Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Freedom's Progress

"Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better."
-Albert Camus

So yes, I ripped that title from Mass Effect.

Anyway, today marks our 114th Day of Independence. What have we, as a nation, learned from more than a century of  'independence'?

I, for one, do not think we are truly independent. We are, in fact, dependent on a lot of things from other countries. We depend on the US for protection, albeit at a cost. We depend on the Middle East for oil. We depend on other countries providing jobs for OFWs. We import a lot of food from neighboring countries. We walk around flashing imported gadgets, wearing imported clothes and listening to foreign songs.

We should realize that this isn't something to be seen in a negative light. We were taught, even as children, that teamwork is one key to success. This is one view we could apply to ourselves as individuals as well as a nation. We should be proud of our roots, but we should not have a misplaced sense of pride. We should not see ourselves as a race separate from other nations as we are all humans. We should be open to change and accept the fact that we will get left behind if we maintain a tribalistic worldview.

We may not be truly independent, but you cannot deny the fact that we are free. We live in a country where the state does not dictate what we can and cannot do, as long as it's within reason. We live in a society where people can suggest what we do with our lives, but we are ultimately responsible for our failures or successes. We live among people who have a relatively high level of tolerance for religious, political and philosophical debate. We live in a country where we are free to voice our opinions without fear of persecution. Okay, maybe not that last part.

Maybe that's why in Filipino, it's not called 'Araw ng Kasarinlan'.

It's called 'Araw ng Kalayaan'.

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