“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” SOREN KIERKEGAARD
By Alex P. Vidal
This early, our sympathy goes to all would-be losers in this Monday’s mid term elections in the Philippines. It’s not a laughing matter to lose in the election for public office especially when some candidates are not prepared to lose or accept defeat. For these aspirants, it’s more like losing a face aside from losing a fortune.
Pride and ego are the first casualties once the candidate has realized he had been whipped in a fair game. A perennial “independent” candidate for a local legislative post has already expressed apprehensions of another round of violent verbal joust with his wife, who was against his political aspirations from the start, once he fails again this year. He made a Quixotic risk in his first stab in the political ring three elections ago when he gave up his permanent job in a private company only to end up in the wayside. It appears history for this perennial loser will repeat again.
Many would-be losers may still be in denial state today, even if deep inside they know their chances of getting elected are nil. Denial is refusing to accept reality on two levels.
The first level consists of their external reality, that which is actually happening before their eyes. The second level is their internal reality, that which they are feeling. The state of denial is in full force when they feel like their families are making demands on them to spend some time at home and they think they have been.
While denial blocks or ignores feelings and reality, dishonesty, lying to oneself and to others, fills the void. Being dishonest can mean telling everyone everything is great when you know it isn’t. It can mean adopting an attitude, “If I don’t think about it, maybe it will go away.” When they lie to themselves this results in a third factor: self destruction.
Only their fighting spirit and the thought of “what-might-have-been” are what keep them going down to the homestretch.
They fear more the agony of defeat and stigma of humiliation once the smoke has been cleared; thus they refuse to entertain the gnawing reality that they lag behind in all official and non-official surveys and it’s almost impossible to hack out a victory even if the polls will take place anytime before May 13.
It is important that they draw strength and emotional backup from family members once defeat is imminent so that they can easily recover from depression and other post election trauma. Some candidates are never the same again after being trounced in the elections. The smear of anti-social behavior is very much noticeable in the way some of them deal with family members, friends and supporters after the defeat.
‘MAKE ME BRAVE FOR LIFE’
We say a prayer for those who will not make it in this election year:
God, make me brave for life: oh, braver than this.
Let me straighten after pain, as a tree straightens after the rain,
Shining and lovely again.
God, make me brave for life; much braver than this.
As the blown grass lifts, let me rise
From sorrows with quite eyes,
Knowing thy way is wise.
God, make me brave, life brings
Such blinding things.
Help me to keep my sight;
Help me to see aright.
That out of dark comes light.