While growing up, my parents were not very strict towards me. I enjoy bountiful freedom and understood the responsibility it entailed. I did not have strict curfews, but I had to be careful of my actions for I knew if I slipped, I would be punished.
In school, we were taught that heroes such as Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio brought freedom against the Spanish colonizers, and the revolutionists of EDSA during the Martial Law.
At present, there is utmost freedom but the problem is the responsibility that this freedom entails. It saddens me to note that the freedom they once fought so hard for is losing meaning bit by bit.
We abuse our freedom of speech by bullying others and telling others they do very poorly instead of cheering on them to embrace their flaws and improve on what they do. We abuse it by speaking ill of others. We abuse it by choosing to selectively expose the truth and hide others in silence. We abuse it by choosing not to speak when our words can save a person—who is allegedly accused of a crime he/she did not do—from being imprisoned.
We should note that this freedom vested upon us does not mean that we can say whatever we want even though it could hurt someone else.
One must be ready to take full responsibility of the syllables that come out from our cortex. It is easy to ask for forgiveness and say that time heals all our wounds. But, look at our motherland. We abuse our freedom of action by allowing others to dictate what we should do in exchange of something. We abuse it by being slaves to grouchy leaders who only want us for their agendas. We abuse it by just watching others severely suffer.
We must all remember that taking away freedom need not happen on a bigger scale just so we can notice it. Small actions of dictatorship that cause the detriment of people may be more toxic to a nation than a national leader who declares martial law.
Our motherland who suffered oppression of her freedom has walked 31 years away from the pains of dictatorship. She may have forgiven, but she will never forget. She will never forget for the scars will never vanish. They stretch and wrinkle, but it will forever remind her of the dark era that she does not want to experience anymore.
It alarms me that if the youth will not realize that their actions will soon backfire on them, it will be too late and we would once again allow this freedom to slip on our watch. History should not repeat itself if the people only learn from it.
This generation are the dreamers, passionists, adventurers, and gogetters. So, prove yourself to the world. Dream of a harmonious community and a peaceful environment. Be passionate about fighting for what is right and just. Go out and see. Do not do online tours of your reality. Do not just sit there lounging in your expensive coffee in your luxurious coats. Go get what this generation deserves.
But this is also a generation of materialists and “self-entitlists.” They think they can get what they want in a blink of an eye and they think they deserve so much for doing something so little.
With that being said, I hope they are the former rather than the latter for this world needs them.
Let us allow real freedom to not be cradled in books or social media posts. Be a more proactive being in this never-ending revolution against oppression of freedom. Be more relevant than the selfie that took 80 shots to get the perfect angle. Be more real than the over filtered photographs.
Free yourself from the disdain of the society. You have the power to change the world and let no one speak otherwise. Embrace your totality and do not allow others to dictate you of who you should be. Our nation once thought it was okay to be colonized and be under a regime of strict martial law, but we realized that it is better to stand on our own feet blanketed. So fight for the freedom your motherland is enjoying. Fight for it.