Where are the children?


I HAVE always wondered about the reaction of children whose parents are battered by adverse publicity due to charges of corruption and other forms of malfeasance in public office.

I am sure they are deeply affected by the fallout from nasty comments of critics from media and other social platforms. I am sure their hearts are wrung by mocking stares and ill-concealed smirks from some classmates and friends.

Many of these children are chauffer-driven to the best schools and lectured by the best thinkers in the land. They must have imbibed lofty ideals and developed convictions.

Do they ever discuss at home controversial public issues related to their parents who have become fodder for gossip mills?

I suspect a few do speak out but most do not. The silent ones have become complacent and tolerant of misdeeds because “everybody else is doing it.” Besides, don’t they also partake of the largesse which comes with power?

Maybe they rationalize that their father is the type who “never asks but reluctantly accepts.”

I am nauseated by the worn-out declaration, “My conscience is clear. God is my witness. I serve at the pleasure of the President.”

One irreverent son, if he has the guts, may gingerly take a dig at his father, “Dad, kumita na ‘yan.”

The father may either be upset or pretend not to hear it, or he simply shrugs it off with contemptuous nonchalance.

If a comment comes from a daughter, however, it’s an entirely different ballgame. One lesson I have learned as a father is that one may lie to his friends and enemies, even to his wife, but it’s so difficult to lie to one’s daughter.

I would like to see the day when a lovely teenage girl with bowed head and misty eyes sidles up to her high-profile father of dubious fame and gently complains, Dad, it hurts!

This imaginary scenario, if it happens and is replicated in many homes, may yet be the game-changing karma that will “reform” holders of high public office.

Wishful thinking maybe, but don’t most of us believe in divine intervention?

God bless the children!/PN


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