The most significant change I've seen in the world in the last 10 years

A typical dinner conversation in our family will always involve current social events. It’s funny that while enjoying dinner, members of my family will be passionately discussing different topics.  Although we may not always have the same opinion over certain issues, I think that if other people gets to eavesdrop on our conversation they would be entertained listening to our varied pitches and tones of voices seemingly arguing and yet just passionately discussing – and yes, that is over mealtime.

 A hot topic last night for our typical family discussion included the recently concluded Miss Universe Pageant. 

With that, given many people came up with their assumed “better answers” to this question what is the most significant change you’ve seen in the world in the last 10 years? that was asked our Bb. Pilipinas candidate Maxine Medina,

I too will give an answer to this. 

I say the most significant change I’ve seen in the world in the last 10 years is the lack of compassion and empathy rising among us congruent to the popularity of social media.

Yes, lack of compassion and empathy, sad to say.

You might say, ‘What? Thanks, but what a very encouraging topic to write about!’ So, let me elaborate a little bit.

With social media rising as a powerful tool used by many of us to air our opinion on a certain issue or subject, we also have become too consumed with letting our thoughts out and less concerned about whether or not our posts inflict pain or cause damage to other people’s reputation.

We become less critical also to check the truth, concern ourselves only of what we feel “at the moment” and post it on social media again, with little or no regard at all that the content of our posts could hurt and malign others.

Since when did airing rude comments against other people become an entitlement or an excuse that we are just expressing our opinion? And why has it gained popularity that to malign people in any way is entertaining particularly in social media?

How could we have turned like this?

I say it is because of the lack of compassion and empathy. We have become too quick to judge others (celebrities or not) & highlight other people’s failures as though making fun of other people’s shortcomings is what is socially acceptable and well, entertaining.

Case in point: the recently concluded Miss Universe. We know that Maxine’s answer during the Q & A portion has earned her so much criticism; she received so much bashing left and right. Although we’ve also seen so many supporters, the disturbing posts maligning her proves the lack of understanding whatsoever of the hard work she had put in just to make every Filipinos proud.

Let us do a quick facts check. Prior to a pageant, every candidate undergoes strict and rigid training as part of the preparation for the competition.

·       They are on a strict diet just to maintain a figure that is acceptable to the society’s idea of a beauty queen material.

·       They subject themselves to rigid physical training like that of athletes just to keep fit and endure long hours of standing on high heels (6 inches up)

·       They attend several etiquette classes so that they would look perfectly groomed in all social functions and when in front of the camera and on stage.

·       They are trained to answer beauty pageant questions

·       They have language training, especially in the English language. (Our very own candidate Maxine underwent a 7-month training on communications. A great English language specialist worked alongside her to help her improve in this area.)

Now, going back to the subject of scrutiny, as for our candidate Maxine, this is her story. She underwent all the trainings above and we have never heard of any reports of her complaining that these were too much for her. Why? I believe it was because she wanted to win the crown for the Filipino people – for us. Although I'm sure she also wanted it for herself, a big motivator was to bring home the crown and make our country proud. 

She worked hard continuously while trying to overcome so much pressure, which is understandable because the reigning queen at the time of the competition was from our country. The entire nation expected so much from her. It was rather unfair that we expected so much from her, to think that we did not truly help her gain the confidence and support that she needed. From the time she won the Bb. Pilipinas, she had been consistently scrutinized for her lack of depth and poor English in the way she answered questions.

She trained very hard; however, her confidence was affected because the Filipinos whom she wanted to get the victory for lack the faith that she could ace the question and answer portion. We have been too hard on her.

I’m sure she worked really hard to win the crown so that she could bring a repeat moment of pride to our country. We have to understand that it is never easy to win that pageant, for if it was that easy to bag the crown, it wouldn’t have taken our country 42 years before winning again.

I believe she fought a good fight and for that, she is worthy of our respect and support. I believe she represented our country well.

How many of us wake up in the morning with this goal in mind, ‘I will work harder today for the sake of my country?’ Or, ‘I will do tremendous activities today to bring pride to my country and countrymen?’ I’m sure not many of us will have that as a primary motivation to get us going through our typical day-to-day life. But for people who are in the front liners representing our country, they deserve our love and support simply because they have taken the weight of carrying the expectations of an entire nation and win just to make every Filipinos proud – well, that is a big shoe to fill and a huge expectations to meet for sure.

I hope we do not lose empathy and compassion as these traits bring lasting and genuine relationships. I hope our generation will not make it acceptable and normal to just treat it as “entertainment” whenever we throw judgments at other peoples’ mistakes or shortcomings.

I hope that each time we post, we take a moment to think of the other person we are trying to comment on. Have we seen his/her story? Will this help the other person? If the post is meant to air disgust or frustration for unmet expectations, can we be reminded that we too have shortcomings and none of us is perfect?

I have high respect for our Bb. Pilipinas Universe Maxine Medina. Her answer to the Q & A may not have won the approval of the judges, but I know she gave all that she could to this endeavor. She is worthy of our love and support.






Anne Jamon2 Comments