Three “Little” Evils That Doom Us As A Nation

"The Nightmare" by John Henry Fuseli. Courtesy of Wikipedia.org.
"The Nightmare" by John Henry Fuseli. Courtesy of Wikipedia.org.
“The Nightmare” by John Henry Fuseli. Courtesy of Wikipedia.org.

After watching the first The Hobbit film entitled An Unexpected Journey, I was captured by one conversation that Gandalf was having Galadriel. What he said was somewhere along the lines that while doing good in the world didn’t just involve great acts of kindness, even the smallest act of good can have a huge effect if it is done under the correct circumstances.

Then, after reading the book The Screwtape Letters, a short novella written by C.S. Lewis, (who is also known for writing The Chronicles of Narnia and is a good friend J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of The Hobbit and its sequel The Lord of the Rings) which is about demons, I read the inverse of Gandalf’s statement. According to the demons of the book, the “little evils” that people do are often easy to miss and forget by those who commit them and may have bigger consequences than they actually seem.

As I’ve come to observe, common Pinoys are all too often guilty of “little evils” but they often brush them off with the thought that “it’s nothing compared to the bigger evils”. Unfortunately, as C.S. Lewis showed, even if we may think that an act of evil is “small” it can have larger effects if ignored long enough or if done in large enough numbers. Here are some of the evils the common Pinoy does that are actually more detrimental than most would think:

Littering

Of course, what is one little candy wrapper? That’s probably one of the things that run through the mind of common Pinoys when they litter. Yeah, the candy wrappers aren’t much compared to the larger problems of pollution the country is facing. It’s almost insignificant compared to the illegal logging, the air pollution belched by vehicles and facilities in the big cities and the constant drone of noise pollution.

However, as people tend to do it everywhere, all the time, you can see where this will eventually lead. While yes, knowing where to throw one’s trash is a small thing, I’ll have you know that the vast accumulation of trash is all too often the reason for flooding in our metropolitan areas. While refraining from littering might not prevent the arrival of storms, it is probably enough to mitigate some of the flooding.

Accepting Bribes

Of course, during election time, this is all too often the case despite the vehement denials that Pinoys tend to claim. Let’s face it, it is tempting after all. Of course again, this is another relatively “small” act of evil after all.

How much is your vote worth in the long run anyway, right? I will tell you however that accepting bribes is a lot more detrimental than a lot would care to think. By allowing sleazy politicians to buy your vote, you are allowing corrupt oligarchs to stay in power. In a sense, by accepting bribes for any amount of money be it fifty pesos or five thousand pesos is no different from the way that Judas Iscariot sold Jesus for fifty pieces of silver. However, instead of one man, you are essentially selling all your fellow countrymen to be crucified with poverty, corruption and pettiness.

Pettiness

Pettiness is probably one more thing that I find very annoying with the common Pinoy. Yes, while it doesn’t seem much compared to the larger issues at hand like the troubles with the MILF down south or the hullabaloo over our islands that China constantly insists is theirs, pettiness is more damaging than we may think.

By always taking things personally, we create more bad blood between one another until they devolve into outright feuds. With this in mind, when things finally go pear-shaped, will Filipinos be able to unite properly against a common threat? In the case of calamity, war or any other scourge upon the land, can we truly coordinate as a single force considering the many divisions we have built between ourselves?

What I am trying to point out here is that a lot of things we do may seem small but they can certainly leave a bigger impact than we’d naturally expect. If we can incorporate foresight and discipline in our daily activities, we can finally make a few steps towards progress and prosperity.