An Ateneo teacher, @Carlos R. Rivera lV wrote this and purposely told this to his students.
Purposely ensnared them in the trap he himself is ensnared in. A burden that he should have carried himself, he has asked others to carry. Because he didn’t do the work that was needed to extricate himself from the tyranny of the literal, he now binds the hearts and minds and souls of his students with fear, ignorance, hatred.
No sir, you are wrong.
The lights have not gone out in my country. You have mistaken the light that has gone out of your own heart for the light in our hearts that continues to burn for love of country.
This light that was dying in the hearts of so many of us now burns bright and brave—on no small account because of the man who sits at the helm who has given us this precious commodity that we didn’t have for a very long time–hope for our country.
An overwhelming majority of us trust him because we have seen his desire to put us on high ground and how he is a man of action, consumed with setting things right where so much has gone wrong.
And unlike you, we are not held in the grip of the literal.
Words like ‘martial law’ (which the President bandies about) and ‘strong man’ and the fact that he is a friend of Bongbong Marcos doesn’t have us knee jerking all over the place. We have a more nuanced view of this man.
We stop our knees from jerking. We think. We look at his track record. We get ourselves out of the tyranny of the literal.
We do the work that’s asked of us instead of passing on our burdens to others.
You might want to try this on for size.
91% of us have said yes to Change, the smashing of the rotten status quo that made us prisoners in our country. And we do so with our eyes open.
And none of us have been Silenced.
Silenced? Are you deaf, Mr Rivera? What you’d need is to shut us up.
What we’ve said YES to is the end of violence done on us, the common tao, by monsters in our midst in cahoots with government high officials.
What we’ve said YES to is the end of fear in our hearts for our children as we kiss them goodbye and as they make their way in a country run by criminal elements aided by greedy bastards we’ve had the misfortune of calling “HONORABLE”.
What we’ve said YES to is the taking back of our country from those who have stolen it and its bright future from us.
And I pity your students for the hope in their hearts that you have stolen. I pity them for having a teacher that killed their fervor and love for country instead of nurturing these as he should have.
If they listen to you (and I pray they don’t), they will never know the profound joy of service to country and being one with those who have so much less in life.
They will never know what it’s like to love past the point of wounding—and then to have their wounds transform them so they become compassionate human beings that this world needs so badly.
I hope your students leave so they see their country with clearer eyes and so they know themselves better.
And I hope they come back, bringing with them the best of what they’ve learned. And I hope they give back. I hope they experience the deep joy of those who serve without any thought of return.
And you sir, you may go.
Do not build your career in a country you think has gone to the dogs. Do not fall in love in a country you think is hopeless. Do not have children here when all you can give them is your despair.
And don’t come back.
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