UPHOLDING UPRIGHTNESS IN FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY AND IN THE NATION Uprightness…? Uprightness, according to the Merriam- Webster’s dictionary, is something that is marked by strong moral rectitude. A morally upright person is one who has a strong set of personal values. He has high moral principles and he cannot be pressured or persuaded to abandon them. To be morally upright in today’s world can be very challenging with so many immoral things happening around us. In films and television, a morally upright person is usually pictured as boring and unpopular.
Sometimes, the character is even portrayed comically with thick eye glasses and a weird sense of fashion. The reality is that media has clouded our perception of what’s in and out and being morally upright is definitely uncool. But sometimes, it is not only the media that has shaped our morality. Our peers also influence us to act in certain ways so that we will feel part of the group. Because of this, our values or those that were taught to us by our parents when we were younger are ignored and taken for granted.
We are sometimes pressured to do things that we know are wrong but we still do it anyway, or risk being labeled as “KJ” or killjoy by some people. We tend to lose our common sense in favor of the dangerous and the exciting unmindful of the consequences. Another threat to a morally upright society is poverty. In a developing country like the Philippines, some people will do anything, even cheat or steal, to become rich and successful. It is said that this is common in private schools where there are students who would manage to go to great lengths just to survive financially.
While it is true that some of them do succeed, they lack integrity and moral values. These people are still likely to be unhappy even though they are already wealthy and successful. To be morally upright, you don’t need to dress or talk like Betty La Fea. The issue of morality should never be confined to stereotypes. It is more than skin deep. Just because a person looks and acts a certain way doesn’t mean he or she already has high moral principles. Being morally upright means you can decide for yourself and not be pressured by what others think of your decision.
It transcends gender, race and even social status. A person of high moral standards does not think of poverty as an excuse for doing something illegal. Instead he sees hardships as a challenge and finds ways to help people who are in need. Is uprightness really on the vocabulary of our dear school and nation? That is the question. According to Far Eastern University’s website, committed to the highest intellectual, moral and cultural standards, the university strives to produce principled and competent graduates.
It nurtures a service- oriented and environment- conscious community which seeks to contribute to the advancement of global society. It is just so annoying to see times when the students do the exact opposite of these. Some of them manage to throw different kinds of waste in the grounds even if the trash cans are just nearby. There are so many cases of cutting classes. There are some professors whose absences had become alarming for their students. The services offered by the university, on the other side, are sometimes disappointing. Their responses to the students’ needs are somewhat slow.
Some are unwilling to talk and always seem to be in a bad mood. Some does not even take time to respond after all. It is so sad to hear or see people outside the university who cannot afford to believe that FEU is really committed to the highest intellectual, moral and cultural standards. It does not truly show, according to them. On the aspect of our nation in its general sense, on the other hand, uprightness is not that highly practiced after all. The reality is more than 60% of people in the Philippines are not developing with Philippines.
Many people are unemployed, poor and dying with hunger. And, such conditions are increasing corruption, terrorism and giving the birth to dirty politics. However, we have to see this from a different view. People become terrorists because they are unemployed and unemployed because they are illiterate. Secondly, Filipinos involved in dirty politics are mostly illiterate and are not able to distinguish what is right and what is wrong. Similarly, corruption, social evils and even overpopulation can be controlled by gaining 100% literacy.
How can uprightness be practiced at this exact moment in time on our school and nation? Well, in our school, with no doubt, awareness seminars should be held. “Each one, teach one,” should be the sentence in every one’s heart. Teach the undergraduates the right values of life. Teach them the value of knowledge right from first year in the university. Stress learning from the first day of school and instill in them the principle of hard work and the regard for it. Teach them that it is far more honorable to fail than cheat.
Moreover, teach them to be different even if everyone is doing it the same way among, others. On one perspective, having each one of us taught the rational approach to evaluative problems is getting us to learn the habit of clear thinking, gauging and revising arguments and using principles of good reasoning. Having the ability to think logically paves the way to becoming a person who values uprightness. Moreover, each one should be a model of an upright individual. Another, the system of promotion within the ranks needs to be overhauled.
To date, what is prevalent is the “Palakasan System, Utang na Loob and Pakikisama System. ” Generally, this refers to a system where what matters are the people one knows, especially the powers-that-be, the people who owe favors, and the clique one belongs to. If he or she had met any one of these criteria, they are almost assured of getting a promotion, never mind if they are not qualified for it. In my opinion, it is high time that the teachers’ ranks be professionalized from top-to-bottom akin to the corporate world. Promotions should be solely based on merit.
Because with the present system, many of those who rise in rank “don’t necessarily have the guts to become an educational leader. ” Many are just after the salary increase and most of all of the prestige that goes with being a school manager! The worst is, these mentors are not really concerned and dedicated enough to initiate reforms to improve the system. While it is true that a teacher’s salary is not commensurate to the workload, a real educator will still lead by example and exert 101% effort in everything he or she does.
Those things mentioned are exactly the same when it comes to government officials and employees. Today, we are beset with yet another political crisis of such magnitude as to polarize our people and attract them to various options ranging from the extreme right to the extreme left. In this grave situation, various groups take advantage of one another, manipulate situations for their own agenda and create confusion among our people sometimes by projecting speculation or suspicion as proven fact, with the aim of grabbing power. Worse, those people even manage to be involved in corruption.
Corruption is somewhat viewed as an agent’s departure from its principal’s demand for responsible use of power in society. As such, although it is centered on a public official’s act and is indicated by a violation of law, it does not involve the state alone. Rather, it is embroiled in the accountability of public officials, and indeed of the state, to the people. Thus, in analyzing and combating corruption, we must look beyond the state. Corruption shows up what the society views as the responsible use of power and thus it will accept and support.
In this light, any attack against corruption must come to terms not only with the law, but also with the country’s history. Looking at the past, there are really a few government officials who was sued a case of graft and corruption. Many had died without the law noticing that they, in a single way or more, had been involved in the said case. Thus, anti- corruption laws must be implemented in a stronger manner. Lifestyle check among government officials must be regularly done. We must now plea for good governance. It is indeed an effort away.
Former President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo put everything this way: First, we must strive to fully serve public welfare. Second, we must pursue reforms on all levels and across all sectors. We can promote good governance by instilling in our personnel the value of good governance and ensuring that all units operate properly and efficiently. Third, governance must depend upon integrity. It is a fact that the heart of not doing things in an upright way is the lack of moral values. In today’s environment, moral values are looked down as being old fashioned.
A common man may not be concerned with philosophical logic for moral values because it is not directly linked with success today. The logic, philosophy and moral values are actively playing their role in our lives. Awareness of their existence and effectiveness will only make many things in our life easy to understand. It will reduce the web of complexity, in which we are trapped to some extent. Unawareness and ignorance of something which exists and is alive can lead to unintentional accidents. Morals and moral values are basic building blocks of everything alive and surviving on this planet.
It is a foundation of everlasting health, wealth and happiness in our life. Logic on other hand is a tool which helps us to implement things in our life, if there is no logic in something then we find that thing difficult to implement. That is what happens on our laws. Things which have some logical value attached to them create a sense of urgency in our mind and we are inclined to adopt them without any further delay. Moral values on the other hand are practically very important but may not always make a logical sense to us.
This lack of logical sense makes it difficult and inconvenient for us to implement things, because now our mind is not providing a sense of urgency as it cannot find any reason to do so. Uprightness, as said earlier, means that one must always uphold or identifies the truth in any given situation. In any matter, one must at all cost safeguard it. One must always stand firmly on the truth. This is not stubbornness. This is respecting the truth and above all, the knowledge that ultimately the truth will prevail. Never part from it, never compromise it… UPHOLDING UPRIGHTNESS IN FAREASTERN UNIVERSITY AND IN THE NATION