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Creation Spirituality and Corruption in the Philippines

Prof Frederick V. Rael has been teaching for almost 18 years in various local colleges and universities in the Philippines.

Creation Spirituality and Corruption in the Philippines

Introduction

Corruption is, indeed, a serious social and political issue in the Philippines that creation spirituality can address. Corruption is a major reason for the worsening of the condition of the vast majority of the population. It is a phenomenon in which dishonest politicians are robbing people's money through their fraudulent conduct and the tendency to abuse their power for their gains. Unfortunately, corruption in the Philippines has been viewed by the public as unavoidable though unnecessary. Corrupt politicians are continuously being elected to the same or different political positions despite their bad reputation.

Legal options are available for anybody who wants to complaint but only a few and brave concerned citizens engage in such a legal process to stop corruption. Sadly, most Filipinos, especially those in the lower-income families, have become politically indifferent because of the belief that there is nothing they could do to fight those who are in authority or power. Aside from that, they seem to believe that corrupt politicians are the dispenser of petty favors such as minor jobs and possible payments for votes. Moreover, they are easily persuaded by skillful corrupt politicians who are capable of appealing to their lack of education and low awareness on political affairs. With such a political landscape, corrupt practices are prevalent in the Philippine government since forces of change have yet to emerge to counter the said social ill.

A Paradigm Shift

The issue of corruption is certainly broad, encompassing, and stressful issue that deserves a "breathing in and breathing out." A paradigm shift of our people is crucial for the significant reduction of corruption. This would mean a fundamental change in our assumption or mindset about how life should be viewed or how the government should be managed. To paraphrase Mathew Fox's words, if the system is not working, a paradigm shift is necessary (Fox, 1991).

Is it possible to get rid of corruption in the Philippines despite its deep historical roots? I would like to believe that the answer to this question is, a big Yes. Change usually takes a very long process. The starting point is a paradigm shift from being materialistic to a more spiritual mindset of the citizens. Our society has become very much materialistic that we have forgotten our spiritual side. Many Filipinos want to enter politics not because of public service, but because of the economic benefits that go along with any government positions. Politicians in the Philippines belong to the richest families that comprise only a minority of the general population.

Creation Spirituality

The wisdom of Mathew Fox (1991) characterizes creation spirituality as, "The Spirit is life, ruah, breath, wind. To be spiritual is to be alive, filled with ruah, breathing deeply, in touch with the wind. Spirituality is a life filled path, a spirited filled way of living… Spirit -breath,life energy." Although the said depiction of spirituality seems to be mythical, it simply means a deep commitment toward a creation centered lifestyle. An appreciation of simple things like breathing, getting in touch with the environment and delving into our spiritual self is among the key principles of creation spirituality. It convinces us to have a simple lifestyle and to put great value on anything that has life.

Creation spirituality also teaches us to respect the cosmos and all the things that are created. It advocates the idea that all creations are blessings from God and ought to be respected and protected. If a person embraces the basic principles of creation spirituality, he/she would learn many values that are more humanistic, Godly, and environmentally friendly. A person may eventually learn how to value humility, authenticity, sincerity, creativity, human rights, freedom, calmness, positive attitudes, camaraderie, and other traits that can help in the growth and development of our cosmos.

More importantly, creation spirituality advocates that justice is a result of political movements, which comes from the unfolding agenda of the cosmos. In other words, the cosmos is regulated by a sense of harmony, balance, justice, and celebration. Anything corrupt, evil, or disgusting is part of the transformation process. There is nothing to heal if there is no sickness. Corruption is a social illness that will inevitably be corrected through the guidance of the Universe itself, which has the power to create and destroy.

Integration of Creation Spirituality in the Curriculum

Creation spirituality can address the issue of corruption through proper education of the citizens by integrating said topic in the curriculum. The educational institutions should include subjects that would specifically teach creation spirituality to the students starting from elementary. Of course, corruption can not be solved overnight and it would take a long and evolutionary process. The said mentality would motivate teachers, students, and parents to become more spiritual rather than focusing on the accumulation of material possessions.

Consequently, spirituality is not just about attending a mass or praying the rosary but it is a substantial paradigm shift through education. The combination of discussion about various religious tenets and the execution of ritual practice is what makes creation spirituality an effective paradigm in enhancing the awareness of the students about their spiritual self. Indeed, creation spirituality would expose students in various religious faiths other than their own, which is necessary for their spiritual growth.

Why education? The minds of the youth are still fresh and sincere. They would be able to accept the fundamental principles of creation spirituality at an early age and may carry with them as they grow older. Of course, as future generations, the youth of today should be able to value the most important things in life other than material things (smartphones, gadgets, laptops, etc. ) that are taught in the subject of creation spirituality. They would also learn to value deeply their fellow human beings, different forms of animals, and the environment. Along with it, students would be able to learn that they are co-creators of this universe and teach them to have greater respect for all the things that are created. Eventually, the next generation of politicians would become more honest, sincere, and spiritual rather than corrupt and materialistic individuals.

The contribution of the teachers in elementary up to the tertiary level is quite vital in the eradication of corruption. If teachers are oriented with creation spirituality, they would be able to shift their methods and approaches in teaching from the traditional ones into an approach inclined to creation spirituality principles. I believe in the influence of educators in stopping corruption. The minds and hearts of the people should be the target of education, not their pockets. In other words, students should not be oriented that education is the primary pursuit of money or wealth. The new mindset should center on spiritual fulfillment that has positive consequences on others' lives and the environment.

Conclusion

Of course, the process of change is long and gradual since the cosmos has its way of correcting itself. But, the good thing is that the cosmos is also expressed through our power to transform ourselves and others by way of our spiritual awareness. Self-awareness through creation spirituality would mean an awareness toward that desirable transformation. Influencing our youth and the ordinary citizens about the fundamental tenets of creation spirituality through education, seminars, comments in the social networking media, and other forums is the beginning toward that political transformation. Thus, self-awareness of the principles of creation spirituality would guide us in choosing the right or ethical leaders rather than to continue patronizing corrupt politicians coming from political clans.

References

Buesa, M. (2018).PH slips in 2017 global corruption index. Retrieved from,

https://www.rappler.com/nation/196563-philippines-corruption-perceptions-index-2017-ranking

Fox, M. Creation Spirituality. Harper Collins Publishers, New York City, 1991.

The World Bank Annual Report of 2017. End Extreme Poverty. Boost Shared Prosperity. Retrieved from,

http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/908481507403754670/Annual-Report- 2017-WBG.pdf

Mendoza , R. (2012) Dynasties in democracies: The political side of inequality

Retrieved from

http://www.voxeu.org/article/dynasties-democracies-political-side-inequality

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Frederick V Rael