Aside from all the zingers, puns, and rhetorics that are spinning after the passing of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago I also want to bring to the surface some of her thoughts about life, politics, and God.
I am a fan, I must admit. She never got the shot to become Philippine President after two attempts but that doesn’t discount the fact that she was capable and qualified – academically, professionally, and morally.
Love her or hate her, she has something to say about that too. I rummaged the World Wide Web and came up with my own archive. You might just find your next life quote here.
“You have to have a place where all is quiet, and you’re judged not for what you have achieved, but just for what you are. And if the world has turned against you, there must be a place where you can return, where you are welcomed with the same open arms.”
“In my approaching old age, I am now supposed to share with you what life has taught me, and in the end to encapsulate for you what is the meaning of life. From where I am now, I find that these conundrums are easily answered. First, life teaches us that, whether we perceive it as predestined or as random, it is beyond any person’s control. Second, there is no template for the meaning of life. Instead, the meaning of life is what you choose to make it mean. In making your choice, when you reach my age, your journey becomes an affirmation of the warning that life is a consequence of our moral choices.”
“Bare the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.”
“I have no illusions about myself, about my life, about leaving a legacy or making a mark in people’s lives. We are so insignificant. We are only here for a blink.”
“I guess it’s the expectation that something will happen – something bright and shimmering, that has touched your life before, and will descend on you again when you turn a corner.”
About Politics & Leadership
“Leadership is not about personality; it’s about behaviour – an observable set of skills and abilities.”
“In a corrupt country, if you want to succeed in politics, you must keep your conscience under control.”
“In my view, leadership is the courage to take risks in defense of a position that is both legal and moral. The politician who tries to become a wise guy by becoming friends with everybody – corrupt or not – is not a leader.”
“God is neither up above nor out there. Instead, God is found in here. In the human mind, in the human conscience. That is why, you are not only graduating with a bachelor’s degree today, you are graduating to a place nearer where God is. Because God is in here. God is in you.”
“I can’t accept as an intellectual that prayer changes the mind of God. I don’t see God’s handiwork in my life. Everything I got, I got by hard work and by praying to God. Maybe because the prayer didn’t change the mind of God, but my mind.”