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May 08, 2013

Mother's Day & Election Day (What makes a good mother makes a good candidate!)


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In a few days we will be facing two important events: Mother’s Day on May 12 Sunday, and Election Day on May 13 Monday. This got me thinking about the responsibilities of a mother and an elected official.

 

Before one decides to be a mother or an elected official, one should really be prepared because both require enormous responsibilities. If they fail to carry them out properly, they affect other people’s lives.

 

So what are the qualities of a good mother that can be applied in choosing the name of the candidate we will write on our ballot on May 13? Here’s my random listing:

 

  1. Mature – a “baby” cannot take care of another baby. No wonder only a few teenaged moms are able to successfully parent their children. Some of them rise up to the challenge by growing up quickly, while others remain juvenile. In the same way we also require a level of maturity among our candidates. But we don’t necessarily mean the biological age here. Honestly, I think that some of the old candidates should just retire and do something else, to make way for the younger ones. But let’s see how mature our candidates are when they answer questions on important issues. The sad thing is you see a lot of them delve on petty issues and give childish answers.
  2. Good role model – The best way to teach your child is to do it. Values are better caught than taught. Instead of telling your child, “Don’t tell a lie.” just make sure you are always honest.  Now, this is what puzzles me. A candidate who won in the 2010 elections even after blatantly saying this in an interview on national TV when asked about his philandering, “I did not lie to my wife, I just did not tell the truth!” What kind of twisted thinking is that? But mind you, he is currently enjoying the highest approval rating among our elected officials!
  3. Available – no matter what others say about quality time, I believe that quality time is quantity time. It is in being available, in attending to your children’s needs that you can become a good mother. In the same way when you seek an office in Congress or Senate wherein your main job is lawmaking, you have to attend the sessions. When asked the question, “Why should people vote for you if you’re among the topnotchers in absences?” a lot of Congressmen and Senators give this lame excuse, “Lawmaking is not just attending the sessions. We have to see our constituents, yadah yadah yadah!” Try telling that to your teacher after you’ve used up all the free cuts (allowable absences in a class) – “Ma’am there’s more to learning than attending your class!” Shouldn’t there be a maximum number of absences for elected officials?  
  4. Has sufficient knowledge – Even if you don’t have to be a college graduate to be a good mother, you must at least know the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic in order to properly raise a child in these times. You will be your child’s first teacher so since we live in a society that values education, you are better off being an educated mother. Now this is another thing that bothers me – Why do we require our clerks, waiters, etc. to be at least college graduates but we don’t require our public officials the same educational attainment? So what happens? You see a senator who needs to bring a translator in order to understand what’s being discussed. Maybe if the reason for not having a minimum educational attainment is to provide fair access to the less privileged to serve their country, then we should at least require them to pass a qualifying exam. Government employees need to pass the Civil Service Examination. Are candidates required to take this before filing their candidacy? The job of a lawmaker entails a lot of reading and someone who is not equipped with this ability should not have that privileged position of crafting laws that affect the lives of 100 million Filipinos. 
  5. Disciplinarian – the nurturing quality of a mother is best coupled with being a disciplinarian. Good mothers have to give the proper consequence to a child’s misbehavior. Even if it hurts to do this, we should; otherwise, the child will grow up in his wayward ways, a spoiled brat who will most likely fail in life. In the same way we should stop voting for those who cuddle the law-breakers. And I’m not just talking about the obvious law-breakers. The squatter problem in our country is a product of elected officials spoiling this huge voting population. They are allowed to squat and throw their trash all over. Each time I pass by the newly constructed Congressional Avenue, I feel happy that travel time is somewhat cut, then I get sad when I notice how it becomes narrower by the day. A portion of the road becomes parking space for junk vehicles, extension market, playground and garbage dump in the afternoon. And this is after the real estate tax on QC residents was increased, supposedly to help solve the squatter problem. 
  6. Patient – A good mother needs to be patient. This is why some very qualified candidates may have failed to do well in previous elections because they seem so hot-headed and scare the hell out of the voters. But again, this virtue of patience should not be overdone to overrule the virtue of being a disciplinarian. 
  7. Respectable – Do you notice how kids want their parents to always look good not only in their eyes but also in the eyes of other people. It’s because our children know that they came from us. We represent what they could be in the future. When we do shameful acts or don’t look respectable, we are embarrassing them. This is the same for our elected leaders. When they do nasty things, the world looks at them as the representatives of the 100 million Filipinos. So let’s choose the ones who can represent the best of being a Filipino. 
  8. Knows her role – We hear some moms say, “I am their friend, that’s why my kids open up to me.” That’s good and it’s fun being a friend to our kids but we should never forget that we are first and foremost their parent. The problem of being too chummy is we blur the line of authority. In the same way, an elected official should be clear about his role – is he a lawmaker? An executive head? Or a source of money when a constituent needs some for hospitalization, wedding, baptism, wake of a family member. I hear that an elected official needs budget for KBL (Kasal, Binyag, Libing) and where do you think will that come from? 
  9. Happy – A Happy mom is a great mom. And as what most husbands say, “A happy wife is a happy life!” It’s good to elect candidates who are happy because this disposition enables people to do their job well. It also enables the people around them to do their job well.
  10. Selfless – It’s a no-brainer to imagine a mother who is selfless. It seems like something is switched on when one becomes a mother such that all her energy and talent are focused towards the child. I thought hard whether to include this characteristic in discussing parallel characteristics of a good mother and a good candidate to vote for. However, come to think of it, the candidates who run for office for the following reasons: a.) for self-aggrandizement, b.) to perpetuate the dynasty “Sabi kasi ni Daddy e!;” c.) to earn kickbacks, d.) to protect vested interests; or even because e.) Walang magawa! should not be elected at all! All these intentions will bring no good to us. So, idealistic as it may be, the candidate running for a public office with good intentions is really someone who is selfless and crazy enough to spend millions in campaign, in order to hold an office that pays so little and subjects his life to public scrutiny, JUST BECAUSE he really wants to do something good for his country. 

 

I’m so grateful that I grew up with a mom who possesses all the above qualities plus more. She’s what I call a Supermom! Happy Mother’s Day to Josefa Maquera Fres and all the mothers out there!

 

I’m sure, most of you feel the same way about your mothers. On the other hand, I think we have a lot of work to do in choosing the right candidates. But please, let’s not make excuses like, “There’s no one to choose from, they’re all not good enough. I won’t vote anymore!” Let’s do our share. Remember we don’t have the right to complain about how our country is run when we can’t even exercise this right to vote. Let’s take it not just as a right, but a duty to choose the right leaders. It’s the very least that we can do. Choose well and cast your precious vote on May 13.

 

*************

 ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1. SUCCESS SUMMIT will be held on May 10, 2013 9am – 5pm at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of the RCBC Plaza, Makati City. Listen to North America’s No.1 Success Coach and NY Times bestselling author Raymond Aaron; Former CEO of Coca-Cola Nigeria and P&G Phils. Jim Lafferty; Champion Coach Norman Black; Chief Catalyst Alex Araneta; Bull Runner Jaymie Pizzaro;  EQ Trainer Ging Igual; and yours truly, Rose Fres Fausto discuss the many facets of success.  To register and inquire contact info.catalyst360@gmail.com or pmiranda.catalyst360@gmail.com; or call 622 7934, (0917) 8511115, (0917) 8007266. 

 

2. FQ: A WORKSHOP ON FAMILY FINANCE goes to Balesin on May 15, 2013.

 

3. FQ: A WORKSHOP ON FAMILY FINANCE goes to Cebu on May 18, 2013; 1:30 – 5:30 pm at the City Sports Club, Ayala Center, Cebu City. For reservations please contact Tony Hilado (Business Incubators) at 0922-884 5846 or tonyhilado@yahoo.com.

 

(Rose Fres Fausto is the author of the book Raising Pinoy Boys. Click this link to download free book sample To read her other articles go to www.RaisingPinoyBoys.com archive. Send your questions via email to maryrose_fausto@yahoo.com or text to 0917-5395770.)

Image Attribution: Images from oldwallcoo.net and starfm.com were put together by the author to deliver the message of the article.

This article is also published in PhilStar.com.


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Wow! Great to find a post with such a clear megsase!

Jun 19, 2013 / 09:37 am
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