Important Lessons from President Duterte’s SONA

This year’s SONA was different.

There have been significant changesfrom the simplified menu to the toned down dress code to the actual speech itselfand many were, at the very least, satisfied with what transpired at the historic event.

But what stood out for me were the strong messages President Duterte delivered. These are things we should all take in and use to improve ourselves regardless of what our political stand is. Because if you look at them closely, these are things that speak strongly about our true state as people of this country.

Let’s start.

SONA 2016 Separation of state and church

For a long time, a huge chunk of the issues plaguing our society could be rooted from the fact that these two entities never see eye to eye. And that has prevented us from moving forward. It’s like having two fighting parents who both claim they want the best for their kid but refuse to see each other’s perspectives to come up with a decision that would actually be good for their child.

For me, it was good that the President mentioned “God” and not “the Church” since, ultimately, it has to be God we need to follow, not any religion or institution. Maybe, we when realize that we all have one God regardless of how we identify our churches, then we can really move forward.

SONA 2016 Human rights

These days, everyone is all for upholding human rights. Sadly, many tend to be disillusioned and mistake it for privilege. Some feel too entitled that they have no qualms about going beyond boundaries and stifling another’s right.

Maybe the best way to assert our rights is to value our dignity and realize that others value the same thing. And when we can see eye to eye, then, perhaps, there’d be fewer people who suppress other people’s rights.

SONA 2016 Love

Let’s face it: not all of us can be as loving as we need (or want) to be. But it doesn’t mean we should be all out in rage each time someone crosses us or we find out that someone doesn’t share the same sentiment about stuff.

Let us all stop being haters. We are all guilty of this to some degree. I could never unconditionally love someone I despise, but I believe I can suppress whatever hate’s inside me and avoid doing them harm.

We can start with social media. The internet is filled with individuals and entities we feel are ignorant or foolish and the urge to post a comeback can be so strong, but if we take a moment to breathe and not hate too much, there’d be one less senseless fight online. Let’s leave the fighting to Kimye and TayTay, shall we?

SONA 2016 Do your job

Work hard. Be a responsible member of society.

That’s the simplest way to contribute to positive change. When you do your job well (and honestly) the right things will happen. Be diligent. Be accountable. You’ll discover that by being an honest, prudent worker you’ll have the support of your team, employer, and everyone in your circle.

SONA 2016 Vindictiveness

Revenge is never a good thing.

You should have seen enough teleseryes to know that by now! Plus, it takes too much effort to plot against your enemies. Let karma do its job.

SONA 2016 Courage

A courageous heart will get you anywhere. It’ll push you to do things you never thought you could. Even the smallest in stature can do great things as long as he (or she) is brave enough to do what’s right.

SONA 2016 Doing the right thing

Doing the right thing isn’t the easiest and that’s why many fail at this. We don’t like the arduous path. We want things done quickly. If we feel that something will inconvenience us, we’re most likely to just not do it, and simply wait until someone with enough patience is willing to do it.

Sadly, that is the reason why there are a lot of injustices in our society. The “good” people, out of fear, simply look on as others do bad. Then we wonder why there are so many awful people in the world.

SONA 2016 Finger pointing

Miguel de Cervantes said, “a person dishonored is worse than dead.” Historical figures have overcome massive obstacles and achieved great things in quest of honor. And that’s what we should all aspire for.

In this age where some are willing to turn a blind eye and put a price on their honor, it’s very rare to encounter someone who’s willing to go through hell to maintain honor and do good for the benefit of many.

But we don’t have to be a president or someone’s leader to preserve honor. We can start with small things like taking accountability for our actions and not throwing people under the bus all the time. It’s hard but that’s a start.

President Duterte showed how big of a person he can be by not throwing mud at the previous administration and focused on the task at hand. It’s a welcome change to what many of us have witnessed over the past years. Hopefully, we all can take away something from this SONA aside from the light and funny moments. Hopefully, we can take the things he said and use them to improve ourselves because change won’t come to the nation unless it comes from within.

What were your favorite lines or moments from the SONA? Tell us in the comments.