I wrote this article last 20th of January 2021. It was the time when the military’s presence was summoned to UP Campus due to the alleged leftist recruitment from the University’s students who were airing their sentiments against the government for handling the pandemic so poorly, leaving NCR (covid’s epicenter) with surging death rates. How can somebody, exaggerate a simple act of voicing over people’s concerns as an act of rebellion against this regime? I don’t think we can ever have a perfect leader who knows it all but it is crucially important that he knows how to listen to different sectors that are being bombarded with problems because of this ongoing pandemic. Alarmed parents who believed this narrative went to the University and protested as well. I couldn’t help but notice how this dynamic of silencing and intimidation is actively present among families, the basic unit of our society as well. A flashback swept over me as I witnessed a stark resemblance to what was happening in front of me.
It’s funny you know, that we have seen films such as The Prestige (2006), Perfume (2006), The Black Swan (2010), The Birdman (2014) and I, Tonya (2017) and still get seduced by being labeled as a perfectionist as if it implies infallibility when in fact, it is actually a refusal to accept our mistakes and to fully embrace our humanity as a way forward.
I reckon that empathetic listening is rare because not everyone – on an individual level is even willing to sit down with their own garbled, blurry, and unnamed feelings. Although difficult, this life skill is not impossible to acquire since it asks for our patience and practice. Unnamed feelings are dangerous as they can bring harm to ourselves and later on, to others.
Collective awareness can only be deemed valuable when each member of that group places much effort in being so self-aware of one’s triggers & in educating oneself instead of relying on somebody else’s interpretation of an event, an issue, a topic, etc. Sadly, that’s not always the case.