Tuesday, August 25, 2015

36. Traffic

For a man with impressive credentials, Sec. Abaya can be mindless at times. Asked about the bad traffic in Metro Manila, he quipped that traffic is not fatal. It is a statement that professors of logic would call, non-sequitur, an irrelevant statement more fitting to be uttered by a comedian, rather than the incumbent Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications who also happens to a be degree holder in Military Science and Law. Come to think of it, traffic is indeed not fatal, unless you are having a stroke with a few minutes to make it to the  hospital, and you're in EDSA on  a rush hour. Yet, bad traffic is not a problem unique to the Philippines or the current secretary of transportation. We're not even in the top five countries with the worst traffic. And all of us contribute to the worsening situation, because 1) we are all here;  2) whenever we leave, we leave at the same time; and 3) we're not leaving for good.  Thus, no one can really pin the blame exclusively on the government and its leaders if traffic is bad. It will help if insensitive comments are not uttered, and people in government realize that they are a provider of solutions and not an oracle telling us to accept our plight, because we're not going die from it anyway. Still, a mindless comment like Sec. Abaya's  shows the mental disposition of a besieged secretary who seem to have tried a lot of things to solve the problem but is hardly appreciated; it is an indication of what psychologists call learned helplessness. I can't imagine how salvation history would have turned out if Moses said something like that to the Chosen People. It would have ended right there and then I suppose.  Yet soon, it will surely be over for this government. And the honorable Secretary will fare better in its last few months if he stops talking to the media without a teleprompter, so he can't infect us with a candid show of his stressed out mind. For in the end, what we really want from the government is hope -- hope that we're not just going to live, but also live well.

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