In candor and candidacies

 It's The Small Things

As I was on my YouTube explore page this morning, all the suggested videos in channels (or accounts) I subscribe to, or regularly view all contained either interviews, or some sort of vlog with, or involving, a presidential, vice-presidential, or senatorial candidate. Indeed, there is no more escaping the fact that it is 2022, and despite the few detours omicron took us on, there is no denying that the elections are looming about and upon us. In just a little more than three months, a new set of leaders will govern. Personally, I have my own set of preferences, and a list of people who have my definite votes, and a few more slots to fill. But then I caught myself thinking once again – what is it in fact that makes someone appealing to me, or that gets them my vote? 

I have been fortunate enough to have been exposed to the world of public service early on. Not necessarily in the political sense (though I have had my own fair share of that too), but through non-government and non-profit organizations that are inextricably linked with, and oftentimes whose success often rely on local government units, and likeminded leaders. Of course, there are the usual determining factors like I have worked with this person, I have heard so many great things from people who have, their track record is clean, bills passed, the list goes on. But with the undeniable heavy influence of social media these days, what is it that can sway me to vote for someone – a neophyte in the political arena for that matter – simply by spending some down time hearing what they have to say? 

First and foremost, as shallow as this sounds, admit it, it is but human nature to shape a first impression based on how someone looks and/or appears. In the case of future leaders, I think this plays a fair share in judgment given that these people will represent us in various platforms in one way or another. We do not necessarily need someone who wears the nicest clothes, or sports the latest fashion trends, but rather, someone who makes an effort to look put together and presentable for the public. Making an effort to show up always counts for more, and is one thing, but if someone cares about how they present themselves, then perhaps we gather the notion that he/she also takes the time to have a look at even the most minute of details. Rather, he/she cares about how the Filipino people is represented and seen. 

Second, while what a candidate has to say about matters and pressing issues surely leaves a mark on me, what someone has to say about someone else on the other hand always leaves a lasting impression. Most especially in candid interviews where interviewees are not given much time to think. This does not only showcase how one could potentially respond in a more stressful situation, but also how one thinks. I am a believer that what others say about someone says more about them than the person they are talking about because it is only natural that we assume of others what we ourselves are capable of. It is but natural, of course, to have sunnier and more positive things to say about allies, but it takes more courage and integrity in my opinion to speak the truth without needing to destroy or persecute the character of an opponent. At the end of the day, it is not always what you say, but how you say things that matter. These leaders we will elect are going to be our vessels, and essentially our spokespersons to the greater audience, and to the world. We must make sure that they are not only capable of, but deserving of the honor to deliver messages on behalf of the Filipino people. 

These may seem shallow, but I do believe that it really is in the small things that the greatness stems from. And though I have a few more, my word count is dictating that I must put an end to this for now. But worry not, I will share the rest in the next few weeks.