The words – “If you’ve not chosen, choose quickly” jumped at me like a used car salesman peddling a lemon and salivating to get his margin at my expense.
Haste Makes Waste
It reminded me of my elementary school teacher who said “Haste makes waste“. Not wanting to forget the lessons from elementary school I read up what that meant –
“Haste makes waste” says that when we act too quickly (“haste”) we are more likely to make mistakes and end up with poor results (“waste”).
Example: “Most spelling mistakes are the result of going too fast and not checking your work; haste makes waste.” “Haste makes waste” also says that it is better to do things carefully than to do them quickly and carelessly.
Example: “I want you kids to take your time doing your homework tonight; haste makes waste!” The results that we end up with when we do things carelessly are often useless and sometimes costly.
Example: “You should always take your time when doing your taxes and check your numbers very carefully; haste makes waste.”
The longer version for grown-ups would be – Stop. Take Stock. Say No. Think It Over.
In other words, If something is done too quickly, it may be done carelessly and need to be redone. Considering the number of EDSA ocho ocho people’s kili-kili power the Philippines has undergone in less than a decade (three times?) – I’d say there’s a lot of rework going on. Which, to me anyways, is a red flag – as in alarm bells ringing, tornado sirens blaring – someone has been wasting, someone has been acting in haste.
It is okay to choose, but choose well, do not decide in haste because haste makes waste. Remember, the only time you can no longer change your choice – is after you cast your vote. As long as your vote has not been cast – your choice is not cast in stone and you still have enough time to re-evaluate the candidate’s value proposition.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Will you trust a slacker’s slacker to increase efficiency?
If someone is doing a prosecutor’s job then why the hell is he being paid as a legislator?
One stands for born-with-a-silver-spoon “Old Money”, another stands for streetsmart “New Money” – same moneyed interests. There’s two more candidates who moneyed interests don’t like, and have integrity and honesty, too – THAT interests me to find out WHY?
Resist the Temptation To Put the Cart Before the Horse
A call to arms can be very empathic. For example
We must each choose how we participate in the coming election. If you’ve chosen a candidate, help his campaign. Be part of it. Make your voice heard in that campaign as much as you can.
Certainly we must participate, but FIRST, we must choose. Given that election day is on May 10,2010 – the day on which your choice is deemed final, there is room for vetting – it’s your vote, as my Mom and Dad would remind my siblings and moi – DO NOT FEEL RUSHED TO CHOOSE.
It is YOUR VOTE, and exercising your due diligence to ensure that you have chosen the best candidate.
Listen to you conscience, should you go for “winnability” or should you go for the candidate with the best ability, the best track record of getting stuff done, a tight grip on the needs of the present and the future – someone who was trusted to deliver and who did deliver with minimal collateral damage. May your preferred deity of worship help you “discern”.
The First step is more often than not, usually the hardest. Thus, most people wind up skipping the first step and just go through the motion of choosing – although they are not actually choosing a candidate – but choosing a bandwagon in order to start “participating”.
What really is more important in an election – what really is the priority – is it getting a certain candidate to win, or is it – finding the best candidate who merits your vote?
It is important to avoid doing things in the wrong order; to have things confused and mixed up – remember to put the cart behind the horse and not before it – or do not put the cart before the horse.
The first reference to this phrase in English comes in George Puttenham’s The arte of English poesie, 1589:
“We call it in English prouerbe, the cart before the horse, the Greeks call it Histeron proteron, we name it the Preposterous.”
He was probably referring back to, or possibly translating directly from, a work by Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC) – On Friendship:
“We put the cart before the horse, and shut the stable door when the steed is stolen, in defiance of the old proverb.”
The hysteron proteron that Puttenham noted relates to similar phrases from Greek authors. In grammatical terms a hysteron proteron is a figure of speech in which the thing that should come second is put first. For example, ‘putting on one’s shoes and socks’. This may be done for literary effect of simply without thought. This form is extended into more general use in phrases like the 2nd century Greek satirist Lucian’s ‘the cart draws the ox’, or Theocritus’ ‘the hind hunts the dogs’.
Various other phrases that refer to things being the opposite of what they rightfully should be are found in English, notably “the tail is wagging the dog”.
The Dutch have a similar proverb – “het paard achter de wagen spannen”, i.e. “harness the horse after the wagon”.
In the rush to participate, you can wind up choosing a candidate just for the sake of choosing – or perhaps, based on the lower rungs of the reptilian brain’s visceral fear-based fight or flight criteria.
Get a grip of yourself.
Remind yourself that the difference between animals and us humans is our capacity to change our responses to external stimuli – we can choose to go with the flow and jump on the brainless bandwagon in order to gain acceptability and belonging – or we can choose to be authentic human beings with the capacity for reason and mastery of ourselves.
Before jumping on a bandwagon – ask yourself – am I doing this just to feel accepted? Or am I doing this because this is the right thing to do?
I dunno if someone was waxing poetic or had watched too many B-movies, but I kid you not – “Ask not what your candidate can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” is one of the cheesiest paraphrasing of JFK’s blurb.
If the candidate can’t do anything for you, why the eff would you put him there in the first place? Why have an election in the first place? Just have a monarchy and for anyone to qualify in government service must be a descendant of Cory and Ninoy or else they will not be qualified to hold any government position – not even a janitor.
Here’s my take on the darn thing – Choosing the Best Candidate Based on Merit (Ability, Performance, Experience, Platform, Integrity) is One of the Best Things You Can Do For Your Country!
Choices… Choices… Choices
Choices are part of life. When you wake up in the morning you choose whether you will have oatmeal or rice. For some it’s a choice of eating the only meal of the day in the morning.. or eating it at night.
Each one has a way of arriving at their choice – be it the trivial or the life changing.
Some will pray, hoping their choice will be discerned by what’s whispered into their ear by invisible winged supernatural creatures.
Some will opt to just toss a coin, or go with your gut.
For this specific problem – choosing the best candidate for President of the Philippines, I use the process of elimination.
The process of elimination is a basic logical tool to solve real world problems.
By subsequently removing options that may be deemed impossible, illogical, or can be easily ruled out due to some sort of explicit understanding relative to the entire set of options, the pool of remaining possibilities grows smaller.
An ideal problem which could be solved by the process of elimination alone involves a finite set of options, one of which must be correct, in which all but one is easily identified as an incorrect solution. In educational testing, students are often encouraged to use process of elimination when faced with multiple-choice questions.
This problem solving method can be applied to help solve many problems in the real world.
An example of the use of the process of elimination when searching for faulty equipment:
By replacing each component in turn with ones that are known to be good, the faulty part will be revealed. This procedure depends upon both a full inventory of system parts and a supply of substitutes.
This process is used during criminal investigations, both to solve cases and narrow down a list of suspects. Fictional detective Sherlock Holmes said, “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”
It boils down to evaluation criteria
I am not voting for a contestant on American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance or America’s Best Dance Crew – I am voting for someone who will become the president of my country, therefore I will use more stringent criteria.
If it were just up to finding who has the most pretty face, or who has the most known family name – that will be a no-brainer.
But, this is more than looking for a pretty face – this is about PROVEN (not imagined.. proposed.. fantasized.. dreamed about) ABILITY TO EFFECT POSITIVE CHANGE.
I have already eliminated WHO I AM NOT VOTING FOR.
I am not voting for Erap because he has no ability whatsoever.
I am not voting for Noynoy because he is lazy and did nothing in the Senate for three years, does not have enough executive experience, and has Big Business, Haciendero, and Oligarchy written all over him.
I have no idea what Gibo Teodoro stands for – and I can’t make a determination since he is barely a blip in the national scene. I need to know more about this dude.
I am not voting for JC Reyes. There’s something about them that makes me remember the Taliban.
I am now down to two candidates who are ARE NOT WINNABLE but Totally HONEST and ABLE.
One is a dreamer – the other is a doer. Wanna make a wild guess who I eliminated in the last round?
It’s my vote and I choose to vote based on ability.
If others choose to vote based on winnability – that’s their call.
But I am not compromising my vote for an inferior candidate who has better chances at winning – that my friend says a lot about integrity – yours, mine, and our society.
And for the “UNDECIDEDs (daw)”, this one’s for you –