A New Year

Image grabbed shamelessly from here

It is now 2014 here in Manila. Another year has passed. I look at my social network account feeds and I see a deluge of luxurious spreads of food, an amazing arsenal of firecrackers that legally I believe can be considered as explosives, inspirational messages and well-wishes. We all have our hopes and wishes for the coming year, and here I am, sitting and typing away for what I hope and wish for my country.

Celebrations and traditions are truly more fun in the Philippines, but I believe that the true meaning and essence becomes lost as the focus is maintained on the festivities. New Year’s Day, I believe, should be also a day of reflection for us – how did we do as an individual? Were we good citizens? Did we try to do the right things even if we were faced with a crowd of people doing the wrong thing?

Most of us pins the hopes of change with the dawn of a new year, but often forget that in order to do that, we must ensure that the changes are in place within ourselves. Traffic jams are growing heavier year in and out, but are we doing our part to ensure not to worsen it? Rules are constantly being broken by those all around us, but are we doing our part to fortify our resolve to follow them no matter what?

A new year means nothing, especially if we don’t take a long, hard look in the mirror and change for the better. We spend so much to celebrate to usher in the coming of a new year, completely clueless that the celebration would be much more meaningful had we strived to better for our own growth year in and year out.

I wish and hope that we all continuously look at ourselves from time to time during this new year and the years to come – are we just whining about how our country is going or are we doing something about it starting with ourselves? Are we just looking out for what is beneficial for us without regard for others or are we being responsible citizens that put both interests in equal measure?

I wish and hope that the example is set from the top. Those in power to observe the laws of our land and not act like the law, but instead act like a citizen first and as a steward of the common man’s interests and rights.

I wish and hope that we enjoy the freedom that we have in a responsible way – being free means not just doing anything what we want but being to do what we want within the boundaries and lines of the laws set to make everything orderly and peaceful.

Happy New Year, Philippines. Let us not forget that the changes start in us, the citizens. It will not just happen by itself, or by the coming of a new year.

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