A Call for a New Breed of Revolutionaries

"... today’s revolutionaries have been labeled as insurgents, mutineers, agitators, and rebels."

30 November 2017 marks the 154th Birth Anniversary of Gat Andres Bonifacio, the father of the Philippine Revolution. This day is celebrated countrywide as Bonifacio Day. Unlike Rizal Day, which is commemorated on Dr. Jose Rizal's death anniversary, Bonifacio Day is celebrated on Andres Bonifacio's date of birth rather than date of death because it is said that his demise came at the hands of fellow revolutionaries.

Today, the term ‘revolutionaries’ apply to those who aspire drastic or complete change in society. Moreover, today’s revolutionaries have been labeled as insurgents, mutineers, agitators, and rebels.

The challenges of our time today call for a different breed of revolutionaries. Bloody revolutions should not be longer recreated and are best kept in history books. Machinations towards the ouster of our leaders through extra-constitutional means should not be supported as we aspire for a country that collectively respects and follows the rule of law.  What we need today are revolutionaries who are able to impact the lives of others through simple thoughts and small deeds.

In this day and age, revolutionary thinking should be more inward-looking instead of outward-looking. It requires us to think of the big picture when looking at various situations and circumstances. It also asks us to be simple in resolve and avoid doing things beyond our capacities.

For example, fake news has become prevalent on social media. In addressing fake news, big picture thinking dictates that we must understand all components behind the proliferation of fake news. However, it also slaps us with the reality that we cannot solve fake news on our own. Therefore, it is important to look at what individual acts could lead to in our quest to be solution agents. Individually, we can espouse among friends and colleagues to do careful research before passing judgment. Collectively, our ability to become effective marketing and networking agents will be put to test as we persuade those within our spheres of influence to spread awareness on the importance of due diligence to counteract fake news. These strategies have worked well in multi-level marketing. It is time to make it work against fake news. If properly implemented, these efforts could produce revolutionary effects--- a more educated, well-informed, and enlightened citizenry.

This new revolutionary thinking should also prompt us to be the different voice when everybody else does what is wrong. You could be the voice of reason when peers say that being gay is unacceptable. You can call out friends who catcall women. Simple acts have been proven to produce popular phenomena. YouTube sensations are living testaments to the beauty of simplicity.

What we have today- freedom, democracy, rights- are all fruits of peaceful revolutions of our yesteryears. However, we can no longer be fixated with outdated modes to seek change in society. Overly-complicated approaches are usually met with resistance. Simplicity is in essence the answer to the complexities of our modern times.

If new Filipino words were able to make it to the Oxford English Dictionary, we possess the intellect to come-up with a new definition for 'revolutionaries.' If our forebearers were able to define 'people power' revolutions in 1986 and 2001, our new breed of millennials and genzennials have the ability to catalyze a new form of revolution, one that need not be confrontational or divisive.

We have the potential to become revolutionaries. Let not our kindred revolutionary spirits be killed by yesterday’s revolutionaries. It is my fervent hope that a new revolutionary approach is borne out of our collective aspirations to become a better country.

About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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