Homework: Vote for the best leaders | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022


WHILE most students are enjoying a summer vacation free from homework (my sympathies to those affected by the academic calendar shift!), those registered to vote have a very important “homework” to turn in on Monday, May 9.
We’re used to cramming our assignments and still manage to get a passing mark. But the homework due on Monday has a bigger stake—our country’s future. So let’s put in some real effort this time.

As a teacher, allow me to give some pointers on how to tackle this crucial assignment.

First, do your research and be informed. Read up on the track record of each candidate. Know the candidates’ stand on past and present issues, look up their qualifications, and see if their experience and accomplishments are enough for the positions they are running for. Bear in mind, the problems of local government are different from the challenges encountered on a national level.

Like a good researcher, be mindful of your sources. Google is convenient but remember that blogs do not necessarily qualify as credible sources since they are normally not subjected to factual scrutiny.

Next, learn about the platforms and plans of the candidates. No, promising the moon and the stars does not count as a platform. Candidates’ platforms should give you a clear idea of how they intend to execute their plans and promises. Check if they’re feasible. If they sound too good to be true, well, you know what that means.

Try to recall situations in the past when a candidate, either here or abroad, made a similar declaration. History may have already taught us how certain well-meaning plans do not always work. Philosopher and poet George Santayana once famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” There’s a good reason why he is quoted often.

Lastly, consider the character and values of the candidates. Do your candidates share your values? Do they show the youth as well as the world through their words and actions what being a good Filipino is all about?

Some say that the character of a candidate is secondary to his ability to lead a country, but I beg to differ. Our national leaders represent us in the global community; they will be covered by the media a lot, hence, whether they like it or not, they must represent our country well and strive to be good role models.

There’s a lot riding on your vote this election. It may lead to a better country for all of us in the next six years—or spell our country’s doom. OK, that sounded a bit melodramatic, but whatever the outcome, it will definitely tell the world what we Filipinos are all about.

Ultimately, your vote reflects your own values. It shows what you deem important—and what you can compromise. Is a candidate’s “baggage” worth tolerating, given his or her perceived capabilities to lead?

As Professor Albus Dumbledore reminded Harry Potter, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Your vote is a choice, and it does show who you are. Choose carefully.

Roy Carlo L. Advincula is a high school math teacher at San Beda College Alabang. He is also the moderator of the school’s Anime Club. He has been a teacher for almost 10 years.

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