Philippine Social Justice is often misunderstood as ” philanthropy” , “Self-interest Social Responsibility” or ” Feudal Benevolence”. Our Socio-Cultural-Political Structures have wrongly applied, false Social Justice in the daily lives , of the majority of our citizens, particularly the poor.
This unfortunate condition is not new. It’s as old as the history of ancient civilizations. We can go back to accurate accounts, and writings of the Holy Bible, and there we can read about the history of man, the fall, injustices, and hope for change and of salvation.
In the Old Testament, for example, Moses, saw and experienced the great injustices being committed by the Egyptians against the Jews. And when He stood to defend the rights of the Jews, he became an enemy of the Phayro and the Leader that GOD chose to Save the His chosen people from the Injustices being committed against them by the Egyptians.
During the time of Our Lord , in the New Testament, we read today, in the Catholic Liturgy for this Sunday, September 29, 2013, how Jesus condemned the Injustices being committed by the insensitive and cruel rich man, ignored and rejected any help, to the poor holy man Lazarus.. who sat by the door of the rich man, ” covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table..”
Today, we see a similar situation, in our families, neighborhood, and society. Our nation is in shame, horror and shock in how some of our government officials , congressmen, senators and public officials have stolen from the “poor” to enrich themselves. The Philippines , particularly the Government, has lost it’s credibility and the trust of its citizens. With all these sandals of how billions of pesos, that is so scarce , and so much needed, by what was supposed to be for the , sick poor, children, education, farmers, homeless, and the marginalized.. Stolen from these poor and helpless people!
How can we talk about economic growth , development, and progress, when the basic needs of social services and justice is not addressed . For we have become” rich” .. Yes, with a GDP of 7% Growth, we have become wealthy, with the Real Estate Boom, we are prosperous with OFW’S remittances , shopping malls, BPOs , condominium buildings.. but at what cost? Who’s Expense ? And we can deduce, from the “Blood, Sweat, and Tears ” of the poor? It is the blood of our soldiers that were betrayed! The sweat of our OFWs who we call HEROES, yet neglected and abused, the tears of persons with disabilities, the marginalized and poor.. Who are being used for political advancement, votes, and “public relations” so as to appear in public as “honorable and charitable” — good people?
Graft and Corruption, and stealing from the poor, is the worst type of corruption. These are sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. Economic plunder, is a horrible nightmare and deeply rooted in government, social-civil organizations, and associations.. But the blame must not be in anyway to the ” institution” or to ” social structures” No! But it must be answerable by the individual, by people, and the person. Be He or She , Government or Private, rich or poor..we all have to give an account and are all responsible for what we are, what we have become and the Crisis and ” State of Calamity” we eventually get into.
Our High Society, is dominated by hypocrisy. It is Jesus Christ himself who condemns them, who are insensitive to the needs of the poor. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For your tithe mint and dill and cumin, you have neglected the weightier matter of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done without neglecting the others”
What is all the vast wealth, riches and abundance of goods for? When in the end we are sure of this: we all get old, sick and die.. no matter how much “stem cells” or healthy living we try. The law of nature never fails… Death will surely come… And with that , no one can bring one’s wealth to the grave.
We are but stewards. Strictly speaking, our ownership is temporal. Therefore , we have the duty and responsibility to use these goods, for the service of others. To build our Family’s comfort, safety and security. But we need to open our hearts to the needs of the homeless, the poor and the sick.
To understand better the need for Social Justice, let us go to the basic concept of who and what Man is. We read in the Bible, the “Man was created in God’s image and likeness and destined to enjoy eternal happiness in heaven… ” The Dignity of the Human Person is rooted in this fact- we are Children of GOD.. And, with it comes, the proper honor and regard for the rights of individuals. So much so, every person, has to ask himself how he puts the virtues of justice into practice in the normal circumstances of life, within the family, work and social relations.
Respect for individuals, require that we avoid gossip, talking badly of others… Sad that our reunions, social gatherings, cocktails , parties and dinning tables have turned into, an occasion to Slander, defame the good name of others, and turns into a mob, that “murders” the good reputation of one. The meal or reunion, has become a plate full of ” LENGUA ” (tongue stew).
The tongue, according to St. James 3:5-12, “So the tongue also is a little member, but it goes mightily… The tongue is placed among our members, defiling the whole body. ”. The tongue was created to communicate with others and especially to God. And not to speak ill, not to curse, not to say lies, not to condemn and do harm to others.
On the other hand, we need not exaggerate, the pathetic, complicated and unjust crisis of the Philippines. Rather, we need to practice more prudence, discretion, due courtesy and respect for others. We need to put a stop to all these forms to public attack, using MEDIA to judge, accuse, condemn and execute others. Some, irresponsible press releases , have contributed much to the negative image of our Country. Our Tourism Industry has suffered a setback by negative publicity. I fear, that our Real Estate Industry may suffer the same fate.
We in Real Estate are compromised by the political dangers that will eventually come. We need to be prepared by a new type of socio-political disaster. Which, may trigger, economic and financial downturns, because of the lack of confidence in the Government, and the leadership of our politicians.
He added that “Social Justice requires that workers conditions are not left at the mercy of the market forces as if their labor were merely merchandise to be bought and sold”.
We end, with a note of optimism. For in this moment of crisis, we ought to find opportunities. With Our sense of patriotism , youthful idealism, and energy for our love for God, Country, Society and Family, we can contribute much, in turning the tide of corruption. We shall overcome evil with an abundance of doing good acts each day.
Even thru our Work, Business and Profession in Real Estate, we can open channels of change. Our Noble Profession, well done, will be a worthwhile endeavor for the betterment of society. If we perform our duties as responsible citizens with perfection. Yes, we can build a nation , open to the common good. Leaders of Integrity, that are Honest, Trustworthy, and Just.