Last Monday morning, election day, I got a text from a friend who works in media: “TIP FOR THE DAY: Ang sagot sa indelible ink… cuticle remover!”
It’s amazing how we Pinoys continuously amuse ourselves, always finding the heart to laugh in the face of the crises and difficulties that beset us. I think this is a great blessing.
While I was casting my vote yesterday (wearing shorts and tsinelas as my voting precinct was just fifty steps from my apartment), I thought about how much of a difference my single ballot can really make. I mean, it’s just one of over 40 million.
Will it really matter much whether or not I make wise choices as to the names I write on this piece of paper? What if I simply avoided the stained forefinger and all the inconveniences of suffrage and not vote at all? Will my vote be missed? And what if my ballot fell prey to the schemes of election cheaters?
Can one, solitary as it is, change the course of a nation?
Sometimes it is difficult to grasp the power of one. It can take great effort to convince ourselves that, yes, the good that we do can be used by God to effect change. Like the ripples that one pebble makes when it is dropped in a still pond, our little deeds of faithfulness — done despite the prevalent sense of hopelessness that poisons our days — have the potential to grow into unimaginable significance. And it takes faith to keep that in heart and mind.
On board the MRT the day after the elections, I noticed that many a hand that gripped the metal pole had a forefinger still stained with indelible ink. Somehow I felt a sense of being one with these strangers. Regardless of political leanings and preferences, we had tapped into the power of one the day before. The indelible ink on our forefingers will fade and be completely gone in a few days, or sooner. But for all Filipinos, I pray God would grant us indelible hope, the kind that seeps through the heart and resists any attempts to wipe it away.
I don’t mind the stained finger. So no cuticle remover for me 🙂