(AN ORATORICAL PIECE…)
Sir Thomas Moore told us about the great utopian dream – a perfect, ideal and excellent society.
From the dawn of civilization, we have witnessed how the different societies of the world transformed from crudity and basal simplicity to fabulous modernity and great sophistication. So modern and sophisticated societies, including ours, have become. Gone are the crude gadgets of yore, replaced by electronic and computerized equipment. A writer once said, “Buildings and other structures have become taller and highways wider and life has become more convenient with faster transportation, better medicines, and instant and fast foods.
Is this the realization of the great utopian dream? Have we finally established the ideally perfect society?
Our distinguished members of the board of judges, esteemed members of the academe, my fellow learners, beloved parents and friends, to those questions you have heard, the answer is a resounding “NO!”
Notwithstanding modernity and sophistication our society is not excellent. Neither is it ideal. To say it is clothed in perfection is tantamount to peddling the biggest lie ever told. For while great advances in technology and science have been recorded, the basic problems of humanity remained unabated. For even if more and more universities and learning centers are established, illiteracy and ignorance still persist. For despite the innovations made in agriculture and medicine, more and more people die in hunger, sickness and deprivation. The many roads and bridges built failed to bridge the gap between cultures and races. And while the skyscrapers get higher and higher, the uprush of criminality is not far behind.
With all the aforementioned, would you call this society excellent? Ideal? Perfect?
Those words show what this society is not, and may never be!
Humanity basked in the glory and brilliance of the transmogrification it had effected society. Such changes, however, are purely of extrinsic value. Cosmetic as they say. Nothing but superficial. The great utopian dream goes beyond science and technology. It transcends materialism. It is something spiritual. This is because perfection and excellence in society are not measured by things visible to the naked eyes.
Our society has indeed modernized. But like a wooden sculptural masterpiece, it is outwardly majestic yet deep within termites are slowly eating it up. Look! Thieves, rapists and killers are like hungry predators freely roaming the streets, hunting for their helpless preys. Many are either dying or killing other people because of hunger. People butchering one another in the name of ideology. Many people are living in subhuman conditions. This is not utopia. It’s the opposite — DYSTOPIA!
Like a busted machine, our society needs a complete overhaul. And this we need to ask: How could social changes be brought about?
Through the educational systems?
Since the advent of that ancient “lyceum” in whose walks the great Aristotle taught, thousand of colleges and universities mushroomed through the centuries. But a writer has once made the following remarks:
“We have more degrees, but less common sense; more knowledge, but less judgement; more experts but more problems; more medicine but less wellness. We have split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more but learn less. We plan more but accomplish less.”
Seemingly, those institutions and academies of learning did not help.
What about the government and the church? Whoever thinks that the honorable people in the executive branch, the legislature, and the judiciary could help bring about answers to the dilemmas we have mentioned, must be kidding. These honorable people are busy politicking. Pre-occupied with designing schemes of perpetuating themselves to power and obsessed with amassing wealth and taking back the millions they have spent during elections. What about the holy cardinals, bishops, reverends, priests and pastors? They are pre-occupied, quarrelling with one another and questioning each other’s doctrines. They are busy collecting tithes and offerings from their unsuspecting members and proclaiming to the world that theirs is the one and only true religion and that the others are not. They claim to have the monopoly of divine truth.
Neither through those highly-cultivated educators nor through those accomplished politicians that the great utopian dream would become a reality. Even the pious people of the different churches could certainly not help.
If you intend to bring our society toward the path of meaningful changes, if your utmost desire is usher an ethereal conversion upon this society, there is but a single thing you need to accomplish — convince that person you see when you face a mirror to undergo transformation. Eradicate from within that person sexual immorality, impurity, idolatry, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, envy and drunkenness. Above all, teach that person to love GOD! If this you fail to do, the great utopian dream will forever remain just that… a dream.