It takes a lot of effort to maintain one’s inner peace, yet it is so quick to disrupt it.
As an introvert and a very private person, I keep my social engagements to a minimum to avoid conflicts that might cause disturbance to my tranquil life. However, my political views tend to prevent me from doing so every now and then, as there’s a fine line between keeping one’s peace and tolerating injustices and immoral behavior.
It is no surprise that the electoral campaign period has become a breeding ground for disinformation and unsolicited backlash from people with opposing political bets every time you show support for your candidate. And while it may seem nonsensical to throw in one more fact check post on social media just for it to drown in a sea of opinions, taking a stand and being vocal with it makes a difference no matter how subtle it may be.
To be vocal with your political stances leads to two-way learning: to educate and to be educated. Expressing opinions publicly makes way for political discourses and a potential leeway for persuasion, which should be an immediate agenda when in front of a misinformed person. Despite the why’s and the how’s that come with this, engaging in important conversations such as dissecting presidential platforms or making sense of a candidate’s leadership results in a more solidified set of who to vote for, otherwise a chance to further research on your favorable candidates.
We, as normal citizens, also have the ability to influence the people within our reach, which can only be achieved if we are to speak about what we believe in. Influence is perhaps one of the greatest factors in securing a government seat, hence many candidates woo influential faces to gain their support during elections. But this is not only limited to those who have millions of followers. If you think the opposite, ask yourself how often are you able to coax your friends into spending their money during holiday sales or spending their time elsewhere instead of studying. Yes, such simple influence through words can encourage people to make the right choices that can then ripple to other circles. Using this to relate our sentiments with our peers can heavily affect how they’ll weigh their options.
Moreover, using our platforms to raise awareness on issues empowers both our stances and the leaders who align with our principles. With the May elections becoming an answer to the question of whether the country will continue to suffer repression and abuse of power or will recover from the heaped losses over the last six years, our chosen leaders would need all the support they can get. We can initiate this by sharing with other people how our candidates would be able to prioritize the welfare of many because they openly advocate for other people’s rights and topple scheming candidates with questionable objectives.
Voicing our opinions may seem a frightful move as judgment arises. Nonetheless, it moves us to not tolerate less than what we deserve not only from public servants but also from other people whom we interact with.
Of course, nothing can be accomplished in just a big step. Start by sharing a simple post on social media and chatting with a friend who is open to sharing views on a certain matter. Then, expand this outside of your circle; either converse with people who have contrasting perspectives or speak up if you see a situation that needs to be addressed. Little, progressive actions would eventually amount to a wider reach of Filipinos who may be motivated to do the same as you.
Indeed, protecting your inner peace is important, but do not mistake this for an opportunity to shy away from pressing issues. Make yourself present. You and your voice matter.