Thursday, October 24, 2013

Little Things

The race is on for Barangay Elections on Monday and the candidates are all campaigning, doing little offenses that are against the rule and the Commission on Elections or COMELEC can do nothing much about it except giving stern warnings. Generally, people do not see it harmful or they simply do not pay attention to small things, come election or not. Giving liquors with election paraphernalia stuck on its bottle is an election offense but the people in general, especially those who love to wine and sing, see nothing wrong about it. They let it pass. Anyway, it is just a small thing, they say.

When I was a teenager, I was caught by my classmate peeing under a mango tree inside the campus and being the OD (Officer of the Day) she reprimanded me right after I am done. She rushed to another lady officer nearby and said, “Nahuli ko Ma’am, umiihi sa pader.” The latter just ignored her gesturing her to join her platoon and said, “Wala ‘yan. Maliit na bagay lang ‘yan.” Then I left the scene fuming mad and whispered to myself, “Yan and akala ninyo!” 

Those were the days when I still do not know who Benjamin Franklin was. He who said, “A small leak can sink a great ship.” (All pun intended!) But seriously, what we call small or little things are merely the causes of great things. When we accept or not that bottle of brandy from a politician bearing his or her sticker, is the point of departure which, in general, decides the future of our electoral culture and mindsets.

This reminds me of a story written by Vincent Barry which appeared in page 7 of the June 1999 issue of Readers Digest which I read while resting on a hammock tied under the mango tree (again?) in my mother’s backyard in Bubog one lazy Saturday morning.

According to the article “No Harm, No Foul?”, the author witnessed an argument between a shopper and a produce manager. While the shopper (a mother) was carefully selecting grapes, her son was also eating some of the fruits.  The manager gently informed the child that the grapes were for sale, not sampling.  The mother sprang to her child’s defense.  “Oh, for heaven’s sake,” she said indignantly.  “It’s such a small thing.”

Barry wrote his observation: “I wondered where she’d draw the line between ‘small’ and ‘big.’ The only distinction the child made was between what he wanted and what he didn’t.  And he wanted those grapes.”

Whether the mother corrected her son in private, no one knew.  “But her public message was clear and direct: stealing ‘small stuff’ is OK; indeed, it’s not really stealing at all,” Barry concluded.

In the context of elections this Monday, if we allow such “little” infraction with the law, we are sending the same message to our children: such election offenses are not offenses at all. The drunkards only wanted wine but do not want electoral reform.

Re-reading that issue of Readers Digest made understand another quote from Benjamin Franklin, “A little neglect may breed a great mischief.” Now I only pee outside of the toilet during unavoidable circumstances or force majuere situations. Like while riding on a bus and my urinary bladder is about to burst, full with Red Horse. There are small things indeed that breeds great, big, gigantic things.

But on the reverse, there are truly little things coming out of big things. Both literally and figuratively. 

Remember the two lady cadets?...
(Photo : Wikipedia)

No comments:

Post a Comment