Mind conditioning

by Jose Ma. Montelibano

| Photo by Brian Wertheim on Unsplash

One of the most common denominators among the world’s most outstanding achievers when asked what really made them succeed. Maybe not exactly in these words, but the gist is the same – 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

The message is clear. There must be an inspiration, a vision, a gem of an idea, or a great cause. That is the 1 %. It triggers the impetus and drives the first momentum. Then, it is 99% inspiration, a relentless, determined effort characterized by another saying – never give up. These are the twin principles of most success stories, the 1% inspiration – 99% perspiration and the courage to never give up.

In different fields and endeavors, the most successful in life is the most questioned, of course. In that list are personalities in business, politics, science, philosophy, the arts, sports, and entertainment. These personalities hug the limelight, not only of their local domain but even globally. In the major social media platforms, these are the people who trend. In mainstream media, academe, books, and literary works, these personalities are the most sought after, read or listened to, and quoted.

Did I mention politics? Yes, I did, though I had serious doubts. The unfortunate thing about politics is that it often competes with another field I did not mention above – crime and horror. Not only do good men and women become people who achieve because the worst among evildoers also make history. A prime example would be Adolf Hitler. He rose from a political phenomenon to a global monster who exterminated human beings as though they were less than animals. In history, books and documentaries are also the world’s most vicious or perverted serial killers, many of them with above-average intelligence.

“When a country is preoccupied with politics, the chances are that politics has become a good source of money. In the Philippines, money is made in politics, not from wages and salaries, except in lower positions. The higher one goes, all the way to the President of the Republic, the monetary compensation becomes less attractive.”

There is also the International Transparency list of great thieves and plunderers. Strange as it may seem, I have seen at least two Filipinos who have been in their top ten lists. It does seem odd that a poor and underdeveloped country could produce such greedy people, presidents at that. But when you look at the list, you will see that many come from their countries’ highest positions. We can never just believe that a rich man has less temptation to steal than a poor man. What is easier to believe is that wealthy persons who ascend to positions of authority can also steal and have, then steal much more than a poor man can.

When a country is preoccupied with politics, the chances are that politics has become a good source of money. In the Philippines, money is made in politics, not from wages and salaries, except in lower positions. The higher one goes, all the way to the President of the Republic, the monetary compensation becomes less attractive. How many high officials have we heard complaints about what they earn, then they are serving at a personal sacrifice? In other words, the officers near and at the top claim it is not the money that motivates them.

Records do show that it is money and power in a symbiotic relationship. Money buys power, and power creates money. The corruption track of the Philippines has been a sad one that, shamefully, foreign agencies have been the ones monitoring and trying to measure. They not only aimed at just the Philippines; it seems they assess all countries and evaluate them. However, producing two presidents from the Philippines in 15 years to the top ten offenders regarding how much they plundered is like a sick joke on Filipinos, where only 20% say they are not poor.

International agencies have been monitoring money recovered from hidden or plundered wealth. Public information and documents are detailing these. But there are also now serious efforts to erase or revise that history. The global audience may still believe what they have seen or heard 40 years ago, but some developments are alarming.

“Revere history as we revere your identity. If some ancestor has shamed the family name, change the trajectory of our future history by achieving a proud legacy. Not by faking history. With 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

The younger generations have little or no recall of the dictatorship, leading them to believe differently. Indeed, YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook seem more relevant than history books. Attention, Department of Education, the gullibility of your more recent products reflects your effectiveness in teaching history or even the truth. One day, the national heroes can be traitors to the country, or even K-Pop singers – just because someone spends money to make it through mind conditioning in social media.

Again, may I repeat. If Marcos was an unquestionable hero in his lifetime and beyond, then history must teach that. If Marcos raped and plundered the country and caused thousands of deaths, torture, and disappearance, it must also introduce that because history defines much of our identity. We are Filipinos. We are not Chinese — that is history and identity. If we allow our history to be revised, we allow our identity to be changed. And one day, we are a people with no name, no past, and no country.

The presidential elections in May 2022 may be most partisan. That is par for the course. We all try to live with that, much as we do not like the low moral bar and dirty tricks that some employ. But elections as a political exercise to retain or change leadership cannot justify changing our history and identity. Try changing your identity from the one you used to deposit money in a bank and see if you can withdraw your money using another identity. If they can destroy a business with fake histories, so can politics, culture, and identity.

Revere history as we revere your identity. If some ancestor has shamed the family name, change the trajectory of our future history by achieving a proud legacy. Not by faking history. With 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

X