Be a maverick sometimes PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 June 2014 11:20

By REMEDIOS F. MARMOLEÑO

 

I am a sort of maverick  when it comes to those days marking Valentine’s, Mother’s  Day or Father’s Day. No, not because I don’t believe in giving space in our lives to honor mothers and fathers. We all of us have special people we need to love and honor every day but if we have been negligent in this department there would be this one day when we show them how we really appreciate them, and express that in a special way.

What I am particularly rebelling against on these days is the fact that the merchants have hijacked the days for commercial purposes, and the special days have become bonanza days for pushing consumerism.

It is sweet to remember  one’s sweetheart with flowers, gumamela picked from the  shrub in the yard  or long-stemmed roses from the flower shop. However advertising somehow makes us feel that gumamela is inappropriate and only roses will do. But then the roses  are sold at ten times the normal price and we wonder who is behind this.

Even the woman who started and promoted  the celebration of Mother’s Day in the US, Anna Jarvis,  disassociated herself from the celebration because it had been made the reason for commercial promotions.

Today (June 15) is Father’s Day and  the same push is there. Buy him a tie ( if he is the executive type). Or buy him a smart phone… a Samsung Galaxy  perhaps or an iPhone? A bottle of  Chivas Regal?  A steak dinner at a fine dining restaurant? As though love for a father can’t be expressed unless one “buys” something for him. Consumerism pure and simple.

And what about the great number of Filipinos who don’t have the means to buy things. We are aware that a big percentage of citizens of our country fall below the poverty line and can even hardly set aside sufficient money for food. Will they be made to feel that they don’t love their fathers as much because they can’t buy those items that  the merchants urge us to buy to gift father with?

I wish our newspapers and magazines, our TV ads, our talk shows give us a perspective of remembering our  parents from a different angle other than giving items bought from the store.

It used to be that kids expressed their love for mama or papa by making their own greeting cards. The drawings were squiggles and some words in the greeting might be misspelled but  the card was more expressive  than any from Hallmark.

Maverick thinking is not always welcome but it is good for us now and then to question prevailing practices, whether it is how we celebrate Father’s Day or how we show respect for laws and ordinances promulgated for the good of the general segment of society. One does not have to be a maverick all the time but if one simply thinks like everyone else all the time, then one is just a member of the herd.  A herd is a collection of animals but  we are not simply cattle. We are human beings, after all.