-centered lives and build some justice.”


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