During President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 25, he jokingly told the Senators and Congressmen present, “when I started running, basically no Congressmen supported me. But now, practically everybody supports me.”
The President, of course, was just teasing them. His point was that he was not their “first choice.”
It is common in my country for politicians to be called “balimbing” (a kind of fruit in the Philippine that has many sides, and thus symbolizes the ever changing nature of politicians to shift parties and loyalties to the eventual winner of the elections). I make that comparison with apologies to the balimbing fruit!
But I have another observation – our first choice is not always the right choice!
“First choice” are almost always brought about by bias, prejudice, and tradition, wouldn’t you agree? You see a dark-skinned or chinky-eyed person, and you “decide” to hate him with no apparent reason. Why? Chances are your upbringing, background, and the culture you grew played a big part in that so-called “decision.”
Another factor in making a “first choice” is a painful experience.
You got hurt or betrayed by a boy or girl and vow never to fall in love again. Why? It’s not because it’s wrong to love, but because you were hurt!
Most “first choice” decisions are not based on facts and hard data, much less sound logic and critical thinking. They are often made out of emotion, ignorance, blind loyalty, or unhealthy reliance on “instinct”, which can actually be deceiving.
Thus the Bible places a premium on repentance.
In the Bible, repentance comes from the Greek word metanoia, literally “to change one’s mind”, and it’s where we get the English word “metamorphosis.” The Bible not only allows for a change of mind, but actually encourages it!
Some people are afraid to change because like the Congressmen who faced President Duterte during the SONA, they can be ridiculed, shamed, laughed at, or embarrassed. But that is such a small price to pay to do the right thing!
Some people don’t change their initial opinion or choice simply out of pride! But no matter how much we cling to our pride, we still cannot escape the consequences of our wrong choices!
In life, U-Turns are allowed! In other words, in life, it’s actually okay to be a “balimbing.”
It’s never too late to change! Like President Duterte’s campaign slogan, I’m here to declare “Change Is Coming!”
Why don’t you make that to “Change Has Come!”