Modesty is very uncommon to most in high stature position these days but what are the measurements of Modesty? Can we judge a person modesty base on his exhibition of wealth, his working environment, the way he dress, food he ate, number and type of cars he own or could we judge a person modesty by background checking his SALN?
According to Wikipedia, Standards of modesty (also called demureness or reticence) are aspects of the culture of a country or people, at a given point in time, and is a measure against which an individual in society may be judged.
Modesty may be expressed in social interaction by communicating in a way exhibiting humility, shyness, or simplicity. The general elements of modesty include:
· Downplaying one's accomplishments.
· Behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency
· Avoiding insincere self-abasement through false or sham modesty, which is a form of boasting.
A second expression of modesty, isolated from communication and human interface, focuses more on internal perception of superiority and may be expressed in the following ways:
· through work ethic,
· motivation for self improvement,
· and tolerance of others (wikepedia)
When the incumbent President of the Philippines Benigno “NoyNoy” aquino bought his now famous “Porche” justifying that he is a bachelor, can afford to buy it or the most powerful man in the Philippines is not the point or out of question. According to the Philippine government ethics for the Public servants, they must lead and live a modest life and that’s include the type of car ones own whether one is the President of the country or just a mere Clerk working at the Bureuo of Custom (BOC).
Modesty must be the character of all individual working in the government to avoid them from the so easy subject of corruption. Under Republic Act 6713 Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees." And under Section 4. Norms of Conduct of Public Officials and Employees. - (A) Every public official and employee shall observe the following as standards of personal conduct in the discharge and execution of official duties:
(h) Simple living. - Public officials and employees and their families shall lead modest lives appropriate to their positions and income. They shall not indulge in extravagant or ostentatious display of wealth in any form.
But does working in a government agency especially with higher position like the lawmakers or representatives whom the Filipinos mostly elected because of their means of living and are usually rich and successful in their own field could help themselves to turn around with the kind of life they had before they were elected?
There are many cases of corruption among the highest officers from the government and yet, only now, with the current head of state with his promise to clean the country from the decades of corruption and red tape, the show off of one at a time trial for the accused of using the taxpayers money for his own personal gain only manifest that it is very hard to refuse the wealth that is in front of you and not yours.
Former Presidents like Ramon Magsaysay Sr, Carlos Garcia and Manuel L. Quezon were all modest when they were in position and admired by the majority. Does it means that the culture or mindset of the Philippine officers are different then than today? There was General Reyes who because of her ties to the Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and was also investigated about his financial accounts killed himself in front of his mothers grave.
Boxing Champ Manuel Pacqiao is an elected Congressman and yet with given humble beginnings to the success of his boxing career does not living a modest life but instead not denying the posh mansion he bought at Forbes Park, estate at Sta Rosa City, Laguna, different fancy cars and even giving money in the national television. Everyone knows that it is his money from his career but as a government official, he must lead and be the model of living a modest life to his constituents.
The comparison of the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (FPGMA) and the incumbent Philippine President Noy Noy Aquino when they visited a state abroad could determine the mindset of the individual, say when FPGMA indulged in a Dinner worth $20,000.00 equivalent to PH 840,000.00 (as of exchange rate of today) was a contrary of a modest living while the majority of the population in the Philippines are living below the poverty line. When President Aquino on the contrary went to US last year, his first visit as the new Philippine President, he showed off that he was eating a hotdog bought from the cart at the side walk of New York City.
Everyday, the Filipinos mostly are judging the status of life of others on what model of car one is driving, clothes, position in the company or even the brand of cell phone one is using. People loves to have a comfortable life, in this kind of economy and situation the Filipinos are experiencing today, majority will do everything to have food on the table. If those elected government officers can’t do appropriate things for the country, can we count on the majority of the population to follow or to do what is right for the country?
Some people respect others not because of his character but because of the power and amount of money in the bank. The mindset of the majority is Loyalty for those who could help them even in a short period of time. If the case will be all about money, what will happen to the Filipino people, say after 10 years.