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I was really deeply touched by the story Conrado de Quiros narrated in his column Deliverance. It was about a Vietnamese who worked as a cop in Japan, and a 9-year-old Japanese boy who gave despite having lost everything, including his parents and siblings during the Fukushima tsunami disaster that ensued in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake.

Truth or fiction, the story made a strong impact. I totally agree with De Quiros view that the observation of the Vietnamese cop that society that can produce a 9-year-old who understands the concept of sacrifice for the greater good must be a great society, a great people was more precious because the cop was a survivor of a decade-long Vietnam war. Like Vietnam, the Philippines had once been ravaged by war.

Comparing the cops and boys countries with our own in terms of instilling in children the values of love and charity, we would arrive at a shameful reality that were raising our kids far below their standards. It is true and again I agree with De Quiros that the Japanese boy and Vietnamese cop are not Christians, yet as the story showed us, they had more Christian charity than we do, and they demonstrated a capacity for self-sacrifice more than we Filipinos do.

So, how soon, then shall we Filipinos who are mostly Christians transform our society into one that can produce a generation of Filipinos with values like those that a 9year-old Japanese orphan exemplified and a Vietnamese cop extolled? When can we produce a generation of Filipinos who understand the concept of self-sacrifice for the greater good, so that we Filipinos can also be called a great society and a great people? Or shall we just remain as we are now, mired in the culture of corruption.

The Japanese and Vietnamese are not Christians, yet they show more Christian charity than we do. Certainly, they show a capacity for self-sacrifice more than we do. Forget even that, they show a capacity to see beyond themselves, or a capacity to see others, more than we do. Which is what the Cross is supposed to represent.

Our own version of Christianity has only taught us selfishness. The very purpose of living an upright life, or a facsimile thereofthere are always the sacraments to wipe off sin is to save ourselves, or our souls from the burning fires of hell. On the occasions we are compelled to, we part with land, with money, with children (for the priesthood) to buy a berth in heaven but never up to the point that it becomes painful or inconvenient. We do not do things for others or sacrifice for others (other than family) simply because it is the right thing to do, because it is the only thing to do. Because, despite our desolation, there are others more desolate. Because, despite our loss, there are others who lost more. Because, despite our hunger, there are others hungrier.