explaining binay

I am 72 years old. I will be 73 when I take office. I will be 79 when I leave office. You have always had a chip on your shoulder. You tragically lost your parents early. Yet you soldiered on. You may or may not have realized it but you were always going up a mountain fighting the next battle. Wrongly, people looked down upon you because of your physical stature and the color of your skin. You outgrew the challenges of being an orphan. You did well enough in school to graduate from the best law school in the country. But even then, you identified with those who were oppressed and for fighting for them you suffered through incarceration. Then the fates intervened. A lady so impressed with and admiring of your standing with the downtrodden, appointed you the Mayor of the richest city in the country. It was probably something you did not aspire for nor even dreamt of. But here was your chance to uplift the lives of even a few of those whom you had valiantly fought for in the halls of justice. But then, you find yourself in the company of the richest of the rich

photo credit: philstar.com

photo credit: philstar.com

in the country. The very people whom you may have begrudged not for their wealth but for their apathy during the struggle against the dictator. They ignore you – bringing back those dark memories of the lonely feeling that you did not belong. So you ignore them in turn. You turn your energies towards doing good for your people – the poor, the downtrodden, those who need help the most. But it soon becomes old. You desperately crave to be accepted by those who have ignored you. Those rich people in their gated enclaves within your city. It starts with a little grease money here and a little over there. You rationalize it as being like Robin Hood. I will take from those who have and give it back to those who don’t. Then you start keeping a little for yourself. It’s only a small part. No harm can come out of it. You begin to acquire the trappings of wealth. You soon notice that those whom you have despised begin to notice you more. You think it’s the money. Inevitably it becomes an addiction – the wealth and the seeming power and influence that it gives you. You correctly associate your position as the source of all that power. You fear losing it so you decide to keep it in the family. Your dominion over this city is total. You have cemented your hold on it. Soon the possibility of higher office becomes realistic. You never dreamt nor planned it to be this way. Again, you start out as the underdog and are not taken seriously. But you’ve been at this long enough to know what it takes to win. You are scrappy. You don’t take things for granted. You work hard. You have that chip on your shoulder that drives you forward. You will prove them wrong and shock the entire nation. And that – you do. You now hold the second-highest office in the land. In your giddiness, you announce your intention to seek the highest office in the nation. In your mind, that will put you in a position to help even more of those who you identify with – the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden. Maybe you think that you will now be able to rationalize all the shortcuts that you took. To make amends for those morally and ethically-challenged choices that you may made. For in the end, I will be able to make it all good. Indeed, the end justifies the means. You are two years away from the ultimate prize. You are sailing along nicely. The people seem to like you. The surveys show they trust you. It seems so easy. Then out of the woodwork comes ghosts from your past. You believe it’s going to be okay. You ignore these because you’ve handled these in the past. These will go away. But then, it doesn’t go away. It becomes bigger. You begin to think – how dare these people take away my destiny. The little voice in your head begins to worry that these may take away your way out. Your way out of those questionable choices that you may have made in your past. You want to confront them. Your people say no. You insist. Without your telling them, you offer a public challenge to the bane of your current existence. Then you realize that there is no escaping your past. You begin to look for a way out but there seems none. Your minions go through the motions of acting on the challenge that you made. Then, out of the blue, you are offered a way out and you take it. Actually you begin to tire of it all. This whole thing is spinning out of control. You begin to get real tired. You are 72. This whole thing begins to grind on you. Your children are being ridiculed. Things are becoming very difficult. You feel very lonely. Yet – the ultimate prize is still within sight. Then I start thinking – is it worth all this? I am 72 years old. I will be 73 when I take office. I will be 79 when I leave office.


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