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This pandemic revealed a lot of painful realizations, at least for me. For one, it showed how ill-prepared we are when disaster strikes just like COIVD – 19. We are found wanting in terms of preparedness. We just reacted to it just like any conflagration we faced in the past. We make plans on contingencies as we move along or just wait for orders. On a personal note, we usually don’t prepare because of the come what may attitude or “bahala na”.
For me, I now appreciate the value of proper planning not only in the life of every person, or family but also in every entity or organization. We usually do planning, in terms of future activities such as projects, new ventures capacity building seminars, business expansions and the like. Most of the time, we leave out disaster and even risk management planning. We issue steps and procedures and conduct basic fire and earthquake drills, but we do not even take them seriously. I have previously observed that no one even follow those guidelines in real situations.
The proverb “saving for the rainy days” has also been found to be very true during these difficult times. This is in fact, part of planning. And this pandemic showed another bitter reality. Most of us have no cash savings for emergencies just as what we are experiencing now. Because of this, people are desperate about the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) that has stirred quite a lot of controversy.
Some experts say, Filipinos are not actually poor. It’s just that we don’t know our priorities. Just to be clear, we all want to save. It’s just that we live in a consumer society. So, that is partly to be blamed. Most of us are not aware but our brains are being programmed to buy this and that. Where ever you turn, they entice you to get this and that and they make it appear that you need it when in fact you do not. As a result, the money you intend to save goes down the drain. Unfortunately, the minds of our children are exposed so early in all kinds of subliminal seduction on all kinds of media.
The good news is that there are some people who are financial management crusaders that are going around educating people. This is where our cooperatives come into the picture. The co-ops are teaching their members to save and to maximize the use of their loans. This advocacy has been expanded in order to teach the youth on the value of saving. The term financial literacy has become a buzzword lately and I hope the trend continues. So that people will be able to prepare in case another disaster occurs.
I hate to admit it but there are people who don’t bother preparing and planning for their lives is because they know other people will be helping them in case something bad happens. It is a tragic reality embedded in our consciousness. The victim mentality and the poverty mindset. They say that they are victims of circumstances. Their misfortune is always someone else’s fault not them. That makes them think they are entitled to be supported. Since they are the victims, they do not place on their shoulders the responsibility of improving their lot.
I have observed another reason why we don’t prepare. Most of us have short term visions. We cannot see beyond the present. As I said earlier, we just react to circumstances. Again, I hate to admit it but most of us just exist.
We all need to be proactive instead of reactive. If there is one thing we must learn from this pandemic, it is advance preparation. We have to do some attitude and mindset overhaul. We cannot just leave our survival to other people or to what we call fate.