Playing god

You don’t have to be like Efren Peñaflorida, CNN Hero of the Year, or even like our national hero Doctor Jose P. Rizal to be known around the world–and be called “HERO”.

Look at what new media could do: (see link)

In a decade several never-ending social, political, and economic issues have bombarded the people not only in the Philippines but also the world. Last Sunday as I lead a Bible study for the young people, we tackled on the series of events that took place inside and outside of the country over the past 10 years. Surprisingly, we ended naming countless of good and bad happenings.

There’s the impeachment of former president Joseph Estrada, which led to the installation of the vice president to take the chief executive post. Following the new administration are controversies and multiple political killings. Then comes the sudden tsunami outside the country that killed thousands of lives.

Then the poverty issues, the fall of Wall Street, the financial crisis in the whole world, and the increase of unemployment came that shattered humankind. What’s worst? The continuing war in Middle East, missile launch threat from communist countries like North Korea, and even the rido (clan war) and faith conflicts in the southern part of the Philippines–Mindanao.

With all these crashing reality, humans seek for a messiah who could redeem them from all these terrible things.

Going back to the Bible times, Jesus’ coming had been greatly anticipated by people because they are so desperate with the current situation and all they ever longed for is freedom that Jesus Christ could only give. Of course, Jesus is the true Messiah who has saved then, now and forever.

But when did this “messiahnic concept” come from? As far as I could remember, if my memory won’t fail me, messiahnic evolved from the Dark Ages, people seek for someone or something to save them from their miserable lives and indeed it happened when the church shed light to a new era–the Middle ages.

According to St. Augustine the church during Middle Ages became the people’s hope in living because it gives liberty to them and a lighter law in the state. The Roman Catholic became not only a religious sector but also served as a government at that time. Even until now, the church has a say in political issues although the Constitution in the Philippines strongly say the other way.

Worst in the decade, the year 2009 has become the highlight of unfortunate and traumatic events that hit the country and the world. What has been a small-town war became known to the world as one of the training ground for the world’s most wanted terrorist group Al-Qaida.

More than money or anything this world could offer, what people are most desperate for is the feeling of freedom–spiritual–longing to break free.

No wonder why in every single way, we always look for a person who we consider as HERO and follow his way.

As the election period officially started last January 10, most politicians campaign as the savior of the people. Politicians know that the current tragedies make their campaign more effective, especially that we desire for change and improvement in the status of living–that’s why US President Barack Obama won because of his slogan: “Change we can!”

I know someone would save me or someday I will see the sunshine after the rain.

Cliche I should say but  subconsciously we are keeping up with life because of this drive. Look at how the film industry is gaining billions of dollars with its HERO franchise and super human plot. There’s superman, spiderman, fantastic four, catwoman, x-men, and the like. It is undeniable that we want to be heroes of ourselves or to someone else.

And then reality strikes us–not all heroes are recognized. In the Philippines the government shows less interest in the success stories of common individuals with extraordinary contributions in the country. Only a little, a fraction, or even a pinch in the population of this society are granted the opportunity to be known.

This negative impression is normal to people who only wish to do good works in return for fame. These people seek popularity through civic work–using other people or the environment for personal and selfish interest.

A friend sent me an internet link dubbed “I have something great to reveal”.  The 100 seconds of waiting was worth my time, I should say it was surprising for an average cyber user like me to know that through technology and new media, we can be known HERO in the world.

The site was somehow programmed by a Swedish broadcasting company or a website company that is. In the short film about HERO you can upload your personal photo, which will be embedded in the movie–then you’ll become the HERO!

Humorous–wildly humorous. That would describe the entire experience of watching the film. Who would have thought that in a very serious introduction, the climax would definitely spoil the entire suspense.

Sadly, the film and the innovation depict two things: (1) People’s desperation of a messiah, and (2) People’s hunger for power and popularity.

The first point has been discussed in the earlier part of this article. Let’s focus on the intriguing factor why people want to be heroes. People want to play god.

Because we want to find answers in every thing, we want to see tangible proof for every reason, we try to act and do things like gods. Over time humans have evolved from being cavemen to the modern intellectual creatures. Then we try to innovate and copy natural living and non-living things. Until we strive to be gods.

With just four months to go before the anticipated May 2010 polls, it is a challenge to all political candidates to ensure the public the beneficial platform in favor to the interest of the people and not only to the nation’s minority. May the incoming state officials become heroes in their own with Christ above their service. May they not try to act like gods instead be humble enough to recognize their weakness and allow the people to enjoy being citizens of this country, doing each part in bringing the nation to success not recess.

Instead of playing god let us try to be human.


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