In a long forgotten comment to a blog post of a friend here in Lianga (http://benjieinlianga.blogspot.com/2007/12/blood-thirst.html), on Friday, December 14, 2007 3:41:03 PM I wrote:“As the Philippines races headlong into the future, I believe the attitude that you have against bloodlust will be taken up by most of your fellow countrymen. I am continually reminded of how closely linked in attitudes the Philippines is to America, although slightly out of sync in time. Years ago, cockfights and other bloodlust sports were big in America, even bigger than here in the Philippines, but over time Americans grew tired of the adrenaline rush that these blood sports produced. It has come to my mind recently how even my own attitudes have changed over time. When I was a child and teenager, farming in a rural community, I thought nothing of going to the barnyard to fetch some chickens to kill for supper. I would watch with fascination as my grandfather would sharpen his cleaver to sever the heads of our next meal, but age and time has changed my acceptance of that. I remember last year when my father in law was killing a hog for a party we were to have, I got physically sick from knowing that the life of the hog was ebbing as the blood was drained from its body.
As I think of my change of attitudes in regard to animal slaughter, I have to wonder what other changes I’ve not noticed, or are there some things that have remained constant in my belief system. You know, the discussion about the evacuees has been on my mind, even before you first wrote so eloquently about them and their plight. I am basically a pacifist and always have been, although some find that strange with my military background. Most people here don’t seem to understand when I tell them I was in the United States Coast Guard; it means that it was my job to save lives. In the 8 years I was in the military, 99.9% of the time I was unarmed. Only during basic training was I required to show that I was capable of handling a weapon.
I have never believed that violence was a means to any end, nor is it capable of solving any of the deep seated problems in our world today. Violence produces an effect, it is self promoting. Violence is a never-ending entity that takes strong people, with spirit and determination to end. It takes much more courage to end violence than to begin it, and more moral fortitude to object when witnessing violence of any kind. Humans even for their enjoyment of blood sports are basically a peace loving species. We have climbed the ladder of the animal kingdom to a point where we can and do show compassion. I’m calling on everyone in this area to show our compassion in the latest outbreak of violence here in our community. I want to see the evacuees home, well before Christmas and a permanent end to the fighting and violence.
I admit that I know little about the NPA or their dispute with the government here in the Philippines, but I do know that they are doomed to lose with the world against them. They are being portrayed as terrorists, and that’s enough to condemn them in the eyes of every right thinking person in the world. It doesn’t matter if their message is important, nor if it’s correct, they are terrorists and the world is against them. There are many ways to fight against injustice. “Before the throne of the Almighty, man will be judged not by his acts but by his intentions. For God alone reads our hearts.” Mohandas Gandhi
We pray for peace during this sacred holiday season, and wish all our friends and neighbors peace and happiness in their lives. Advance Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.”
Many of my thoughts back then, were without the knowledge of the evil terroristic act of corruption I’ve since experienced. But the one quote of Mohandas Gandhi rings even more true for acts of corruption. What are the intentions of these government officials? To gain wealth they did not work for, earn, or deserve? Perhaps I was naive to think that most people here would choose the right path or stand up for the good of their fellow citizens.