One aspect of man’s being that has been mentioned is man’s interaction with society. However, why couldn’t man’s purpose be simply stated without discussing man’s dealings with society in an in-depth manner? It is because society has a value in itself and cannot be separated from the topic of man’s ultimate reason for being, nor can it be simply enumerated as a simple factor to consider.
Man, as we all acknowledge has a duty not only to improve and develop himself but also to contribute to and blend with others to build a system which continues in a never-ending cycle, the purpose of which is to give and take from other people, experiences that will make each one better.
The Philippine society, as with any society, hopes to mutually improve each member’s life through a system which aims to benefit the entirety of the group down to the individual level, while being maintained by the members who themselves benefit from it. Speaking about the factors which are unique about the Philippine society gives us much more light, not just about its aspirations, but also the dynamics that work between its goals and the means/formations by which it attains them.
As I have realized, one very major factor, and one that differentiates every other third world country from the Americas and Japans of the world is poverty. It has been said that society is built and formed to benefit the lives of its members while being run by the members themselves. However, in Philippine society, we see that poverty has turned a lot of the societies basic policies, whether political or communal, against its very purpose. John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” In a nation where more than 90% of the population is below the poverty line, how can we rightfully say such a thing. For people whose basic needs and loves (survival and family) are being put in jeopardy because of loss of income, how can we cooperate unquestioningly and not complain every time a small injustice has been accorded us.
Poverty paves the way for so many conflicts between the interpersonal relationships and the socious. We learn to look for ways for our family members and friends to benefit from the system instead of objectively playing our role. This fosters a “dog eat dog” or “crab mentality” type of society, which results in the rich getting richer, and the poor fighting each other, keeping them poorer, much poorer than the higher classes.
In today’s Philippine society, we see that the aspirations of our society are losing face. Living in a society for the people is no longer a common goal. Indeed a lot of Filipinos today lack concern for the socious. Pretty soon, it could affect the interpersonal relationships between every Filipino. There is a dire need for people who will take the value of society – benefiting from the group while helping other benefit as well – very seriously. Definitely, to maintain balance, some people would, perhaps, have to take the sacrifice of putting the socious ahead of their personal, or even interpersonal needs, as we see even the political formations of our country get engorged with practices that dig deeper holes for the poor to be poorer. As we now see the government – the entity that is supposed to stay oblivious to economic status among citizens – delve into practices that even favor the few, there is always the challenge for each person to see society as the value in itself that it is truly supposed to be.